(Apr 9, 2019)
Two recordings of the same thing by Arthur Rubinstein…
First of all, the Fantaisie Impromptu is another extremely popular and famous piece of music that was not supposed to be published. You can look up the Wiki article on the history of this composition – it’s pretty good – but the bottom line is that it was composed and sold to the Baroness d’Este and was therefore considered by Chopin to have been private property. So when it was published by Julian Fontana after his death, it was against his wishes. So here is yet another composition we apparently were never meant to hear.
Because of the confusion about when it was written, and for whom, and which version is final or the best, there are actually considerable differences between scores. The first recording by Rubinstein is more traditional. It is the version published by Fontana.
The second version was bought by Arthur Rubinstein in 1960 and performed by him according to that score. Most people will not hear a difference, but to me the differences are huge, countless details or small changes which apparently Chopin made for the Baroness d’Este. Because of variations between what Chopin originally wrote, what he sold and other versions we now have, no one exactly agrees on all the notes. There are even other small changes in the middle section that are not written down but that have heard from famous pianist from earlier 20th century recordings.
The first recording, the traditional Fontana version…
The second recording, same player but from the private score bought in 1960.