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Tradition / Reception / Writings




Writings. A Bibliographical Outline

Any description of the literature devoted to Fryderyk Chopin has to be of a general nature because, during the two hundred years since the composer's birth, a great many books and articles on his life, personality and work have appeared, and their number, currently estimated at some 20,000, is still growing. They include the publications mentioned by Bronisław Edward Sydow in his Bibliografia F. F. Chopina, Warsaw 1949-1954 and by Kornel Michałowski in Bibliografia Chopinowska, 1849-1969, Cracow 1970, and the titles shown on the regularly updated list appearing in the subsequent issues of the Rocznik Chopinowski (1956-2001) and the Chopin Studies (1985-2001) brought out by the Fryderyk Chopin Society in Warsaw. This approximation however does not include the actual number of press articles appearing around the world, which it is impossible to establish.

The literature on Chopin began with an article published in an 1818 issue of Pamiętnik Warszawski. It was a review of the eight-year-old Fryderyk's Polonaise in G minor that had appeared in print the year before. From 1818 onwards the European press continually published reviews of Chopin's appearances and of his works. During the composer's Warsaw period Gazeta Warszawska, Kurier Warszawski and Gazeta Polska ran the greatest number of articles devoted to him. When Chopin lived in Paris it was the Revue musicale, Revue et Gazette musicale de Paris, and France musicale that printed most articles about the Polish composer. During Fryderyk's visit to England The Illustrated London News, The Athenaeum, The Manchester Guardian, The Glasgow Courier and The Edinburgh Evening Courant most frequently wrote about him. Among the plethora of articles appearing in the German-language press were the famous texts, which Robert Schumann contributed to the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung. His article of 7 December 1831 dealing with Chopin's Variations on a Theme of "La ci darem la mano" contained the widely-known exclamation: "Hats off, gentlemen, a genius!"

The texts published in Chopin's lifetime constitute both source literature and subject literature. However, many documents, which considerably added to the body of knowledge about the composer, started appearing after his death. They included letters, musical manuscripts, iconography, objects, testimonies and first-hand accounts provided by persons who had known him personally, etc. Some interesting discoveries are still made today, mostly during research into Chopin's artistic environment, for instance, about his journey to Brussels (Sophie Ruhlmann, Carl Constatt, the German Physician and Musician. Portrait, Letters and...the Discovery of Chopin's Journey to Brussels, "Rocznik Chopinowski 2001, nos. 24-25).

The sources of key importance include Chopin's own correspondence. The letter Chopin wrote to his teacher, Józef Elsner, on 26 January 1831 in Vienna was first published in 1857 in the Ruch Muzyczny of Warsaw, while the first collection of the composer's letters was published twenty years later as part of Maurycy Karasowski's monographic work, Friedrich Chopin, sein Leben, seine Werke und Brief (Dresden 1877, Berlin and New York 1878, London 1879, Warsaw 1882). Unfortunately the author was not a meticulous historian and his work led to many new legends about Chopin, which became quite popular. Karasowski also proliferated the existing ones - not only did he replicate unchecked information and enrich the composer's biography with his own ideas, but he also altered Chopin's letters by using abridged fragments and by adding fragments he had made up. He even replaced some originals with their summaries. Despite this, however, Karasowski's work was important because through his personal contacts with the composer's family and friends he came into possession of some invaluable information and had free access to the then extant letters and manuscripts, before some of them were destroyed, sharing Poland's tragic fate. Subsequent publications gradually corrected that first attempt at a complete biography, while new discoveries have constantly added to the overall picture.

The major publications of Chopin's correspondence at that time, i.e. before the appearance of the first edition which was considered complete (Chopin. Lettres, ed. Henryk Opieński, Paris 1933, Warsaw 1937), included Mieczysław Karłowicz's Nie wydane dotychczas pamiętniki po Chopinie, Warsaw 1904, Paris 1904, Ferdinand Hoesick's Chopiniana, vol. 1, Warsaw 1912, and Stanisław Pereświet-Sołtan's Listy Fryderyka Chopina do Jana Białobłockiego, Warsaw 1926.

