Papillons op. 2
Urtext Edition, paperbound
Pages: 29 (VII, 22), Size 23,5 x 31,0 cm
Order no. HN 105 · ISMN M-2018-0105-6
Level of difficulty (Piano): medium (Level 6)
Schumann‘s Papillons op. 2 has been a best-selling item in Henle‘s catalogue for decades. What is special about our revised new edition? First, the musical text has been painstakingly compared once again to the two principal sources, the autograph manuscript and Schumann‘s personal copy of the printed edition. Moreover, the volume is rounded off with a new preface and an updated section of editorial comments. Finally, as a special attraction, the page layout has been thoroughly revised and a fold-out table allows players for the first time to play all twelve pieces of Schumann‘s famous and highly popular cycle without cumbersome page turns. Being of moderate difficulty, Papillons is virtually ideal for use in piano lessons.
Hervorragende Neuausgabe mit ausführlichem Vorwort zur Entstehungsgeschichte und zum literarischen Hintergrund. Im Anhang kritischer Bericht mit Erläuterungen zu den vier Quellen und sehr hilfreiche literarische Hinweise zu nahezu allen Stücken anhand Schumanns Handexemplar der "Flegeljahre" (sehr empfehlenswert).
[VdM Literaturempfehlungen, 2004]
A new Henle edition of Schumann’s "Papillons" op. 2 improves on the 1976 edition, not least because of an easier layout for page turns. A more fulsome preface discusses the links between Papillons and the final scene of Jean Paul’s novel "Flegeljahre".
[Music Teacher, 2003]
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