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Estonia Pianos
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I want to buy a collection of the Hungarian Rhapsodies for myself, to rely less on the generosity of libraries.

I can even like good, relevant editorial comments from editors, supposing they are clearly marked as editorial comments. However, I think I should have a rather faithful text, and I would prefer all original fingerings, all marked separately from any editorial suggested fingerings. (As it is possible I will eventually want to audition with one of these, maybe I should get officially ur-text-ish copies, or to the contrary save my money for now.)

For editions of Hungarian Rhapsodies, what issues should I be concerned about? (--Ignoring any -moral or imposed- obligations to -always- use perfect texts. Comment on why I should be picky in this particular case.) Despite whatever I said before, I am also concerned somewhat with price, and decidedly with durability and openability of books.

So comment on any of these features. Or just recommend editions. Right now, I am looking to get a full collection, more so than independent albums.

How much of an advantage would this give me over downloading things off IMSLP? Or what on IMSLP is to be preferred?

I would also prefer edition that includes the post-Rakoczy late Hungarian Rhapsodies, but that might be restricting my options a bit on account of something I don't even know much about (Though I could get those online, too... (https://imslp.org/wiki/Hungarian_R... index page for 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies).)

Similarly, less urgently, could you recommend editions of etudes or Années de Pèlerinage or Funerailles Octobre 1849?

Thank you.

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What editions have you found?

The only publishers that I have found who publish the complete (1 - 19) Rhapsodies are Schirmer, Peters (two volumes at about $30.00 per volume) and Dover (one volume, $12.99 at Amazon; $18.95 at JW Pepper). Dover is undoubtedly a reprint of an older edition - that's usually the case with Dover, but I haven't researched it yet. Perhaps you can do that.

The new Liszt edition published by Editio Musica Budapest is very expensive, over $80.00 per volume and I haven't been able to determine whether they are yet complete, as the complete works of Liszt in this "authoritative" edition is still on-going. I have only been able to find the volume containing Rhapsodies 11 through 19 at $80.00 to $100.00 for the volume, depending on the distributor.

Neither the Schirmer nor the Peters has any fingering. That may well be the "original fingering." It seems from what little I've discovered that Liszt did not include fingering in the first editions.

Your least expensive bet is Dover. My experience with Dover editions is usually disappointing both in print quality and in binding.

My complete Hungarian Rhapsodies is published by Augener ("Revised, phrased and fingered by O. Thümer), but I bought them many (many!) years ago, and I don't know if they are still in print. To give you an idea of how long ago I purchased them, they were $2.25 - (yes, two dollars and twenty-five cents!) for volume one and $2.00 for volume two!

Regards,


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Just do not rely on old Augner editions .When I was much younger I
was given an Augner edition of Schubert Impromptus op 90 .I learned the one in G flat .The only problem was that it had been transposed down a semi tone to G major .
Not knowing much about repertoire at that stage I learnt the whole
Impromptu in G major instead of G flat ?
We live and learn !

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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Just do not rely on old Augner editions .When I was much younger I
was given an Augner edition of Schubert Impromptus op 90 .I learned the one in G flat .The only problem was that it had been transposed down a semi tone to G major .
Not knowing much about repertoire at that stage I learnt the whole
Impromptu in G major instead of G flat ?
We live and learn !


Lady Bird:

If you go from G-flat to G, you are going up half a tone not down half a tone!

That was an "error" that several old editions made, not just Augener's. Schubert's original Viennese publisher of this Impromptu, Carl Haslinger, published the third Impromptu in G major because he felt that he would get more sales in the "easier" key than in the original. Or, as Howard Ferguson of the ABRSM edition puts it: "...presumably to avoid alarming prospective purchasers." Impromptus 3 and 4 of Op. 90 weren't published, by the way, until 1857.

I also had an old edition in which this Impromptu was published in G major.

Regards,


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Thanks Bruce ,
Yes of course a semitone up to G .A strange thing to do ? I have never bothered to relearn it in G flat .

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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Thanks Bruce ,
Yes of course a semitone up to G .A strange thing to do ? I have never bothered to relearn it in G flat .


It may seem strange to us, but the editor was trying to assure sales, and the G-flat key signature may well have been a deterrent to many of his potential piano-playing customers, as Ferguson suggests. A similar thing occurs with the well-know Dvorak Humoresque, Op. 101, No. 7. It was originally written in G-flat, but some editors have printed it in G major, probably for the same reason that Haslinger published the Schubert in G major.

Playing both of them, but particularly the Schubert in G-flat is entirely different from the G version. Not only does the piece fit more comfortably in the hand, the tone colour of G-flat is vastly different from that of G and (in my not-so-humble-opinion) really merits reworking in the original key.

Regards,


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It is difficult to tell about how transpositions really affect how the piece sounds. After all, the pitch of the instruments was not likely to have been A 440 when the Schubert or Dvorak were written. We do not know exactly what it was.

However, the pitch relationship between those pieces and the other pieces within the set definitely would have been affected.


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Originally Posted by BDB
It is difficult to tell about how transpositions really affect how the piece sounds. After all, the pitch of the instruments was not likely to have been A 440 when the Schubert or Dvorak were written. We do not know exactly what it was.
[...]


That's true, of course. For me, however, if I play each of these pieces in both keys on the same piano, there is a decided difference in tone quality, and I don't think it's just that one version is a half-tone lower than the other. In the Schubert, the G major sounds bright and less appropriate to the music than the darker, warmer, G-flat major. Perhaps it's just me, though.

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I also experience the G flat as more attractive. There was a time I tried to relearn it in G flat .I only completed the first page because
I had greater difficulty holding the melody notes and playing the
accompaniment in the RH ,so I would have had to use more pedal
which I thought may ruin the piece .
So I have concentrated on different Schubert pieces which is more
suited to my hand .My stretch is not that great .

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I find it interesting that we can hear different key colors when a piece is played in Gb major instead of G major. I'm currently working on this piece and realise that the piece sounds completely different when played in G major. I thought that since our pianos are supposed to be tuned to equal temperament, there shouldn't be any difference in key color. Or am I misunderstanding something here?

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For me I definitely experience difference colours with different keys .
G flat more bell like and a brightness that G does not have.

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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
For me I definitely experience difference colours with different keys .
G flat more bell like and a brightness that G does not have.


And for me, it's just the opposite. As I indicated above, G major is brighter; G-flat major is mellower even more "velvety" in the texture of the sound. Keep in mind that the right hand never rises above G at the top of the treble clef; that's perhaps why I don't hear the brightness that you do. Of course, that concept of brightness can also depend on the voicing of our individual pianos. That said, however the piano may be voiced, I find G major brighter than G-flat major when both are played on the same piano.

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I think when I say brighter I am talking about the colour .When I hear
it in G flat there is more of an aura around the melody also a far greater warmth .It is not like a piano with a kind of brightness which after an hour or so is irritating.
The brightness gives it a greater spiritual quality which for me I
often experience in Schubert and Schumann.

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Yes I know what you mean. G flat has a kind of depth and warmth to it. A kind of complex texture. G major just sounds happy and simple.

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Yes I agree yet with Mozart I find G major as so wonderful. I am thinking of one of his piano concertos in G major .Even his early
piano sonata in G .Although not one of his difficult sonatas ,for me
is wonderful in that key .I would love to hear it in mean tone tuning.
Schumann s Romance in F sharp major op28 is similar to the Schubert impromptu in
G flat op 90 ,for me in its brightness and warmth giving a spiritual quality which is just not there if you transpose it down to F major .
I can only transpose a few bars down to hear the effect .
Of course Fsharp major is enharmonic to G flat .


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