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How to Study Chopin’s Music Hans von Bülow n spite of the universal favour Chopin enjoys, his works are very I frequently ill-treated by pianists, both in public and in private. I know of two ways only to learn to render them properly; the first is to hear the grand master of all interpreters and executants, Franz Liszt, play them, the second to study them in Karl Klindworth’s recent edition. The latter way is the more easily attainable, and the study thereby undertaken will in no case be superfluous, not even if the student should have had the rare good fortune to be initiated to Chopin’s style by that master whose genius is so near akin to the genius of our ‘poet of the piano’ par excellence. For, during the time of their intimate intercourse in Paris, Chopin was in the habit of alluding to his friend Liszt as the player to whose powers of poetical reproduction he trusted whilst writing. This fact, by the way, accounts in part for Chopin’s occasional carelessness in putting his compositions on paper. As I have said, even in the latter case the student will do well to make use of Klindworth’s edition (‘an exegesis without words’) both before and after studying any particular piece. Myself a fellow-pupil of Klindworth, with Liszt at Weimar from 1851 to 1853, though I possess Chopin’s works in heart and head, and for the most part in my fingers too, yet since the last quarter of a century I am fain to Hans von Bülow consult Klindworth’s edition whenever I again set about preparing any piece of Chopin’s for performance in public. I hasten to confess I am indebted to such consultations for the correction of so many a little negligence and unclearness, so many a slight MUSIC PERFORMANCE EQUIPMENT emotional flaw, and, lastly (thanks to Klindworth’s model method of presenting the text and to his admirable fingering), for the simplification of so many a technical stumbling-block, that I am ready to assert that it is the bounden duty of every conscientious pianist and thoroughly honest • Music stands, music chairs & carts piano teacher to do the same. Indeed, I would go to the length of holding Choral & orchestral music folders the omission on the part of a ‘college’ to make intimate acquaintance with
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