The most widely-known publication containing a collection of letters which is still extant is Korespondencja Fryderyka Chopina, edited by Bronisław Edward Sydow (2 volumes, Warsaw 1955), and its imperfect French version produced in collaboration with Suzanne and Denise Chainaye (3 volumes, Paris 1953-1960). Sydow's publication was supplemented by Krystyna Kobylańska's critical editions of Chopin's correspondence with his family (Warsaw 1972) and with George Sand and her children (2 volumes, Warsaw 1981). An abridged version of Sydow's work is available in English - Selected Correspondence of Fryderyk Chopin, London 1962, translated by Arthur Hedley. There is also a German version, Frédéric Chopin Briefe (a selection of letters) edited by Krystyna Kobylańska (Frankfurt am Main 1984). Currently two Warsaw University professors, Zofia Helman, former director of the Institute of Musicology, and Zbigniew Skowron, and former director of the Chopin Museum Hanna Wróblewska-Straus, are working on a source-based, critical three-volume edition of Chopin's correspondence. So far the first volume has been published - Korespondencja Fryderyka Chopina, 1816-1831, Warsaw 2009.

Albums form a separate group. Some offer copies of a wide range of documents, which either are kept in museums or are privately owned, others depict Chopin's life by means of images together with a commentary. For instance, Leopold Binental's Chopin. W 120-tą rocznicę urodzin. Dokumenty i pamiątki (Warsaw 1930, Leipzig 1932, Paris 1934), Robert Bory's La vie de Chopin par l'image (Geneva 1951), Mieczysław Idzikowski and Bronisław E. Sydow's Portret Fryderyka Chopina (Cracow 1952), Krystyna Kobylańska's (ed.) impressive album Chopin w kraju (Cracow 1955), also available in French, German and English, Maria Mirska and Władysław Hordyński's Chopin na obczyźnie (Cracow 1965), Mieczysław Tomaszewski and Bożena Weber's Fryderyk Chopin. Diariusz par image (Cracow 1990) and Ernst Burger's Frédéric Chopin: eine Lebenschronik in Bildern und Dokumenten (Munich 1990), a richly illustrated book containing rigorously documented commentaries.

Both the catalogues of the exhibitions marking Chopin anniversaries and the publications, either presenting museum collections or related to consecutive International Chopin Piano Competitions, offer descriptions of documents and memorabilia. Publications worth-mentioning, edited by Hanna Wróblewska-Straus, include Katalog zbiorów, Warsaw 1969-1971, Podróż romantyczna Fryderyka Chopina i George Sand na Majorkę, Warsaw 1990, the catalogue of the exhibition displaying the part of the Museum's collections related to Chopin and Sand's stay at the Valldemossa monastery, prepared jointly with Bożena Adamczyk-Schmid, Warsaw 1990, the catalogue of the exhibition entitled Chopin and Liszt mounted in collaboration with the Franz Liszt Museum in Budapest, Warsaw 1995, and the catalogues of the exhibitions Chopin's Fame Spread Far and Wide, held on the 150th anniversary of the composer's death, and Fryderyk Chopin and the Kolberg Brothers Against a Backdrop of their Time. Friendship, Work, Fascination, Warsaw 2005.

The first comprehensive work dealing with Chopin's life and musical output was Liszt's biography Chopin (Paris 1851-1852). However, just like George Sand's Lucrezia Floriani (Paris 1846) and Histoire de ma vie (Paris 1854), Liszt's book depicted Chopin's personality in a way that was anything but impartial. The three books became a model for several dramatised biographies, each presenting a picture of the composer that was subjective, and hence biased. This led to the emergence of a romantically stylised myth of a permanently ill musician, "a person who suffered both mentally and physically," and whose "only fault in the eyes of posterity was that he wept too often," (Louis Énault, Hippolyte Barbedette, Maurycy Karasowski, Antoni Wodziński, Guy de Pourtalès and many others). Since the authors of these publications largely imitated each other, the myth persisted.

Adam Harasowski's The Skein of Legends Around Chopin (Glasgow 1967) helps us to separate the wheat from the chaff when dealing with such a deluge of low quality publications. While they may be useful for studying the reception of culture in general, they were a serious obstacle to understanding what kind of person Chopin really was. The development of scientific research in the late 19th century gave rise to a different trend in the writings about Chopin represented by the monographic works from the pen of Frederick Niecks - Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician (London 1888), James Gibbons Huneker - Chopin: the Man and his Music (New York 1900), Édouard Ganche - Frédéric Chopin. Sa vie et ses œuvres 1810-1849 (Paris 1909), Ferdynand Hoesick - Chopin. Życie i twórczość (3 volumes, Warsaw 1911), Arthur Hedley - Chopin (London 1947), Alan Walker - Frédéric Chopin : Profiles of the Man and the Musician (London 1966), Igor Bełza - Fryderyk F. Chopin (Warsaw 1969), Józef Chomiński - Fryderyk Chopin (Cracow 1978, Leipzig 1980), Tadeusz Andrzej Zieliński - Chopin. Życie i droga twórcza (Cracow 1993, Paris 1995), Jim Samson - Chopin (Oxford 1996), and the recent publications authored by Mieczysław Tomaszewski - Chopin. Człowiek, dzieło, rezonans (Poznań 1998) and Frédéric Chopin und seine Zeit (Laaber 1999), Marie-Paule Rambeau - Chopin: l'enchanteur autoritaire (Paris 2005), as well as the biographies in the true sense of the term written by William Murdoch - Chopin: his Life (New York 1935, London 1962), Adam Czartkowski and Zofia Jeżewska - Fryderyk Chopin (Warsaw 1970), Gastone Belotti - F. Chopin l'uomo (3 volumes, Milan 1974) and Adam Zamojski - Chopin. A Biography (London 1979 and 1986, Warsaw 1990). There were also illustrated pocket-size monographies, such as Chopin written by Camille Bourniquel (Paris 1955 and 1994), «Chapeau bas, Messieurs, un genie...». Frédéric Chopin by Michel Pazdro (Paris 1989) and Chopin by Bożena Weber (Wrocław 2000).

The comprehensive approach provided by these works is in contrast to those publications offering a synthesis of the most important facts about the composer and his work, for instance, Alfred Cortot's Aspects de Chopin (Paris 1949) and Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger's Frédéric Chopin (Paris 2003, Warsaw 2008).

The biographical genre is not confined merely to the above-mentioned works, which either deal with the composer's entire life or offer a monographic approach, skilfully combining the description of Chopin's musical output and biographical facts. The broad range of issues, which Chopin's biography encompasses, has been thematically divided. Countless articles discussing various matters, biographical discoveries, historical and cultural backgrounds, and new documents, such as letters and musical manuscripts, have been published in many periodicals, mainly in Poland, including "Ruch Muzyczny", a Warsaw biweekly which has been in circulation since the mid 19th century, and in collections of individual articles, for instance, Rocznik Chopinowski and Chopin Studies published by the Fryderyk Chopin Society between 1956 and 2001. Such detailed research projects frequently led to lengthy publications, which exhaustively discussed a subject. One example may be the works devoted to the composer's origin - Les Origines lorraines de Frédéric Chopin (Sarreguemines 1999) by Gabriel Ladaique, Rodzina matki Chopina (Warsaw 2000) by Andrzej Sikorski and Piotr Mysłakowski and Rodzina ojca Chopina (Warsaw 2002) by P. Mysłakowski.

