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Topic: Beethoven's Sonatas - Which Publishing House?  (Read 1399 times)

Offline flyusx

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Beethoven's Sonatas - Which Publishing House?
on: March 31, 2022, 01:07:11 PM
I've always heard of high praise for G Henle Verlag, their Bach editions seem to be quite good. However, I've also heard praise for Barenreiter's editions edited by Johnathan Del Mar. I presume the differences to be minute. I know Barenreiter has commentary as a >$100 volume on its own, not sure about Henle. Is one specifically better than the other?
Currently Working On
Beethoven Sonate №7

Offline bwl_13

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Re: Beethoven's Sonatas - Which Publishing House?
Reply #1 on: March 31, 2022, 05:38:16 PM
I love Henle books, primarily because they're so great to work from. I get them for most composers and the Beethoven sonatas are especially fantastic. When I saw what the 2 volumes looked like I figured there's no way these books can stay open or stay in good condition, but the binding on these books is unreal. I wish all sheet music was bound like this, unlike something like Jan Ekier's PWM edition.

I haven't personally worked from a Barenreiter book, so I wouldn't know about them but I know it's a very trusted edition. Either way you go will be good
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5

Online lelle

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Re: Beethoven's Sonatas - Which Publishing House?
Reply #2 on: March 31, 2022, 08:14:44 PM
I think Henle is great for the beethoven sonatas. I have the hardcover editions and I like them very much.

Agree with you that the Jan Ekier binding sucks, at least when I bought the Chopin Sonatas in 2018. Don't know what they were thinking putting so much work into making an authentic edition and then binding it in a terrible, useless book.

Offline hmoll53

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Re: Beethoven's Sonatas - Which Publishing House?
Reply #3 on: June 30, 2022, 07:56:40 PM
I have used almost all editions and have most of them so here is a general review of the Beet Sonatas I have.
Schirmer - Now I hear people talk crap about this but for the price, it's really not that bad. Granted if this edition was like Henle-level expensive, then it's just pure garbage. Now, I wouldn't say this is a good edition either with all its goofy editing and low quality, surely something NOT to use in competitions and auditions.
Henle - Pretty much perfect overall. There's the older Bertha Wallner (I forgot the name of the editor) edition and the newly released Murray Perahia edition. The new Perahia edition has forewords on editing comments for all editions (Volumes and Singles) while the Wallner only has for the large Volumes. Some engraving also changed and there are massive differences in fingerings (See what you agree on by reading comments and prefaces) But quality wise, it's perfect.
Wiener - This one is hard to get if you aren't in Europe or Asia. Based in Vienna (thus the name Wiener), this edition is in my opinion a bit less long lasting as the Henle (It's paper is a bit thinner). The commentary is also quite long though they don't focus on specific Sonatas unless it's the singular edition if I recall. I don't suggest getting this edition in North America because of how pricey and difficult it is to get, when you can get the more accessible and imo better Henle for the same price.
ABRSM - This edition made by Barry Cooper (The guy who discovered Beethoven's 10th Symphony I think) is a newer edition and by far the best for practicing and learning. Unlike some other editions, it not only gives editorial comments, it actually gives interpretative remarks on how to perform Sonatas! It's crazy detailed and draws sources from people who knew Beethoven such as Czerny. It's not too expensive and the notes are woth buying for anyways. Qualities wise, it's on the medium side, better than Schirmer but definitely inferior to Henle.
Alfred - If I recall, there are multiple versions of Beethoven's Sonatas by Alfred as well. There is the Schnabel edition and Stewart Gordon (?) edition. Schnabel's way older and that edition is from 1949. This edition also gives intrepretative remarks and lots of fingerings. If you don't care about the authenticity of who's doing the fingering, than Schnabel is the way to go. (Btw Schnabel is like a god of Beethoven and Schubert that you should definitely check out, but his compositions are very atonal). I'm not familiar with the Stewart Gordon so I can't say much on that
Dover - Dovers are usually reprints that are pretty cheap. I don't use them often and I know the Dover is reprinted from an older German edition. In fact, most of the scores of Beethoven Sonata videos on YT use the score of this Dover reprint, as it is now out of copyright. For the vintage time of publication, you can assume it most likely has interesting but potentially unfaithful edits done to the score.
Peters - Edited by Claudio Arrau, the man himself. I never used this edition but I have seen it as my teacher had it. It's a very large book just like the Henle and Wiener when in volumes, but the paper quality feels more like Wiener. It's durable but isn't as nice looking imo as Henle. The music is pretty compressed on the sheet, so one page might have like 5 or 6 staves so if you can't see well, then this isn't ideal. Paper quality is decent I guess.
The only edition I have never used or seen myself is Barenreiter, it's another expensive edition from Europe that's hard to attain, and me and my poor wallet never had the courage to buy it.  :-[
Some Current Repertoire:
Scriabin: Sonatas 2,4 and 5
Chopin: Ballade 1,4, Scherzo 1
Rachmaninoff: Concerto 3
Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit
Barber: Sonata
Beethoven: Appassionata

Offline hmoll53

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Re: Beethoven's Sonatas - Which Publishing House?
Reply #4 on: June 30, 2022, 07:57:54 PM
I think Henle is great for the beethoven sonatas. I have the hardcover editions and I like them very much.

