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Topic Options
#1889748 - 05/02/12 01:20 AM Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4
Batuhan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/09
Posts: 904
Loc: Istanbul
I'm working on that piece and i recently discovered that every edition is different. I have the Maurice Schlesinger one. But i found Arthur Rubinstein's interpretation of the piece on youtube. And It's completely different. Little bit longer, and include some extra passages also some voices of chords changed. Here is the edition that I use.

Page 1

http://chopin.lib.uchicago.edu/images/218/chopin218-010r.jpg

Page 2

http://chopin.lib.uchicago.edu/images/218/chopin218-011r.jpg

Here is the Arthur Rubinstein's interpretation.



And also I found this edition which is different than the both one I shared at the above.

http://petrucci.mus.auth.gr/imglnks/usim..._Op_68_scan.pdf (Scroll Down)

Now I want to know which edition I have to trust. There are more editions published too. But they are same with Maurice Schlesinger one. Only 2 edition is different (I'm not talking about fingerings etc. I'm talking about the musical texture) as far as I have observed.

Any help would be appreciated.


Edited by Batuhan (05/02/12 01:24 AM)
_________________________
Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.


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#1889749 - 05/02/12 01:25 AM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Batuhan]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19851
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
....Now I want to know which edition I have to trust....

Either.

I have that Rubinstein album -- have had it for decades -- and I remember the excitement of the write-up about the 'new' version. It's good -- but so is the other. Don't worry about it. Pick whichever you want, or go back and forth between them, and just play it well. smile

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#1889753 - 05/02/12 01:29 AM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Mark_C]
Batuhan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/09
Posts: 904
Loc: Istanbul
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
....Now I want to know which edition I have to trust....

Either.

I have that Rubinstein album -- have had it for decades -- and I remember the excitement of the write-up about the 'new' version. It's good -- but so is the other. Don't worry about it. Pick whichever you want, or go back and forth between them, and just play it well. smile


Who wrote those passages in the Arthur Rubinstein's interpretation. Himself? Or somebody else? And how can I find that version? I looked at IMSLP and many sources, but couldn't find.


Edited by Batuhan (05/02/12 01:30 AM)
_________________________
Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.


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#1889758 - 05/02/12 01:42 AM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Batuhan]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19851
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
Who wrote those passages in the Arthur Rubinstein's interpretation. Himself?

I assume you mean the write-up?
I had to look and see. It was by Max Wilcox, the "producer" of the album, written as an addendum to the regular program notes. Here are the main portions of it:

In this recording Mr. Rubinstein plays a newly reconstructed version.... From all available evidence, this was Chopin's last work, and it was left by the composer in a highly illegible draft form.... When the English Chopin scholar Arthur Hedley recently discovered the original manuscript.... he found the mazurka to have a middle trio-like section in F major that had been omitted [in the other version]. The Polish scholar Jan Ekier reconstructed the section from the manuscript, and it is this version that is heard here. Mr. Rubinstein considers Professor Ekier's contribution one of great importance to Chopin scholarship and gives him the "highest praise for his exceptional work."

I'm very glad that you asked, because it made me look at this for the first time in many years, and I can now appreciate it in a way that I couldn't then. I didn't know who Jan Ekier was; now I do -- including that he was one of the early prize winners in the Chopin competition and has continued to be involved with the competition organization to the present day.

Jan Ekier also is the main editor of the Polish National Edition of Chopin's works. Check out the mazurkas in that edition! (They're in 2 volumes. This one would be in the second volume.)

P.S. for anyone who's wondering where exactly is the extra part: It's at 1:56 in the recording above.

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#1889771 - 05/02/12 01:59 AM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Batuhan]
didyougethathing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 545
Loc: New York
I had been wondering about this for quite some time as well. I too know it from the Rubinstein collection (one of my "desert island" items; the best Barcarolle!) and found it strange next to other versions. Thanks for the info Mark, as I don't have the CD's any more.

It's a painfully tragic, beautiful piece in any version.

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#1890429 - 05/03/12 11:27 AM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Batuhan]
moleskincrusher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 172
Check out this lighter-than-air performance of this pliable little masterpiece (earlier version):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zckYkWxDByk

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#1890435 - 05/03/12 11:35 AM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Batuhan]
nocturne152 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 447
That's haunting. I am.... listening to Chopin's LAST COMPOSITION... a piece spanning 168(?) years. Imagine how ill he was. How shaky his hands must have been while filling in every note in every bar. Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
"The instrument should be your needle, and the music should be your addiction."

- Oscar Peterson

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#1890721 - 05/03/12 09:02 PM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Batuhan]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6152
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
When in doubt, I usually check Chopin's First Editions Online.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1890807 - 05/04/12 12:28 AM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Batuhan]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1501
It does not matter what edition that you use. The most important is that you can play well and convincing.

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#1891573 - 05/05/12 08:19 AM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Jeff Kallberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/09
Posts: 212
Playing well and convincing is always crucial, but in this case, the edition is certainly important too. We're dealing here with attempts at completing a work Chopin left only as a sketch. Fontana's edition (the one known to most of us) omits something like half the music Chopin wrote on his sketch. The Ekier edition is an improvement, but still omits significant portions of the piece. An edition by Ronald Smith brought more of the music into print, but even this edition missed an important clue about repetition that Chopin notated in his sketch. And all three of these editions misread significant details that are revealed through close study of the sketch.

So if you perform from any of these three editions, you can play as well and as convincing as possible, but you're still only playing some of what Chopin wrote.

