Talk:Contredanse in G-flat major, B.17 (Chopin, Frédéric)

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Wrong key in title.

This piece is in G-flat major, not G-sharp major as wrongly stated in the title.

The title therefore needs changing, but I'm not quite sure how to do it. M.J.E. 02:23, 8 September 2008 (EDT)

Maybe I could move this to another page. Added details BTW. --Aewanko 21:39, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

Done! --Aewanko 21:41, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

This edition is probably abridged.

I just thought I'd point out, for anyone who's interested, that this edition appears to be abridged: I have another copy of this in which the C-flat major trio halfway down the second page is 16 bars long, not 8. It is essentially the same music, but it appears twice, possibly slightly varied the second time around. It seems a superior version, in that the 8-bar version of the Trio seems to be too short and fleeting, whereas it makes a better impact, and has a better balance with the surrounding sections, in its 16-bar version.

I forget which edition this other version is (I don't have it handy to check), but if it ever gets posted here, I will just point out that in the D-flat major section, first bar (9th whole bar of the piece), this other edition wrongly gives A-flat as the first bass-note, instead of the F correctly given in the current edition. And again later on when this same theme reappears on the last page.

I can't give any scholarly reasons for believing this to be the case; but if you play it with the A-flat, it's quite interesting, but not very characteristic of Chopin, whereas if you play it with the F, it's exactly what you'd expect in Chopin. I realized straight away that it didn't sound quite right, and it wasn't until I'd played it through a few times that it suddenly dawned on me that changing those two A-flats to Fs completely corrected the not-quite-right feeling.

If I could, I would submit this other edition, assuming it is acceptable within copyright limits (which I don't actually know); but I don't have a scanner or any other means of submitting it.

I think this is a delicious little piece, the sort of thing that can go round your head for hours. (I think it once latched onto me for a few days running, after I played it a few times.) It seems to be one of those totally natural, spontaneous pieces that, when you hear it, almost makes you think you've really known it for years in some forgotten corner of your mind. M.J.E. 13:41, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I've now found my copy of this piece (going through my music to look for things to play at an upcoming wedding reception I've been asked to play at - and I'm planning to use this delightful piece), and thought I'd update this a little.
The edition is by J. Curwen & Sons Ltd., and includes Mazurka in D major (not any of the standard Mazurkas, but a very early (and not nearly so good) piece from 1817 (well, maybe we should allow for Chopin being only 7 when he wrote it)), and the Contredanse from 1827 (at age 17). The edition is in the "Autograph Series of Unknown Classics", edited by Jack Werner.
Comparing this copy with the ones already on this site, there are numerous tiny differences - in the phrasing, dynamics, and a few notes here and there either added to or omitted from chords. The note at the top of the Contredanse claims to be following Chopin's phrasing and dynamics, even though these differ from the other copies already on this site.
These small differences are too numerous to list here, but it's worth pointing out in what ways my version of the piece is longer than the ones on this site - this difference in length being by far the most significant point of difference between the different versions.
I already pointed out earlier how the C-flat major Trio is longer in my copy - namely, it is repeated - not marked between repeat signs but actually printed out twice - but the second version seems to be identical to the first as to the notes, so if you wanted to play this longer version from the copies on this site, it would get the right effect if you simply inserted repeat signs: the opening sign at the beginning of the first staff which uses 7 flats (before the two notes in the upbeat, that is), and the closing sign at the very end of the Trio, just before the key-signature change to 6 flats.
But the dynamics differ, which is probably why my copy notates the theme twice, instead of enclosing it between repeat signs. In my copy, the first occurrence of this theme is marked "mp grazioso", and the second "pp". (I would consider playing the second occurrence "una corda".) Also, the first time around, there are a few "hairpin" diminuendo and crescendo signs in the first 4 bars, but the pianissimo version remains "pp" throughout these 4 bars. However, the slightly climactic point in bars 5 and 6 of the theme is marked "mf", then "f", in both versions. The last bar of the first version is marked "poco rall.", but the *penultimate* bar of the second version is marked "molto rall."
Also, the main Gb-major theme of 8 bars is notated twice in my copy the first time it appears, whereas the versions on this site all state the theme just the once the first time it appears. Again, in this case, the second occurrence is softer: "p" throughout, as against the "mp" in its first statement. Other than that, there are no significant differences between the two statements.
The three later occurrences of this theme in my copy are given just once on each occasion in my copy, just like in the versions on this site. That means that, in my copy, this theme appears 5 times in all, as against the 4 times in the other versions. All 5 appearances of this theme do differ slightly in their dynamic markings.
These differences in length could be summarized neatly by using the A-B-C system of indicating the structure of a piece: my copy is in the form AABACCABA, whereas the versions on this site are ABACABA. I prefer the longer version myself, although I have no way of knowing which one Chopin himself wrote.
There is also a difference in the last appearance of the main theme: from the fourth-last bar in my copy, a "pp" marking is given (lacking in the versions on this site), and the penultimate bar contains a "dim.", leading to "ppp" for the last bar.
I play the second statement of the Cb-major Trio una corda, as I do the last 4 bars of the piece.
I've already noted before the difference which appears in the first bass-note of the Db-major theme: Ab in my copy, F in both the versions on this site. I still believe the Ab in my copy is incorrect.
I know nothing about scanning music, so can't very well post my copy here, and I also don't know if copyright considerations would permit this or not. But I thought that, if anyone wanted to play the longer (and, in my opinion, preferable) version, I would at least point out the main differences between the longer and shorter versions. If you use one of the versions given here, and adopt the things I've mentioned above, you will come very close to playing the longer version properly. M.J.E. 10:19, 24 February 2013 (EST)
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