No error in the system. In praise of our proofreaders

Today’s blog post is not for once going to be all about in-depth editorial questions, source problems or the complicated genesis of a composition. No, I’d like to put a sometimes trivial-seeming activity in the right light: Proofreading.

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“Right”? or “Wrong”? On a questionable note in Mendelssohn’s c-minor Piano Trio op. 66

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847)

Occasionally in the edition business there is an insoluble conflict between a clear source finding and musical “logic”. The eminent pianist, university professor and friend Michael Schäfer drew my attention to one such particularly fascinating case. The facts are briefly described and presented to my interested readers for discussion here. Continue reading

Posted in autograph, first edition, Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix, Monday Postings, piano trio, Trio c minor op. 66 (Mendelssohn), Urtext | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Talking Henle Editions: A Carnival Story

The seasons are moving on and the year’s fifth season is here. The bars are packed with “party animals”, all having a great time. There’s plenty to drink, even if one or the other of the well-tempered beers sometimes comes to a crash landing. Continue reading

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Debussy in Urtext – Part 1: Henle Editions from an experienced duo

Claude Debussy (1862–1918)

2012 was the 150th birthday of Claude Debussy, French music’s great innovator celebrated worldwide, and now 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of his death (25 March 1918), so that once again a Debussy year lies ahead. We’re taking this opportunity in a short series of bimonthly blog posts to present various aspects of our Debussy Urtext editions and to discuss them with you. These editions were launched in 1983, now 35 years ago, and in today’s first instalment we’d like to describe how it all came about that Debussy’s music could appear at Henle publishers. Continue reading

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Confusion surrounding Chopin’s Scherzi – episodes 2 & 3

Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849)

In my blog post of 21 March 2016, I lamented the existing “confusion” concerning the tied notes in Chopin’s 1st Scherzo. In the meantime, casually expressed, another 2 Scherzi later, 2 Scherzi more mature – and clearly even more confused, alas. The 2nd Scherzo, op. 31, and the 3rd Scherzo, op. 39, are just now appearing in my new edition. So, it makes sense to update my report from the Chopin workshop and to highlight a few problems in these editions. Therefore: “Confusion – episodes 2 & 3”! Continue reading

Posted in Chopin, Frédéric, Monday Postings, piano solo, Scherzo op. 31 (Chopin), Scherzo op. 39 (Chopin), Sources | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

What “der Weihnachtsmann” has in common with “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”

Lights sparkle, candles glow, children’s eyes shine…it’s Christmastime again. Anticipation is growing, children are waiting for Santa Claus who – please, pretty please! – is supposed to bring them many presents. Continue reading

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Autographs and proofread copies for Ludwig van Beethoven’s piano sonatas – an overview

Editing a Beethoven work solely on the basis of a first print greatly challenges every editor of a scholarly edition. The composition’s music text is then available for the edition only in a more or less error-prone state. If the autograph is extant, and present are perhaps still other manuscript sources – for example, the engraver’s models for the first print, proofread by the composer himself, – then the goal of a secure music text is clearly a step closer. But, alas, the situation for Beethoven’s piano sonatas is unfortunately not especially rosy. Continue reading

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The many footnotes of Rosamunde

Franz Schubert 1797–1828

All good things come in threes – this is also true of Schubert’s string quartets at Henle, for after “Death and the Maiden” D 810 (HN 9626), and the G-major quartet D 887 (HN 9850) published several years ago, it is now the turn of the Rosamunde quartet D 804 (HN 9849), also the last of the three great Schubert string quartets represented in our catalogue, with which the composer, by his own account, wanted to “pave the way for the great symphony” in 1824. Anyone already looking at our edition may be surprised to discover here on nearly every page the, advisedly at Henle, only very sparingly placed footnotes. Is there really so much to annotate in this quartet? Continue reading

Posted in dynamics, first edition, Monday Postings, Rosamunde quartet D 804 (Schubert), Schubert, Franz, string quartet | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New editions for the clarinet – Brahms and Gade

The clarinet was again featured in our recent editions of two important works to steadily expand its repertoire in our woodwinds’ catalogue.

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Posted in articulation, autograph, Brahms, Johannes, dynamics, first edition, Monday Postings, piano + clarinet | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

“Lunga e laboriosa fattica” – Attempting to interpret Mozart’s c-minor trio from the String Quartet K 465/iii

When the composer’s autograph manuscript of a music work is extant, then we have a unique opportunity of “looking over the creator’s shoulder” as the ideas are being written down. The mysterious creative process is nevertheless revealed only to those who can then question the existing autograph text, going beyond what is purely philological, editorially speaking. It is my firm conviction that here autograph corrections are the ideal way to start. The musico-analytical curiosity that asks of a correction, “Why?”, in qualitative terms, opens a door otherwise forever closed. Continue reading

Posted in autograph, Monday Postings, Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, string quartet, String Quartet K 465, Urtext | Tagged | 2 Comments