The Valse triste from the otherwise practically unknown incidental music to Kuolema op. 44 by Jean Sibelius soon became one of the most frequently played pieces by the Finnish composer.
The original publisher Breitkopf & Härtel provided a major impulse to its popularity growth through various versions and arrangements. Incidentally, the arrangements by Friedrich Hermann (for violin, viola, violoncello, flute, and piano) and by Otto Taubmann (for piano duet) are even authentic. They were commissioned by the publisher after Sibelius gave his agreement. In fact, the composer, who was not always mildly disposed towards such undertakings, even went over them, as can be seen in the composers copies.