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#1228906 - 07/09/09 11:40 AM Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b?
applecidar Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/10/09
Posts: 8
Loc: Singapore
Hi

I am now learning Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu and in my score(Henle urtext)there are 2 different versions of it. Namely the autograph version(4a)and the fontana version(4b). From what I watched in youtube, I gather that most younger pianists play the 4b version. But I would still like to hear some advise from different people as to which version will be better for me to learn.

apple


Edited by applecidar (07/09/09 11:42 AM)
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#1228992 - 07/09/09 03:31 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: applecidar]
Liszt_BG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/06
Posts: 332
Loc: Bulgaria
Never heard of a second version of Fantaisie-impromptu. See which of those two is on Paderewski Edition and/or Edition Peters (Scholtz/Pozniak) -- it should be the same one. Go for that...

...unless you really prefer the other one, that's your taste. But again, I can't remember anything about a second version of this piece.

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#1229004 - 07/09/09 04:08 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: Liszt_BG]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20779
Loc: Oakland
You could go with Chopin's recommendation and not play it at all! Other than that, you should make up your own mind.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1229008 - 07/09/09 04:20 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: applecidar]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17675
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: applecidar
Hi

I am now learning Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu and in my score(Henle urtext)there are 2 different versions of it. Namely the autograph version(4a)and the fontana version(4b). From what I watched in youtube, I gather that most younger pianists play the 4b version. But I would still like to hear some advise from different people as to which version will be better for me to learn.

apple


"Better for [you] to learn" in what sense? Most people play the Fontana version. Rubinstein is one of the few recordings I have where the autograph version is performed.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#1229013 - 07/09/09 04:38 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: BruceD]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I was hoping someone who has the Henle would chime in. What are the differences? The commentary to the Paderewski edition makes no reference to discrepancies between the manuscript and Fontana's version.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1229029 - 07/09/09 05:11 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: applecidar]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2598
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
I am working on this piece from the same Henle urtext. I decided to go with the Fontana version (4b) because that's how I've always heard it played. When I first started to learn it I opened the book of Chopin impromptus to the Fantasie Impromptu "page" (not knowing here were two versions) and sight read the first several measures. Somehow it didn't sound right to me. Then I realized I was playing version 4a which was unfamiliar to my ears. Since I learn a lot by listening to interpretations by great pianists I figured I should learn the version most people play.

Steven: I don't have my Henle with me. I'll check it when I get home.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1229032 - 07/09/09 05:16 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: jazzyprof]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
In what ways is version 4a different?

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1229070 - 07/09/09 07:13 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: BDB]
Lemon Pledge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 349
Originally Posted By: BDB
You could go with Chopin's recommendation and not play it at all!


Nice! So many pianists out there (not in here, not in this thread) throw stones on the basis of arbitrary and a-historical notions about composers' "intentions" and how to respect them. Why can't they take their own unsolicited advice in situations like this, when it would actually help? grin Burn those scores, folks, it's what the composer intended!

But seriously, to the OP, surely it's not much additional trouble to learn both variants. They're not very different. Playing them both should help you decide which you prefer.

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#1229074 - 07/09/09 07:21 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: Lemon Pledge]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20779
Loc: Oakland
You can take what you like from each version, if you want.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1229086 - 07/09/09 07:43 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: BDB]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Dang, I sure wonder what those differences are. It would be great if those who are commenting on them could describe them.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1229112 - 07/09/09 08:43 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: sotto voce]
20thCentury Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 27
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Hi Steven,

I have the Alfred edition (ed. Maurice Hinson) of the 'Fantasie-Impromptu' which, like the Henle, contains both versions in addition to some very helpful explanatory notes about both. It appears that Fontana, in a desire to publish an 'authentic' edition of Chopin's unpublished works, sourced the piece from two autograph copies, but heavily edited the work, filling it with expression marks not in the manuscripts (tempo/metronome markings, dynamic signs, etc.) and 'regularising' Chopin's slurs. However, because the Chopin edition (from the manuscripts) was not intented to be published, it sometimes seems less 'finished' than the Fontana, e.g. with placing of accents in bars 13-22 and 91-98, that Chopin may well have included later.

