The turn-of-the-century ragtime sensation Scott Joplin may be best known for his songs “The Entertainer” and “The Maple Leaf Rag,” but he produced many more pieces, my favorite being “Bethena: A Concert Waltz.”
He wrote this following the death of his new bride (of ten weeks) Freddie, who succumbed to pneumonia. While many of his tunes are upbeat and cheery, this one has a more somber tone. But it still can’t escape Joplin’s musical energy as it is to be played as a waltz (valse).
Listen to it yourself and enjoy the beautiful chord progressions and key changes. I’ve been trying it at the piano recently and I love playing it every time. This young guy does a great job interpreting the song, in my opinion.