Leipzig ... Paris: Breitkopf & Härtel ... M. Schlesinger [PN 6652], .
Folio. Recent marbled boards with manuscript paper title label to spine. 1f. (recto title, verso blank), [i] (blank), 4-14 pp. Title lithographed, music engraved.
Small publisher's stamp to blank lower margin of title.
First German edition, first issue. Chomiński-Turło, p. 73. Grabowski-Rink 47-1-B&H (with final blank leaf). Hoboken 4, 381. Platzman pp. 180-81.
"Although Chopin’s critical standing as a composer grew steadily during the 18 months he spent in Paris from October 1839 to June 1841, it was in reality a far from productive period. It seems that around this time he engaged in a major re-examination of his artistic aims, and it was only when he returned to Nohant for the summer of 1841 that the results became evident. Interestingly he requested treatises on counterpoint almost as soon as he arrived, and by the end of the summer he had completed the Prelude op.45, the Nocturnes op.48, and two major works, the A♭ Ballade op.47 and the F minor Fantasy op.49. He was increasingly perfectionist about his art at this time, writing of the Ballade and Fantasy, ‘I cannot give them enough polish’, and his compositional process became correspondingly slow and laborious. The richness and complexity of the music of the 1840s is a testament to this, almost as though the difficulty of composition and the resistance it set up wrested from him only music of an exceptional, transcendent quality.
[Chopin] combined a gift for melody, an adventurous harmonic sense, an intuitive and inventive understanding of formal design and a brilliant piano technique in composing a major corpus of piano music. One of the leading 19th-century composers who began a career as a pianist, he abandoned concert life early; but his music represents the quintessence of the Romantic piano tradition and embodies more fully than any other composer’s the expressive and technical characteristics of the instrument." Jim Samson in Grove Music Online.
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