Agree with you that the Jan Ekier binding sucks, at least when I bought the Chopin Sonatas in 2018. Don't know what they were thinking putting so much work into making an authentic edition and then binding it in a terrible, useless book.

Ekier's is nice but I always liked Paderewski's layout more.
Some Current Repertoire:
Scriabin: Sonatas 2,4 and 5
Chopin: Ballade 1,4, Scherzo 1
Rachmaninoff: Concerto 3
Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit
Barber: Sonata
Beethoven: Appassionata

Offline bwl_13

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Re: Beethoven's Sonatas - Which Publishing House?
Reply #5 on: July 03, 2022, 04:47:59 AM
Ekier's is nice but I always liked Paderewski's layout more.
I love everything about it except the binding. Such a shame.
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5

Online lelle

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Re: Beethoven's Sonatas - Which Publishing House?
Reply #6 on: July 07, 2022, 10:30:31 AM
I'll add to hmoll53's comment on Barenreiter - I have some Debussy and Bach with Barenreiter and I am very happy with it. Don't know how they fare with the Beethoven sonatas but I'd be surprised if there was a huge dip in quality. They can be expensive though.

Offline flyusx

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Re: Beethoven's Sonatas - Which Publishing House?
Reply #7 on: July 08, 2022, 06:41:26 PM
I'll add to hmoll53's comment on Barenreiter - I have some Debussy and Bach with Barenreiter and I am very happy with it. Don't know how they fare with the Beethoven sonatas but I'd be surprised if there was a huge dip in quality. They can be expensive though.
Yep...I decided to buy the bunch. $37 or so per volume spread across three volumes, not counting the >$100 commentary.
Currently Working On
Beethoven Sonate №7

Offline kosulin

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Re: Beethoven's Sonatas - Which Publishing House?
Reply #8 on: February 18, 2023, 05:37:06 AM
Urtext does not guarantee the 100% correct match to the composer's original intent, especially for Beethoven. The differences between different Urtext editions are not just in paper, cost, layout, or binding - editor decisions play a huge role, and you will never know which of editors is correct. So you might just decide on what print and layout are best for you.

You might still want to consider that:

1. There are source differences. For example, the older Peters (Fischer, 1974) - not official Urtext, but very popular - uses 1819 London edition of #29 (op.106) instead of 1819 Vienna edition. Vienna is preferred by many as it was proofread by Beethoven (the London one was not).

2. Beethoven used dots, wedges and sometimes | for staccato in his manuscripts, and there is evidence (Beethoven's letter to Karl Holz, and written notes by Muzio Clementi) that these marks have different meaning where wedges mean hard staccato as short as possible, dots are to be played softer, and | is somewhere in between.

I might be wrong (I do not have all of them - and who does?), but it looks like:
- new Peters edition (Fischer, 1988) is probably the only one that uses all 3 forms of staccato marks.
- THE PLANET OF MUSIC Urtext (Egorov, 2020) uses vedges and dots.
- Henle Urtext (Wallner, 1952/1980) unified all staccato marks as dots.
- Wiener Urtext (Hauschild, 1997-2001) uses dots and wedges.
- Barenreiter - I do not know.

Also, it looks like distinguishing between dots and wedges in B's sources is not a trivial task, and requires editor's decision. For example, in Op. 14-1, in bars 4, 15 and 21 Egorov put a dot, while Hauschild (Wiener) has a wedge.

3. Many editions completely drop <> (Schwelltonzeichen) used by Beethoven in many sonatas.

4. Here is one example of where some editors disagree completely: op.27-2 bar 159. Is it staccato (wedge) in the first chord of the manuscript, or a note? The engraver of the first edition put the note and added the staccato wedge as well (see image below), and this possible typo was reproduced by many editions since then.

Here is a quote from Barenreiter: "In A (autograph) LH staccato note 2-4 is written above noteheads, note 1 no staccato. RH note 1 is definitely notehead C sharp as in E (First Edition) not merely LH note staccato, as in one recent edition. Also note 1-4 staccato in E."
I.e. they believe that there is note, and there is no staccato.

At the same time Fischer and Egorov believe there must be only staccato. Egorov (my own translation): "Johannes Fischer gave another example of the advantage the early autograph have before the later - first edition. In bar 159 of the finale of the sonata op. 27 No. 2 on the first chord of the right hand of the manuscript, the engraver struck the staccato wedge as a note (cis). Since then, most publications, including urtexts (Henle G., Nuova Carisch) follow not the original manuscript, but reproduce an obvious engraver's error."

I had a long and interesting discussion about this on another forum, you can google it if you are interested.
Vlad

Offline anacrusis

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Re: Beethoven's Sonatas - Which Publishing House?
Reply #9 on: March 03, 2023, 08:45:45 PM
^I think if Beethoven wanted us to play his music according to his intention, he should have invested some effort into a more legible handwriting :P
 

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