Use of pedal is one important part of Chopin’s playing and he often used them to produce softer sounds and at times to maintain sustained harmonies, loud ringing of chords, deep bass notes and even to produce a timid murmur. Chopin was quite meticulous in defining his intention towards pedalling as sources say that during his playing Chopin used to rapidly pedal certain passages. Sometimes he passed from forte to left pedal without much notice in enharmonic modulations. However there is one fact which should be taken as an important fact that Chopin was clear in regard to pedalling when he was making his draft. Unfortunately the later publishers made crucial mistakes by applying rule of pedal over the pedal marks. Moreover the Pleyel Piano, which Chopin used to play was a custom made and moreover the old pianos have far less sustaining power when compared with today’s piano. Thus it becomes quite a daunting task to find the right mode of playing the pedal in an authentic fashion.
In fact he was probably the only composer before World War II times that used most of pedalling technique, especially the damper pedal. He is also credited to invent new pedalled textures as what we can primarily see in Nocturne op.27 no.2 and in the opening of Polonaise-Fantaisie op.61where he employed jarring notes and chords in an unusual manner. He at times carried the pedal from one phrase into next to hide the regularity of structure or even at times used it to connect a section of a piece, like in Nocturnes op. 62 no.1. In case of repeated sections he varied pedalling as he did ornaments, slurs and rhythms and even pedalling to focus on small-scale and large-scale formal and harmonic structures.
Chopin had always stressed using pedal but that is not the case for all the time. Moreover there are different ideas opinionated in regard to the interpretation of pedal usage in Chopin’s ballade, in the modern context. Chopin himself used the pedal in various ways to define effects. It is probably because of the fact that he did not interpret a single piece in always the same fashion. Another factor which seems worth considering is, Chopin knew that his pedal usage is of complex nature and he consciously evaded the idea to add pedal markings in the musical notation.