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Murray Perahia’s Major Transfer

Perahia releases his first album for Deutsche Grammophon presenting Bach’ French Suites. He sees the French Suites as “Bach on the highest level”, adding, “I don’t think Bach wrote one note that didn’t have wider meanings and that wasn’t to be tackled with all one’s heart and soul.” Read more >>

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Author Topic: which publisher is best?  (Read 5485 times)
dj
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« on: January 24, 2004, 06:56:28 AM »

hey i was just wondering, who in your opinion is the best publisher of classical music? i tend 2 buy mostly schirmer's edition because my teacher says it's pretty standard and they sell it at practically every music store in chicago, but i know there r more respected editions out there, i just don't know what they r.
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SteveK
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2004, 07:59:18 AM »

G. Henle Verlag is a great edition  
http://www.henle.de/
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Beet9
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2004, 05:39:27 PM »

Schirmer's isn't bad though most don't like it.
If you're rich get the Heble Verlag editions.
The only edition I don't like is Dover's edition.  Tongue
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Hmoll
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2004, 06:18:25 PM »

It depends a large part on what music you're talking about. The best edition/publisher of Chopin, for example, is not necessarily the best edition for Beethoven.
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IgnazPaderewski
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2004, 06:36:04 PM »

As I understand things, these are what I have found to be the best for particular composers. i am in england, so I may have not seen some other good ones.

Anything in Henle is urtext and authoritative. Others that are perhaps better (or not henle) are:

Chopin - Paderewski
Mozart - Barenreiter
Rachmaninoff - a new russian edition (not printed yet) published by Alexsandr Rachmaninoff. VERY expensive - watch out for the previosly unpublished original version of sonata no.1. Very recently released is a suite and fugue in D minor - never before published!!! B&H is OK.

Liszt is a very tricky subject. The New Liszt Edition by EMB is the best. Henle misreads the manuscripts (the sonata for instance) and Peters edition edited by Sauer is RUBBISH - he changes all of liszts markings. avoid at all costs.  Dover is not bad.

Just steer clear of peters, it is invariably unreliable and rarely urtext. ALWAYS BUY URTEXT, apart from the paderewski chopin edition.
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Bob
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2004, 04:42:08 AM »

I've always heard Henle was the "clean" and most accurate version.

Then, I heard there are editions that show the style in a more authentic way.  For example, a certain edition of Mozart is better (I forget which edition) than the urtext because it shows the phrasing in a stylistically correct way.

IgnazPaderewski, why are these editions better than the urtext?  Thanks!
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glamfolk
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2004, 03:29:14 AM »

I used to like the Dover publications of Chopin, although they recently underwent revisions and have changed quite dramatically.  Gone are the performance and historical notes in the front and back comparing the editions, alternate passages, etc.  They also changed clefs in some of the ledger-lined passages, making them sort of inconvenient to compare when I'm following a student with my older versions.  I no longer care much for them.  The Henle are great for Chopin, Beethoven and Brahms (and Haydn).  The schirmer are nice, but I get the feeling they're being dumbed down a little.  I kind of like the notes on the small side, and everything new seems to be getting to be like big note children's music.  Alfred's does this.  I'm not used to it at all.  And get rid of the pictures, too, please.

Now I feel better.  
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jason
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2004, 08:23:48 AM »

check out http://www.sheetmusicarchive.net/

its a good edition because its free (also pretty good quality).
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PoSeiDoN
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2004, 07:51:07 AM »

My teacher is an ardent fan of Mel-Bay, but I very much like Dover.  All of my scores are pretty authoritative.  The print is clean and precise, and the books are very resilient.
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squinchy
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2004, 04:22:59 AM »

Quote

Just steer clear of peters, it is invariably unreliable and rarely urtext. ALWAYS BUY URTEXT, apart from the paderewski chopin edition.


