The rests in these measures (see arrows) seem to be unnecessary? Whenever there is a quarter rest for this "voice", there is a quarter note in the "main" voice of LH. And whenever there is an 8th rest, there is a corresponding 8th note in the "main" voice. In other words, that "extra silent voice" always perfectly overlapped in exactly same time with the other voice (not partially) (see yellow rectangles). So it's just as if the two bass voices could practically be combined into one?

Also, just to confirm: these measures are mainly LH playing, correct? Asking because I saw some used right hands for those groups of bass notes.

(This is Henle Verlag urtext https://i.sstatic.net/vvbdP.jpg)

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1 Answer 1


Basically, that's how Chopin wrote it. The primary sources for this edition of the piece are the Jędrzejewicz and Kolberg copies and the Polish first edition, which can be viewed at the Chopin Variorum Edition.

Chopin may have been a bit sloppy about the rests. In m. 38 in both the Jędrzejewicz and Kolberg copies, the rests are omitted, even though they're present in the surrounding measures. The rests are also omitted in mm. 41 – 42.

Kolberg mm. 36 – 42
Kolberg mm. 36 – 42

Jędrzejewicz mm. 36 – 42
Jędrzejewicz mm. 36 – 37 Jędrzejewicz mm. 38 – 42

Seemingly in deference to this (there's nothing in the critical commentary about it), Henle place parentheses around one pair of rests (presumably Henle is allowing that Chopin just forgot to put them in, given the surrounding measures) but left the others out entirely.

  • Thanks Aaron for finding Chopin's handwrittings. I was asking if these measures are mainly LH, because I saw some people used right hand to play those groups of bass notes (or maybe some of them), is that a common practice? because the treble clef has few notes for RH? Commented Mar 18 at 14:34
  • 1
    @GrandAdagio It can be played either way; it's up to the performer.
    – Aaron
    Commented Mar 18 at 14:59

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