Hearts and Flowers
The famous melody is taken from the introductory 2/4 section of "Wintermärchen" Waltzes Op.366 (1891) by the Hungarian composer Alphons Czibulka.
The song as a vocal number was soon forgotten but the piece it was founded upon, re-arranged as a short instrumental, gained popularity in its own right under the same title "Hearts and Flowers" and it is in this form that it remains well known to this day.
The 2/4 melody Czibulka's "Wintermärchen" Waltzes Op.366 (1891) was also re-arranged into 3/4 time to form the first waltz in the instrumental-only "Hearts and Flowers" Waltzes by Moses-Tobani though this is now never heard.
Today the piece "Hearts and Flowers" has a connection in popular culture with having been associated with silent film accompaniment music. The connection is entirely a latter-day one however as silent film scores were typically assembled from music that specifically was unfamiliar to the audience so as to not distract attention from the on-screen action.
Nevertheless, the instrumental violin version has in the collective popular imagination come to symbolize all that is melodramatic, sentimental or mock-tragic. Indeed, the humming of the tune is often combined with the miming of violin-playing to indicate mock-sympathy at someone's misfortunes.
There is an ongoing reference to "Hearts and Flowers" in Amazing Spider-Man #45, published February, 1967.
- Sheet music at library.duke.edu (last visited 2011-01-06)
- An 1899 Berliner Grammophon recording performed by Chris de Arth
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