Ahh!!! My teacher has been telling me to get the Peters edition the whole time..How unreliable is it really? Am I playing botched versions of things?
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IgnazPaderewski
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« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2004, 06:43:18 PM »

dont go anywhere near peters, as they are all edited and rarely urtext - there are better editions out there. for beethoven etc. STAY WELL AWAY as they print endless phrases wrong. buy henle instead. Perhaps some of there more obscure prints are ok, but i dont know them (dvorak, mendelssohn complete stuff).
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ayahav
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2004, 11:50:42 PM »

I usually buy G Henle, because the edition is great, and not so expensive at my local shop. I bought the Sonata Quasi Una Fantasia Op.27/2 (yes - the moonlight - gawd I hate that name! :-/) in the Wiener Urtext edition. It's red. I also bought the WTC II in the same edition. I like these two specifically rather than their G. Henle counterparts because of their lengthy and detailed prefaces (which are very interesting - I have to know about the history of a work before I play it).
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Hmoll
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2004, 05:50:10 PM »

Henle not always the best. It is good for Handel, Beethoven, Schubert, and ok for Chopin, Schumann, and some others.

Best editions for Chopin - Paderewski, and Wiener Urtext

Best for Haydn - Wiener Urtext (Landon).

Best for Back - Neue Bach Ausgabe, Breitkopf und Hartel.

Mozart - Presser (Nathan Broder)

Scarlatti - Schirmer (Yes Schirmer!) Kirkpatrick.

Liszt - Editio Musica Budapest


Also,   it's worth looking at some "non-Urtext" editions. for example Cortot's Chopin editions, Tovey's and Schenker's editions of Beethoven, even Czerny's WTC (taken with a grain of salt).
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thracozaag
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2004, 05:52:25 PM »

Quote
Henle not always the best. It is good for Handel, Beethoven, Schubert, and ok for Chopin, Schumann, and some others.

Best editions for Chopin - Paderewski, and Wiener Urtext

Best for Haydn - Wiener Urtext (Landon).

Best for Back - Neue Bach Ausgabe, Breitkopf und Hartel.

Mozart - Presser (Nathan Broder)

Scarlatti - Schirmer (Yes Schirmer!) Kirkpatrick.

Liszt - Editio Musica Budapest


Also,   it's worth looking at some "non-Urtext" editions. for example Cortot's Chopin editions, Tovey's and Schenker's editions of Beethoven, even Czerny's WTC (taken with a grain of salt).


 Best for Beethoven Concertos: Schirmer
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dj
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2004, 05:31:53 AM »

Quote


 Best for Beethoven Concertos: Schirmer



hey what'dya know....a vote for schirmer's after all
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thracozaag
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2004, 04:50:42 PM »

Quote



hey what'dya know....a vote for schirmer's after all


 Of far greater importance than the publisher is the editor; in the case of the Beethoven concertos, the editor was Carl Czerny.

koji
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donjuan
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« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2004, 05:46:18 AM »

Shirmer is usually OK, but on some rare occasions, huges white strips are placed over the keys as a printing error.
Kalmus is the absolute worst.  the notes are blurry and difficult to read.  I like Dover's collection of Liszt because, well, it's the only source to find cheap music of Liszt.  Side notes, ossias, and alternate fingering is also included, which I like. Wink
Edition Peters is probably my favorite Cheesy.  The notes are clear and the music is generally easier to sight-read than other editions.

Usually, most publications of music are fine- except Kalmus. that's just garbage Tongue..
donjuan
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mosis
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2004, 06:37:05 AM »

I was going to make a new topic asking about Paderewski for Chopin, but I guess it's been answered.

I learned Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata from the Peters version, because my teacher brought it to me and said it was good. Now I'm using the Alfred's version, and in terms of notes, it's not any different. Why is it so bad, and what do they do to change it?
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ayahav
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2004, 11:29:37 AM »

The main difference between Peters, Alfred, etc. and the Urtext, is that the Urtext editions print exactly what is in the autograph, and rarely if ever include suggested fingering (unless explicitly written by the composer - for example, Beethoven has some fingerings in the 32nd Sonata, that he wrote himself). The other editions, not Urtext, are edited by someone, and that often means that they include superfluous phrasing marks and suggested fingerings, that though sometimes work, often don't. Fingerings, I find, are very subjective, one fingering works for someone, and for someone else it wouldn't. The danger with edited editions, is that you don't always know which instructions are the composer's original ones, and which ones were added by the editor. That is why I like Urtext editions...
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Saturn
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2004, 12:26:42 PM »

I don't really think the edition matters all that much.  As long as the basic elements (notes, tempo markings, some dynamics) are correct, the edition is fine.

I like Peters, because of how easy to read their editions are.  The ones I've seen have been reliable enough.  Schirmer tends to squash everything together to save space.

An edition isn't good just because it has the word "urtext" printed on it.  "Urtext" initially referred to original texts of novels and other literature.  If you were dealing with a true urtext edition, the the music would only contain what the composer wrote, so it would be missing a lot of the markings we're used to seeing in our music.  In order to fill in the gaps, the editor has to put markings into the music based on his knowledge of the style of the period and composer.  So there's always a degree of arbitrariness.  Ultimately that stuff is the performer's job anyway.

Henle editions are ridiculously priced.  $100 for the Beethoven sonatas ($50 per book).  Seriously... they're good, but not THAT good.
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Tash
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2004, 02:51:40 PM »

my teacher praises urtext so i'll generally get that unless it's not there. or if i send my mum out tog et it who doesn't know what she's talking about. aghh i just looked at my beethoven sonatas book and it's peters oh i'm so sad i always thought it was a bit dodgy. oh well maybe i'll go tell my mum to go buy me a new book...
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faulty_damper
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2004, 03:51:05 PM »

Doesn't Dover just reprint old published versions?  They don't even bother to touch it up so the original publisher's "smudginess" is reprinted exactly the same.

But they do re-type the headings of the pieces but when they do, it's perfect!  And then it causes the actual notes to look old and worn.  Yuck.

Two examples of this:
 Liszt's Complete Hungarian Rhapsodies.
 Alkan's Le Festin d'Esope and Other Works.

Horrible, horrible, horrible... Tongue

But cheap! Cheesy
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Hmoll
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« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2004, 03:29:45 AM »

Quote
I don't really think the edition matters all that much.  As long as the basic elements (notes, tempo markings, some dynamics) are correct, the edition is fine.

I like Peters, because of how easy to read their editions are.  The ones I've seen have been reliable enough.  Schirmer tends to squash everything together to save space.

An edition isn't good just because it has the word "urtext" printed on it.  "Urtext" initially referred to original texts of novels and other literature.  If you were dealing with a true urtext edition, the the music would only contain what the composer wrote, so it would be missing a lot of the markings we're used to seeing in our music.  In order to fill in the gaps, the editor has to put markings into the music based on his knowledge of the style of the period and composer.  So there's always a degree of arbitrariness.  Ultimately that stuff is the performer's job anyway.

Henle editions are ridiculously priced.  $100 for the Beethoven sonatas ($50 per book).  Seriously... they're good, but not THAT good.


The edition you use is actually quite important. Before recorded music, well known pianists often edited music to indicate how they played the music. They don't do this just to fill in the gaps.
A lot of the "basic elements" you mention are presented erroneously in bad editions - wrong notes, tempos, pedalling, etc. Also, there can be a lot of debate about those basic elements depending on the piece, and composer.

"Urtext" is not just a term reserved for written literature. It also applies to music. It's too simplistic to say Urtext contains only what the composer wrote (which time the composer wrote it, manuscript, first edition, first German edition, etc.?). It's a very complex topic.
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ThePhoenixEffect
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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2004, 06:12:50 PM »

What is the best edition for Bach?  I would have gotten the Henle, but I'm still unfamiliar with ornamentation so I stuck with the Alfred.
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earl
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« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2004, 11:42:45 PM »

Greetings All:

I just joined the forum, so I thought I would throw my hat into the ring.

My teacher in college, (a long time ago) said always get urtext, Henle if you can find it, for the reasons already mentioned. Henle states on their website that they go the distance in finding the most accurate version of a piece that they can, which, if true, justifies the higher cost. Plus, they will suggest fingering in the tricky parts.

But here's the thing I noticed. The last time I was in the music store I held up side by side Henle and a more popular, less expensive edition (Schirmer I believe) and the difference visually was amazing!

The Henle was on nice paper, not overly white, which reduces glare, and the each note, stem, etc. was nicely printed, dark, well defined. In other words, professional looking.

The other edition was on bright, cheap looking paper, and it literally looked like something that had been photocopied about three times. There were places on practically every page where the ink was faded and/or blurry.

I noticed the same thing one day when my teacher and I were comparing our Well Tempered Clavier editions. (Mine was Henle, hers I don't remember).

Sure, the better versions are more expensive but you're paying for readibility, durability and scholarship.

Anyway, nice to meet everyone. This looks like a great forum with a lot of knowlegeable and helpful people with a lot of interesting ideas.

Earl
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Earl
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