A Bohemian in America: Is Dvořák’s String Quartet in F Major wrongly accented?

Antonín Dvořák, director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City, 1892–95, composed the String Quartet in F major op. 96 early in the summer of 1893 in Spillville, Iowa, where he went to spend his vacation. Continue reading

Posted in accent, articulation, autograph, Dvořák, Antonín, first edition, G. Henle Publishers, Monday Postings, notation, Pražák Quartett, string quartet, String Quartet F major op. 96 (American Quartet) (Dvořák) | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Further new findings on the autograph of Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A major K. 331

Regular readers of the Henle blog will recollect: My last post covered the sensational Budapest find of the autograph double leaf of Mozart’s famous A-major Piano Sonata K. 331 as well as the announcement of my new Urtext edition of it, published meanwhile. Continue reading

Posted in autograph, General, Monday Postings, Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, notation, piano solo, Piano Sonata K. 331 (W.A. Mozart) | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Citius, altius, fortius – faster, higher, stronger! Beethoven’s Olympian efforts in the treble

Having written in May this year about the low tones, I’d like to strike a balance today and write about Beethoven’s efforts towards greater heights. Did he suffer from the constraints of the 18th- and 19th-century piano keyboards going up to only f3 (today, after all, they go up to c5)? Upon closer inspection we might almost get that impression. Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings | 1 Comment

“Smfz” – On some unconventional dynamic markings in our Urtext editions

Dynamics are in a way the salt in the musical soup: without them even the most interesting composition would seem bland. So it is that in preparing a musical Urtext we must give top priority to the strict observation not only of the notes, accidentals and articulation, but also of the composer’s dynamic directives. Continue reading

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Urtext and Urcontext

leinen cover UrtextIn our blog we have certainly already discussed the Urtext principle at length, and we can assume that it is familiar as such – but are you also acquainted with the Urcontext? This also plays a particularly large role at the Henle publishers (even if we don’t put it on the cover…). Continue reading

Posted in Fauré, Gabriel, Monday Postings, piano + voice, Schumann, Robert, Urtext | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

At what tempo does Ravel’s Pavane “die”?

Maurice Ravel (1906, source: PD)

During my assistantship this past year as Henlean, I was allowed to take on all kinds of tasks in the G. Henle publishing house, everything from discovering something new, being creative, reading the most beautiful music, celebrating events, to learning much and editing my own blue Urtext edition: HN 1260. The Pavane pour une infante défunte [Pavane for a Dead Princess] is a small composition by Maurice Ravel that he wrote in 1899 for piano and later reworked for orchestra. As a nice addition to our Ravel repertoire and with a supposedly “simple” source situation, this project was also to have been for me a good introduction to the work of an editor, but with every reading of the sources new questions kept surfacing. Even now after the publication of the edition I am still thinking about one of them, for I have not found any conclusive answer to it: At what tempo does Ravel’s Pavane “die”? Continue reading

Posted in first edition, Monday Postings, Pavane (Ravel), piano solo, Ravel, Maurice, tempo | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Summer rest

We’re getting ready to travel and of course our Urtext-editions should not be missing in the suitecase! And where are you taking your music?

Our Blog is taking a brief summer rest. Please look forward to the next post on 31. August 2015!

G. Henle Verlag

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Who does the pedalling? On the use of the pedal in music for piano duets

Nowadays we automatically associate music for piano duet with the 19th century. It is the very definition of the domestic-music genre. Many in the Biedermeier world could play piano and really make quite illustrious music in a duet with relatively little effort – that is to say with modest technical ability. It is therefore precisely in piano lessons that piano-duet playing is much and eagerly practised today. The teacher mostly plays the Secondo part (and thus ensures an orchestral foundation), while the student is taxed with the more easily managed melody-carrying Primo part (we need only think of works by the inevitable Anton Diabelli). Feeling of success guaranteed! And to make the whole thing sound still better, the teacher works the pedal on the right during the playing. Continue reading

Posted in autograph, first edition, Monday Postings, notation | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

“Please don’t play it as it’s written in the music!” – Urtext and playability

A music-lesson scene that we all recall most reluctantly: A certain spot repeatedly goes wrong, and the teacher calls out, already nearly in desperation: “Simply play it as it’s written in the music!”

Sounds simple and obvious. If it nevertheless doesn’t work, something must indeed be wrong with the fingers, not with the notes. Especially if we are playing from an Urtext edition whose notes would certainly have been critically reviewed, and so they would have to be all right.

But is that actually always the case?  Couldn’t, however, the playing problem also come from something being wrong with the notes? Continue reading

Posted in Mahler, Gustav, Monday Postings, notation, Piano quartet (Mahler), Urtext | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tristan at Troldhaugen – interesting finds in Grieg’s “Lyric Pieces”

Among the most popular and successful of Edvard Grieg’s compositions are undoubtedly his “Lyric Pieces” for piano, published between 1867 and 1901 in ten separate volumes and ultimately combined into one complete volume in 1902. Yet though the editions were already reprinted thousands of times during his lifetime, many errors and oddities still remain unaltered to this day…
Continue reading

Posted in autograph, Grieg, Edvard, Lyric Pieces (Grieg), Monday Postings, piano solo, sketches, variant reading | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments