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#2046499 - 03/11/13 02:38 PM Chopin op. 4 ?
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4152
How is it that his op. 4 was published posthumously? Does that mean that when Chopin was alive, all of his works that we know were moved back one opus? Heroic polonaise being op. 52 instead of op. 53 for instance.

?
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To each his own.

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#2046505 - 03/11/13 02:48 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
beet31425 Online   content
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Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3621
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I'd like to understand this too.

I've read that opuses > 65 were assigned after Chopin's death; the implication is that 1-65 were assigned while he was alive. Perhaps the sonata was assigned to op.4 informally during his life, but wasn't actually published until after his death?

-J
_________________________
Schoenberg op.10+k, Beethoven op.100+k for k=9
Schubert D.899/4, Chopin op.25/2

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#2046508 - 03/11/13 02:54 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
nlehrer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/11
Posts: 25
Loc: New York, NY
Good question...from what I can tell, the internet has nothing that fully answers it.

I am pretty sure, however, that we are still using the same opus numbers under which he originally published his music (e.g. the Cello Sonata has always been Op. 65, if this source is to be trusted http://chopinsociety.com.my/chopin/works/opus-numbers/ )

Perhaps he was about to publish it and then moved on to Opus 5 but then decided not to publish Op. 4. Seems like a strange thing to do, but who knows? The internet certainly does not seem to know.

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#2046528 - 03/11/13 03:24 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
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Loc: Victoria, BC
In large measure, but with a few exceptions, the opus numbers of those works published during Chopin's lifetime appeared chronologically. The first Sonata was assigned Op 4 when it was composed (1828), but it wasn't published until 1858. That in no way would have altered the Opus numbers that appeared in Chopin's time compared to the Opus numbers as we know them today. There simply wasn't a published Opus 4.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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#2046530 - 03/11/13 03:25 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19292
Loc: New York
Very interesting question! smile

I never wondered, because.....well I don't know why. ha

Anyway, prompted by your question I found this on this program note page:


Chopin wrote this sonata in 1828, when he was eighteen years old and studying at the Warsaw Conservatory–he dedicated it to Józef Elsner, his teacher at the Conservatory. And at that point this sonata began its curious history. It was one of the works Chopin took with him the following year on a visit to Vienna, and in that fabled city of music Chopin offered his new sonata to Tobias Haslinger, who had been Schubert’s publisher. Haslinger accepted the sonata and gave it the opus number of 4, but he appears to have been in no hurry to bring this music out. He delayed its preparation for twelve years, and when the proofs were finally sent to Chopin in Paris in 1841, the composer had advanced so far beyond this youthful effort that he had no interest in publishing it–he never sent corrected proofs back to Haslinger. And so although this sonata is Chopin’s official Opus 4, it was not published until 1851, two years after his death.

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#2046533 - 03/11/13 03:29 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3621
Loc: Bay Area, CA
That's it-- Mark's found a pretty definitive answer.

I think of myself as someone who can find information online-- but I couldn't get anywhere with this one. Good find!

-J
_________________________
Schoenberg op.10+k, Beethoven op.100+k for k=9
Schubert D.899/4, Chopin op.25/2

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#2046537 - 03/11/13 03:32 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19292
Loc: New York
Thank you!

My search was:

chopin sonata "opus 4" "opus number"

I said "opus 4" to avoid stuff about the other sonatas, and added "opus number" (in quotes) because I figured anything about this would probably have that phrase.

I love "Internet search science and philosophy." ha
If I could teach any course (or, for that matter, take one) grin that would be it.

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#2046549 - 03/11/13 04:06 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: BruceD]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 6381
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: BruceD
In large measure, but with a few exceptions, the opus numbers of those works published during Chopin's lifetime appeared chronologically. The first Sonata was assigned Op 4 when it was composed (1828), but it wasn't published until 1858. That in no way would have altered the Opus numbers that appeared in Chopin's time compared to the Opus numbers as we know them today. There simply wasn't a published Opus 4.

Regards,


This is correct, as usual. smile
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046557 - 03/11/13 04:34 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
BTW, here's another weird factoid about Chopin opus numbers. smile

The Mazurka in A minor "to Emile Gaillard" doesn't have an opus number at all, even though it's not posthumous. It was originally published as Opus 43, but that's the same number as the Tarantelle. I've seen different stories about what exactly was the story. One story was that the mazurka got the number first, but then Chopin or the publisher decided to give it to the Tarantelle instead, and so the mazurka got kicked off. ha
The other is that the publisher just made a mistake and gave the number to the mazurka even though it had already been given to the Tarantelle, and so the number didn't get put on later publications of the mazurka. Whichever it was, the mazurka just wasn't ever given a new opus number.

Chopin mazurka volumes usually have this mazurka as #51 or something like that, after all the ones with opus numbers and usually after one other. But I've seen at least one volume that has it as "#43," probably because of a misunderstanding from the Opus 43 thing.

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#2046561 - 03/11/13 04:49 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4152
Am I the only one who really dislikes the whole idea of posthumous publication?
_________________________
To each his own.

