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#2046499 - 03/11/13 02:38 PM Chopin op. 4 ?
JoelW Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
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Loc: USA
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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#2046505 - 03/11/13 02:48 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
beet31425 Offline
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Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3709
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
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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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: 27
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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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
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2046530 - 03/11/13 03:25 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
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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 Offline
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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
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#2046537 - 03/11/13 03:32 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
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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 Offline
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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
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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
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Am I the only one who really dislikes the whole idea of posthumous publication?

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#2046562 - 03/11/13 04:50 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
didyougethathing Offline
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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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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
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2046738 - 03/11/13 11:07 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: BruceD]
Mark_C Offline
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.....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 Offline
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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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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 Offline
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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
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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
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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
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19647
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
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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 Offline
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Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3709
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
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#2046819 - 03/12/13 04:48 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: BruceD]
JoelW Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
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.

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#2046820 - 03/12/13 04:55 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
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.

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#2046883 - 03/12/13 09:48 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
jeffreyjones Offline
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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
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Registered: 01/21/04
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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
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Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2290
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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
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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.
_________________________
Jason

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#2047632 - 03/13/13 12:21 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: argerichfan]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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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
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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
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Registered: 03/22/11
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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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#2047726 - 03/13/13 03:28 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: AldenH]
argerichfan Offline
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Registered: 11/15/06
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Originally Posted By: AldenH
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.

I just don't get it...

IMO repeating all the way back to the Grave destroys all the momentum generated in the exposition. And how is Rosen so sure of himself?
_________________________
Jason

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#2047732 - 03/13/13 03:45 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: argerichfan]
jeffreyjones Offline
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Registered: 01/31/10
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: AldenH
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.

I just don't get it...

IMO repeating all the way back to the Grave destroys all the momentum generated in the exposition. And how is Rosen so sure of himself?


The momentum already comes to a stop and a turning point with the fortissimo, E-flat diminished chord. The problem is that if you take the repeat back to the Doppio movemento, it invalidates the Grave passage as part of the exposition, which is absolutely is.

Besides that, there is evidence to show that there should be no double bar at all after the Grave, much less a repeat, and it's merely an engraver's error in the Leipzig edition.

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#2047743 - 03/13/13 04:02 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
beet31425 Offline
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Loc: Bay Area, CA
I don't think I hear the opening being repeated. But it's certainly more valid than repeating the introduction to Beethoven's op.13, which I've heard discussed as well.


-J
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#2047828 - 03/13/13 07:09 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: argerichfan]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: AldenH
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.

....IMO repeating all the way back to the Grave destroys all the momentum generated in the exposition....

I'm with you, 100%, and I'm sure of it.

Quote:
....And how is Rosen so sure of himself?

He wasn't, even if he thought he was. People should never be sure of things. grin

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#2047852 - 03/13/13 07:59 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
didyougethathing Offline
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Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 544
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: AldenH
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.

....IMO repeating all the way back to the Grave destroys all the momentum generated in the exposition....

I'm with you, 100%, and I'm sure of it.

Quote:
....And how is Rosen so sure of himself?

He wasn't, even if he thought he was. People should never be sure of things. grin


I've never heard or seen anything about the repeat being there. Can someone expand on this concept? I don't think I like the idea of repeating from bar 1, but would still like to know about this sentiment.

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#2047857 - 03/13/13 08:15 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: didyougethathing]
bennevis Online   content
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Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4821
Current research and thinking is that the repeat in the first movement of Op.35 should start from the Grave, and that that's what Chopin intended.

More pianists than ever are doing the repeat this way, and others (like Pollini and Uchida) have switched to this from what they used to do before, repeating from the Doppio movimento.

But those of us of a certain age wink are so used to hearing the repeat from the Doppio movimento, that it just sounds plain odd to hear the repeat done another way - even if it's the right way..... grin

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#2047896 - 03/13/13 10:08 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: bennevis]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: bennevis
Current research and thinking is that the repeat in the first movement of Op.35 should start from the Grave, and that that's what Chopin intended.

Not much of an "expansion"! grin

I've seen some of the 'expansions' and don't remember them except that I wasn't at all persuaded. I thought they were just opinions, and that they didn't withstand the "ear test."


Edit: OK, what the hey, I gave this the additional attention that it deserves, i.e. very little. ha

Here's a webpage (of pianist Jonathan Oshry) that gives one of the "expansions," citing the aforementioned Mr. Rosen: smile
The relevant excerpt:

Charles Rosen raises an important issue with regard to the introductory four bars of the first movement of opus 35. He notes that a glance at the autograph in Warsaw shows that the repeat markings in almost every edition appear in the wrong place - bar 5 instead of bar 1.[190] This, according to him, makes "awkward nonsense of an important moment in the opening movement."[191] He believes that the repeat is clearly intended to begin with the first note of the movement, or else the harmonic change between the cadence in D flat major at the end of the exposition and the beginning of the accompaniment figure in bar 5 makes no sense. Thus the opening four bars serve a double function: they are a dramatic beginning, and a transition from the end of the exposition back to the tonic.[192]


Here's the problem: Even granting that this isn't a direct quote from Rosen but a paraphrase, but assuming that it's a pretty faithful one, which it seems to be....the "makes no sense" thing is clearly just an opinion, not a historical or musicological fact, and in fact to me it's ridiculous. The "harmonic change" has always made sense to me, and indeed I find it absolutely wonderful. In order to start entertaining the idea that editors had the repeat sign in the wrong place forever, you have to start with being bothered by the traditional thing. I never have been, and I think it's not nearly as effective Rosen's way.


Edited by Mark_C (03/13/13 10:23 PM)

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#2047901 - 03/13/13 10:17 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
didyougethathing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 544
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Current research and thinking is that the repeat in the first movement of Op.35 should start from the Grave, and that that's what Chopin intended.

Not much of an "expansion"! grin

I've seen some of the 'expansions' and don't remember them except that I wasn't at all persuaded. I thought they were just opinions, and that they didn't withstand the "ear test."


Edit: OK, what the hey, I gave this the additional attention that it deserves, i.e. very little. ha

Here's a webpage (of pianist Jonathan Oshry) that gives one of the "expansions," citing the aforementioned Mr. Rosen: smile
The relevant excerpt:

Charles Rosen raises an important issue with regard to the introductory four bars of the first movement of opus 35. He notes that a glance at the autograph in Warsaw shows that the repeat markings in almost every edition appear in the wrong place - bar 5 instead of bar 1.[190] This, according to him, makes "awkward nonsense of an important moment in the opening movement."[191] He believes that the repeat is clearly intended to begin with the first note of the movement, or else the harmonic change between the cadence in D flat major at the end of the exposition and the beginning of the accompaniment figure in bar 5 makes no sense. Thus the opening four bars serve a double function: they are a dramatic beginning, and a transition from the end of the exposition back to the tonic.[192]


So, there is a lot of inference here, but not a lot of proof. He just "feels" like it's in the wrong place then? I mean, I'm all for a re-evaluation of things like this, but where is the evidence other than him saying that they are in the "wrong place?" Thanks for the expansion too, Mark.

Anyways, is there a performance on Youtube utilizing the bar 1 repeat? I'd still love to hear it.


Edited by didyougethathing (03/13/13 10:18 PM)

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#2047903 - 03/13/13 10:18 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: didyougethathing]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19647
Loc: New York
(See my additional edit -- I fleshed it out more.)

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#2047935 - 03/13/13 11:16 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: didyougethathing]
Jeff Kallberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/09
Posts: 211
Originally Posted By: didyougethathing
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: AldenH
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.

....IMO repeating all the way back to the Grave destroys all the momentum generated in the exposition....

I'm with you, 100%, and I'm sure of it.

Quote:
....And how is Rosen so sure of himself?

He wasn't, even if he thought he was. People should never be sure of things. grin


I've never heard or seen anything about the repeat being there. Can someone expand on this concept? I don't think I like the idea of repeating from bar 1, but would still like to know about this sentiment.


Rosen's evidence derives from the French and English first editions (not a "Warsaw autograph," which does not exist; no autograph of the complete Sonata exists).

