Fantasie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor (Op. 66)


Chopin’s Fantasie-Impromptu (Op. Post. 66) is surely one of the composer’s most popular works – one that many pianists often try to play before they are quite ready for the technical challenges it poses.

The story goes that Chopin wrote the piece in 1834 but never published it. Instead, his friend and executor, Julian Fontana published it posthumously – but why? We have to wait until 1960 for the answer, when Artur Rubinstein acquired an album owned by Madame la Baronne d’Este. The album contained a manuscript of the Fantasie-Impromptu in Chopin’s own hand, dated 1835. It would appear that the reason Chopin had not published the work is because he had received a commission from the Baroness, and the piece was therefore her property.

The Henle Urtext edition contains both versions. There are a number of differences between the two, mostly in the left hand, so you will first need to decide which version to play. I have a preference for the Fontana, probably because I learned it this way as student, but either is fine.

Many pianists and teachers will be looking for solutions to the challenges that this piece poses, therefore I have created a series of six substantial video tutorials in which I look at all aspects of the piece, offering detailed technical solutions and suggestions for practice.

Resources & links

  • Click here to view open domain editions for this work (external link).
  • A detailed Annotated Study Edition which includes these videos and additional demonstrations is available for this work. Click here if you already own it or click here to purchase it.
  • Click here to view The Art of Pedalling series on the Online Academy.

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