Piano Concerto A major K. 488
Urtext Edition, Piano reduction, paperbound
two copies needed for performance
Orchestral material available from Breitkopf & Härtel
Pages: 61 (VI, 55), Size 23,5 x 31,0 cm
Order no. HN 767 · ISMN 979-0-2018-0767-6
Level of difficulty (Piano): medium (Level 6)
This piano concerto by Mozart presented here inaugurate an ambitious project at Henle Publishers: in the coming years many of the Salzburg master’s 23 piano concertos will be published in completely new Urtext editions. And none other than András Schiff is collaborating with us. His piano reductions are aimed at amateurs rather than professionals; his fingerings for Mozart’s solo part have been exquisitely fine-tuned and are inspiring; and where Mozart’s original cadenzas are missing, Schiff’s stylistically perfected ones have been included. In so doing we aspire to set a new precedent. The quality is not only guaranteed by András Schiff, but also by the Mozart scholars to whom Henle Publishers have entrusted their Urtext editions. Each work is edited by a specialist, according to predetermined editorial guidelines. First and foremost Mozart’s handwritten scores have been consulted, being the most important sources. In some cases these had not yet been available when preparing previous editions. Moreover, we know today that in addition to Mozart’s own manuscripts, early copies in parts and prints also contain important information regarding the musical text. A co-production with Breitkopf & Härtel, Mozart’s piano concertos are not only available as attractive and affordable piano reductions, there are also an accompanying Urtext conductor’s score, orchestral parts and a study score. This will ensure that this lavish new edition can be used in many different contexts: whether studying the solo part in a definitive Urtext edition, which reflects the latest research findings; or playing together with a second pianist, providing a piano reduction which not only sounds superb but is also easy to play; or studying and reading the pocket score and finally performing with an orchestra, using newly-prepared material.
Bij de uitvoering vlecht Schiff door zijn eigen cadensen dan ook wel eens een citaat uit een opera en slaat daarmee een brug tussen concertzaal en theater. Zijn inbreng is van onschatbare waarde en opent verrassend nieuwe perspectieven op stukken die ons zo vertrouwd leken.
… these new editions exude friendliness to performers on modern instruments and can be recommended wholeheartedly …
[International Piano, 2007]
Die Herausgeber Stephan Hörner, Norbert Gertsch und Ernst-Günter Heinemann garantieren eine genaue und doch kritische Wiedergabe der originalen Vorlagen, was in den Bemerkungen und den unbedingt lesenswerten Vorworten zum Ausdruck kommt.
[Schweizer Musikzeitung, 2007]
The levels of difficulty of the
piano music published by G. Henle Publishers
The levels of difficulty of the piano music published by G. Henle Publishers
|1||easy||Bach, Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach, nos. 4 and 5|
|2||Bach, Well-Tempered Clavier I, no. 1 Prelude C major|
|3||Beethoven, Piano Sonatas op. 49,1 and 2|
|4||medium||Grieg, Lyric Pieces op. 12, no. 4|
|5||Schumann, Fantasy Pieces op. 12, no. 1|
|6||Chopin, Nocturnes op. 27, nos. 1 and 2|
|7||difficult||Beethoven, Piano Sonata op. 10, no. 3|
|8||Beethoven, Piano Sonata op. 81a|
|9||Schumann, Toccata op. 7|
Guide to the levels of difficulty
"I don't know what 'difficult' means. Either you can play or you can't" – this was the rather terse comment by the great violinist Nathan Milstein, on being asked about the unbelievable difficulty of Niccolo Paganini's Caprice no. 1.
The relativity of the evaluation of difficulty in music immediately becomes clear. Yet I gladly take up this great challenge, presented to me by G. Henle Publishers. For I am aware of how useful a guide like this can be, both from my own experience as well as that of many colleagues. In particular so as to be able to identify "appropriate" works. For example for music teachers, who teach at very different levels, from beginners to those preparing for music conservatories, but also for all those interested amateurs for whom this guide is intended.
After careful deliberation I have settled on nine levels of difficulty, which I have divided into three groups: 1–3 (easy), 4–6 (medium), 7–9 (difficult). A number of parameters have been considered when assessing the level of difficulty. I have not just looked at the number of fast or slow notes to be played, or the chord sequences; of central importance are also the complexity of the piece's composition, its rhythmic complexities, the difficulty of reading the text for the first time, and last but not least, how easy or difficult it is to understand its musical structure. I have defined "piece" as being the musical unit of a sonata, or a single piece in a cycle, which is why Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier" Part I comprises a total of 48 levels of difficulty (each prelude and fugue is considered separately), Schumann's Sonata in f sharp minor op.11 only has a single number. My assessment is measured by the ability to prepare a piece for performance.
While assessing the pieces, it became clear that the medium level of difficulty (4–6) is the trickiest. Now and again this means that a piece is judged as a "3/4", even if it only deserved a "3" as far as piano technique is concerned. An example of such a "borderline" case (easy/medium) is Schumann's "Scenes from Childhood" op. 15 Von fremden Ländern und Menschen or at the other end "6/7" part of Bach's "English Suites". And of course within a main category there are also "from-to" evaluations (e.g. 7/8).
Any evaluation of art or music will always be subjective, even if the aim was to be objective. Despite the fact that I have endeavoured to be as careful as possible, I am all too aware that the results of my work can be called into question, and am therefore grateful for any suggestions you might have.
Prof. Rolf Koenen © 2010