Publications devoted to the composer's homeland include Tadeusz Frączyk's Warszawa młodości Chopina (Cracow 1961), Iwo and Pamela Załuski's Chopin's Poland (London 1996, Warsaw 1999), Marita Albán Juárez and Ewa Sławińska-Dahlig's Polska Chopina (Warsaw 2007) and Halina Goldberg's Music in Chopin's Warsaw (New York 2008). Chopin's travels have been discussed in Édouard Ganche's Voyages avec Chopin (Paris 1934), Franz Zagiba's Chopin und Wien (Vienna 1951), Marcel Godeau's Le voyage à Majorque de George Sand et Frédéric Chopin (Paris 1959), Jaroslav Procházka's Chopin und Böhmen (Prague 1968), Ber- nadette Chovelon and Christian Abbadie's La Chartreuse de Valldemosa. George Sand et Chopin à Majorque (Paris 1959), and Iwo and Pamela Załuski's The Scottish Autumn of Frederick Chopin (Edinburgh 1993). The composer's life in France has been described in The Parisian Worlds of Frédéric Chopin by William G. Atwood (New Haven and London 1999, Warsaw 2005). Chopin's relationship with George Sand has been the subject of Chopin dans la vie et l'œuvre de George Sand by Marie-Paule Rambeau (Paris 1985, Warsaw 2009), Chopin chez George Sand. Sept étés à Nohant by Sylvie Delaigue-Moins (Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire 1992, Warsaw 2000), and Chopin i George Sand: Miłość nie od pierwszego wejrzenia by Mieczysław Tomaszewski (Cracow 2003). Fryderyk's illness has been dealt with by Édouard Ganche in his Souffrances de Frédéric Chopin. Essai de médecine et de psychologie (Paris 1935), Francesco Eugenio Negro in Ho visitato Chopin: divagazioni tra omeopatia e psicoanalisi (Milan 1994) and Czesław Sielużycki in Chopin - geniusz cierpiący (Podkowa Leśna 1999), while the Polish composer's concerts have provided the subject of William G. Atwood's book, Fryderyk Chopin. Pianist from Warsaw (New York 1987).

Research into Chopin's musical output is at the opposite end of the spectrum of subjects covered by the writings on the great composer. The autographs and first editions provide the basic sources as regards the works, which Chopin himself sent to be printed and which were published mainly by Maurice Schlesinger, Troupenas & Cie and Brandus & Cie in Paris, by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, and by Wessel in London. As regards the numerous compositions which were printed after the composer's death from 1851 onwards, the major sources include Julian Fontana's Œuvres posthumes pour piano de Fréd. Chopin (J. Meissonnier Fils, Paris 1855, A.M. Schlesinger, Berlin 1855) and Zbiór śpiewów polskich (Gebethner i Spółka, Warsaw 1859, A.M. Schlesinger, Berlin 1859). The catalogues compiled by Krystyna Kobylańska - Rękopisy utworów Chopina (2 volumes, Cracow 1977) and Frédéric Chopin. Thematisch-bibliographisches Werkverzeichnis (Munich 1979), Katalog dzieł Fryderyka Chopina (Cracow and Warsaw 1990) put together by Józef Chomiński and Teresa Dalila Turło, and Christopher Grabowski and John Rink's An Annotated Catalogue of Chopin's First Editions (Cambridge 2005), each contains a list and descriptions of all preserved documents, autographs and editions.

The facsimile editions of Chopin's musical autographs allow us to study these invaluable manuscripts outside the museums, where they are kept. They include Faksymilowane wydanie autografów Fryderyka Chopina (11 volumes, Cracow 1951-66), the editions marking 150 years of the composer's death, the National Library editions (Warsaw 1999) and those prepared by the Chopin Museum in Warsaw (Gdańsk-Warsaw 1999-2000); also Dzieła Chopina. Wydanie faksymilowe, a facsimile series published from 2005 under the auspices of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute for the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth.

Since the time when Chopin's works came to be generally known by the music-loving public in Germany, England, Austria, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, the United States, and Japan, there have appeared some fifty editions of his entire musical output, each appropriately revised and containing a critical commentary. Chopin's former pupils were the first to undertake the task of putting out new editions of their master's works. They were Georges Mathias (Œuvres choisies de Chopin, Lemoine Aîné, Paris 1859), Thomas Tellefsen (Collection des œuvres pour le piano par Frédéric Chopin, Richault, Paris 1860), Karol Mikuli (Fr. Chopin's Pianoforte-Werke, Kistner, Leipzig 1879) and others. Also, there have been many composers, pianists and pedagogues who have come up with their own editions of Chopin's works - Eugen d'Albert, Paul Badura-Skoda, Béla Bartók, Alfredo Casella, Jörg Demus, Louis Diémer, Ignaz Friedman, Motonari Iguchi, Charles Klindworth, Louis Köhler, Lazare Levy, Antoine Marmontel, Aleksander Michałowski, Maurycy Moszkowski, Heinrich Neuhaus, Isidore Philipp, Raoul Pugno and Emil Sauer.

