Issues : Uncertain notes on ledger lines

b. 404-406

composition: Op. 11, Concerto in E minor, Mvt III


The traces visible in FE prove that each f quaver was provided with an additional crotchet stem in these bars, eventually removed in the proofreading. According to us, it was not the original version, since Chopin would not introduce holds that could not be performed even by a biggest possible hand. The engraver most probably misinterpreted the dashes that Chopin, being in haste, wrote automatically along with noteheads on ledger lines. That impulse was motivated by enhancing the visibility of a notehead slashed with a ledger line; this manner led to misunderstandings on a number of occasions – cf. e.g. the Mazurka in B Minor, Op. 24 No. 4, bar 23 or the Etude in F Major, Op. 10 No. 8, bars 4-7. The misunderstanding in the discussed bars could have influenced the engraver's decision to ignore possible staccato markings under those notes – he could have considered the simultaneous prolongation and shortening of those notes to be irrational; hence, bearing in mind the seven-time prolongation of f​​​​​​​ in bars 393-401, he opted for stems.

category imprint: Source & stylistic information

issues: Authentic corrections of FE , Uncertain notes on ledger lines