Author: Cowden, Tracy
Date published: February 1, 2012
Piano Chopin: Beliebte Nocturnes (Popular Nocturnes), edited by Jan Ekier. Wiener Urtext Edition , 2010. www.wiener-urtext.com; 24 pp., $13.95. Medium difficulty.
This new edition contains five Chopin nocturnes: E Minor Op. Posth., C-sharp Minor Op. Posth., E-flat Major Op. 9 No. 2, B Major Op. 32 No. 1 and F Minor Op. 55 No. 1., presented in that order, which is chronological by composition date. The edition is titled "Popular Nocturnes," and the editor, Jan Ekier, has selected the nocturnes that are likely taught most frequently, as these are among the least difficult technically of all Chopin's nocturnes.
This edition is easy to read; the spacing of the staves is not crowded, and Ekier includes far fewer fingering suggestions than other editions. For the most part, pedaling and other markings agree with other published editions of the nocturnes.
The nocturne in C-sharp Minor Op. Posth., also titled "Lento con gran espressione," does not appear in many so-called complete editions of the Chopin nocturnes, which makes this collection rather appealing. This nocturne, written in 1830 and dedicated to Chopin's sister Ludwika, was discovered after Chopin's death and first published in 1875. There are at least two different versions of this nocturne, and some editions of the nocturnes include both. Ekier has chosen to publish the version that most closely matches the one found in the Complete Works edition, edited by Paderewski and published by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute; however, this new edition leaves out the melodic material in measures 36-42. There are no editorial notes, so no explanation is given for this omission. Ekier is now the editor-in-chief of the National Edition of the Works of Fryderyk Chopin, so one would assume he has a good reason for publishing the version included here.
The clean layout, the selection of these particular nocturnes and especially the inclusion of the Nocturne in C-sharp Minor Op. Posth. make this a worthy first edition of nocturnes for any pianist just beginning to explore this repertoire. - Reviewed by Tracy Cowden, NCTM, Blacksburg Virginia
Reviewd by Tracy Cowden, NCTM, Blackshurg Virginia