The waltz is in A-flat major, with a time signature of 3/4. The tempo is marked at tempo di valse, or a waltz tempo. The beginning theme, marked con espressione, is melancholic and nostalgic, and reaches a small high point with a fast flourish. The second part is marked sempre delicatissimo, or con anima in other versions. It is somewhat more cheerful that the previous theme, but soon gives way to the same first theme. After a second rendition of the first theme is a third theme, marked as dolce, the most playful theme. It leads to another theme with a series of ascending double-stops. This fourth theme is marked poco a poco crescendo, with other editions adding ed appassionato. This leads back to the third, playful theme, and returns back to the beginning with a da capo al fin.
The waltz was originally written as a farewell piece to Maria Wodzińska, to whom Chopin was once engaged. This autographed copy Pour Mlle Marie, given to her in Dresden, Germany, in September 1835, is now in the National Library (Biblioteka Narodowa) of Poland in Warsaw. Another autographed version of the piece can be found at the Conservatoire de Paris, but is considered to be a less refined version. A third is presented as the posthumous edition of Julian Fontana, but has not been substantiated by any known autograph.