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Topic: Chopin works - Is Mikuli's edition really that bad???  (Read 3683 times)

Offline musikalischer_wirbelwind_280

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      I was wondering if there's anyone here that can hopefully shed some light on this matter. I remember reading once about Mikuli being regarded nowadays as "the editor of a now discredited edition of Chopin's works", or something pretty close to that. And it's not like it's been the only time I've heard his edition get some flak. The first time I did, though, was enough to get me a little concerned, especially since most of the books of Frédéric's pieces I've got use the Mikuli edition. I believe the only exceptions are the Mazurkas (Joseffy), the Ballades (also Joseffy) and the Études (Friedheim) (the latter certainly has got nothing good to say about poor Karl, by the way...).

And yet I'm not so sure anymore just how flawed Mikuli's edition is; for instance, I remember reading, in that same article from which I quoted the passage above, that in the 23rd prelude he had changed the famous E-flat in the last but one bar, in the left-hand part, to an F, believing it to be a misprint, but I already checked my book and the E-flat is there, and it's supposed to be the Mikuli edition!
  And I guess I would also expect him to have changed the E (yet another E, eh? ^^) in the first Ballade, 7th bar, you know, the highest note of the famous left-hand arpeggiated chord, for a D, but again, the E is there, intact! For this, I checked the Mikuli ed. at IMSLP, of course; like I said, the one I've got is actually the Joseffy edition (who sticks to keeping the E, as well).

Of course, I know editorial work doesn't only concern leaving notes as they are or changing them to others, and that's also why I'm not sure how good the Mikuli is, because I've also heard it contains some arbitrary pedal marks, legato slurs and some other things that are not considered correct.

So, to sum it all up: just how bad (or good) is the Mikuli edition? And in case it's not the best one out there, is there any other single edition that might be, or at least get pretty close? Or is it really not that simple, and it depends on which pieces we're talking about?

Big cheers for any help that might be offered!  ;)
M.W.

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Chopin works - Is Mikuli's edition really that bad???
Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 08:04:17 AM
Now that all the first editions are available online others are kind of redundant-but-of-interest.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Chopin works - Is Mikuli's edition really that bad???
Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 09:46:58 AM
I think a lot of people refer to wiener urtext scores as a solid source for Chopin?

The one's I've got are very good, they often include several additional 'authentic' notations in small print for you to make your own decision.

The Nocturnes even include a full alternative Op.9 no.2 which consists mostly of a collaboration of all the different annotations that Chopin added into his students copies.

I'm of the opinion that if an editor explicitly states these conflicts in their editions and also gives evidence as to why one may be considered over another, that's what I like in a score.

"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."
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