I invite you all to look here:

Chopin First Editions Online

Make your way to op. 35, and look at the first pages of the French and English editions. (The site doesn't let me link you directly to the pages, so you'll have to do this yourself. Even if you get lost, you'll have fun: Chopin first editions!)

Imagine yourself a pianist in London or Paris in the 1840s, taking the exposition repeat. You look at the first page. No double bar, no repeat dots under "Doppio movimento". Just a regular, single barline. Presumably many (most? all?) pianists would go back to the start of the movement, as the default location for the beginning of a repeat in the absence of a double bar with repeat dots earlier.

(There's good reason to suppose that the French and English editions reflect the reading of the now-lost autograph. The German edition does have the double bar and repeat dots at the "doppio movimento," but this reflects a manuscript in the hand of a copyist [probably Adolf Gutmann] - and importantly, that manuscript just has the double bars. So the repeat dots were added by the German publisher, and one might suppose that Gutmann added the double bar, to reflect the tempo change - but maybe not the location of the beginning of the repeat.)

So the textual evidence for the repeat going back to the Grave seems pretty clear. Rosen wasn't just going on "feeling."

All that said, if a pianist doesn't believe in the musical sense of the repeat going back to the "Grave," I'd much prefer to hear her or him go to the "doppio movimento" (or just skip it all together): I want to be convinced by a performance, not hear simple allegiance to a text.

Jeff Kallberg

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#2047943 - 03/13/13 11:33 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Jeff Kallberg]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19647
Loc: New York
Thank you, Dr. Jeff!

It's great whenever you can join us on anything, even though it puts a little damper on those of us who just fly by the seat of our pants. ha

So, Oshry didn't faithfully represent Rosen's view; he made it seem like Rosen was just flying by the seat of his pants!

As best I can imagine what I'd think if I were looking from scratch at the French or English edition -- i.e. not knowing the piece, never having heard it, etc. -- well, I better start by saying it's impossible for me to imagine it with much confidence. In line with what Bennevis said, if we're used to it a certain way, we're unavoidably biased -- and I think it isn't just people "of a certain age" grin but probably most people altogether who've become familiar with the piece, because I think it continues to be played mostly in the 'traditional' way.

Anyway, as best I can imagine what I'd think.....I really think I would have felt this was a bit of a mystery, and that maybe the notation on the page was incomplete, because of how going back to the very beginning breaks the momentum -- not unlike taking the repeat in the 1st mvt of Opus 58 -- and because I think the harmonic progression wouldn't have worked well to my ear. It wouldn't have been a unique example of something seeming to be incomplete on a Chopin page; the main example that leaps to mind is that little mazurka in C from Opus 7 with no ending. ha

I hope I would have wondered if the repeat was supposed to go back to the Doppio movimento. If not, I think I would have wondered if Chopin just didn't mean the repeat seriously, as per what Argerichfan said about Opus 58 and with which I agree.

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#2047946 - 03/13/13 11:39 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Jeff Kallberg]
didyougethathing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 544
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Jeff Kallberg
Originally Posted By: didyougethathing
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: AldenH
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.

....IMO repeating all the way back to the Grave destroys all the momentum generated in the exposition....

I'm with you, 100%, and I'm sure of it.

Quote:
....And how is Rosen so sure of himself?

He wasn't, even if he thought he was. People should never be sure of things. grin


I've never heard or seen anything about the repeat being there. Can someone expand on this concept? I don't think I like the idea of repeating from bar 1, but would still like to know about this sentiment.


Rosen's evidence derives from the French and English first editions (not a "Warsaw autograph," which does not exist; no autograph of the complete Sonata exists).

I invite you all to look here:

Chopin First Editions Online

Make your way to op. 35, and look at the first pages of the French and English editions. (The site doesn't let me link you directly to the pages, so you'll have to do this yourself. Even if you get lost, you'll have fun: Chopin first editions!)

Imagine yourself a pianist in London or Paris in the 1840s, taking the exposition repeat. You look at the first page. No double bar, no repeat dots under "Doppio movimento". Just a regular, single barline. Presumably many (most? all?) pianists would go back to the start of the movement, as the default location for the beginning of a repeat in the absence of a double bar with repeat dots earlier.

