Episode 160: The Chopin Editions

Mazurka No. 51: A minor, 'Notre Temps' (KK 919-924)

rc-editions-200In Paris, it was called Chopin’s Mazurka Élégante. In London, you’d see it listed as the Cracow Mazourek. But the German publication with the French title is the best known: Notre Temps – “Our Time.” Same piece; three different editions. Today, thanks to the digital age, you can see them all.

The Chopin collection at the University of Chicago Library - home of one of the great treasure troves of Chopiniana. The collection includes more than 400 first and early printed editions of Chopin’s works. And now you can see them all online, through an ambitious digital imaging and database project that lets you sift, sort, and view through the frontspieces, the titling, and even the dedications of practically every work by Chopin published before 1881.

Looking at the delicate, intricate engravings and elaborate typefaces is a fascinating window into the music business in Chopin’s time – and a far cry of our far more functional age of digital downloads. Chopin’s Mazurka Notre Temps was found in a collection of the latest and most fashionable keyboard music – au courant, you might say – festooned with curlicues, an array of antique fonts, and a sense that something Grand and Important was inside. And it was - a brand new Mazurka by Fryderyk Chopin. - Benjamin K. Roe

More info: The Fryderyk Chopin Institute


Radio Chopin Episode 160: The Chopin Editions

Mazurka No. 51: A minor, 'Notre Temps' (KK 919-924)

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