I'm seeing two different versions of Chopin Op. 69 No. 2 Waltz in b minor, Measure 13-14. The one that is not urtext (or maybe is also urtext?) seems to be widely used.

My Henle Urtext book (see cover photo) has the first score below. Then I saw some, e.g. Ashkenazy and this one, played the second score below.

In measure 13, the Henle version has one more note F at the end of that measure, which is not in the other version. In measure 14, the Henle has C natural followed by D#, whereas the other version has C# forllowed by D natural. There is also a chord difference.

The Henle book doesn't state anything about the source or versions. I tried to look for it on IMSLP but the preview keeps loading forever. Is there an authorative version? Does one version makes more sense than the other?

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  • The second part of the piece is also different in the different editions--toward the end the "other version" has right hand play all double notes, while the Henle version RH is all single notes. Commented Jan 27 at 21:21

1 Answer 1



There is more evidence to support the Henle, but the first and subsequent editions are as shown in the non-Henle version.

Henle publishes their critical commentaries on their website alongside whichever volume they're published in. For example, the commentary for Chopin's Waltz's is published with their Waltz Urtext edition. However, the commentary has nothing to say about mm. 13–14.

Fortunately, for Chopin there is the Chopin Variorum Edition, which includes most, if not all, of the historically significant Chopin holographs and publications. Unfortunately, it has nothing to say about Op. 69/2.

Fortunately again, there is the companion Chopin's First Editions Online, and that archive does include a source. Op. 69/2 was published posthumously as Deux Valses Mélancoliques. The CFEO has three such publications, and all three agree (nearly) with Henle.

All three contain the "extra note" and the C-natural / D-sharp. Where they differ is that there is no grace note at the beginning of m. 13; instead, there's a turn on the final F# in m. 12. The slurring is also different: m. 13 is all two-note slurs, and m. 14 is one long slur. Also, the first beat of m. 14 is a dotted-eighth / sixteenth, rather than two eighths.

However, looking at IMSLP, the Institut Fryderyka Chopina urtext agrees with the second version shown, except that there is one slur over the entire phrase. Unlike the usually complete OCVE, however, IMSLP has a holograph version, which matches the Henle without the differences noted above.

Traveling to the Chopin Institute website, they link to two manuscripts. The one in the French national library agrees with Henle, except, including the grace note, but also, unlike Henle, including the dotted rhythm in m. 13 beat 1. The one from the Jagiellonian Library is the same one as posted on IMSLP.

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    Henle's Waltz Urtext edition actually comes with two slightly different versions of Op. 69 no 2 - the Holograph version, with the manuscript from the Jagiellonian Library and the French national library as sources, and the Fontana version, where the sources are the "French first edition" (J. Meissonnier, Paris, no. 3526), the "German first edition" (A. M. Schlesinger, Berlin, no. 4395), and the "Mikuli edition". Among the pieces that were published posthumously by Julian Fontana, there are also others for which we now have two different versions (like e.g. Fantaisie Impromptu Op. 66). Commented Jan 15 at 14:14
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    In addition to the minor differences already pointed out, the two versions also have other noticeable differences - for example in the trio part, the melody is "doubled" with thirds and sixths when repeated. Commented Jan 15 at 14:34
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    @GrandAdagio Both versions make musical sense. The "extra" F in Henle is already part of the harmony and continues the intervallic pattern of the previous parts of the measure. The main difference in m. 13 is which notes get the metrical emphasis. In Henle the chord tones (B min) are on the beat; whereas, in the other version they're off the beat.
    – Aaron
    Commented Jan 15 at 19:22
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    @GrandAdagio In m. 14, the difference is that Henle uses the Neapolitan (bII) where the other uses the II chord. Both play their typical harmonic roll of leading to the V chord. The sound there is starkly different: the Henle is a bit "shocking", while the other is "smoother".
    – Aaron
    Commented Jan 15 at 19:22
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    @GrandAdagio Personally, I like the Henle better because of m. 14. It's a bit more harmonically interesting, and I think more Chopin-esque. However, I do like m. 13 in the other edition. I might consider mixing them, and I might even play those measure differently when they recur in the piece. That is, I might play it the Henle way one time but then play it the "other" way when it comes up again.
    – Aaron
    Commented Jan 15 at 19:24

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