All pedal indications in the Fontana edition are by him and not Chopin, who only left pedal indications at bars 41-45. Dynamic differences include just a ‘forte’ marking with a decrescendo to the end of bar 1, as opposed to Fontana’s sforzando with no dim. A ‘con anima’ is given instead of ‘sotto voce’ at bar 43. There are differences in note values at some turns (e.g. b. 49 RH- Chopin has quavers to start with the D-flat in the LH, whereas Fontana has demisemiquavers) and at other points such as bar 60, where the RH figure is notated by Chopin as a semiquaver group of 7 as opposed to Fontana, who has it notated as a quaver group of 7. The phrasing of the entire middle section in the Chopin is totally different as well.

These are just a few of the many differences; some of them are quite subtle but make a big difference in performance...it’s quite interesting to compare the two versions side-by-side!

Hope this helps,

Andrew


Edited by 20thCentury (07/09/09 08:44 PM)

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#1229122 - 07/09/09 08:59 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: 20thCentury]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Andrew, I appreciate your effort.

FWIW, I was especially puzzled by jazzyprof's comment that the autograph version "didn't sound right" based on just "the first several measures"; perhaps that was hyperbole.

Thanks again for your help.

Steven

_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1229130 - 07/09/09 09:19 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: sotto voce]
20thCentury Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 27
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Steven, the most noticeable differences (at least to my mind) are in the middle section, so yes, perhaps a bit of hyperbole going on there. The first 'several' measures contain subtle differences in dynamics, pedalling (i.e. it is marked in Fontana!), accents and phrasing, although exactly how 'different' it actually sounds depends, of course, on who is playing.

Andrew

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#1229152 - 07/09/09 10:09 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: sotto voce]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
Steven,

There are some really striking differences between this composition, as we know it today, and what Chopin apparently wrote for his student. You really have to get a source and examine the differences for yourself. There are a few details that I like, but for the most part I find the original very much less effective than what we know.

The advantage to having both is that you can choose to mix them. After all, Fontana, seems to have been very willful about the choices he made. There is no reason not to choose some of Chopin's original ideas in places except, of course, that you would be flying in the face of tradition. Shame, shame!
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1229203 - 07/09/09 11:41 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: sotto voce]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2598
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Originally Posted By: sotto voce

FWIW, I was especially puzzled by jazzyprof's comment that the autograph version "didn't sound right" based on just "the first several measures"; perhaps that was hyperbole.

Hyperbole? Moi? I resemble that remark! smile Anyway, to my ears, the differences are clear within the first few measures and it is not just a matter of phrasing and dynamics but actual pitch differences. Have a look at the bass line in measures 5 and 6 below. In version 4a the fourth note in the second group of eighth notes is a G#. In the Fontana version it's an E. When I played the first version it sounded like an error to me because I was used to hearing the E.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1229204 - 07/09/09 11:42 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: Gary D.]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I'm perplexed because I was completely unaware of an alternate version of the Fantaisie-Impromptu. Maybe I've just forgotten, but I don't recall it ever being mentioned in the many discussions that such a popular composition would naturally elicit, and, as I said previously, the Paderewski edition's commentary—a good resource for precisely this sort of variation among editions—makes no mention of it. (And yet the Paderewski edition of the Waltzes offers alternate versions of three posthumous pieces: Op. 69 No. 1 (Fontana and MS), Op. 69 No. 2 (Fontana and Oxford University edition) and Op. 70 No. 2 (Fontana and MSS).

Until now, the only variant with which I was familiar was Klindworth's ossia for bar 72 that distinguishes the descending figure from its first appearance in bar 60. But neither did I know (to the best of my memory) that the piece was written for one of Chopin's student. Live and learn!

