Chopin's revolutionary etude

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I am preparing one of my high school students for a Solo and Ensemble contest. She is playing Chopin's Revolutionary Etude. One edition (Henley) has no pedaling for the piece. I learned from the Schirmer edition that has pedaling. There are some etudes that have the pedaling marked in the Henley edition. Should I have her play the pedaling that I learned? Or keep it out all together? She does play very well without the pedaling. Thank you

-- Cynthia Braun (JBraun@apk.net), January 25, 2003

Answers

This is too late for your student, but maybe for the future: You can assume that any pedal marks in Chopin's music have been put there by an editor. And different editions of his music are notorious for being overly edited and possibly downright wrong. Usually Henle's are really good, but not for Chopin. Usually Schirmer editions are bad, but sometimes they're OK for Chopin, depending on who the editor was (it says right on the front). My personal favorite Chopin editor is Karl Mikuli, who was a student of Chopin, so you can assume his editorial marks are well-informed. His are published by Dover and Schirmer, so they are not too expensive. Many people prefer the Paderewski editions. About pedaling Chopin--yes, it needs to be pedaled, sometimes to make a rich legato, sometimes to sustain the bass, and sometimes for emphasis on the big chords. Go with the pedaling you learned first, but also listen to recordings of the piece. Rubinstein, Horowitz, Pollini, Ashkenazy, Arrau... Does anyone else want to chime in here and list some of the wonderful "new" pianists out there?? Who are your favorite Chopin performers?

-- anon (noname_poster@yahoo.com), July 22, 2003.

Paste this link into your browser to hear a wonderful young Chinese pianist, Lang Lang, at http://www.saintpaulsunday.org/listings/shows03_07.htm. He's 20 years old and is incredible! He is so expressive! You can listen to the Saint Paul Sunday show and here him play these pieces: Franz Joseph Haydn: Sonata in E major, Hoboken XVI:31 I. Moderato Johannes Brahms: Six Pieces I. Intermezzo in a minor II. Intermezzo in A major III. Ballade in g minor IV. Intermezzo in f minor V. Romanze in F major VI. Intermezzo in e-flat minor Mily Balakirev: Islamey (Oriental Fantasy)

-- Sandy Wilkinson (sandy@pianomail.net), July 22, 2003.

I also think that for the time being, your student should play without the pedalling but later, she could enrich the wonderful sound of Chopin, however I'm sure that Chopin will not turn in the grave to hear a study without the pedal.

Good luck!

-- Harry Dadwell (01dadshj@christshospital.org), October 02, 2004.


Let me say that Chopin's Revolutionary Etude is not only very technically challenging, but also a very passionate piece of music. First of all, you should use the best edition. I believe that the edition that is edited by Paderewski is the best edition for the works of Chopin. The Paderewski edition is recognized worldwide for being one of the best and most thorough editions. Editions by Henle are also some of the best, except for Chopin. I think that you should play the piece both with and without pedaling. It sounds great either way. One last thing about the pedaling, make sure that you are precise with your pedaling otherwise you will smudge the piece making it sound like a puddle of mud. Good Luck!

-- Weston (wesjj_326@msn.com), March 01, 2005.

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