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 Post subject: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:47 pm 
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The following I think is quite a decent paragraph on the subject, from an author on Wikipedia (Chopin->Works->Publishing):
Quote:
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.


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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:53 pm 
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Funny enough, I just posted very similar message in another thread in audition room. Since I did it at 11:46AM, and you at 11:47AM, it proves I did not see yours, first :mrgreen:

Best, M


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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Marik wrote:
Funny enough, I just posted very similar message in another thread in audition room. Since I did it at 11:46AM, and you at 11:47AM, it proves I did not see yours, first :mrgreen:

Best, M

Are YOU the author of the Wiki article? :wink:

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:52 am 
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Whenever I have questions about a certain Chopin piece and which edition I should refer to, I ask Jeffrey Kallberg. He's helped a couple times and really I think he is the foremost expert on Chopin. And he's a nice man!

Also, in case you'd like to compare the first editions from the English, French, and German publishers you can do it here:

http://www.cfeo.org.uk/dyn/index.html

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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:24 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Whenever I have questions about a certain Chopin piece and which edition I should refer to, I ask Jeffrey Kallberg. He's helped a couple times and really I think he is the foremost expert on Chopin. And he's a nice man!

Also, in case you'd like to compare the first editions from the English, French, and German publishers you can do it here:

http://www.cfeo.org.uk/dyn/index.html


Thanks Monica for that link!

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:21 am 
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Hi,

I quote myself here :lol: :

Quote:
A major part of the problem was Chopin himself. Unlike Liszt who went over his publisher's proofs with a fine tooth comb, Chopin was very lax in that regard. Plus there are his unpublished changes noted in his performances, as well as his pencil markings in his students' scores--i.e., Klindworth, Mikuli, etc.--that raise more questions than answers. Were they corrections of printing errors or impromptu revisions? Who knows?


And this is in addition to differing English, French and German first editions mentioned in Wikipedia. Despite the Henle Edition and other scholarly efforts like it, as of today we still do not have a definitive Chopin urtext or all his works for piano for the reasons above.

I always prefer to read Chopin from the Paderewski Edition. It is not, of course, a modern urtext. Nonetheless its editorial committee was scholarly, and the commentaries in the Paderewski Edition are always well researched, clearly explained, and very informative. The chief criticism of these volumes is that the committee sometimes seemingly made their decisions arbitrarily. Be that as it may, the Paderewski has been very well respected for a very long time and remains a trusted and useful source for pianists. If not a true urtext, it's probably the strongest forerunner in its time.

David

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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:34 am 
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David, I agree. Also, I don't think there can ever be an "Urtext" for Chopin. The best we will ever have are scholarly editions, and like you, I prefer the Paderewski because it provides me with the information I need to make my own decisions. This is the principle reason I like the Dr. Hans Bischoff so much for Bach.

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:44 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Whenever I have questions about a certain Chopin piece and which edition I should refer to, I ask Jeffrey Kallberg. He's helped a couple times and really I think he is the foremost expert on Chopin. And he's a nice man!

Really? That's good to know! Did you just email him or something?

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:56 am 
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Terez wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Whenever I have questions about a certain Chopin piece and which edition I should refer to, I ask Jeffrey Kallberg. He's helped a couple times and really I think he is the foremost expert on Chopin. And he's a nice man!

Really? That's good to know! Did you just email him or something?


Yes! I needed to know what is involved in authenticating an old music manuscript and thought who better to ask than he, since he had just been called upon to authenticate a recently discovered Beethoven manuscript. He was very kind and encouraging (regarding my little project) and told me what I needed to know. After that, he helped me in deciding which Chopin editions to purchase or at least follow when playing certain pieces. Also, I can't remember exactly, but I had more and more questions for him (about Chopin) and he answered every one. I bought one of his books too.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:45 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Terez wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Whenever I have questions about a certain Chopin piece and which edition I should refer to, I ask Jeffrey Kallberg. He's helped a couple times and really I think he is the foremost expert on Chopin. And he's a nice man!

Really? That's good to know! Did you just email him or something?

Yes! I needed to know what is involved in authenticating an old music manuscript and thought who better to ask than he, since he had just been called upon to authenticate a recently discovered Beethoven manuscript. He was very kind and encouraging (regarding my little project) and told me what I needed to know. After that, he helped me in deciding which Chopin editions to purchase or at least follow when playing certain pieces. Also, I can't remember exactly, but I had more and more questions for him (about Chopin) and he answered every one. I bought one of his books too.

