A - Autograph

Date: lato 1837
Title: Impromptu
Dedication: Mlle la Csse de Lobau

An autograph fair copy meant as a Stichvorlage for the first German edition (GE1). It was made probably in summer 1837, which is evidenced by Chopin’s remark written (in French) on the title page: ‘to be published on 15 October 1837’. The manuscript, as is usually the case with base texts for print, contains elements written in a foreign hand in the editing process; within the musical text, those are engraver’s marks (digits) in pencil or crayon indicating the planned division of the text into systems and pages, and also a dozen or so accidentals allegedly omitted by the composer. That correction of chromatics was made randomly and very ineptly; erroneous accidentals added in bars 103 and 106 show a complete lack of musical understanding.

The musical notation contains:

  • numerous corrections, in the form of deletions, alterations and additions, some having the nature of simple corrections, other testifying to the still ongoing creative process – Chopin altered certain details, changing the previous versions (e.g. in bar 10, 65, 69),
  • quite a large number of omitted accidentals, e.g. in bar 3, 16, 17, 71
  • slurs – marked boldly, but not always precisely,
  • the third section written out without any abbreviations, despite the fact that it is basically a literal repetition of the first one; in certain fragments, that fact had evidently made Chopin less concentrated on his work and he therefore omitted a number of markings, such as pedalling in bars 83-85, 87-90 and 103-104 and dynamic hairpins in bars 87-88 and 90-94. Cf. also remarks to bars 93 and 121.

A is a basic source for the text of the Impromptu.

Original in: Muzeum Fryderyka Chopina, Warszawa
Shelf-mark: M/198 (D/22)