Collection of critical editions
of the Works of Fryderyk Chopin


Introduction

The new “Collection of Critical Editions of the Works of Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin”, whose No. 1 (Prélude Op. 45) is already online (v. infra), replaces the publishing undertaking started more than ten years ago with the volume devoted to the Polonaises. Since then much has changed. Our personal funds have been exhausted for a long time, and none of the publishers we got in touch with accepted our proposals. But our love for Chopin has not changed. So, we decided to offer free of charge to readers of our site the results of our work. We have not to invest any money, but only our time and our effort. On the other hand, every student—without spending a penny, except that for the paper needed to print our PDFs—will have at his/her disposal the best that the Chopinian publishing has issued. The only payment we ask—on reader's discretion—is that of pointing out the errors to us by e-mail.

Let us briefly recall the distinctive features of our “Collection”. The recensio, which is carried out according to the principles of classical philology, is based on the available first editions, the autograph copies, and the manuscript copies of the works in question as well as the printed copies that belonged to the composer's own students, which copies contain numerous annotations in his own handwriting, such as corrections to the printed text, fingering, pedalling, agogic and dynamic indications, and variants. Our editions are notable in the following principal ways: 1. For each opus, the frontispiece of one of the first editions is represented, along with an extensive introduction, in which, among other things, relevant correspondence, contracts with the publishers, dates of publication, and an illustrative stemma explaining the mutual relationship between the various sources are detailed. 2. The notation reproduces, with the greatest possible care, the graphic preferences (i.e., accidents, pedalling, the position of slurs, the direction of stems, beaming, assembly, etc.) shown in the autograph copies or, for lack of these, in the first editions. 3. A critical apparatus—at the foot of the page—in which the cited variae lectiones are not described by quibbled and incomprehensive expressions, but extracted from original editions or exact copies of them. 4. A commentary with both critical notes—explaining, if necessary, the recensio—and piano-playing remarks according to the Chopin's new piano school. 5. Lastly, an accurate fingering according to the principles of the Chopinian piano school in addition to that documented by the pupils' available scores and the Mikuli's edition.

But, at present, what is the best edition for the study of the works of Chopin? Here is our.answer.

  1. Ballades, critical edition by Franco Luigi Viero [click on 'Ballades' to see the details].

  2. Polonaises, [Italian] critical edition by Franco Luigi Viero, second edition revised and corrected, Corsico 2002, pp. xxvi + 342 (ISBN 88-87571-03-1). Out of print.


  3. [This edition contains all the known Polonaises arranged in two sections: "Published During Chopin's Life" and "Published Posthumously". Even the "Polonaise preceded by an Andante Spianato", op. 22, has been included in the version for piano solo, which Chopin made his students study. Finally, for the first time in this century, "Polonaise for Cello and Piano", op. 3, in the version for pianoforte solo by Carl Czerny, has been included in the Appendix.]

    Polonaises, critical edition by Franco Luigi Viero, definitive edition for the web.
    [In preparation.]

  4. Prélude Op. 45, critical edition by Franco Luigi Viero, [Free of Charge Editions Audacter.it], Second Edition, April 2014 (May 9, 2014: fingering correction in m. 11 and 75 — May 22, 2014: correction in the table "Notes and keys" — June 1, 2014: an alternative fingering added in m. 79 — July 5, 2014: change of fingering in bars 1÷2; a missing note in the Cadenza has been replaced) — October 11, 2015: revision of some fingerings. [In this new edition, for the recensio, the editor makes use of a unique and hitherto unknown document from the Collection Glensk in Poland. Moreover, the title page of that document is published here for the first time.]
    [We have to apologize in advance to the readers for our bad English. Any suggestion is welcome.]

  5. Etudes, edited by Franco Luigi Viero. [Italian Edition, in preparation.]


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