Steven

Edit: jazzyprof, thanks very much for the visual aid. I took your reference to the "first several measures" literally, and imagined that the introduction (i.e., the left hand's unaccompanied cadential octaves and repeated broken chords) was different. blush


Edited by sotto voce (07/09/09 11:49 PM)
Edit Reason: p.s. to jazzyprof
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1229272 - 07/10/09 02:06 AM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: sotto voce]
applecidar Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/10/09
Posts: 8
Loc: Singapore
Hi

Thanks all for your valuable advice! I think I'll most likely go with the fontana version. Btw, which is Chopin's original version, is it the fontana? Oh, and Steven, I can describe the differences to you though it is a bit hard to explain through just a post, but I'll try my best. Ok, basically the fontana version is kinda easier because you don't have to stretch your fingers too much. For example, in the part where the right hand first comes in, for the autograph version, the left hand goes like this: C#-G#-C#-E-C#-G#, E-G#-C#-G#-C#-G# whereas in the fontana version, instead of E-G#-C#-G#-C#-G#, it goes E-G#-C#-E-C#-G#. So the G# is replaced with a E, so you don't have to stretch too much. But in my opinion, it's more simple and not as "colourful" as the autograph version because on the fontana version the highest note of the left hand is always repeated instead of going a bit higher. Also , fontana is easier because for instance in the 2nd page, the left hand for the autograph version starts like this: A-C#-F#-A-C#-F#, A-C#-F#-C#-C#-F# whereas for the fontana version it's: A-C#-F#-A-F#-C#, A-C#-F#-A-F#-C#. So it does not have the changing note, making it easier. Also, for both versions, their second last chord is different. The second last chord for the autograph version has an additional low C# as compared with the fontana version which is only C#,G#,F#,G#,B#,D#. These are the main differences that I have spotted, hope that my explanation is clear enough. Those who have spotted any other differences, feel free to add on smile

apple
_________________________
Yours truly

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#1963884 - 09/24/12 06:50 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: jazzyprof]
WAR Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 10
Loc: Phoenix
Thanks jazzyprof. I couldn't find any other reference on the Internet showing the actual differences in the NOTES between the two versions. I've been practicing the unedited original version which shows up first in the Alfred edition and it does sound different from what is commonly played.
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www.music.buyoneers.com

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#1963987 - 09/24/12 11:48 PM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: WAR]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17675
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: WAR
Thanks jazzyprof. I couldn't find any other reference on the Internet showing the actual differences in the NOTES between the two versions. I've been practicing the unedited original version which shows up first in the Alfred edition and it does sound different from what is commonly played.


You're thanking jazzyprof for something he wrote over three years ago. I guess it's "better late than not at all."

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#1964048 - 09/25/12 03:11 AM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: applecidar]
chopin_r_us Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 773
Loc: UK
Here's a little something I prepared earlier - from ABF. Notice the big accents in the LH (also in jazzy's 4a, though not as dramatic looking). I'll bet you don't hear those too often. Also, if you're going for the LH G#'s the accents and the crescendos go without saying. Chopin never had one tune where he could have at least two or three! (like his hero Bach):

Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
Hi again oh great Chopin ones! I got Hinson's FI (Mme d'Este's manuscript) as recommended by Elene (I think). Has anybody access to either Fontana's or d'Este's? In bar 5 Hinton's crescendo takes the whole bar whilst Fontana's [sorry, Klindworth] only the first half (then followed by a decrescendo). My guess is Fontana made his up - Hinton seems urtext. Any help here?

edit: since found this at youtube - so Hinson is certainly right:


Anybody got access to Fontana's?

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#1964091 - 09/25/12 06:38 AM Re: Chopin fantaisie impromptu: to play 4a or 4b? [Re: applecidar]
sandalholme Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 744
Loc: Dorset, UK
The LH from bar 119 to bar 126 is quite different: straight quavers in Fontana against 12 to a bar quavers, arpeggiated, as in the rest of the piece, in the original. There are also quite a lot of held crotchet first beats in the RH of the original from bars 13 to 24 and bars 91 to 101, which mean that the first beat of the bars are effectively accented/weighted, as opposed to Fontana where the accents are sometimes on the first semiquaver, sometimes on the second semiquaver.

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