The major editions include Werke von Friedrich Chopin (Woldemar Bargiel, Johannes Brahms, Auguste Franchomme, Franz Liszt, Carl Reinecke et Ernst Rudorff, Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig 18781880), Frédéric Chopin. Œuvres de piano by Jan Kleczyński (Gebethner i Wolff, Warszawa 1882), Claude Debussy's Chopin. Œuvres complètes pour piano (Durand & Cie, Paris 19151916), Alfred Cortot's Édition nationale de musique classique. Édition de travail des œuvres de Chopin (Maurice Senart, Paris 19151939; Salabert, Paris 19411947), Édouard Ganche's The Oxford Original Edition of Frederick Chopin (Oxford University Press, London 1932), the Polish edition by Ignacy Paderewski, Ludwik Bronarski and Józef Turczyński - Fryderyk Chopin. Dzieła wszystkie (PWM, Instytut Fryderyka Chopina, Kraków-Warszawa 1961); also Frédéric Chopin Werke Urtext (G. Henle Verlag, Munich 19561993) by Hermann Keller, Ewald Zimmermann, Ernst Herttrich and Hans Martin Theopold.

The new large editions of recent years have been steadily complemented. These are Wydanie narodowe dzieł Fryderyka Chopina edited by Jan Ekier and Paweł Kamiński (PWM, Kraków, since 1967), containing a detailed description of the editorial criteria (Jan Ekier, Wstęp do wydania narodowego dzieł Fryderyka Chopina, TiFC-PWM, Kraków 1974) and the latest edition by John Rink, Jim Samson, Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger and Christophe Grabowski, The Complete Chopin. A New Critical Edition (Edition Peters, London, ed 2003). There are also numerous editions of selected works coming out in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and Asia.

Transcriptions of Chopin's music started appearing very early - their number has now exceeded 1500! At first they accompanied the publication of individual works, frequently with the composer's consent. The variety of instruments for which Chopin's works have been transcribed, and of the instrumental-vocal combinations, is genuinely amazing: piano for four hands, violin and piano, cello and piano, voice and piano, choirs, organs, quartet, quintet, orchestra, accordion, saxophone, trombone, cornet, xylophone, bandonéon, classical or electric guitar, mandolin, zither, and balalaika, etc. The transcriptions reflect different styles, from those faithfully following the originals to jazz. The most frequently transcribed compositions include the E-flat-major Nocturne from opus 9, the Funeral March from the B-flat-minor Sonata op.35, the Etude in E minor from op. 10, the Polonaise in A major from op. 40 and the song, The Wish. The most impressive is the monumental collection of etude arrangements by the legendary pianist Leopold Godowski, 50 Studien für Pianoforte über die Etüden von F. Chopin (A.M. Schlesinger, Berlin 1898-1914). The composer Franck Krawczyk's recent transcriptions of the Etude in E flat minor op. 10 and the Largo from the B-minor Sonata for the mixed chamber choir Accentus under the direction of Laurence Equilbey offer amazing metamorphoses of Chopin's original texts, achieved through a mood of concentration and ecstasy.

Chopin's work as a pianist and as a teacher is best described in the publications containing analyses of relevant documents and testimonies. There are primarily two fundamental works by Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, Chopin vu par ses éleves (constantly updated, Neuchâtel 1970, 1979 and 1988, Tokyo 1983 and 2006, Cambridge 1986, Cracow 2000, Paris 2006) and Frédéric Chopin, Esquisse pour une méthode de piano (Paris 1993, Cracow 1995). A description of Chopin's playing and the advice he gave his pupils provide the basis for pianists' search of suitable interpretations. These issues are raised in Jan Kleczyński's O wykonywaniu dzieł Chopina (Warsaw 1879; Paris 1880; Leipzig 1908; Cracow 1959), Raoul Pugno's Les leçons écrites. Chopin (Paris 1909) and Les leçons écrites. Chopin. Les Quatorze Valses (Paris 1912), Raoul Koczalski's Frédéric Chopin. Conseils d'interprétation (Paris 1910, new edition by Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger (Paris 1998), and in How Chopin Played. From Contemporary Impressions by Edith J. Hipkins (London 1937), Chopin Playing: From the Composer to the Present Day by James Methuen-Campbell (London 1981), L'Interprétation de Chopin en France ed. Daniele Pistone (Paris 1990) and Jak grać Chopina - próba odpowiedzi (Warsaw 2000) Regina Smendzianka.

