Expectation Waltz (Ershter vals)

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Herold Lavrentievich Kittler (1847-1916): Expectation Waltz (ожидание)

    This is a Russian waltz written in 1901. It's best known in Russia through a prominent appearance in the 1962 film "Optimistic Tragedy", and also played as a klezmer song under the name "Ershter vals" with Yiddish lyrics by Chaim Towber.

    My instrumental recording on mandolin and tenor guitar is based on Paul Hardy's tunebook:


    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

  2. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    To go with "Expectation", here is another Russian waltz called "Toska" which is a word for the specifically Russian mix of melancholy, weltschmerz, nostalgia and dull aching longing.

    This tune is attributed to M. Obytshaiko, about whom I know nothing. It's also played as a klezmer tune.

    My recording is based on a leadsheet I found at Musescore:


    1898 Giuseppe Vinaccia mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

  3. Gelsenbury
    Both are nice and well played. I like the second one especially.

    That sounds like a lot of unusual notes in there. I'm so used to playing in G and D that I'd struggle!
  4. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Dennis. These Russian waltzes are fun precisely because they have such a different tonality, which is what creates the melancholy mood. I've used different mandolins on the two tunes with very different tone -- the Mid-Mo is warmer, but the Vinaccia is more haunting (especially with a bit of added reverb).

  5. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Two fine, haunting melodies, Martin. Thanks for links to the scores too.
  6. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Well played Martin, reminds me of an old music teacher from school who was talking about Mahler, and the notes on the margin of the major scale. He told us that itís only because the notes are not what we were expecting that the tune sounds tragic.
  7. crisscross
    Two nice Russsian tunes, very well arranged and pLayed!
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