«Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose» – a short foray into Beethoven’s sets of variations

Dressler-Variations WoO 63, beginning of the theme

The “variations” form type plays an important role in Beethoven’s work during his entire life. His very first work to be published, by his teacher Christian Gottlob Neefe in 1782, was his 9 piano variations on a march by Dressler WoO 63. “Beethoven begins with variations,” the music critic Paul Bekker wrote in 1911, to which we could add that he also ends with variations: The Diabelli Variations op. 120 are amongst his last piano works, crowning not only his creativity, but probably equalled only by Bach’s Goldberg Variations in the history of the piano variation. Continue reading

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Christmas with Beethoven

In keeping with our Beethoven blog to mark the composer’s 250th anniversary, this year’s Christmas post will also revolve around Beethoven, although, alas, he composed very little church music and did not – like Bach – leave us a wonderful Christmas oratorio. Continue reading

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Beethoven performing Beethoven? The composer writing his own cadenzas

Beethoven performing Beethoven – I expect that you’re like me: how much I would like to have been there when Beethoven was performing his own works on the piano. But since time travel is not yet an option and recordings are not available, this will just have to stay a nice dream. Really? Don’t we at least get a chance at an indirect idea of a Beethoven performance?

(Thöny, Wilhelm: Beethoven at the piano – print based on drawing. With kind permission by the Beethoven-Haus Bonn)

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Beethoven anniversary in the Henle blog

As we were celebrating our 200th blog post two weeks ago, my colleague Wolf-Dieter Seiffert cast a splendid glance back at the many highly interesting and, we hope, entertaining articles that our blog team has written since 2011. Today I am looking ahead, because for Henle publishers next year is a very special one, the 250th birthday of the very greatest: LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN. Our blog will inevitably also be part and parcel of the excitement, so here, too, we’ll be paying special homage to the Viennese master in 2020, with all of the upcoming 20 plus blog posts from now until Christmas next year revolving around Ludwig van Beethoven! Continue reading

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200 Henle blog posts. Hard to believe, but true!

You are reading the 200th post of the Henle blog. Two hundred! Hard to believe. So many exciting, informative, entertaining original texts. Thoroughly researched essays from our editorial staff on music sources, reading variants, philologically interesting things about new publications, and so much more. Continue reading

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At long last: Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is now also in a handy format

The great Hungarian composer Béla Bartók has finally entered the Henle catalogue as of spring 2016: First of all, with the Complete Critical Edition of his works that by this summer has already grown to four volumes; secondly, with the individual practical Urtext editions of his piano works based on the scholarly music text of this complete edition. These really offer meanwhile something for everyone, from the beginners’ repertoire (with the instructive books For Children and Mikrokosmos) via the  Bartók classics (such as the Romanian Folk Dances) up to the advanced virtuoso literature (for example, with the  Improvisations op. 20). But up to now one thing has been missing:  Bartók’s name in the series of our study scores in a handy format. So, we were all the more pleased to be able to fill this gap when in 2018 the Concerto for Orchestra was at long last published in the complete edition. Continue reading

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Quality: especially valuable – the galley proofs in Fauré’s 1st Cello Sonata op. 109

There is always a risk in producing an engraved plate (or a digital file today) for a printed music edition that the engraver/typesetter will not accurately copy the model in some places. That’s why composers were already insisting very early on that the publishing house in question let them have a galley proof to proofread and correct before the final printing. This was, in fact, no guarantee of a flawless first edition, for composers often overlooked compositional errors or, vice versa, the engraver overlooked or misunderstood the composers’ corrections. But it gave composers some degree of certainty that the printed music text would not appear littered with errors. Moreover, the proofreading offered a welcome opportunity to make changes here and there in the original version.

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Dont worry, be happy – the first critical Urtext edition of etudes by Jakob Dont

Jakob Dont (1815–88)

Every violinist is most likely acquainted with them from violin lessons: the 24 Études et Caprices op. 35 by Jakob Dont (1815–1888) are even today an irreplaceable curriculum item. The reason for this is certainly that Dont was successful in finding a congenial way to combine targeted training for certain technical challenges within an appealing and melodious musical form. Dozens of various editions are on the market today, though all differ from each other – sometimes considerably.  What then is the “real” Dont? Continue reading

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More Climate Protection is Urgently Needed Now! #HenleVerlagForFuture!

For once – and absolutely exceptionally! – today’s post is not going to be about our beloved music, its texts or matters editorial, such as you are accustomed to reading in this blog. No, today I want to draw your attention to the strike day #fridaysforfuture coming up on 20 September 2019. This is the day when the whole world will again go on strike for more climate protection, for more specific decisions and concrete action towards a sustainable, liveable environment, instead of merely talking perpetually about it. Because we the employees of the G. Henle Verlag will join this strike, the publishing house will remain closed on Friday, September 20, 2019. Continue reading

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Summer break

Time flies! Summer has arrived and our blog is taking some time off, too. A good opportunity to relax at the beach with some light reading. Our authors will make good use of the rest period to think about new topics to write about. And you can look forward to signing in again on the 16th of September 2019.

Meanwhile, we wish all readers a fine and relaxing summer!

G. Henle Verlag

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