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I’ve just ordered the Beethoven Piano Sonatas Volume 1 (Henle edition) today so should be with me in a few days. I cannot wait to play these sonatas and a bonus is that the book will stay flat on my music stand.

Does anyone have the Henle editions of sonatas and how do you find it?


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Wonderful! I hope you enjoy them. The Henle are excellent editions in terms of construction quality, printing clarity, accuracy and notations. I actually own several different editions of the sonatas: Henle, Schnabel, Schirmer and one of the Tovy volumes. I work primarily with the Henle but use the others for reference. The new Barry Cooper editions are on my wish list but I will probably still work with the Henle.


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Originally Posted by scottgreen94
I’ve just ordered the Beethoven Piano Sonatas Volume 1 (Henle edition) today so should be with me in a few days. I cannot wait to play these sonatas and a bonus is that the book will stay flat on my music stand.

Does anyone have the Henle editions of sonatas and how do you find it?


I have the Henle edition of several individual Sonatas. The only complete edition I have is Schnabel. Like Deborah, I admire Henle (generally) for the careful editing, the beautiful paper, the clear impressions and the fact that even the larger volumes lie flat on the music stand.

Some of the newer individual imprints of the Sonatas from Henle have fingering by Murray Perahia. In the two-volume edition of the complete Sonatas, I note that Henle publishes an edition with fingering (Conrad Hansen) and without fingering. Which did you order?

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I bought book 2 40 years and a used book 1 last year. I am frustrated by the fingerings in the Henle, they never feel right and they are a distraction. My other edition is Kalmus which has no fingerings save for the few Beethoven left.

But the Henle is large, measure numbered, easy to read, lays flat (mostly) and a pleasure to use when I ignore the fingering. You can't go wrong with Henle and they last forever, well, 40 years at least.


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I have several individual sonatas from vol. 2 by Henle (Perahia) that are excellent.

Fingering can be so thorny in Beethoven that I often consult IMSLP, at least for the trickiest spots in a particular sonata. The very old Peters edition with fingerings by Ruthardt are especially good (for me). Schenker's fingerings for the Dover reprint are good, also.


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Interesting that you say that about the fingering suggestions. I personally found them to be excellent and very natural, with a few exceptions. Goes to show just how subjective these things are.

As for the OP's question about the edition, I use Henle almost exclusively. The print is flawless and the paper is a wonderfully thick type that turns very easily. Each volume is over 200 pages, so it does take a little bit of breaking in before it stays open on its own, but overall I think you'll be quite pleased. Let us know what you think when you get it!

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I have some of Henle individual sonatas. The Henle quality is one of the best, in terms of print, lisibility. Fingering is often times a personal issue. Anyway they are a pleasure to use.
I also have the new Barry Cooper edition with ABRSM. They have upgraded the quality big time vs some of their previous editions. The paper is rather white and the print is outstanding with extensive comments by BC. Only issue is that it does not open as easily as the Henle, but there are 3 volumes so each is a bit smaller.

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I love the Henle edition of the Beethoven sonatas. I decided to spend the money and get the clothbound version. I sometimes change the fingering, but that's about it.

I also recently bought the old ABRSM Tovey edition, also clothbound. I'm not sure how much I trust the text in the Tovey edition, but I love Tovey's (sometimes tongue-in-cheek) commentary. Tovey's editorial performance directions are often insightful as well.

I wish the Cooper edition were available clothbound.


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I have both Henle volumes, and also various individual sonatas. I find the blue covers too flimsy on the staple-bound Henles (less than 40 pages).

Last edited by johnstaf; 03/15/19 05:41 AM.
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Henle is generally a good edition to get. The paper is thick and slightly yellow so its easy on the eyes. The print is clear and sharp. The book lies flat on the piano stand with not much effort. The text is also authentic and the comments are insightful.

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And finally they arrived after a week! 🙂 don’t think I’m gonna use Music Room again too long to deliver in my opinion. Might start using Amazon, fast and efficient delivery!


Currently working on:
Chopin Military Polonaise
Beethoven Sonata No.6 in F Major

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