“Adelaide” – a song goes round the world

The German art song does indeed famously enjoy great popularity, and not only where the German language is spoken. And so, time and again, where there are lied editions with German texts, the question is whether to include a translation of the poem for the international market, or even when possible to underlay the song text in other languages. That such considerations did not come up only with the “global trading” of our time, but that publishers of 200 years ago were already worrying about it, can be seen in the example of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Adelaide. Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

“una corda” – “con sord.” – “mit Verschiebung”: How do I ‘mute’ my piano?

Many piano students are not going to believe their eyes when they read the indication una corda (= one string) in their music:

 

 

 

 

You’d think that you were back in the period of John Cage and his prepared piano. Because how in the world is a player supposed to choose one string amongst the 1–3 strings activated by each key and get it to sound? Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Climax, more or less – e flat or e in Islamey?

Mily Balakirev’s showpiece Islamey, already certified, so to speak, as unplayable by the dedicatee Nikolai Rubinstein, is also still today amongst piano virtuosi’s most brilliant warhorses. The two central melodies – sparking around them here is an almost mechanically effective fireworks display with its ever-present note repetitions – derive from the folk music of the Circassians and Crimean Tartars. And so the whole piece makes a relatively ‘exotic’ impression on classically trained ears. Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Correction or interpretation? – Johannes and Clara alter Robert’s music

Anyone practicing Robert Schumann’s In der Nacht, the fifth number in the Fantasiestücke, Op. 12, from the Henle edition (HN 91 or the anthology HN 922), will come across footnotes to two passages in the music text that refer to comments in the critical report. Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Commenting on a decisecond Bach – B or B flat in the B-flat major ‘Corrente’ BWV 825

A short time ago our attention was drawn to a supposed error in our Urtext edition HN 28 of the ‘Six Partitas’ by Johann Sebastian Bach (BWV 825-830): it was maintained that in the Corrente of the first Partita in B-flat major the last left-hand note in bar 12 erroneously has a ♮. Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Totally, seriously – clearing it out is part of it!

Any of you who not only had a hearty laugh at our April Fools’ joke about Henle’s cleaned-up part, but also may even once have already had a go at a Reger sonata, will know that in the case of Max Reger – as with so many other late romantic composers – clearing out or cleaning up is in fact no joke at all. The extravagantly diverse ways that in scores at the start of the 20th century tempo, dynamics, articulation and expression were specified down to the last detail absolutely buried the music at times under the markings and were hardly consistent with any directive that a so-called practical Urtext edition ought then to present a music text more or less easy (and quick!) for the musician to read. Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Attention to small details: Elgar’s notation as expression

Preparing a new edition of a work that has been previously published is an exciting task; yet, in many ways, more challenging than working on an edition for which one is reliant entirely upon the composer’s manuscripts and sketches.  As an editor, one must, of course, always have in mind the composer’s true intentions with respect to the work under scrutiny, and the presence of printed copies may carry both an advantage and a disadvantage in deciphering these intentions: Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Spring Cleaning – new setup guidelines at the Henle house

You ought to underline today’s date in the calendar in red: this is the day that the G. Henle publishing house is introducing new and trailblazing guidelines for the setup of selected titles in the chamber-music repertoire. In the future, enclosed alongside both single parts contained up to now – provided in the Urtext together with fingerings and bowings – will be a third part, the so-called cleaned-up part. Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Wagner, Liszt, and Isolde ‘slurred’– how well do composers proofread their own works?

The current Wagner year is also not going unnoticed at the Henle publishing house, even if music stage works are not part of our offerings. Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Come sopra’ – clearly ambiguous!

The autograph of Beethoven’s piano sonata, Op. 90, is part of the splendid collection of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn; since digitalization some years ago, it has been available for contemplation on the Internet. Even if in comparison with many other Beethoven manuscripts it is relatively easy to decipher, upon first glance at various pages the question is whether we are actually dealing here with a ‘finished’ work. Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment