Frédéric Chopin spent his fifth summer at George Sand’s country estate in Nohant in 1844. The time away from Paris gave the composer the necessary creative free space to produce the delicate Berceuse (lullaby) as well as the b minor sonata that year. The former is known for its dreamy, exquisite ambient sound – and yet it still numbers amongst Chopin’s most fabricated works. It was originally intended to have the somewhat sober title “Variantes”: a sketch shows how Chopin conceived these “Variantes”. The genesis and source situation are explored in our revised edition that reflects the latest scholarly findings. A classic with a new look in the Henle catalogue!
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Frédéric Chopin’s (1810 – 49) Berceuse op. 57 symbolises in a way the beginning of a new genre tradition. Vocal “berceuses”, or lullabies, were sung by all peoples at all times. Instrumental berceuses, however, can only be traced back to the beginning of the 19th century. With his Kind im Einschlummern (from the Kinderszenen op. 15, published in 1839), the … more
About the composer
Pianist and composer. His work is concentrated around piano music that enjoys extraordinary popularity and has become an integral part of the concert repertoire. His music influenced subsequent generations in France (Franck, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Debussy) as well as Smetana, Dvořák, Balakirev, Grieg, Albéniz.
|1810||Born in Żelazowa Wola near Warsaw on March 1. First compositions at age seven, his first public performance at eight.|
|1822||Private instruction in composition.|
|1825||Rondo in C minor, Op. 1, his first published work.|
|1826–29||Studies at the Institute of Music in Warsaw.|
|1829||“Fantaisie sur des airs nationaux polonaise” in A major, Op. 13; Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 8. Travels to Vienna, where he gives two concerts of his compositions and improvisations.|
|1829–33 and 1835–37||Etudes, Opp. 10 and 25 -- a new type of virtuosic etude that also makes aesthetic demands.|
|1830||Premieres in Warsaw of his two piano concerti, Op. 21 in F minor and Op. 11 in E minor.|
|1831||Unable to return to Warsaw due to the Polish uprising, he goes to Paris, where he will remain until the end of his life.|
|1832||Debut concert in Paris to great acclaim.|
|1835/38||“Trois valses brillantes,” Op. 34.|
|1836/39||“24 Preludes,” Op. 28, in a cyclic succession: compactly-designed short pieces.|
|1835/39||Piano Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 35, with the funeral march.|
|1842/43||Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52; “Grande Polonaise brillante” in A-flat major, Op. 53; Scherzo No. 4 in E major, Op. 54.|
|1844||Piano Sonata in B minor, Op. 58|
|1849||Completion of the mazurkas in G minor and F minor. Death in Paris on October 17.|
About the authors
The stemma of the work (described in the commentary) shows the complex array of sources consulted by Norbert Müllemann, who has taken the second issue of the French first edition as the primary source. Variants between it and other important sources such as pupil's copies are noted in the footnotes, while pedalling and fingering indications from the sources are included (editorial fingering is also added). The same editorial team bring their impressive scholarship to bear on the F sharp minor Polonaise - one of only three polonaises to be published separately from Henle's volume of polonaises (HN 217).