A conference held by Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger and Emmanuel Hondré in the Parisian Cité de la Musique in 2005 raised issues relevant to pianos used in Chopin's day and discussed the musical texts of Chopin's compositions and how to interpret them, with historical recordings illustrating finer points. The conference materials were later edited by J.-J. Eigeldinger and published - Interpréter Chopin. Actes du colloque des 25 et 26 mai 2005, Paris 2006. Recently Jean Jude has thoroughly analysed all issues regarding the Pleyel pianos, especially the instruments owned by Chopin - Pleyel. 17571857 La passion d'un siècle, Tours 2008. The author made some astonishing discoveries, including the previously unknown information about Chopin's concert in Tours on 3 September 1833.

The recordings made by countless Chopin interpreters have been regularly reviewed in the musical press. They are listed in Józef Kański's catalogue, Dyskografia chopinowska: Historyczny katalog nagrań płytowych, Cracow 1986. Also, the various interpretations gave rise to research into pianists' reception of Chopin's music, which, in turn, has helped us determine how the method of recreating the intentions contained in Chopin's texts has evolved over consecutive eras.

The events which help popularise the composer's music, such as piano festivals and competitions (primarily the Chopin Competition in Warsaw), have invariably been accompanied by publications. One such publication worth mentioning is Chopin in the World (Vienna), the annual journal of the International Federation of Chopin Societies, describing the activities pursued by these numerous organisations with the aim of promoting Chopin's work.

The first, and rather superficial, studies made in the 19th century and the in-depth analyses carried out in the 20th and 21st centuries have focused on a comprehensive, detailed examination of Chopin's work. Different approaches - structuralism, schenkerism, neoshenkerism - have been adopted to investigate Chopin's composing technique. History, aesthetics, hermeneutics and postmodernist criticism have provided the different angles for researchers, who aimed at placing Chopin's musical output against the backdrop of his times. They attempted to define the characteristic features of his music, to place it in the historical context, and to find out its many various meanings. In the course of the research, which has undergone many transformations due to the evolution of science, all facets of Chopin's works have been analysed: harmony, tonality, modality, chromaticism, counterpoint, melody, embellishments, rhythm, metre, rubato, agogics, form, composing process, genres, style, expression, influences (bel canto, folk and traditional national music, baroque and classical music, etc.). These have links to Chopin's contemporary composers and they had an impact on later generations. It is worth noting, that due to new discoveries, huge progress has been made over the past thirty years in the research into Chopin. Consequently, new light has been shed on Chopin, the man and the composer.

Since the 19th century musical journals in Europe and America have run countless essays on Chopin. Their lists can be found in the books by Jeffrey Kallberg - Chopin at the Boundaries: Sex, History, and Musical Genres, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1996 and Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger - L'univers musical de Chopin, Paris 2000, and by other authors; also in collective works, such as Międzynarodowe sympozjum muzykologiczne: Chopin i romantyzm, Warszawa 17-23 października 1986 (Rocznik Chopinowski nos. 19 and 20, Warsaw 1990 and 1992) ; Chopin Studies 1 & 2 (ed. Jim Samson and John Rink, Cambridge 1988, 1994), The Cambridge Companion to Chopin (ed. Jim Samson, Cambridge 1992), La fortune de Frédéric Chopin 1 & 2 (ed. Francis Claudon, Zbigniew Naliwajek, Hanna Wróblewska-Straus, Joanna Żurowska, Warsaw, Dijon, Paris 1994 and 1995) and five volumes of Chopin w kręgu przyjaciół ed. Irena Poniatowska (Warsaw 1995-1999), which discuss Chopin's artistic friendships with Liszt, Bellini, Franchomme and the Schumanns, and with some Polish musicians and Parisian virtuosos. Periodical publications should also be mentioned. These are Rocznik Chopinowski and Chopin Studies (the Fryderyk Chopin Society, Warsaw), Chopin in the World (the International Federation of Chopin Societies), and the new series of publications which have been put out after the annual conferences held every December in Warsaw by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute: vol. I. Chopin - In Search of the Common Language (in Polish, Warsaw 2001); vol. II. Chopin's Work. His Inspirations and the Creative Process in the Light of the Sources (in English and French, Warsaw 2002), vol. III. Analytical Perspectives on the Music of Chopin (in English and French, Warsaw 2003), vol. IV. Chopin in Performance: History, Theory, Practice (in English and French, Warsaw 2004), vol. V. The Sources of Chopin's Creative Style: Inspirations and Contexts (in English and French, Warsaw 2005); vol. VI. Chopin in Paris: the 1830's (in English and French, Warsaw 2006), vol. VII. Chopin's Musical Worlds: the 1840's (in English and French, Warsaw 2007).