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#2046562 - 03/11/13 04:50 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
didyougethathing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 534
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

The Mazurka in A minor "to Emile Gaillard" doesn't have an opus number at all, even though it's not posthumous.


I had always wondered about that, because it happens to be my favorite Mazurka smile

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#2046733 - 03/11/13 10:57 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
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Originally Posted By: JoelW
Am I the only one who really dislikes the whole idea of posthumous publication?



If I understand your remark : you mean that any music located/found/discovered/unearthed or which otherwise comes to light after the death of a composer - great or otherwise - should simply be destroyed?

Huh?
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190 in satin ebony

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#2046738 - 03/11/13 11:07 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: BruceD]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19292
Loc: New York
.....I guess the idea being, if the composer didn't want it published, it shouldn't be.

It's a fine sentiment. But I say screw it. ha

But, we should always be ready to look at those works with a lot of slack.

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#2046744 - 03/11/13 11:17 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 6381
Loc: New York City
The Op 4 sonata is not as good as the other two. But it's an interesting piece, and it would have been idiotic not to publish it. smile
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046751 - 03/11/13 11:43 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The Op 4 sonata is not as good as the other two. But it's an interesting piece, and it would have been idiotic not to publish it. smile

I agree -- even if for no other reason than that the slow movement is in 5/4 time.

One of the interesting things about great composers' early works is how they may reflect on the development of the their styles -- what kinds of things they experimented with and when, which other composers they seemed to be modeling after....

What I get from this piece (I think -- not sure, haven't listened or played through it in a long time) is that Chopin was very close to having found his own style and that there's less clear reminiscence of other composers than in most other of the very early works, but that he was still struggling to make something good with that style. (I think the piece just isn't very good.) grin

I don't think it's that he wasn't yet able to make something good with his style; I think more likely it's that he was unduly constrained by the sonata structure (although I love the other sonatas, especially #3).

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#2046756 - 03/12/13 12:05 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 6381
Loc: New York City
I couldn't say which of the other sonatas I like better. They're both amazing.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046763 - 03/12/13 12:22 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19292
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
I couldn't say which of the other sonatas I like better. They're both amazing.

How I got into #3:

I heard Horowitz play #2 in a concert and was dying to hear it some more, especially the funeral march (or course) ha and the scherzo, which had been quite spectacular. I went to get an LP that had the piece. I bought an LP, and listened and listened, and couldn't find those parts. Turned out this was the 3rd sonata -- when I saw "Sonata in B Minor" on the cover, I didn't notice that it didn't have a ♭ grin

So I had the record by accident. A good accident. smile

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#2046771 - 03/12/13 12:50 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
.....I guess the idea being, if the composer didn't want it published, it shouldn't be.
I suppose that's what the OP was getting at, but I'm not sure why he'd assume that if something wasn't published in the composer's lifetime it was because the composer didn't want it published.

Think of all the Schubert and Bach (just to mention two) we would have missed out on if all the unpublished stuff was torched!
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2046774 - 03/12/13 12:59 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: currawong]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19292
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: currawong
Think of all the Schubert and Bach (just to mention two) we would have missed out on if all the unpublished stuff was torched!


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#2046801 - 03/12/13 02:53 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Chopin Opus 4 Sonata

Opus 4 by Chopin mightn’t have proved “great shakes” in the eyes of Fred ... (being published post) ... but having just played through the first 16 measures, one can give great credit his teacher Esner for giving him
a first class structured framework for his compositions.

4 measures to present the subject and neatly capped with an upward flourish in measures 5-8 ... then a theme representation (an octave higher in m9) with variation up to m12.

The introduction of a chromatic repeat at m13 and m14, closed off with a risoluto chime and echo in m16.

My interest lies in the symmetry of the work in 4 measure groups ... the hallmark of all past Masters.

Sorry about that chaps ... anybody for tennis?

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#2046804 - 03/12/13 02:58 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3621
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
I couldn't say which of the other sonatas I like better. They're both amazing.

How I got into #3:

I heard Horowitz play #2 in a concert and was dying to hear it some more, especially the funeral march (or course) ha and the scherzo, which had been quite spectacular. I went to get an LP that had the piece. I bought an LP, and listened and listened, and couldn't find those parts. Turned out this was the 3rd sonata -- when I saw "Sonata in B Minor" on the cover, I didn't notice that it didn't have a ♭ grin

So I had the record by accident. A good accident. smile


How I got into #3: The middle section of the third movement.

That did it for me. I was sold.

-J
_________________________
Schoenberg op.10+k, Beethoven op.100+k for k=9
Schubert D.899/4, Chopin op.25/2

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#2046819 - 03/12/13 04:48 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: BruceD]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4152
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Am I the only one who really dislikes the whole idea of posthumous publication?



If I understand your remark : you mean that any music located/found/discovered/unearthed or which otherwise comes to light after the death of a composer - great or otherwise - should simply be destroyed?

Huh?



No...

I think they should just be given 'B' numbers like many of his other works that are known yet unpublished.
_________________________
To each his own.

