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This is an Turn, an ornament consisting of four notes. The double-sharp symbol indicates that the lower note to be performed is a g double-sharp rather than a natural g, so the sequnce to be performed is b, a sharp, g double-sharp, a sharp.


Other editions make it clearer: trill each note, starting on the note rather than the auxiliary (where he specifies it with an accacciatura). You can see it in Scharwenka's edition here. Edit: I should clarify this a bit: Chopin is using accacciature in this passage to specify the starting notes of the trills.


I wouldn't interpret stretto as accelerando. My guess is that Chopin put it there to prevent the other natural interpretation of the passage, which is to slow down, from happening. So, instead of doing an accelerando, the passage under the dashes should just be generally faster/flowing, probably slowing down during the last hairpin (>). You'll need to ...


It's easier to identify Chopin, since he developed a very personal style. For example, if there is strong chromaticism, it's probably Chopin. But it should be noted that, toward the end of his life, Beethoven too started composing in a more chromatic manner. Listen to the Adagio of op. 106 or the Arioso in op. 110. It doesn't seem like Beethoven at all: it's ...

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