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Topic: Chopin etude Op 10 No 8 - E-flat or E-natural in bar 80?  (Read 9135 times)

Offline finger_yogi

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RE: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 8

The Dover (Paderewski) edition (page 91) uses an E-natural in measure 80 (for both occurrences of E in the measure i.e. the 2nd 16th-note of the 1st and 4th beat). All other editions I have consulted uses an E-flat for the 1st occurrence, then an E-natural on the 2nd occurrence. The commentary on this etude provided with the Dover edition does not address this discrepancy.

What is the (more) correct or accurate 'version'? Thanks in advance.
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Offline birba

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Re: Chopin etude Op 10 No 8 - E-flat or E-natural in bar 80?
Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 12:11:55 PM
Wow. I never realized there was so much ado about that note.  But, your right.  The Paderewski edition goes on and on about it.  I just always played e natural.  It just sort of contrasts and resolves the e-flat in the similar passage played before.  MAH!  (Italian expression for consternation and puzzlement)

Offline stevebob

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Re: Chopin etude Op 10 No 8 - E-flat or E-natural in bar 80?
Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 02:03:46 PM
It turns out there's a bewildering array of variants for this measure, and the discrepancy with regard to whether the E's in question are flat, natural or bear no accidental sign is rooted in parallel passages in previous bars (viz. bb. 76 and 79).

If you check the original first editions at Chopin's First Editions Online, you'll find the following.  (The other references aren't meant to be exhaustive; they're just the editions to which I have personal access.)

  • In b. 76 of each edition, the second 16th note is flatted, the fourth 16th note is naturalized, and the fourteenth 16th note has no accidental.

(However, subsequent editions of Cortot, Friedheim, Mikuli and Scholtz place a flat sign before the fourteenth 16th note; Klindworth places a redundant natural sign before the fourteenth 16th note; Paderewski and Sternberg have no accidental.)

  • In b. 79, the penultimate 16th note has no accidental except in the German edition, in which it is flatted.

(Cortot, Friedheim, Klindworth, Mikuli, Scholtz, Paderewski and Sternberg also place a flat sign before this note.)

  • In b. 80, the second and fourteenth 16th notes have no accidentals at all in the German edition.  The French and English editions place a natural sign before the second 16th note and no accidental before the fourteenth 16th note.

(Cortot, Friedheim, Mikuli, Scholtz and Sternberg place flat signs before the second 16th note and the fourteenth 16th note; Klindworth puts a flat sign before the second 16th note and a natural sign before the fourteenth 16th note; Paderewski places natural signs before the second 16th note and the fourteenth 16th note.)

I checked the Paderewski edition published by Dover, and found that the discrepancy is mentioned in the comment for b. 80 as follows:  "With regard to the treble see the comment on bar 76."  (The comment on bar 76 is a very long paragraph containing a harmonic analysis of the passage.)

Also, the comments in the edition published by Henle can be read online here:

https://www.henle.de/katalog/KB%2F0124.pdf

(The relevant section is at page 8 of the pdf file.)
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline birba

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Re: Chopin etude Op 10 No 8 - E-flat or E-natural in bar 80?
Reply #3 on: May 04, 2010, 02:22:33 PM
'Which all goes to show, Does it REALLY make that much difference?

Offline stevebob

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Re: Chopin etude Op 10 No 8 - E-flat or E-natural in bar 80?
Reply #4 on: May 04, 2010, 02:27:29 PM
'Which all goes to show, Does it REALLY make that much difference?

Obviously, it does to those who are concerned with such matters.  It all goes to show that "What passes you ain't for you."  :)
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline birba

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Re: Chopin etude Op 10 No 8 - E-flat or E-natural in bar 80?
Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010, 04:25:14 PM
Strange how what REALLY makes a difference, passes a LOT of people...

Offline stevebob

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Re: Chopin etude Op 10 No 8 - E-flat or E-natural in bar 80?
Reply #6 on: May 04, 2010, 04:43:42 PM
Strange how what REALLY makes a difference, passes a LOT of people...

I don't know what you mean, at least in the context of this thread.

The point you're trying to make may really make a difference to you, but it definitely passes me.  :)
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline finger_yogi

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Re: Chopin etude Op 10 No 8 - E-flat or E-natural in bar 80?
Reply #7 on: May 05, 2010, 02:54:21 AM
@Stevebob: Thanks for the quick and thorough response. It did not dawn on me to read the commentary regarding the earlier parallel measures. The Chopin first edition website is a great resource to have - thanks for sharing.

@birba: Thanks for helping keep alive the discussion regarding critical readings of musical scores. Your responses surely made some of those who read them reflect on their own thoughts and feelings regarding such "ado" over a couple of 16th notes is really "nothing". Is a single discrepant note in a Chopin piece equally important as a single discrepant note in a piece by Bartok? Is there a real difference between a wrong note played unintentionally during a performance, and a note that is intentionally played by performer who 'knows' that the note varies from the score? These are certainly issues to think about (or not).

Offline birba

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Re: Chopin etude Op 10 No 8 - E-flat or E-natural in bar 80?
Reply #8 on: May 05, 2010, 05:25:11 AM
I'm not saying that looking into the validity of a note is something that one should pass up.  Not in the least.  But I feel that sometimes, I get too hung up on whether Chopin, or Bartok or Messiaen intended this and that and I miss the forest for the trees.  What I'm saying, is that if you play the Chopin etude with e-flat or e natural, the result of your playing is going to be the same.  The interpretation of the etude and it's spring-like playfullness is what counts.  In fact, I'm going to learn that passage again and play it with e-flat as well.  Get it, now?
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