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Beware of the Paderewski Edition (Read 13957 times)

Offline pianist1976

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Beware of the Paderewski Edition
« on: April 11, 2014, 08:56:02 AM »
Hi, folks. During many years I've been using the famous Paderewski Edition of the works of Chopin, trusting it blindly as it is an Urtext. I'm now using the more recent National Polish Edition by Jan Ekier and could compare both. What I found in a way of weird editorial changes and additions on the Paderewski score of the preludes really astonished me:

- In the prelude 2 the Paderewski edition removes the polyphonic internal voice of the left hand which is Chopin's authentic and appears on almost every edition... except Pad's. Ironically they speak about it at the critical notes.

-They changed many accidentals because they thought that Chopin didn't know enough harmony/theory (!!!). For instance, but not the only case, at the prelude no. 8 they substitute D by C double sharp, applying "modern" post-Chopin harmony theory by Hugo Riemann. I think this intermission is unacceptable, and anachronism and it makes the score unnecessarily more difficult to read.

- They change keys and staves. I.e. Prelude no. 14

- They change also music halfs, quavers and dots notation. I.e. Prelude no. 24.

- They removed original Chopin pedal marks (there are several, one of them is at prelude no.16).

Online Bob

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 11:01:33 AM »
Hm....  I've got that sitting on my shelf right now. 

Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline shabbatshalom

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 07:01:18 PM »
If it's played well, no one would know/care about the edition you used. Academic tyranny of music needs to end.

Offline pianist1976

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 10:30:12 PM »
Quote
If it's played well, no one would know/care about the edition you used. Academic tyranny of music needs to end.

I wrote and elaborated this thread, which took a time, to try to help other people who may be interested on that matter, not to get two sentences wise ass type responses. Trying to be faithful to the original intentions of the composer, free of later additions or trimmings, is not incompatible with trying to play well and imaginatively (non academic way) a work, I think they aren't exclusive.

While I hadn't a real problem working during more than 20 years with the Padereski, and I really enjoy the great renditions based on old / inaccurate editions, I must say I prefer to know as close as possible the original intentions of the composer, even if the differences are sometimes subtle (other times there are a few surprising and significant changes...)

Offline quantum

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #4 on: April 12, 2014, 03:44:21 AM »
These are two editions that were assembled at different time periods.  Editorial practice changes through time, and is sometimes privy to the prevailing academic fashion of the time.  Even considering the most urtext of urtext procedures, we are still dealing with an interpretation of an editor or editorial board to the primary sources at hand.  In many cases the creator is not available to set the record straight, so to speak.

IMO, the score can be at times blatantly insufficient in its ability to lay out what the true intention of the composer was.  All too often, scores are interpreted under the guise of a one-dimentional, all-encompassing, and absolute definition of what is perceived to be a static state of being.  A single unquestionable truth.  Many performers that have worked with living composers can attest to the continual evolutionary nature of a composition, even after it has reached its final performance-ready version.  

A scenario to think about:  
Should we be reading Bach's keyboard works in C clefs as he wrote them?  The music certainly looks more elegant in its original clefs, centered on the staff with fewer ledger lines.  But is this the best choice for modern eyes schooled in the procedures of modern notational conventions?  Is the musical idea changed by writing everything out in either a treble or bass clef?

Nonetheless, when the successor to the Ekier edition is assembled, perhaps there would be those in the future that question the editorial practices of the Ekier edition which today appear to be sound judgement.  

If one wants a clearer framework upon which to interpret a given score, a wise course of action would be to examine multiple editions of a given piece and not to rely on a single publication for "absolute authenticity." 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline j_menz

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #5 on: April 13, 2014, 10:24:17 PM »
In many cases the creator is not available to set the record straight, so to speak.

In the case of Chopin, that is perhaps a blessing. In his own "setting the record straight" he had a habit of giving different answers to the same question depending on when it was asked. His editorial "corrections" on the proofs of the same piece from his three different publishers are not always even close to consistency.

That said, my main quibble with the Paderewski is its inability to keep being a book.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline quantum

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 02:05:13 PM »
In the case of Chopin, that is perhaps a blessing. In his own "setting the record straight" he had a habit of giving different answers to the same question depending on when it was asked. His editorial "corrections" on the proofs of the same piece from his three different publishers are not always even close to consistency.

Indeed.  As well, he was known for making "corrections" in already published scores. 

There is a lot more here for those interested:
http://www.amazon.com/Chopin-Pianist-Teacher-Seen-Pupils/dp/0521367093

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Online Bob

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 10:54:55 PM »
Wouldn't this already have been known though?

I'm thinking of the person who told me to buy that edition of Chopin.  They would have been very aware of differences about that edition, etc.  There would have been a reason they picked it.  Hm....  Unless it's just that -- There's some variation for Chopin, and they liked this one best.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline j_menz

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 04:45:49 AM »
Wouldn't this already have been known though?

I'm thinking of the person who told me to buy that edition of Chopin.  They would have been very aware of differences about that edition, etc.  There would have been a reason they picked it.  Hm....  Unless it's just that -- There's some variation for Chopin, and they liked this one best.

The Dover edition you have is actually a reprint of the Mikuli edition, not the Paderewski.  Mikuli tended to be a radically conservative editor, and corrected what he saw as some of Chopin's mistakes (or rather the harmonic errors he didn't believe Chopin would have intended). Mikuli was a pupil of Chopin, so his edition was well regarded for a time and then fell out of favour as people came to see those "errors" as inventive and intended.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Online Bob

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #9 on: April 15, 2014, 05:21:50 AM »
Interesting post Bob.  You're right, as usual.


There.  I corrected that post for modern audiences.  Unfortunately j_menz might not be aware that that's what his post actually meant, so despite anything he says, that's the real truth.  The child has left the womb, never to return.  So... that means...? ... If j_menz disputes this it would be like incest?  Incest is wrong.  Which makes my edition of the post correct. 

Hm.  Interesting. 

And judging by my track record here...  I've been right, so this post is probably also correct. 
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline j_menz

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #10 on: April 15, 2014, 05:25:33 AM »
Yibbita Yibbita Yibbita. 

You must introduce me to your dealer.   ;D
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Online Bob

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #11 on: April 15, 2014, 11:34:59 AM »
Yibbita Yibbita Yibbita. 
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline stravinskylover

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #12 on: April 15, 2014, 01:34:26 PM »
This is starting to get off topic...

Online Bob

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #13 on: April 15, 2014, 10:38:41 PM »
We must return to the Ur post and attempt to figure out precisely what the creator meant.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline stravinskylover

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #14 on: April 15, 2014, 10:57:38 PM »
We must return to the Ur post and attempt to figure out precisely what the creator meant.

What does Ur stand for?

Online Bob

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #15 on: April 15, 2014, 10:59:13 PM »
Original, I thought.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ur-

Proto.  Nice.    The protopost.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline stravinskylover

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #16 on: April 15, 2014, 11:08:51 PM »
Original, I thought.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ur-

Proto.  Nice.    The protopost.

Oh. Thanks for the info!

Offline v1ct0r

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Re: Beware of the Paderewski Edition
«Reply #17 on: May 21, 2020, 04:15:48 AM »
Chopin does not write many notes or markings in his music, also itís a rule of thumb to never follow his pedal markings because the pedaling was for a French piano which to todayís modern standard would be blurry and murky if we used his markings. He leaves a lot to be deemed for the player to decide which requires some creativity on the pianistís or editors part for cookie cutter pianistís with little phrasing or imaginative ability. The editions always fight over the German and French and Mikuli editions of his works so try to reference some of those.