The Trill of Doom – The pianist András Schiff’s revelatory study of Schubert’s final sonata

By guest author Alex Ross[1]

“What other work is so full of silence?” (András Schiff)

The other day, I sat with Sir András Schiff, the Hungarian-born, British-based pianist, in a practice room at Walt Disney Concert Hall, in Los Angeles, contemplating a great musical mystery: the trill in the eighth measure of Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B-Flat, D. 960. Continue reading

Posted in András Schiff, articulation, Composers, Monday Postings, piano solo, Piano Sonata B-Flat D 960 (Schubert), Schubert, Franz | Leave a comment

Confusion about ties in Chopin’s Scherzo in b minor

That Chopin variants can be exasperating to an editor – who has to do everything possible to provide the musician with one valid text – is well enough known. The idea that we are not alone in our exasperation can, however, be comforting. This in any case happened to me when I began to prepare a revised edition (HN 1334) of the 1st Scherzo in b minor. I came across a document by the famous Chopin pupil and editor Karol Mikuli that shows considerable perplexity. Continue reading

Posted in articulation, Auguste Franchomme, autograph, Chopin, Frédéric, Composers, Ferdinand Hiller, first edition, letter, Monday Postings, piano solo, Scherzo in b minor op. 20 (Chopin) | 1 Comment

Henry Vieuxtemps’s 5th Violin Concerto newly outfitted – Interview with Marie Cornaz and Ray Iwazumi

Among the just about one hundred compositions that the violin virtuoso Henry Vieuxtemps left to posterity, the 5th Violin Concerto in a minor op. 37 is certainly regarded as his by far best-known and best-loved work. It owes its popularity not only to its brilliant violin part, but also to its original form in three movements passing seamlessly without pause from one to the other. Continue reading

Posted in 5. Violin Concerto in a minor op. 37 (Vieuxtemps), autograph, Monday Postings, piano + violin, sketches, Urtext, Vieuxtemps, Henry, violin + orchestra, Ysaÿe, Eugène | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Henle Library app. Behind the scenes – part 1.

So when did the penny finally drop at the publishing house that Henle editions can be more than just print editions? In my case this happened in March 2011 when I gave a talk about what Urtext means at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) conference in Milwaukee. And all anyone wanted to talk to me about was the iPad! Continue reading

Posted in Android, App, Cloud, Digital, Henle Library, iOS, Monday Postings, Tablet | Tagged | 3 Comments

Carnival Quiz

Carnival, Mardi Gras, Fasching: Today, Carnival Monday (“Rosenmontag” in German) is also being celebrated in Munich – although somewhat less exuberantly than in Cologne or Mainz.

So, just for fun in today’s blog posting we are zooming in on our Urtext catalogue since you’ll find several “silly” compositions stashed away even there. You want to know which ones? Continue reading

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“Henle Library” app. Redefining sheet music.

As of today we can put all rumours to rest. It’s true: Henle Urtext has gone digital. The global launch of the “Henle Library” app, in German, English and Chinese, for Apple’s iPad, is 3 February 2016 (for Android tablets it’s May 2016). Our app will be a valuable tool for musicians when practising, rehearsing and performing.

Here’s a brief overview, an “appetizer”, exclusively for our blog readers:

Right from the start it was clear to us at Henle Publishers that it wasn’t enough just to offer our Urtext editions in digital form for PDF readers. Continue reading

Posted in Android, App, Cloud, Digital, Henle Library, iOS, Monday Postings, Tablet | 76 Comments

The “parallel passage” – handle with care…

If the ideal goal of a critical Urtext edition may be said to be finding out and representing what the composer “actually intended”, then consulting all the relevant sources for the work, comparing them and evaluating their differences is above all its fundamental task.

Yet this alone is as a rule not enough. For a composer to have a slip of the pen or to forget a sign by mistake (accidentals, typically) is not unusual, and then all subsequent sources such as copies and first prints may take this mistake over blindly. Such errors throughout cannot be detected, though, by merely comparing all the sources with each other. So it is always necessary in addition to check the music text for consistency in itself, regardless of what the sources show. (The edition must also be to a certain extent “critical” towards the composer.)
Continue reading

Posted in articulation, autograph, first edition, Grieg, Edvard, Monday Postings, piano solo, variant reading | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Blog

Dear Reader,

we most warmly thank you 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. Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings, Saint-Saëns, Camille | Tagged , | Leave a comment

From zero to a hundred in seven years: Beethoven’s wind chamber music at Henle publishers

The fact that the winds first found their way into our catalogue in 1972 after a delay of two and half decades was already once before a topic of our blog. Typically enough, this happened with Beethoven’s Opus 16 (HN 222) – that odd hybrid work that’s come down to us as both a piano quartet with three strings and a piano quintet with four winds (as you can see from the cover of the first edition). Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven, Ludwig van, clarinet, Flute Duo WoO 26 (Beethoven), G. Henle Publishers, horn, Marsch WoO 29 (Beethoven), Monday Postings, oboe, Quintet E flat major op. 16 (Beethoven), Sextet op. 81b (Beethoven), Three Duos WoO 27 for Clarinet and Bassoon (Beethoven), Three Equali for four Trombones WoO 30 (Beethoven), Urtext, winds | Tagged , | 1 Comment

What’s new with Liszt’s b-minor sonata


"Finale furioso" from: Wilhelm Busch: Ein Neujahrskonzert (A New Year’s Concert)

With barely concealed exasperation Clara Schumann writes on 25 May 1854 in her diary: “Liszt sent Robert today a sonata dedicated to him and several other things with a friendly letter to me. But the things are dreadful! Brahms played them for me, but they made me utterly wretched…. This is nothing but sheer racket – not a single healthy idea, everything confused, no longer a clear harmonic sequence to be detected there! And now I still have to thank him – it’s really awful.” Continue reading

Posted in accent, autograph, Claudio Arrau, copy, dynamics, facsimile, first edition, Liszt, Franz, Marc-André Hamelin, Monday Postings, new source, notation, piano solo, Piano Sonata b-minor (Liszt), revision, Urtext | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment