An unaccountable (?) fermata notation in Mozart’s string quartet K. 428

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)

That Mozart, when writing carefully, graphically distinguishes between the dot and the stroke, ought to be beyond dispute to anyone knowing his handwriting. Though here we’re not going to argue about the performance-practice significance that this graphic distinction may or may not have. Today I want to present an extremely odd “stroke” notation of Mozart’s. Continue reading

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The Nutcracker in ballet and film

The Nutcracker is as closely associated with the Christmas season as Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, the Christmas tree and gingerbread. A ballet visit is a fixed tradition for many classical music fans.   Continue reading

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40 or 42? Rodolphe Kreutzer’s Etudes as Urtext edition

Rodolphe Kreutzer (1766–1831)

There could not be a bigger difference: When you are preparing to edit a work of the Classical and Romantic greats, you can rely on an abundance of information from a sea of scholarly literature. When you turn to composers still long enshrined in the repertoire by only a few works or even a single work, you are often faced with – nothing! Rodolphe Kreutzer is nearly just such a case. Continue reading

Posted in 40 Etudes ou Caprices (Kreutzer), Kreutzer, Rodolphe, Monday Postings, Urtext, Violin | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Debussy in Urtext – Part 6: Interview with Pascal Rogé

Pascal Rogé

In the final part of our little series we want to put our Debussy editions to a practical test. And who could be more appropriate for this than the French pianist Pascal Rogé? He has been setting standards for decades with his concerts and recordings of 19th– and 20th-century French music, including making a highly acclaimed complete recording of Debussy’s piano works finished in 2010! Continue reading

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A tear for or from Rossini?

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868)

November 13 marks the 150th anniversary of Gioacchino Rossini’s death, so we can shed a tear! And we at Henle are even issuing a piece by the master himself, that is, “Une larme” (A Tear) for double bass and piano. Rossini dedicated this melancholy musical miniature in 1858 to a deceased friend – but why it even so gives our editor Tobias Glöckler pleasure, he explained to me in conversation. Continue reading

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Rachmaninoff revises Rachmaninoff. On the two versions of the Second Piano Sonata op. 36

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943)

In my last blog posting I went into the genesis of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano sonata and its world première, but today I would like to consider some of this work’s musical problems. Or, actually, these two works, for the sonata is known to exist in two distinctly different versions (from 1913 and 1931), both were published and authorised by the composer. Continue reading

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From sketch to first edition: the (almost) seamless source documentation of Edward Elgar’s violin sonata

Edward Elgar (1857–1934)

Many Urtext editions and their sources cross the desk of an editor at the G. Henle publishing house – but we are seldom dealing with such a comprehensive source documentation as is the case with Elgar’s violin sonata. Nearly every step of the work’s genesis can still be re-traced today, and yet in preparing this edition its editors were constantly confronted with unresolved issues – how could that be? Continue reading

Posted in Elgar, Edward, genesis, Monday Postings, piano + violin, Sources, Violin Sonata op. 82 (Elgar) | Tagged , | 2 Comments

“Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!”*) — Four famous composers at the Wiesn**).

Yesterday evening I was once again sitting in the party tent at the world famous Munich Oktoberfest with a good Mass Bier***). Facing me sat four rather odd-looking men who introduced themselves as “perennial musicians”. I didn’t really quite catch their names (for the band in the tent was very loudly playing “music”). But their appearance and their speech certainly seemed somehow weird to me, in fact, “old-fashioned” – then suddenly it hit me, WHO they were, sitting at my table. Hard to believe, but for sure!! Continue reading

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Debussy in Urtext – Part 5: Corrections in the galley proofs for the piano piece “Masques”

Correction in the proof of Masques.

Needless to say, every editor of an Urtext edition wishes to have a source situation as complete as possible, starting from the first sketch of a work up to the authorised edition appearing in the composer’s lifetime. A particularly important link in this chain are the autograph corrections from the galley proofs, since they connect the engraver’s model with the first edition and help to account for differences between these two sources. Continue reading

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Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Potpourri op. 94 for Viola and Orchestra – for your kind attention!

To my great joy, this year and last year the wonderful Antoine Tamestit has been heard several times in concert with a work that has long been completely unknown, even to connoisseurs of the viola repertoire: Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Potpourri op. 94 for viola und orchestra. Continue reading

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