Aspects of Reception History
This book was born out of astonishment� In the vast Chopin bibliography—one that is now impossible to fully embrace—there are surprising gaps, one being the editions of Chopin’s works and their history� That topic is perhaps the most ne- glected in musicological research to date, even more so than the (equally unloved) history of Chopin piano performances� I address the reasons of this state of affairs in Chapter 1� I have no doubts that filling this gap is a most urgent scholarly en- deavour� Consequently, the fundamental premise of this book is to look compre- hensively at the h i s tor y of e d i t i ons of C hopi n’s work s as c u l tu r a l texts� To reject the hitherto dominant normative perspective—typical of histo- riographic and editorial approaches—and see editions as events of reception history, a peculiar “mirror carried along the high road” of nineteenth-century musical culture, decipher their encoded meanings and visions of Chopin’s work, ideologies, positions in the deepest nineteenth-century debates surrounding music and the musical work� The scope of this dissertation has essentially been limited to editions pub- lished in the nineteenth century� The starting date is that of Chopin’s death, 1849, marking the end of the composer’s control over the publication of his musical texts and at the same time, opening a stage of reception history characterised by increasingly numerous and complex events� Chopin’s death also opened the era of editions that...
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