(There's good reason to suppose that the French and English editions reflect the reading of the now-lost autograph. The German edition does have the double bar and repeat dots at the "doppio movimento," but this reflects a manuscript in the hand of a copyist [probably Adolf Gutmann] - and importantly, that manuscript just has the double bars. So the repeat dots were added by the German publisher, and one might suppose that Gutmann added the double bar, to reflect the tempo change - but maybe not the location of the beginning of the repeat.)

So the textual evidence for the repeat going back to the Grave seems pretty clear. Rosen wasn't just going on "feeling."

All that said, if a pianist doesn't believe in the musical sense of the repeat going back to the "Grave," I'd much prefer to hear her or him go to the "doppio movimento" (or just skip it all together): I want to be convinced by a performance, not hear simple allegiance to a text.

Jeff Kallberg


Some great info! Thanks! Also notice there is no One Octave Lower notation on the B-flat octave in the third-to-last measure of the third movement.

I've got some meditations to do on that repeat! I'll ask again, are there any recordings on YouTube of the first bar repeat? (I know I can just start the recording over at the proper time, but I'd like to hear it for real!)

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#2047975 - 03/14/13 12:49 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
argerichfan Offline
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Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8818
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Some excellent posts.

But yet... I always thought one of the most arresting aspects of the 1st movement was that repeat from the Doppio movimento. It has always struck me as pure genius, and incredibly exciting!

Go figure... laugh
_________________________
Jason

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#2047991 - 03/14/13 01:11 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: didyougethathing]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2290
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: didyougethathing
Some great info! Thanks! Also notice there is no One Octave Lower notation on the B-flat octave in the third-to-last measure of the third movement.


As the Chopin National Edition mentions, Chopin's piano didn't have that note. Its bottom note was a C, and he uses that note in the development. Like Mozart, he used the resources of the instrument he was writing for, and 88 keys was not yet the universal standard.

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#2047998 - 03/14/13 01:40 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: jeffreyjones]
didyougethathing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 544
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: didyougethathing
Some great info! Thanks! Also notice there is no One Octave Lower notation on the B-flat octave in the third-to-last measure of the third movement.


As the Chopin National Edition mentions, Chopin's piano didn't have that note. Its bottom note was a C, and he uses that note in the development. Like Mozart, he used the resources of the instrument he was writing for, and 88 keys was not yet the universal standard.


Aha! Much like now we can use the Bosendorfer Imperial to play those bits in Scarbo.

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#2048002 - 03/14/13 01:54 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: didyougethathing]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19647
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: didyougethathing
Aha! Much like now we can use the Bosendorfer Imperial to play those bits in Scarbo.

But should we? ha

Or, in Beethoven's D major Sonata (10/3), should we really leave out the high F# on the fermata near the end of the 1st page, as Beethoven wrote it, presumably because his piano didn't have the key? Should we go 'all the way up' in the recap of the 1st mvt, as we do in the exposition, or curtail it as Beethoven had to because the piano didn't go up that high?

There's a similar thing in the last mvt of Mozart's 2-piano sonata.

But I'm just giving you (and Ravel) a hard time. grin
I'd play the dam lower notes in Scarbo all right.
But I'd leave the Mozart and Beethoven alone. I think they're better with the adjustments that the composers were sort of forced into.

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#2048073 - 03/14/13 07:59 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
AldenH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

But I'd leave the Mozart and Beethoven alone. I think they're better with the adjustments that the composers were sort of forced into.


Yes, I agree! The twists they introduce are delightful (cf. Mozart K. 488 finale recap).

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#2048109 - 03/14/13 09:34 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
Jeff Kallberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/09
Posts: 211
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Thank you, Dr. Jeff!

It's great whenever you can join us on anything, even though it puts a little damper on those of us who just fly by the seat of our pants. ha


Mark C: Musicologist coming along and spoiling everyone's fun . . . the story of my life!

Didyougetthathing:

Here's a YouTube (Avdeeva from the last Chopin competition) that takes the repeat back to the Grave:

Avdeeva Chopin op 35 first mvt repeat

Jeff Kallberg

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#2048130 - 03/14/13 10:37 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Jeff Kallberg]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4821
Originally Posted By: Jeff Kallberg
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Thank you, Dr. Jeff!

