Summer break

Time flies! Summer has arrived and our blog is taking some time off, too. Continue reading

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B(e) sharp – what would you play in Mozart’s piano variations K. 265?

Mozart over and over again: In the last blog two weeks ago, we discussed a small rhythmic problem in his d-minor string quartet, today the focus is on a questionable accidental in one of his best-known piano works. An interesting client enquiry brought to our attention the following spot in Mozart’s Twelve Variations on “Ah, vous dirai-je Maman” K. 265. Continue reading

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Non-stop “lombardic” rhythm? On a minute text problem in Mozart’s d-minor String Quartet K. 421

The exceptionally lighthearted D-major Trio of the Menuetto in Mozart’s otherwise so darkly dramatic d-minor String Quartet K. 421 has always been one of my favourite pieces. The first violin, with its “pizzicato” accompaniment by the lower strings, cleverly plays there with reminiscences of folk music: on the one hand, it is quite obviously striking up a yodel, recognisable by the simple triadic melodicism flipping repeatedly from “chest” to “head” voice, just like a real alpine yodler; on the other, the entire movement is almost prototypically pervaded by the so-called “lombardic” rhythm, unmistakeable signs, for instance, of Scottish, Hungarian or Slavic folk music (recognisable in the inverse-dotted, syncopated rhythm): Continue reading

Posted in Jerusalem String Quartet, Juilliard Quartet, Monday Postings, Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, rhythm, string quartet, String Quartet K. 421 (W.A. Mozart) | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

“The future lion is already showing its paws” – The revision of Beethoven’s piano variations, volume 1

G. Henle publishing house is well known for putting its earlier editions to the test and updating them if necessary. Recently, the blog has reported on the new revised edition of César Franck’s violin sonata. Today, I would like to refer to the forthcoming revision of the first part of Beethoven’s piano variations (HN 1267). Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven, Ludwig van, Monday Postings, piano solo, revision, Variations WoO 63 (Beethoven), Variations WoO 65 (Beethoven) | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tempest – Les Adieux – Hammerklavier. Sense and nonsense regarding the names given to Beethoven’s piano sonatas

It’s so much easier to say “The Tempest”, “Pathétique” and “À Thérèse” and we can make ourselves understood so much faster than if we reel off a series of numbers – Sonata no. 17 in d minor op. 31 no. 2, or Sonata no. 8 in c minor op. 13 or Sonata no. 24 in F sharp major op. 78. But the question is how authentic are these well-known epithets? And aren’t they sometimes perhaps misleading? A brief round-up in two parts. Continue reading

Posted in autograph, Beethoven, Ludwig van, Composers, first edition, Monday Postings, piano solo, Piano Sonata op. 106 (Beethoven), Piano Sonata op. 31 nr. 2 (Beethoven), Piano Sonata op. 7 (Beethoven), Piano Sonata op. 81a Les Adieux (Beethoven) | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Small error, large impact! About a repeat sign wandering around “In the Mists”

Leoš Janáček’s magnificent chamber music that we’re publishing in collaboration with the Wiener Universal Edition has for some years now already enhanced our catalogue with the wind sextet Mládi (HN 1093) and the witty March of the Bluebirds for piccolo and piano (HN 1143). But pianists can also look forward now to Janáček in the best quality Urtext, for meanwhile the four-part piano cycle In the Mists (HN 1247) has appeared. Here again philological thoroughness involved a lot of effort on the part of our Janáček specialist Jiří Zahrádka, for the work is extant not only in a number of autograph manuscripts, together with two, in part, heavily reworked copies, but miscellaneous printed editions exist as well.

First edition, Brno, 1913 (Brno, Moravian Museum, Janáček Archives)

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Posted in copy, Janácek, Leos, Monday Postings, piano solo, Urtext | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Gidon Kremer on the occasion of his 70th birthday

As early as September 2015 Dr Wolf-Dieter Seiffert, CEO of the G. Henle publishers, and Professor Friedemann Eichhorn, Director of the Kronberg Academy Masters programme, made plans to honour Gidon Kremer with a special edition on his 70th birthday. Both wished to celebrate the outstanding musician with a Henle Urtext edition that would reflect Gidon Kremer’s artistic ambitions, therefore something simultaneously special, in line with the classical profile of our catalogue. Friedemann Eichhorn was successful in getting Kremer on board and available for the project about a year ago: It was to be an edition of Ludwig van Beethoven’s violin concerto, based on the Henle Urtext edition, but becoming the Gidon Kremer Edition by way of the violinist’s personal touch. Kremer contributed fingerings and bowings for the violin part, provided an essay on Beethoven interpretation and selected cadenzas especially close to his heart. The result is a unique edition, enabling every violinist to come to grips with this perhaps most magnificent of violin concertos in music history from Gidon Kremer’s personal perspective. On this personal note, which – and here Kremer attaches great importance to this – is always to be at the service of the work, Friedemann Eichhorn could do a brief interview with Gidon Kremer: Continue reading

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“At the Piano” – lends colour to the Henle catalogue!

Even the visual design is a little revolution for Henle: after being in publishing for nearly 70 years we are for the first time bringing out a series of Urtext piano editions without just the classic blue cover, but with a sort of bright yellow horizontal “branding” mark added – and with good reason, since our new series “At the Piano” is forging a new path in many respects. Continue reading

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Musicians and G. Henle. About a traditionally close relationship.

Perhaps I am a bit old-fashioned: I love guestbooks. Yes, indeed, in times of Facebook and Twitter, it may seem antiquated. But tweets and posts vanish quickly – the guestbook remains. Almost every time a musician visits the Henle offices in Munich/Germany I hand him or her the current volume of our elegant, leather-bound Henle guestbook with the polite request for a commemorative entry. It’s absolutely unbelievable to look back and re-discover who visited Henle over the course of decades. Of course, the handwriting is always different and characteristic, and the contents are varied: some are humorous, some contain only a date and a signature, or the writer praises our Urtext editions. (These are the ones I most like reading).

Here the book opens to a page written by the wonderful Japanese-British pianist Mitsuko Uchida:

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“I would like to see this piece published soon” – The first edition of Liszt’s arrangement of Wagner’s overture to “Tannhäuser”

The 19th century is rich in artist friendships. That between Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner stands out not only because of the significance of their musical creations, their complex personal relations, but also because of a striking imbalance in giving and taking. Put straightforwardly: The one, Liszt, admired, the other, Wagner, was admired. Liszt’s commitment to Wagner’s operas and music dramas, for which he felt unreserved enthusiasm, knew no bounds, whilst Wagner scarcely noticed Liszt’s works aside from the symphonic poems, and at most praised them out of gratitude for the help given him.

Illustration: Aline Bureau

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Posted in concert paraphrase of the overture to Tannhäuser (Liszt), first edition, Liszt, Franz, Monday Postings, piano solo, Wagner, Richard | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment