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Editions of Chopin’s Works in the Nineteenth Century

Aspects of Reception History


Wojciech Bońkowski

This book presents the editions of Chopin’s works as cultural texts and gives account of the main events in their reception history. Based on a new typology and an overview of copyright and economics, 140 editions evidence a dominance of a few popular works and genres (nocturnes, mazurkas, waltzes) and two distinctive tendencies in editing: academic (historical-monumental) and popular (salon & entertainment music). Four case studies research real-life typology, reprints, edition filiation, and the use of compositional sources. The author addresses edition aesthetics, from musical work ontology through national aspects of reception and recontextualisation strategies to the role of women in Chopin editing and axiological aspects of editions. The appendix includes forewords to major Chopin editions.
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This book is a modified and edited version of my doctoral dissertation, written under the guidance of Professor Maciej Gołąb at the Institute of Musicology of the University of Warsaw (2008). My original research was financed by the Polish Committee for Scientific Research (KBN) in 2003–6 (project no. 2 H01E 030 25). This current publication was financed by a Minister of Science and Higher Education programme titled National Programme for the Development of Humanities in the years 2012–14.

I am indebted to a number of people who kindly provided assistance in the course of my research. I particularly thank Dr. Krzysztof Grabowski and Prof. John Rink for their valuable insights; Dr. Paweł Kamiński of the National Edition for allowing me access to some rare sources; Teresa Lewandowska of the Chopin Institute Library for her patience; and above all, Professor Maciej Gołąb for relentlessly encouraging my research for a long seven years. All remaining errors are my own.

Wojciech Bońkowski

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