It's great whenever you can join us on anything, even though it puts a little damper on those of us who just fly by the seat of our pants. ha


Mark C: Musicologist coming along and spoiling everyone's fun . . . the story of my life!

Didyougetthathing:

Here's a YouTube (Avdeeva from the last Chopin competition) that takes the repeat back to the Grave:

Avdeeva Chopin op 35 first mvt repeat

Jeff Kallberg


In case everyone's thinking it's all the late Charles Rosen's fault that people are now questioning what everyone with white hair holds dear wink , I first heard about it from a radio program discussion between scholars (mainly European) and pianists some years ago. Charles Rosen's name never cropped up. And Uchida's recording of the Sonatas (1987) was the first time I'd heard anyone play the repeat from the Grave.

Let me quote from the sleeve-note to her CD (written by Misha Donat):
"Listeners to Mitsuko Uchida's recording may be surprised by her inclusion of the slow opening bars in the repeat of the exposition. However, the manuscript copy from which the first edition was prepared does not specify merely a return to the start of the Allegro; and the unresolved cadence that ends the exposition actually leads more logically to the emphatic D flat with which the slow opening bars begin."

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#2048207 - 03/14/13 01:24 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Mark_C]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2290
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Thank you, Dr. Jeff!

It's great whenever you can join us on anything, even though it puts a little damper on those of us who just fly by the seat of our pants. ha

So, Oshry didn't faithfully represent Rosen's view; he made it seem like Rosen was just flying by the seat of his pants!

As best I can imagine what I'd think if I were looking from scratch at the French or English edition -- i.e. not knowing the piece, never having heard it, etc. -- well, I better start by saying it's impossible for me to imagine it with much confidence. In line with what Bennevis said, if we're used to it a certain way, we're unavoidably biased -- and I think it isn't just people "of a certain age" grin but probably most people altogether who've become familiar with the piece, because I think it continues to be played mostly in the 'traditional' way.

Anyway, as best I can imagine what I'd think.....I really think I would have felt this was a bit of a mystery, and that maybe the notation on the page was incomplete, because of how going back to the very beginning breaks the momentum -- not unlike taking the repeat in the 1st mvt of Opus 58 -- and because I think the harmonic progression wouldn't have worked well to my ear. It wouldn't have been a unique example of something seeming to be incomplete on a Chopin page; the main example that leaps to mind is that little mazurka in C from Opus 7 with no ending. ha

I hope I would have wondered if the repeat was supposed to go back to the Doppio movimento. If not, I think I would have wondered if Chopin just didn't mean the repeat seriously, as per what Argerichfan said about Opus 58 and with which I agree.


I think there is something of a double standard here, in that you question Rosen on the basis of interjecting his own opinion and feelings in the matter (and by the way, if you agreed, would you care?) and then interject your own opinion in order to throw things into question again.

In my mind, there's no avoiding it - Chopin wrote what he wrote. People got it wrong because of an engraver's error, and the mistake got perpetuated because people mistakenly thought it was correct - not because they thought it was better. You can prefer it the "traditional way," but it is still wrong, and any discussion about it is basically moot because of that. The matter is simply black and white.

You have this habit of questioning Chopin. Why do you think that the rules of notation, convention, etc. don't apply to him the same way they do to Brahms or Mendelssohn? Chopin composed just as carefully as them and, in some ways, with an even greater attention to detail. Yet there is this subset of musicology that is fond of twisting his instructions in some unnatural way because they can't make sense of them. Why? If you follow the score the results are fantastic. If you take the notion that Chopin was vastly superior to any other composer at the time and he knew exactly what he was doing, and you probably don't, then you can make some progress.

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#2048208 - 03/14/13 01:28 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: jeffreyjones]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19647
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
I think there is something of a double standard here, in that you question Rosen on the basis of interjecting his own opinion and feelings in the matter (and by the way, if you agreed, would you care?) and then interject your own opinion in order to throw things into question again....

Absolutely not!!

