The basic idea behind an Urtext edition is well known; it is a composition edited in such a way that it corresponds to the composer’s will, ending up the ‘definitive version’ as a rule. Yet what about having to consider two wills und a ‘pair’ of definitive versions…? Continue reading
Observations on the necessity of body language in piano playing
Wilhelm Busch: "Der Virtuos", 1865 (Source: Wikimedia.org, Licence: PD)
For today, an altogether practical subject for those of us who play piano and are pianists: Perhaps it has still not gotten about everywhere that piano playing appeals to the eye more than to the ear! Pianists have then a fair chance of winning competitions only if they reinforce their playing with expressive body movements and facial expressions. A current, reportedly serious study
proves it: That is to say, upon merely watching soundless (!) competition shots, lay people as well as professionals chose the same (!) winners as the expert panel of judges at the same competition. In other words: the eye, not the ear predetermines solid piano playing. Or put another way: The jury, wearing earplugs, would also have nominated the same winner. Now that’s something to really make you think…. Continue reading
The double bass entered the Henle publishers’ catalogue a few years ago by way of the Dresden double bassist Tobias Glöckler. Entirely classically, to begin with, through the concertos by Hoffmeister and Dittersdorf, but soon also joined by somewhat exotic titles such as the Twelve Waltzes by Dragonetti for Double Bass or the famous Elephant from Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. “The Famous Solo” by Domenico Dragonetti, most recently published in the version for double bass and string quartet, now even presents a first edition of a double bass work in our publishing-house programme. Here you can read how it came about… Continue reading
Posted in Monday Postings
Tagged Dittersdorf, Double bass, Dragonetti, Famous solo, Hoffmeister, orchestral tuning, Saint-Saëns, solo tuning, Tobias Glöckler, urtext, Viennese tuning
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
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
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
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
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
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
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