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#512075 - 11/09/01 12:28 PM Historical Accuracy
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
Where would I go to research the historical accuracy of piano scores? What can kind of information can I look for in my local library? I have been taking a look at the k. 397 Fantasia of Mozart, but I am not too sure whether to follow the Henle urtext or the Buonamici edition; is the Henle the most accurate score? The same thing holds true for the Chopin polonaises I posted about a bit ago. The response I got from my teacher was "Play whatever sounds the best", but I also want the most accurate one according to the composers intention! Should I fully trust Henle for most things, especially when they might differ when compared to editions by schirmer (especially the Chopin edited by his and Liszt pupil's)? Thanks!

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#512076 - 11/09/01 01:12 PM Re: Historical Accuracy
Vid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 1308
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
You're opening a can of worms here. One thing to keep in mind is that composers often made revisions on their compositions, so the concept that any one version is the absolute representation of the composer's intention is futile. The only way we could get a grasp on a composer's intention is to have them here alive and tell us how they wanted it to go. As for research, I doubt your local library will have much on this kind of subject, and in fact, I doubt most university libraries would contain that much material on this kind of subject. You may luck out in finding the occasional article in a journal which deals with these kind of issues with editions. The Henle are fairly reliable, and usually they include an appendix which point out discrepencies between extant versions of the work. I don't think your teacher's suggestion is a bad one. If you have different editions available to you then compare them and decide for youself which sounds best. I think with Chopin in particular you can't treat the score as something written in stone. If you do your performance will lack originality. Just my opinion FWIW.

I think there are some interesting books/articles on Chopin performance practice that you may find interesting to look into. There are a lot of issues including the whole conundrum regarding the use of rubato. Of course scholars do not agree, but its worth an investigation.
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#512077 - 11/09/01 01:28 PM Re: Historical Accuracy
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Thanks, Vid! I ditto every word you said. This is very sound advice.

Rgds,
AndrewG

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