I have read up some on authentication, and they have some very interesting and dependable computer analysis methods out of Stanford University that I'm very interested in studying (and I even have some ideas for development). But Stanford is waaaaay out of my league. I've read his 'Chopin at the Boundaries' book, and I found it to be fascinating yet at the same time very erratic and suggestive (as opposed to the normal, more straightforward bio style), and just a few days before I saw your post I ordered the book from Amazon (along with others) because I'd like to read it again and get a better idea of what he was really trying to communicate. He certainly seems to be one of the most interesting Chopin scholars out there.

Anyway, the reason I bought all those books is that I want to write one myself - something a little different from any other Chopin book out there. I have no idea how to go about getting guidance on it, though. The musicology prof at my school is most certainly not on my team (and wasn't even when I was one of his favorite students). It's sad, because he's got an amazing mind and I would have loved to work with him (he's a pianist and loves Chopin too), but he seems to be one of those people who doesn't like talking shop and doesn't enjoy developing research students. He sees it as boring work and would rather just go home and watch football or something.

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:44 pm 
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Terez wrote:
Anyway, the reason I bought all those books is that I want to write one myself - something a little different from any other Chopin book out there. I have no idea how to go about getting guidance on it, though. The musicology prof at my school is most certainly not on my team (and wasn't even when I was one of his favorite students). It's sad, because he's got an amazing mind and I would have loved to work with him (he's a pianist and loves Chopin too), but he seems to be one of those people who doesn't like talking shop and doesn't enjoy developing research students. He sees it as boring work and would rather just go home and watch football or something.


I have that book too and probably should re-read it, as well. I was in a hurry when I read it the first time and didn’t take everything in. My little project that led me to Kallberg was that I was writing a book too. Except it was a novel. Like I said earlier, he helped me then and later when I went to him with questions specifically about Chopin, and then later again regarding music editions, he was equally helpful – and I was asking him some very nitpicky stuff. Maybe he’d help you too. He is quite a busy person as you can imagine, but he enjoys getting into the nitty-gritty with other people when it comes to Chopin – at least he did with me.

I hope you write your book, Terez...I’ll buy it! :)

Terez wrote:
I have read up some on authentication, and they have some very interesting and dependable computer analysis methods out of Stanford University that I'm very interested in studying (and I even have some ideas for development). But Stanford is waaaaay out of my league.

I have an interesting link to the Smithsonian regarding how they do authentication, but I’m at work now so I don’t have it on hand. I think all that stuff is really interesting too. If I could go back and live my life over again, I’d study that sort of thing and try to make it my career. That, or I’d become a music recording sound engineer – I’d love getting paid to do that too.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:01 am 
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Terez wrote:
Anyway, the reason I bought all those books is that I want to write one myself - something a little different from any other Chopin book out there. I have no idea how to go about getting guidance on it, though.

How about you start here, by telling us what's special about your proposed book and exactly how it will differ from all the rest? Then we might be able to give you some ideas...

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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:32 am 
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I'm fine on ideas. I just would like some guidance from a true Chopin scholar. (No offense.) :wink:

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:24 am 
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Terez,
Pardon me if I don't know (if I should), but aren't you getting the cart before the horse? Don't you need to be an expert if you're going to write a book on such a subject? (My impression, perhaps erroneous, is that you may be working on an undergraduate degree in music). How about this idea: continue your studies and advancement, pursuing either a Ph.D. in musicology, or a DMA in performance and literature (from respected academic centers/conservatories), and then bingo, now you are an expert, can write your thesis, and if it's as good as you hope for it to be, you may very likely get it published. :D It's only a matter of time and dedication.

Best wishes,
Eddy

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: On differences of Chopin editions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:07 am 
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Terez wrote:
I'm fine on ideas. I just would like some guidance from a true Chopin scholar. (No offense.) :wink:

So you don't want to reveal your amazing idea until you've found the right person to discuss it with? But if you're so secretive, how will you ever find that right person? Besides, I'm curious to hear what "something a little different from any other Chopin book out there" might be like. Can't you give us even a hint?

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