Frédéric Chopin’s 4 Scherzi are high points in the Romantic piano repertoire. Chopin here takes a traditional genre and fills it with radically new content. They are wild, demonic in tone, and there is little about them that is joke-like, despite the original meaning of their title. Referring to the 1st Scherzo, Robert Schumann asked: “how should seriousness be attired, when even a ‘joke’ is veiled in black?”. Now that the Scherzi nos. 1–4 have been published in revised stand-alone editions, G. Henle Publishers is now offering all four in paperback and hardback, in an edition that reflects the current state of Chopin research. Both the footnotes and the extensive Critical Report on the Internet offer detailed information on the familiar topic of “Chopin variants” and on all the textual problems they raise. This is Chopin in top form!
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Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 49) published the group of four Scherzi in the years 1835 – 43. They are often linked to the four Ballades which were published more or less within the same timeframe (1836 – 43). The Scherzi and the Ballades are outstanding examples of Chopin’s striving to fashion autonomous single works in larger musical forms based on 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
In eerdere edities bespraken we al de afzonderlijke edities van de Scherzo’s opus 20 en 31. De uitgaven van de Scherzo’s opus 39 en 54 staan op hetzelfde hoge niveau, qua vormgeving en toelichting.
Da Herausgeber Norbert Müllemann nun wirklich alle brauchbaren Quellen ausgewertet, beschrieben und sein Vorgehen begründet hat, kann man die Werke mithilfe dieser Edition besonders gründlich studieren. ... Durchaus hilfreich sind einerseits die vom Herausgeber angefertigten schematischen Darstellungen zum jeweiligen Verlauf der Drucklegung, andererseits die zahlreichen Notenbeispiele, anhand derer Unterschiede zwischen den verschiedenen Fassungen deutlich gemacht werden. ... Die Druckgrafik ist von jener sinnlichen Prägnanz, die man seit jeher von Henle-Urtext-Editionen kennt und schätzt.
Going still further, Müllemann provides detailed footnotes throughout the score itself, too, and these are likely to be for many the first port-of-call when preparing a performance. ... As for the score itself, as one would expect from Henle this is beautifully engraved and presented on quality cream paper, with an enduring stitched binding. It must also be added that the score is also available as a digital download within the Henle Library app. ... Those studying these extraordinary masterpieces will be delighted with Norbert Müllemann’s outstanding new edition for Henle, combining as it does superb scholarship with industry-leading engraving and presentation.
Il punto forte, però, è il ricco apparato critico (tedesco e inglese), con vari alberi genealogici delle fonti e diversi esempi musicali.
The integrity and scholarship of the edition can be taken for granted, though, and Henle’s characteristically professional presentation makes for an attractive package.