At the end of Chopin's Winter Wind Etude, there is this LH passage:

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As this passage seems to indicate the main theme, it is often played differently: enter image description here

So, how should it be played? Is this just a matter of personal interpretation or is it necessary?

  • 1
    What is your source for the alternative? I just checked 5 different editions on IMSLP and they all give your first version.
    – user19146
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 2:09
  • @alephzero It's the Cortot edition.
    – user140561
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 4:14

1 Answer 1


The "alternative" version is the Cortot edition (pub. Salabert; still in copyright jail except pm50 countries), and it includes a footnote to the asterisk by the 3rd beat: "The French edition is also the only one to have the bass B. We recommend the version in small notes which conforms better to the orchestral meaning of the coda." So there you have it: three versions! You can play whichever you like, and the most musical performance will always beat the most "correct" one.

The Cortot edition is well worth having: it includes about as many pages of comment and suggested practice as the music itself. He is indicating his interpretation, which might sometimes be idiosyncratic, but on the other hand this may just mean that all the German-originating editions copied from each other. There are also occasional (suspected) misprints.

  • So, it all comes down to personal choice. Thank you! (I will +1 your answer once I have sufficient reputation)
    – user140561
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 14:04
  • It's worth having if you want to play Chopin re-arranged by Cortot -. But at least he wasn't as ego-centric as Godowsky! But not necessarily worth having if you want to play Chopin.
    – user19146
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 17:33

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