Bethena - A Concert Waltz

By: Scott Joplin
For: String quartet
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Bethena - A Concert Waltz


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Scott Joplin
Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
6 minutes
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Of Joplin's 50 odd pieces for solo piano, only six are waltzes, which is a surprise, given the waltz's popularity among the home pianists likely to snatch up Joplin's sheet music at the time. Certainly his best waltz is Bethena, one of two published in 1905 when Joplin was perfecting his mature style (the piece's partner is the more innocuous Binks' Waltz). This is a rag waltz, laying right-hand syncopations onto a 3/4 meter. The construction is elaborate: a graceful, wistful refrain (its germ is heard in the brief, wide-ranging introduction) alternates with four contrasting sections, all separated by little, surprisingly chromatic interludes. The first contrasting section is closely related to the main theme, but the second is more rag-like; the third, having skipped the refrain, is a haunting minor-mode episode; the fourth, again intruding before the refrain can return, brightens the mood. The main melody finally returns, closing the piece with tender nostalgia.

This piece is arranged for standard string quartet, with an optional bass part for use with string orchestra.

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A Thousand And One Nights, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 7. Badinerie, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 3. Adagio, Anvil Chorus, from "Il Trovatore", Radetzky March, Op.228, Semper Fidelis, Marche Militaire, Op.51 No.1, Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.13 Der Dichter Spricht (The Poet Speaks), Berceuse, Op.16, O Christmas Tree, Marche Militaire, Op.51 No.1, Suite Bergamasque - No.3 Clair de Lune, Le Coucou, Sextet: Chi mi frena, from "Lucia di Lammermoor", Brook Green Suite - 3. Dance, Chanson de Matin, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 6. Theme and variations, Piano Sonata in A "Alla Turca" - 3. Rondo, Si. Mi chiamano Mimi, from "La boheme", Concerto for Two Violins "L'estro armonico" Op.3 No.8 - Movement 1, Sleepy Sidney, Slavonic Dance, Op.72 No.2, Sonata "Pathetique" Op.13 - 1. Grave - Allegro, Concerto for Two Violins "L'estro armonico" Op.3 No.8 - Movement 3, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 3. Sarabande, Sonata "Pathetique" Op.13 - 2. Adagio cantabile, Sonata in A, KV 331 - 2. Menuetto and Trio, La Damnation de Faust - Rakoczy March, We Three Kings, Duet: Sous le dome epais, from "Lakme", Swan Lake - Dance of the Cygnets, Song to the Moon, from "Rusalka", El Capitan, Humoresque, Op.101 No.7, Symphony No.29 - 3. Menuetto, Water Music Suite No.2 in D, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 1. Allegro, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 4. Bourree I and II, Lohengrin - The Bridal Chorus, Holberg Suite - 2. Sarabande, Habanera from "Carmen", Symphony No.25 - 2. Andante, Children's Corner, No.6 The Golliwog's Cake-Walk, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 4. Bourree, I Got The Blues, Birthday Minuet, Key-Stone Rag, King Cotton, A Cyclone in Darktown, Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.7 Traumerei (Dreaming), Song Without Words No.27 "Funeral March" Op.62 No.3, L'Autunno ("Autumn") - 3. Allegro, Habanera from "Carmen", L'Estate ("Summer") - 1. Allegro non molto, Gradual, L'Estate ("Summer") - 2. Adagio, Presto, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Espana - 2. Tango, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 3. Allegro, Largo al factotum, from "The Barber of Seville", Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix, from "Samson et Dalila", Pavane, Op.50, O soave fanciulla, from "La boheme", The Cannon Ball Rag, In Dulci Jubilo, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 1. Allegro, Serenade No.10 , O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fidelis), The Gladiator March, The High School Cadets, Gymnopedie No.1, The Manhattan Beach March, The Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture, The Stars And Stripes Forever, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, Trio No.1, Trio No.3, Symphony No.29 - 4. Allegro con spirito, 16 Songs for Children, Op.54 No.6 Legend ("When Jesus Christ Was Yet A Child"), Deck The Halls, Who Let The Cows Out? - For Sax Quartet (AATB), La Marseillaise, The Sleeping Beauty - Waltz, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 2. Affettuoso, In The Bleak Mid-Winter, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Symphony No.29 - 2. Andante, The Nutcracker - Overture, Symphony No.25 - 3. Menuetto, Symphony No.40 - 4. Allegro assai, The Marriage of Figaro - Overture, Lullaby, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 - Scherzo, The Flight of the Bumble Bee, The Holly And The Ivy, Once in Royal David's City, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 - Nocturne, Symphony No.29 - 1. Allegro moderato, Babes in Toyland - March of the Toys, Unto Us A Child Is Born, Rosamunde - Ballet Music No.2, Silent Night, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 2. Rondeau, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 2. Menuetto; Trio 1; Trio 2, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade, Angels We Have Heard On High, William Tell - Overture, I Saw Three Ships, Symphony No.40 - 1. Allegro molto, Brandenburg Concerto No.6 - 2. Adagio ma non tanto, Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.7, O come, O come, Emmanuel, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 2. Adagio - Allegro, Symphonie Fantastique - 2. Un Bal, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 1. Overture, Away In A Manger, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 5. Polonaise and Double, Solomon - Act III, Sinfonia "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba", Symphony No.40 - 2. Andante, Auld Lang Syne, The Coventry Carol, Symphony No.25 - 4. Allegro, Water Music Suite No.3 in G, Ave Maria, Op.52 No.6, Carmen - Act 1: Prelude, The Barber of Seville - Overture, Symphony No.40 - 3. Menuetto, Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.8, O Little Town Of Bethlehem (1), Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - 1. Allegro, O Holy Night and 1812 Overture

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