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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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I reproduce here a selection of forewords and editors’ commentaries to edi- tions of Chopin’s works from the nineteenth and twentieth century� Gathered in one place for the first time, this documentation allows readers to examine nineteenth-century editing theory and editorial premises� Those forewords and commentaries were notably written by the leading Cho- pin editors of their time, including Karol Mikuli, Hermann Scholtz, and Antoine- François Marmontel, though a number of editors left no such documents (for example Jan Kleczyński, George Mathias, and Karl Klindworth)� English translations are quoted from original editions where those were bilin- gual or are mine; they are reproduced unabridged and unmodified� 324 Collection des œuvres pour le piano par Fréderic Chopin en douze livraisons. Publié par T. D. A. Tellefsen. Paris, chez Simon Richault éditeur [1860. The note only appears in some volumes only.] Collection of pianoforte works by Frédéric Chopin edited by T� D� A� Tellefsen� In undertaking a new edition of the works of Frédéric Chopin, we endeav- oured for this publication to be faithful to the author’s intentions; Monsieur Tell- efsen, a pupil of Chopin, himself equipped with all the qualities necessary to ensure good performance and fortunate enough to possess a collection of scores corrected by the composer’s hand, has kindly agreed to undertake this work� We can thus present a correct and faithful edition of the great Master’s works to art- ists and amateurs� We also hope to do musical art a favour...

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