Fortunately we are finally in a better position to have access to all of what Chopin wrote. There has recently appeared a new edition by Kingsley Day, and it is the best published edition that I have seen. Here's a link to the edition:

Kingsley Day's edition of the F-minor Mazurka

Jeff Kallberg

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#1891703 - 05/05/12 01:01 PM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Jeff Kallberg]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19851
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Jeff Kallberg
Playing well and convincing is always crucial, but in this case, the edition is certainly important too. We're dealing here with attempts at completing a work Chopin left only as a sketch. Fontana's edition (the one known to most of us) omits something like half the music Chopin wrote on his sketch. The Ekier edition is an improvement, but still omits significant portions of the piece. An edition by Ronald Smith brought more of the music into print, but even this edition missed an important clue about repetition that Chopin notated in his sketch. And all three of these editions misread significant details that are revealed through close study of the sketch.

So if you perform from any of these three editions, you can play as well and as convincing as possible, but you're still only playing some of what Chopin wrote.

Fortunately we are finally in a better position to have access to all of what Chopin wrote. There has recently appeared a new edition by Kingsley Day, and it is the best published edition that I have seen. Here's a link to the edition:

Kingsley Day's edition of the F-minor Mazurka

Wow!
Thanks, Dr. Kallberg!!! thumb

And silly me, I had just gone out and ordered the Polish National Edition volume by Ekier. ha

Actually I'm very happy to have it, not just because it's still significant and an improvement (usually the "old" version is played) but because I took the opportunity to also get many of the other National Edition volumes along with it. Hard edition to find, great to have. BTW I just ordered this other version too.

Jeff, these contributions of yours are precious. Do you know if the Kingsley Day version has been recorded by anyone of note?
Or in fact by anyone? ha

(I put a link to this on the "Devoted to Chopin" thread.)

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#1891716 - 05/05/12 01:18 PM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Jeff Kallberg]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19851
Loc: New York
....and, this made me wonder, who the heck is "Kingsley Day"! I don't think very many of us have heard of him.

Here he is. Not the bio you'd expect of someone who does reconstructions of Chopin mazurkas!!

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#1891911 - 05/05/12 08:17 PM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Mark_C]
Jeff Kallberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/09
Posts: 212
Mark:

Kingsley's edition has only just appeared, so I doubt there are any recordings yet.

As to his background, I think his composer's sensibility served him very well in this project.

Jeff Kallberg

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#1891966 - 05/05/12 10:01 PM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Jeff Kallberg]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19851
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Jeff Kallberg
Kingsley's edition has only just appeared, so I doubt there are any recordings yet.

The race is on!! grin

I would mention that I'm thinking of learning it real fast and putting up a video on youtube, but then everybody else will get the idea too, so I'm gonna keep my mouth shut. ha

By the way, do you know him?
What makes me wonder is just that you referred to him by first name. smile

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#1892500 - 05/06/12 07:55 PM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Batuhan]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19851
Loc: New York
Batuhan: I want to thank you tremendously for bringing up the piece and its reconstruction. With the benefit of your having highlighted it and with the additional information from Dr. Kallberg, I became so interested that I'm changing my program for the amateur Chopin competition to include it. I really look forward to performing it. (I'll probably do it at recitals before the competition also.)

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#1892680 - 05/07/12 03:44 AM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Batuhan]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1420
Loc: under monsoon clouds
The edition certainly does matter, especially in such a case, where there are major differences in the musical text, not just in the details.

I was under the impression that this was considered not to have been Chopin's actual last work. It seems to me that Dr. Jeff may have weighed in on that at some point, but I don't remember for sure. Any enlightenment?

Thanks again for bringing the variants in this piece and this new edition to our attention.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#1892692 - 05/07/12 04:16 AM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Elene]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19851
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Elene
....I was under the impression that this was considered not to have been Chopin's actual last work. It seems to me that Dr. Jeff may have weighed in on that at some point, but I don't remember for sure. Any enlightenment?....

I'll do some of the honors grin and of course Dr. Jeff may want to say more.

Here's a link to the portion of his book that talks about it.

He uses an interesting bit of science as part of the argument that the piece dates from a few years earlier: the type of paper that was used for the manuscripts!

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#1893534 - 05/08/12 01:39 PM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Batuhan]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1420
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Yes, Mark, that's where I saw it! It appears that it still isn't totally clear when 68/4 was written, but I find the argument about its being written before or at the same time as 63/2 to be very plausible. However, I'm not sure I would say that 68/4 had irreparable musical flaws and wasn't worth finishing. It does have its charms.

Dr. Jeff's chapter is striking not only in its uber-geekhood (I love that) but its poignant description of the challenges Chopin was going through in every aspect of his life in those last few years. It's amazing that he didn't simply throw himself into the Seine or something.

I'm sorry to say that although I'd heard Rubinstein's recording of 68/4 numerous times, I'd never paid enough attention to that piece to realize that it had an extra section compared to the editions I had! Now I have the National Edition, so I have the version Rubinstein played. Which has been around since I was 5 (having been published separately). Sheesh. I didn't realize Jan Ekier had been working that long.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#1893825 - 05/08/12 10:28 PM Re: Original Chopin Mazurka Op 68, No 4 [Re: Elene]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19851
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Elene
....I'm not sure I would say that 68/4 had irreparable musical flaws and wasn't worth finishing. It does have its charms....

I think it's great.

I didn't without the additional material that Ekier added. It had seemed too limited, and indeed much like the caricatured view that some people have of Chopin and which some critics in Chopin's time lambasted him for -- y'know, the 'dying poet' kind of thing. With Ekier's additions, IMO the piece gets elevated from almost-ignorable to great. For what it's worth, it put the piece into territory where I considered it superior and more desirable than another mazurka that I was going to play which is commonly considered among the best (Op. 63 #3) and therefore changed the competition repertoire as I mentioned. I look forward to seeing what more material is the Kingsley Day version, and what kind of whole it seems to give.

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