Bach-Busoni – a successful Henle series with sequels

Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924)

Another Bach-Busoni edition recently came on the music market as a Henle Urtext edition: The famous organ toccata in D minor, known to almost every child and congenially transcribed for piano by Busoni. Continue reading

Posted in arrangement, Bach, Johann Sebastian, Busoni, Ferruccio, Toccata D minor BWV 565 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How do fossils behave? On a passage in Saint-Saëns’ Carnaval des animaux

When a composer decides against publishing one of his works during his lifetime, there are usually good reasons: Either it is a youthful or study work that would be too insignificant for publication or it represents a style that has meantime been abandoned. Or it features an occasional work in the truest sense of that word, intended only for private performance. The latter applies also to Camille Saint-Saëns’ probably most popular composition, Le Carnaval des animaux (composed in 1886, posthumously published in 1922). Continue reading

Posted in Monday Postings, Saint-Saëns, Camille, Urtext | Tagged | 1 Comment

The agony of choice – lieder by Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss (1864–1949)

Incredible, but true: unannounced so far in this blog is the entrance last year in the Henle universe of one of the greatest of 20th-century composers – Richard Strauss! This is, of course, owing to a certain composer, “B”, whose 250th birthday we so extensively celebrated here that some things had to stand back. But now, finally, it’s high time to introduce Strauss to this forum. For this modern classic’s edition naturally presented the Henle editorial department with completely new challenges. Whilst my colleagues were dealing with instrumental music and, when editing duo sonatas and solo concertos, were settling questions of transmission and text in close collaboration with performing musicians, I, as lied editor, initially once had, totally banally, the agony of choice: where to start with the more than 200 lieder for voice and piano that Strauss bequeathed to us, each one more beautiful than the other? Continue reading

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“…probably the best of Dvořák that I’m acquainted with.” What’s worth knowing about the Wind Serenade in d minor op. 44

Even though recently the focus of attention owing to their anniversaries has been on composers like Debussy, Beethoven or currently Saint-Saëns, Antonín Dvořák seems to me to be the secret luminary in the Henle programme. Since 2015, no fewer than eleven new Urtext editions of his works have been published by our publishing house, amongst them, many large and central works of his oeuvre such as the late String Quartets opp. 96, 105 und 106, the Piano Quintet op. 81, the Piano Trio op. 65 and the Humoresques for piano op. 101. Our new edition of the Wind Serenade in d minor op. 44 (HN 1234/HN 7234) will be appearing in the next few days, completing the dozen. And so, of course, it goes on: already in progress for this autumn are Dvořák’s “Slavonic” String Quartet in E-flat major op. 51 and – a special highlight – his legendary Cello Concerto. Continue reading

Posted in autograph, Dvořák, Antonín, first edition, Instrumentation, Monday Postings, Wind Serenade op. 44 (Dvořák) | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy and the challenges of an Urtext edition

In the already more than 70 years since the founding of our publishing house, we have time and again developed wonderful, friendly relationships with first-rate artists, often having a very fruitful effect on our editorial work. Today, I’d like to give a current example of this, which put us on the track of re-evaluating our edition of Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy. Continue reading

Posted in Claudius Tanski, Monday Postings, piano solo, Schubert, Franz, Wanderer Fantasy in C major op. 15 (Schubert) | 1 Comment

Attempt at re-dating Mozart’s three popular “Quartet-Divertimenti”, K. 136–138

In conjunction with my Urtextausgabe of the well-known and much-played “Divertimenti”,  K. 136–138, just about to be published, it became clear that Mozart’s own, unusually vague dating at the head of his autograph, “Salisburgo 1772”, cannot be entirely accurate. I’m assuming, rather, that he was already working on the composition of these three works in Milan from the late autumn of 1771, only then to finish them in Salzburg at the start of 1772.  I’d like briefly to substantiate this hypothesis in this blog post. Continue reading

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Bach’s harpsichord concertos and their autograph

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)

If you’re looking for a simple answer to the question about the source situation for Johann Sebastian Bach’s works, it is that the situation is neither really “good” nor “bad”. Bach’s compositions have come down to us in many and various forms: Sometimes these are admirable fair copies such as for the St. Matthew Passion or for the Inventions and Sinfonias (see our edition HN 589); some are extant only in copyists’ manuscripts, ultimately leaving open whether Bach actually composed the work in question (a famous case: the d-minor Organ Toccata BWV 565, see our edition of the Busoni arrangement HN 1479. Continue reading

Posted in Bach, Johann Sebastian, genesis, piano + orchestra | Tagged , | 1 Comment

“My fingering may inspire to play in the right style” – Interview with Pascal Rogé

Pascal Rogé

To celebrate the French pianist Pascal Rogé’s 70th birthday on 6 April 2021, we asked him for an interview. He represents worldwide one of his generation’s best-known performers of 19th- and 20th-century French music, setting interpretative standards for this music in his concerts, master classes and CD recordings. For ten years now he has been collaborating with the G. Henle publishers to provide fingering for the piano parts of 18 Urtext editions – for works by French composers, of course, ranging from Saint-Saëns through Chabrier and Fauré up to Satie und Ravel. Continue reading

Posted in Fingering, Monday Postings, Pascal Rogé | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Bartók Complete Edition and its offspring

Since one of the special features of the Henle Verlag catalog is the fact that composers’ scholarly Complete Editions also serve as the basis for our blue-cover practical Urtext editions, our Beethoven, Brahms and Haydn editions have been passing on this in-depth research directly to musicians. This has been particularly true for Béla Bartók since 2016: the Complete Critical Edition, launched five years ago, has given rise to nearly 20 Henle Urtext editions of Bartók piano works– but that’s just the start of it…. Continue reading

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‘Finished in Vysoká at a nice little hour’– new finds in Dvořák’s A-major piano quintet op. 81

The piano quintet is, so to speak, in the “super heavyweight class” amongst chamber-music ensembles: the piano’s powerful sonority encounters an equal partner in the string quartet itself, already constituting an independent ensemble in its own right. This combination offers a wide palette of timbres that allows an enormous dynamic range, progressing from intimate duets to nearly symphonic scope. Continue reading

Posted in autograph, Dvořák, Antonín, first edition, Monday Postings, new source, Piano Quintet op. 81 (Dvořák), rhythm, sketches, tempo, variant reading | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment