These piano studies, fully worked out in summer 1848, but presumably sketched earlier, were published in the German original edition at the beginning of 1849 simply with the numbering 1–3. In the first French edition published at the end of that year, they were given the new title “Trois Caprices poétiques” – possibly at the publisher’s request – and also received the characteristic individual titles “Il lamento”, “La leggierezza” and “Un sospiro”, which have remained for these pieces that are still popular today. In comparison with the early studies, in which the purely technical performing aspect is to the fore, the idea of poetic sound is at the heart of these compositions, which were clearly written for concert performance. For this revised version, several newly-discovered or newly-available sources were available, including the autograph which served as the engraver’s copy.
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Musicians trust Henle's blue Urtext editions because they:
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- contain a short preface that introduces the work (particularly useful for AMEB exams) in German, English and French, as well as explanatory footnotes for particularly interesting passages in the score
- contain a description of the sources, an evaluation of the sources, readings and a documentation of the corrections made (= "Critical Report") in German and English, and often also in French