Some issues have been explored in lengthy studies and monographic works published in book form. The major ones include Helena Windakiewiczowa's Wzory ludowej muzyki polskiej w Mazurkach Fryderyka Chopina (Cracow 1926), Bronisława Wójcik-Keuprulian's Melodyka Chopina (Lvov 1930), Ludwik Bronarski's Harmonika Chopina (Warsaw 1935), Maria Ottich's Die Bedeutung des Ornaments im Schaffen Friedrich Chopin (Berlin 1937), Gerald Abraham's Chopin's Musical Style (Oxford 1939), Ludwik Bronarski's Chopin et l'Italie (Lausanne 1946), David Branson's John Field and Chopin (London 1972), Maciej Gołąb's Chromatyka i tonalność w muzyce Chopina (Cracow 1991, Cologne 1995), Zofia Chechlińska's Wariacje i technika wariacyjna w twórczości Chopina (Cracow 1995), Danuta Jasińska's Styl brillant a muzyka Chopina (Poznań 1995) and Andrzej Tuchowski's Integracja strukturalna w świetle przemian stylu Chopina (Cracow 1996).

Also individual compositions have been the subject of separate studies. They are included in the works of Witold Chrzanowski - Die Rondos von F. Chopin (Lvov 1921), Seweryn Barbag - Studium o pieśnach Chopina (1927), Lev Mazel - Fantazja f-moll Chopina (Moscow 1937, Cracow 1965), Janusz Miketta - Mazurki (Cracow 1949), J. M. Chomiński - Preludia (Cracow 1950) and Sonaty Chopina (Cracow 1960), Irena Barbag-Dreschler - Die Impromptus von Fryderyk Chopin (Vienna 1966), Ursula Dammeier-Kirpal - Der Sonatensatz bei Frédéric Chopin (Wiesbaden 1973), Silvain Guignard - Frédéric Chopins Walzer (Baden-Baden 1986), Jim Samson - Chopin: The Four Ballades (Cambridge 1992) and John Rink - The Piano Concertos (Cambridge 1997).

The monographs exploring Chopin's musical output include An Essay on the Works of Frederick Chopin by James William Davison (London, 1842-1843), Analyse der Chopinischen Klavierwerke (Berlin 1921) by Hugo Leichtentritt, Chopin by Gastone Belotti (Turin 1984), The Music of Chopin by Jim Samson (London 1985) and Muzyka Chopina na nowo odczytana by Mieczysław Tomaszewski (Cracow 1996).

Chopin's personality and work have been discussed in a great variety of essays, ranging from short articles to larger works. Some of the authors were professional writers, including Stanisław Przybyszewski - Zur Psychologie des Individuums. 1. Chopin und Nietzsche (Berlin 1882, Wrocław 1966; French version, Bedée 2005), André Gide - Notes sur Chopin (Brussels 1938, Paris 1948, Cracow 2007), Vladimir Jankélévitch - Chopin et la nuit (Lyon 1942, new edition, Le nocturne, Paris 1957), Boris Pasternak - Chopin (in the magazine Leningrad, 1945), Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz - Fryderyk Chopin (Cracow 1955 and 1984, Paris 1966) and Ryszard Przybylski - Cień jaskółki: esej o myślach Chopina (Cracow 1995). The other group were composers, who followed in the footsteps of Liszt and presented their views of Chopin's work. Among them were Paul Dukas - À propos du monument Chopin (Paris 1910, in: Les écrits de Paul Dukas sur la musique, Paris 1948), Maurice Ravel - Impressions (Paris 1910), Déodat de Séverac - Souvenirs. À Ricardo Viñes (Paris 1910), Ignacy Jan Paderewski - Chopin (Lvov, Paris and London 1911), Karol Szymanowski - Fryderyk Chopin (in Skamander journal, 1923) and André Boucourechliev - Regard sur Chopin (Paris 1996). These essays also convey the spirit of the era in which they were written and therefore they may provide a separate subject for study.

