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Topic: Note discrepancies in Chopin  (Read 1879 times)

Offline tinctoria88

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Note discrepancies in Chopin
on: June 24, 2017, 07:19:06 PM
I have a question about note discrepancies in music of Chopin.  Was Chopin upset about different publishers printing "variations" of notes within each composition?  I have the Polish national edition of Chopin Scherzos and also Peters.   Polish edition caused me to check IMSLP's editions for comparison of sostenuto section of Scherzo #2.  Henle edition of Chopin's Nocturnes has variants noted also.  Was Chopin unhappy with the variants printed among his published editions?  Is there truly any conclusive source for Chopin's preferred choice of notes in his compositions?

Offline mjames

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Re: Note discrepancies in Chopin
Reply #1 on: June 24, 2017, 07:50:40 PM
Quote
Publishing

Chopin published much of his music simultaneously in Germany, France, and England. While this certainly earned the composer triple exposure and likely a good sum of revenue, the discrepancies between these three (or more) editions can be quite the conundrum. Ever the romantic, Chopin lived in a constant state of inspiration and improvisation, and was certainly prone to editing and revising his own music even after sending final drafts to his publishers. Especially considering that all published editions of his work during his lifetime were in fact proofed and approved by the composer himself, this is a popular source of anxiety amongst pianists and scholars.

How is one to know what the composer truly meant and wanted when we are presented with autographs and first drafts bearing the composer’s approval that differ in content? Details such as phrase markings, dynamics, fingerings, even the notes themselves are often subject to suspicion. The several editions of the time had different ways of dealing with this problem; the Germans of course believed that their version was infallible, the French called Chopin their own, having spent most of his adult life based in Paris, and the English publisher (a German who largely copied the French editions) annoyed Chopin by insisting on adding flowery titles to his pieces. Nearly 200 years later, the state of affairs in regards to Chopin editions has turned over a new leaf.

Today, several scholarly editions exist that attempt to organize the vast array of sources and compile the information in one presentable volume, notably the Paderewski and Polish National editions which contain lengthy and scholarly explanations and discussions regarding choices and sources. Even so, it is ultimately up to the taste of an editor as to which version of which piece suits them most at the given time, and perhaps Chopin himself faced the same dilemma, resulting in the variations we have today.


https://www.classiccat.net/chopin_f/biography.php#Publishing


Bottom line Chopin didn't care about purity and neither should you. Urtexts editions for Chopin are pretty useless when it comes to these problems, just use your own discretion to solve them.

Offline georgey

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Re: Note discrepancies in Chopin
Reply #2 on: June 24, 2017, 08:28:46 PM
Another link to look at besides Mjames link:

Wording from the below link:
By engaging different publishers in France, Germany, and England, Fryderyk Chopin ably navigated early nineteenthcentury European copyright laws, and this savvy combined with variations of source materials and Chopin's apparent lack of control over the publishing process outside of Paris effectively resulted in three 'first editions' of most of his compositions. The textual discrepancies between the three editions naturally problematized ensuing published collections, making posthumous attempts at collected and/or critical editions profoundly inconsistent. Beginning in 2004, two different online projects were created to address this quagmire of editing woes: Chopin Early Editions and Chopin's First Editions Online.

https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1P3-2662224381/chopin-early-editions-chopin-s-first-editions-online

Not sure if this helps.

Offline tinctoria88

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Re: Note discrepancies in Chopin
Reply #3 on: June 24, 2017, 09:59:48 PM
I'm very grateful and intrigued by both resonses from mjames and georgey.  mjames comfirms my own attitude in "choosing which notes" for the playing of Chopin's music.  georgey's reply offers wonderful material for more curious investigation.
Perhaps some might regard Chopin's own attitude about variants of content in his published music as approaching "chaos."  It seems to me to fit one beautiful aspect of Chopin's musical personality--improvisation of the utmost musical caliber!
Thanks for both of your very insightful responses.

Offline pianoworthy

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Re: Note discrepancies in Chopin
Reply #4 on: June 27, 2017, 03:13:36 PM
The discretion between published versions is probably a result of Chopin's improvisatory nature. I'd say unless you're trying to win a Chopin competition, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Use your own discretion and common sense when it comes to how exactly to approach it.
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