All I was saying about Rosen's view (when it was presented as opinion and feelings) was that it wasn't a definitive answer -- that it wasn't any strong basis for overturning anything and that it was no better (nor worse) than other opinions and feelings. I was never elevating my feelings and opinions to a higher level than his! Just perhaps preferring them. smile

But the biggest distinction was that he was trying to overturn traditional wisdom; I was going along with it. There's a higher bar on overturning something.

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
....You have this habit of questioning Chopin. Why do you think that the rules of notation, convention, etc. don't apply to him the same way they do to Brahms or Mendelssohn? Chopin composed just as carefully as them and, in some ways, with an even greater attention to detail. Yet there is this subset of musicology that is fond of twisting his instructions in some unnatural way because they can't make sense of them. Why? If you follow the score the results are fantastic....

I think you're mischaracterizing what I do, and in fact I don't even see any relation of it to what I'm doing on here, but that's OK -- I'll address it anyway. grin

I don't "question" what Chopin did; I try to make the best sense of what he wrote, and I'm hardly alone in feeling that aspects of sound, shaping, balance, rhythm, and pedaling are more complex with Chopin than with most other composers. I also think that those of us with this kind of view get better and richer results for it, and can get more "fantastic" results than those who don't want to consider it. It opens a whole additional world of depth and nuance.

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#2048210 - 03/14/13 01:35 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: Jeff Kallberg]
didyougethathing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 544
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Jeff Kallberg


Here's a YouTube (Avdeeva from the last Chopin competition) that takes the repeat back to the Grave:

Avdeeva Chopin op 35 first mvt repeat

Jeff Kallberg


Thanks for the link. I don't think it's that jarring going back to the Grave. And now, looking at the manuscripts and such, it is becoming more clear that perhaps the repeat should be from bar 1. However, since this 'error' has been played for so many decades, and since I am used to it repeating from the Doppio Movimento, I don't think I'll ever prefer it the proper way.

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#2048355 - 03/14/13 06:13 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: didyougethathing]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2290
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: didyougethathing
Originally Posted By: Jeff Kallberg


Here's a YouTube (Avdeeva from the last Chopin competition) that takes the repeat back to the Grave:

Avdeeva Chopin op 35 first mvt repeat

Jeff Kallberg


Thanks for the link. I don't think it's that jarring going back to the Grave. And now, looking at the manuscripts and such, it is becoming more clear that perhaps the repeat should be from bar 1. However, since this 'error' has been played for so many decades, and since I am used to it repeating from the Doppio Movimento, I don't think I'll ever prefer it the proper way.


On the other hand, I already do. I always thought it was strange that the sonata had no recapitulation, but the full exposition repeat balances it out. Also, it helps to tie the Grave thematically to the development section if it's repeated.

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#2048433 - 03/14/13 09:52 PM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: jeffreyjones]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19647
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
....I always thought it was strange that the sonata had no recapitulation....

It's not that there's no recap, it's that the first theme is sort of missing from it -- but I think most would say that what makes up for it isn't repeating the exposition, but how the development section is so chock full of that first theme and therefore (brilliantly!!) takes the place of the appearance of that theme in the recap.

BTW somewhat the same occurs in the 3rd Sonata.

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#2048482 - 03/15/13 12:51 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8818
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Well Mark, Jeffrey pretty much has us here. Funny when the castles fall, and I guess I was wrong all this time even if I personally thought the repeat from the Doppio movimento a marvelous moment.

I have no problem -I didn't know scholarly background- so let us pick up the pieces and move on. I would rather try to see it Chopin's way now.

Very interesting thread.
_________________________
Jason

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#2048491 - 03/15/13 01:19 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: JoelW]
AldenH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas
Isn't musicology fun? grin

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#2048495 - 03/15/13 01:30 AM Re: Chopin op. 4 ? [Re: AldenH]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19647
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: AldenH
Isn't musicology fun? grin

Yeah, if you're the musicologist! ha

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Well Mark, Jeffrey pretty much has us here....

Well, yes and no! I mean, is anyone among us going to change how we wanted to play it?

OK, OK.
Are there maybe some of us who won't change how we wanted to play it? grin

I'm still completely inclined to play it the traditional way. (Without guilt.) And that's the advantage of being an amateur -- you can do whatever you want, and you don't have to worry that it means you might not be able to pay the rent. whome

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