The sounding gardens of the Henleans – a short Urtext saga


n a small valley of Mt. Olympus a musical beauty spot once nestled into the mountain of the gods. No Odysseus, no Heracles ever came on an odyssey or ordeal through this baroque/classical/romantic re­fuge; not even once did the ancient Homer let it ex­tol his muse. Whether, however, Xerob of Copyean was referring to this in his annotation “Ι ωανδερεδ οηχε βυ τηισ ηιδδεη ωαλλεψ.” (In: Ηικινγ, Athens etc., 752 BC, papyrus 7), is much disputed among specialists.
Why is so little known about this valley? – Well, living there was a small race called Henleans that worked tirelessly day-by-day in an almost Sisyphean manner at its destiny: the Urtext. The fa­ther of the gods, Zeus himself, commissioned it and sub­se­quent­ly wrapped the valley in a mantel of silence. Continue reading

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Deluxe for the continuo group

What music do continuo players play from?

This question might at first appear trivial. Presumably every pianist nowadays has al­ready once accompanied baroque chamber music from a basso-continuo part. In the G. Henle Verlag – and not only at our publishing house – this part is basically a stave for the left hand. It contains the bass part, mostly with numbers indicating which chords are to be played by the right hand in each case. Continue reading

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D or C♯? What does Ravel want the violinist to play in “Tzigane”?

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), 1925 (Licence: PD)

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), 1925 (Licence: PD)

Maurice Ravel’s concert rhapsody “Tzigane” is known to exist in three versions: in the original for violin and piano (April/May 1924), in the slightly-later version for violin and or­ches­tra (July 1924) as well as in a version for violin and lu­thé­al, (October 1924); the luthéal, only just developed and then quickly given up again, is a string-instrument device that when installed in the upright or grand piano makes it possible to generate a new sound register that Ravel used here primarily to imitate the sound of the Hungarian cim­ba­lom. Continue reading

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A wrong ‘D’ goes out into the world – Rachmaninoff’s Prélude in c sharp minor under the magnifying glass

The last blog posting on 6 January has already let it be known: we are welcoming Sergei Rachmaninoff as a new composer in the Henle catalogue! With the expiration of copyright on 1 January 2014, works in Germany and many other countries of the EU and worldwide have now come into the public domain, so that there is no longer anything standing in the way of a new critical edition of his compositions. Continue reading

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Corelli, La Folia and Rachmaninoff’s Variations, Op. 42

In May and June 1931 Sergei Rachmaninoff composed his famous and much-played piano ‘Variations on a Theme by Corelli’, Op. 42. Only: The theme is not by Corelli! And what do we now call the child? Better, perhaps, ‘La Folia’ Variations … Continue reading

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Christmas Blog

Dear Reader,

we most warmly thank you today for your interest in the Henle Blog. We also look for­ward to your visits in the coming year and promise interesting postings on musical ques­tions concerning music texts.
Today, you will find here a film that is really something. It is an old production from a full 30 years ago of the Bach Christmas Oratorio with Nikolaus Harnoncourt con­duc­ting. Absolutely worth hearing and seeing! Continue reading

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Why facsimiles, actually?

The blue Urtext editions certainly amount to the lion’s share of our catalogue, but, in­ci­den­tal­ly, we do also still produce a completely different kind of music edition; these are facsimiles, that is, literal reproductions of especially significant manuscripts. Often e­nough we even stock both for a work, so that many people may ask: Why do we actually need the facsimile if, after all, we have a reliable Urtext edition that gives a scholarly e­va­lu­a­ti­on of just this source and hence offers the musician the optimal foundation for per­for­mance? Continue reading

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HN 555 – A printing error in CPE Bach’s sonata for solo flute?

HN 555These days our latest Urtext product comes from the prin­ter, ‘hot off the press’: an edition of the Sonata in A minor for Solo Flute by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
(HN 555). This is no place for detailing the practical cha­rac­te­ris­tics of this edition (fold-out pages for making rea­ding the music easier with fewer page turns; complete re­pro­duc­tion of the first edition for all of you who want to delve into this cru­cial flute work at the source and play if possible from it; performance-practice comments by the master trans­verse flautist Karl Kaiser, who with much ad­vice tended to the edition and traced the im­por­tant ideas back to the following text). The discussion be­low has to do with only a single note in the 2nd movement. Continue reading

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‘Pour Piano et Violon ou Violoncelle’ – Is there a cello sonata by César Franck?

César FranckIn connection with the general blog post by Dominik Rahmer on ‘Set­ting, version, arrangement – how far may Urtext go?’ (October 2012), we are going to deal here with a special case of ar­range­ment. Anyone searching the Internet under ‘César Franck Cello So­na­ta’, will get more than 80,000 results. But already from the head­ings on the pages we will quickly see that this ‘cello sonata’ offered is an arrangement of the famous Violin Sonata in A Major. Continue reading

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“Hark, Hark! The Joy Inspiring Horn” – Discoveries in Schumann’s Konzertstück, Opus 86

For pianists and string players, especially, the name Henle stands for reliable Urtext e­di­ti­ons of their classical repertoires – since the publishing-house founder Günter Henle was himself a pianist, the publishing house al­so focussed in the early years on that par­ti­cu­lar literature. Yet in the meantime the wind instruments have likewise become firm­ly established in our catalogue. Continue reading

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