The Complete Chopin – A New Critical Edition from Edition Peters is firmly established as the most important ongoing scholarly edition of Chopin’s music and is a must for any discerning pianist. The world’s foremost Chopin editors, under Editor-in-chief John Rink, bring their unrivalled collective knowledge to imbue the project with unique authority, drawing upon the latest international scholarship. The Complete Chopin prioritizes the needs of the practical pianist and provides a beautifully presented performing text of each work based on a single principal source together with important variants, along with thorough critical commentaries and illuminating prefatory essays in English, French and German.
Edition Peters is now delighted to present Roy Howat’s new edition for The Complete Chopin of Chopin’s Trois Nouvelles Études. Originally published in 1840 in the multi-composer Méthode des Méthodes the Trois Nouvelles Études are Chopin’s least overtly virtuoso studies, but arguably they are the most quietly sophisticated of all in terms of how they train the pianist’s sensitivity to sound, rhythm and texture. Debussy once said he had ‘worn his fingers down’ playing the second of them. After 180 years it seems extraordinary that new details can still be found in the pieces, but Howat’s edition prints some for the first time, notably a number of melodic variants in the first Etude, plus notes in the second Etude that all previous editions ‘bowdlerized’. Acting literally as a pivot in the second Etude’s structure, these authentic notes – sensitively restored here – alter our perception of the music’s texture and voicing just as the piece takes wing on one of Chopin’s most breathtaking strings of modulation. The edition also confirms some authentic fingering still unfamiliar to most pianists, including whimsical thumb ‘hops’ down the black keys at the end of the third Etude. In keeping with the editorial procedure of this series, the edition is based on a principal source, the manuscript Chopin carefully prepared for his friend Moscheles; in addition, some changes that Chopin introduced after publication feature here as variants, allowing pianists to choose options in performance in full awareness of where they come from.
- Authoritative critical edition based on Chopin’s autograph restores Chopin’s original text and corrects important pitches wrongly presented in previous editions
- Includes only Chopin’s authentic fingerings
- Variants clearly presented as ossias within the main text of each Etude
- Preface by Roy Howat in English, French and German
- Thorough critical commentary
The Complete Chopin is based on two key premises. First, there can be no definitive version of Chopin’s works: variants form an integral part of the music. Second, a permissive conflation of readings from several sources – in effect producing a version of the music that never really existed – should be avoided. Accordingly, the editors’ procedure is to identify a single principal source for each work and to prepare an edition of that source (which they regard as ‘best’, even if it cannot be definitive). At the same time, important variants from other authorized sources are reproduced either adjacent to or, in certain instances, within the main music text, in footnotes or in the Critical Commentary, thus enabling scholarly comparison and facilitating choice in performance. Multiple versions of whole works are presented when differences between the sources are so abundant or fundamental that they go beyond the category of ‘variant’.