The reception of Chopin the man and the composer by performers, listeners and Chopin writers is, itself, an extensive area of research both from a social, historical and cultural point of view, and from an aesthetic angle. This issue mainly relates to Chopin's impact on other artists (musicians, poets, writers, painters, sculptors, filmmakers) and the mark his works left on the music of Polish (e.g. Szymanowski), Czech (e.g. Smetana), German (e.g. Brahms, Wagner, Mahler, Reger), Russian (e.g. Balakirev, Lyadov, Scriabin, Rakhmaninov) and French (e.g. Debussy, Ravel) composers. Works dealing with this subject include Frédéric Chopin et Gabriel Fauré by Wanda Landowska (Paris 1946). Chopin's music and his personality as a source of poetic inspiration are discussed in a collective work edited by Edmund Słuszkiewicz, Wiersze o Chopinie. Antologia i bibliografia (Cracow 1968). Also critical essays on Chopin's music and the multi-faceted approach to its role in European culture are the subjects of various studies. Irena Poniatowska deals with the latter issue in her W kręgu recepcji i rezonansu muzyki. Szkice chopinowskie (Warsaw 2008).

Celebrations marking consecutive anniversaries of Chopin's birth and death have usually been accompanied by numerous publications. In 1910 there appeared special issues of Die Musik in Berlin, Neue Musik-Zeitung in Stuttgart, and Le Courrier musical in Paris, to mention a few. Among the music magazines which ran special issues in the years 1931-1932 were the Parisian La Revue musicale and Bravo, and the Warsaw-based Muzyka. In 1949 Revue française de l'élite of Paris, La Rassegna musicale of Milan and Warsaw's Kwartalnik Muzyczny printed special issues. In 1960 the special-issue music magazines included Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (Leipzig), Peuples amis (Paris), Musica d'oggi (Milan), and Ruch Muzyczny (Warsaw).

Many other publications, including albums and almanacs, have appeared on these occasions, while international congresses and conferences have produced several large collections of papers delivered at them. On the 150th anniversary of Chopin's birth The Book of the First International Musicological Congress Devoted to the Works of Frederick Chopin (ed. Zofia Lissa, Warsaw 1963) came out. Chopin and his Works in the Context of Culture (2 volumes, ed. Irena Poniatowska, Cracow 2003) was published on the 150th anniversary of Chopin's death, as were Chopin's Œuvre as the Source of Performance Inspirations (The Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy, Warsaw 1999), Frédéric Chopin (in Ostinato rigore no. 15, the Sorbonne, Paris 2000) and Chopin, 1849/1999. Aspekte der Rezeptions-und Interpretationsgeschichte (ed. Andreas Ballstaedt, Düsseldorf congress materials, Schliengen 2003). The Age of Chopin - a paper delivered by Halina Goldberg at Indiana University (1999), and J-J. Eigeldinger's Frédéric Chopin. Interprétations, presented at a scientific session in Geneva (1999).

2010 is the jubilee year marking two hundred years of Chopin's birth. The many cultural events held across the globe will no doubt bring a variety of new publications. The 3rd International Congress Chopin 1810-2010, organised and held between February 25th and March 1st in Warsaw by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, discussed issues related to the general theme "Ideas, interpretations, impact" - the ideas which inspired Chopin's works, the interpretation of these works and their impact on other composers' music and on other forms of artistic expression and intellectual pursuits."

The affectionate interest in Chopin is not only expressed through playing or listening to his music, but also through attempts to understand the changes in the approach to the composer over consecutive decades. Finding out more and more about Chopin from books and essays gives one unceasing satisfaction. While the secret of his genius and work will remain as elusive as ever, and works of art are by their integral nature unassailable, the desire to explore their inner layers will never end. The great catalogue, listing a complete Chopin bibliography, remains an open book to which new pages are constantly added.

Sophie Ruhlmann
English translation: Jerzy Ossowski




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