This is an important subject, the text we look at determines many of our musical choices when we play a piece. Imagine if actors mounted a production of Hamlet having learned their lines using different editions of the play; there would be extra work for the director, having to sort out all the differences. I've encountered this difficulty in chamber music, it's important for all the players to be working from the same script, so to speak, so everything matches up.
It's best to use an urtext edition, "ur" meaning original or genuine source; I believe this has to do with that ancient city in Iraq ( will I ever get to visit those Sumerian ruins? doesn't look like it...
). Anyway I think it's better to look at what Chopin wrote, than some editor. Now it gets complicated; some editors, such as Fontana and Mikuli studied with and knew Chopin, so their editions are valuble documents; we cannot know for sure how much of the directions in their editions is them and how much Chopin; but it's information we have to consider if we want to make a well informed desicion when we form our interpretation.
Of course,the printed notes are merely a blueprint for the "house", not the "house" itself. The actual structure we are supposed to appreciate is the sound that happens when we play. Many classical musicians get caught up in the printed page and neglect the sound. There's always more than one way to build a house; of course we have to consider the composer's plans, but if we want the kitchen to be a little bigger, so be it. As long as it is still essentially Chopin's kitchen..
You all know what I mean; but why am I using this old questionable edition? Well, it's what I'm used to. Heh, I assigned this pioece to one of my students a few years ago and she brought the Henle edition; there are some slight differences; I rememeber asking her "what are you doing, that's not right" then looked at her music; she was "ddoing what the paper says", as I tell all my students to, at first. She was indignant, and rightfully so. Bad teacher...
But this old Peters edition is what I'm used to, and I believe Horowitz, Rubinstein and Brailowsky used this edition as their guide, if you listen to their recordings with the score in hand, you can tell. But Chris' teacher is correct, the Paderewski (or Henle imo) edition is best.
Another factor to consider is which urtext typeset looks best to you. For Chopin, I like the Henle type, I can see it clearly. For Bach, I like the look of the new Peters editions, and my Beethoven Concerti are Peters, it's reliable (checked it out).
Our default publisher in the USA was Schirmer, and most of those editions are really terrible; often there are deliberate mistakes in the scores, for copyright purposes; much of the 19th Century literature was still under copyright 100 years ago, and this was their way of getting around it. And yet, they published the Mikuli Chopin edition, but the editions of Joseffy should be burned, and those of Fridheim approached with caution.
Well that was extensive! Please discuss, I must run
, put this morning's recording into the computer (it better be good!
) shower before the monsoon thunderstorm hits
and go record with a Jazz band I've been playing with.
I've heard the weather in Europe is quite hot; it is in most of the USA too, but here in the high desert of North Arizona the monsoon rains have finally come; it get's worrisome here in the summer, we're in a huge pine forest, but it's still the desert. If it doesn't rain the potential for a massive fire is considerable. So the rain is good, but my piano is creeping out of tune...