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#2046820 - 03/12/13 04:55 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4152
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
I couldn't say which of the other sonatas I like better. They're both amazing.

How I got into #3:

I heard Horowitz play #2 in a concert and was dying to hear it some more, especially the funeral march (or course) ha and the scherzo, which had been quite spectacular. I went to get an LP that had the piece. I bought an LP, and listened and listened, and couldn't find those parts. Turned out this was the 3rd sonata -- when I saw "Sonata in B Minor" on the cover, I didn't notice that it didn't have a ♭ grin

So I had the record by accident. A good accident. smile


The B minor sonata wins in my book. It's my favorite piano sonata of all time. I think it's better than the opus 35 because Chopin wrote it specifically to address the criticisms of the opus 35. Also, being opus 58, was written much later and is much more mature and colorful than opus 35. With Chopin, late is better than early IMO. I'd say Chopin really started making the transition around his mid 40's opus numbers.
_________________________
To each his own.

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#2046883 - 03/12/13 09:48 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2229
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
I couldn't say which of the other sonatas I like better. They're both amazing.

How I got into #3:

I heard Horowitz play #2 in a concert and was dying to hear it some more, especially the funeral march (or course) ha and the scherzo, which had been quite spectacular. I went to get an LP that had the piece. I bought an LP, and listened and listened, and couldn't find those parts. Turned out this was the 3rd sonata -- when I saw "Sonata in B Minor" on the cover, I didn't notice that it didn't have a ♭ grin

So I had the record by accident. A good accident. smile


The B minor sonata wins in my book. It's my favorite piano sonata of all time. I think it's better than the opus 35 because Chopin wrote it specifically to address the criticisms of the opus 35. Also, being opus 58, was written much later and is much more mature and colorful than opus 35. With Chopin, late is better than early IMO. I'd say Chopin really started making the transition around his mid 40's opus numbers.


Op. 35 is one of the most amazing individual achievements in music. It's still broadly misunderstood, though, due in large part to poor performance practice. All four movements are intertwined and have interrelations in material, and Chopin's detail work in accenting, dynamics, and phrasing helps to bring it out in performance.

Unfortunately, my own performance suffered from some severe distraction in the form of a piano that was ear-foldingly out of tune. I had some pretty bad memory slips because I just couldn't stand to listen and concentrate.

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#2047433 - 03/13/13 02:34 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Quite agree with Jeffrey

Chopin left us 3 dinkum Sonatas ...
op. 4, op.35, op. 58

Perhaps we should highlight the Opus 35
including the famous sepulchral Marche Funebre .

Must have another bash at the doleful ditty.

Anybody ready to depart this “mortal coil”?

What? No takers?

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#2047439 - 03/13/13 03:01 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: btb]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2229
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: btb
Quite agree with Jeffrey

Chopin left us 3 dinkum Sonatas ...
op. 4, op.35, op. 58

Perhaps we should highlight the Opus 35
including the famous sepulchral Marche Funebre .

Must have another bash at the doleful ditty.

Anybody ready to depart this “mortal coil”?

What? No takers?


At least, Op. 35 and 58 are the most complete and fully-realized sonatas of the Romantic era, along with the Liszt. Brahms' are youthfully exuberant but a little messy, and Schumann's.. the writing is amazing, but the straitjacket of sonata form feels uncomfortable to him. After you've gotten used to Schumann's thought process, the sonatas feel a little like he forced himself to write them in a traditional format, but he would rather have taken different digressions if he could. Speaking of which, I'm digressing quite a lot right now.

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#2047609 - 03/13/13 11:42 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8696
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The Op 4 sonata is not as good as the other two. But it's an interesting piece, and it would have been idiotic not to publish it. smile

I agree -- even if for no other reason than that the slow movement is in 5/4 time.

I think the sonata's appearance on the printed page is more interesting than listening to it.

The other two masterpieces, I've always preferred the Op 35. The sheer audacity, radicalism and blazing inspiration of the writing never fail to stir me. As for the Op 58, perhaps heretical of me, but I could cheerfully live without the repeat in the first movement, which, in any case, could be there more as a matter of convention.
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Jason

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#2047632 - 03/13/13 12:21 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: argerichfan]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19292
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
....As for the Op 58, perhaps heretical of me, but I could cheerfully live without the repeat in the first movement, which, in any case, could be there more as a matter of convention.

No worries, hardly heretical. Few people play the repeat. I love the piece, I love the first movement, but would never think of playing the repeat, and wouldn't want to hear it. BTW I'm with that view of why it's there.

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#2047710 - 03/13/13 02:53 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2229
Loc: San Jose, CA
And by the way - we should all agree that in Op. 35, observe all repeats and in the first movement exposition, repeat back to bar 1.

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#2047714 - 03/13/13 03:01 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: jeffreyjones]
AldenH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
And by the way - we should all agree that in Op. 35, observe all repeats and in the first movement exposition, repeat back to bar 1.


Agreed! So sayeth the gospel of Rosen.

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