ショパン・ナショナル・エディション(英語の説明)


Fascinated with Chopin's music, Count Astolph de Custine wrote to the composer, "You are not playing on the piano, but on the soul. 
50 years have passed since these words were written and Chopin's music still charms, with its wealth and depth of emotion, new generations of pianists and listeners, so that today millions of people all over the world find, as if bewitched by it, the most tender and sublime emotions, of which a human being is capable.
However, before we give in to the charm of a Nocturne or a Ballade, the performer must become familiar with the musical text.
In notating his works Chopin was able to include many interpretational suggestions and he did this in a sophisticated, often unconventional way notation of his music is not only an instruction but also an inspiration for the performer.
That is why it is extremely important for the printed text to reconstruct as faithfully as possible both the letter and the spirit of the Chopin's manuscript. This task can only be fully realised by a critical edition of the original text, called

THE URTEXT EDITION
The basis for each urtext edition is taken from the original sources, i.e. autographs, copies and prints corrected by the composer or, if possible, other reliable sources. All the changes and supplementations - if they are necessary - must be graphically distinguished from the text. The characterisation of the sources, the description of divergences between them, the justification of editorial decisions should be documented in a source commentary.
A good urtext edition should also contain a performance commentary and some information about the circumstances of the production of the published works.

THE NATIONAL EDITION is just the urtext edition of all Chopin's works, prepared by means of the most modern scientific methods on the basis of all the available sources. The National Edition, begun by PWM Edition, is realised by a foundation specially created for this purpose. The editorial work demands complete devotion to Chopin from the authors of the Edition, because the wealth of his invention when combined with his nature, sometimes capricious (he called himself The most undecided person in the world), produces extraordinarily varied and complicated problems when trying to grasp the full, unadulterated intention of the composer.
The variants, or the authentic variations of the text, given in the National Edition, are an evident manifestation of that wealth of invention. This varying quality constitutes one of the fundamental characteristics of Chopin's creative thinking; therefore, an edition without variants would give an abridged and impoverished image of his work.
In Chopin's notation even those elements, which have no direct influence on the tone, such as, for instance, certain graphic features or chromatic orthography, may be of basic importance for the deciphering of various tonal subtleties and the shades of meaning of the music.
The autographs (and sometimes even the proofs of the prints) bear traces of elaboration of astoundingly tiny details of notation. The manuscripts forming the result of these endeavours were described by Chopin with jocular tenderness as "manuscript flies" he also wrote about them: "I shouldn like to give this spider's web to any fat copyist" or "I do love my b o r i n g written music" We, too, simply love Chopin's written music and that is why we wish for the National Edition to form a specific ideal fair copy of his works, just as suggestive as an autograph and, at the same time, devoid of mistakes and inadequacies. Apart from the essential precision we place especial emphasis on the graphic aspect of the publication. Our computer typesetting of the music is a real handicraft, combined with a watchmaker's precision. The National Edition forms a reliable and comfortable basis for scientific research. In the Source Commentaries musicologists will find fundamental information about the sources together with an evaluation of the degree of their authenticity, a description of mutual connections (called 吐iliation) and a discussion of the more important divergences as well as the principles of editing the music text of particular works. Also, information has been given about the more serious deviations from the authentic text found in the most popular collected editions of Chopin's works.
Principally, however, the National Edition is addressed to the performer. In the music text, beside Chopin's fingering, we give, in different type, the fingering used in contemporary concert practice and the Performance Commentaries explain all these elements of music notation which may raise doubts today. They include:
●writing out the ornaments in full,
●pedalling indications,
●suggestions as to the realisation of "harmonic legato" a performing device which Chopin liked to use and which is forgotten now,
●alternate fingering.
That is why it is easy to play from the National Edition.

The National Edition gains favourable opinions from the most distinguished specialists ー pianists, musicologists, conductors:
●Professor Paul Badura-Skoda has said that "the National Edition is so far the best available Chopin edition made with extreme care and precision"
●Professor Jim Samson has written that "by far the best of the modern editions is Jan Ekier's Polish National.
Ekier does work with well thought-through editorial principles and his text comes closer than any other to a faithful reproduction of a single ("best")source".
●Professor Frans Brugen, who performed Chopin's Concertos with the Orchestra of the 18th Century from the scores of the National Edition, has remarked that "new urtext of Chopin's Works prepared by professor Jan Ekier seems to be very trustworthy. Having compared all the different sources available, Professor Ekier was able to make good editorial decisions".
Encouraged by the favourable evaluations we are confident enough to address the following appeal to all those, who can play the piano, both amateurs and students as well as veterans of the concert hall.


Return to Catalog