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Editions without fingering
#2988027 06/04/20 11:19 PM
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Hi all. It seems there isn't much sheet music out there with zero fingering. Besides a few Henle editions, Bärenreiter seems to be the only one that has a decent amount of publications without fingering, but many (most?) of their publications still have them. Am I missing something here?

Re: Editions without fingering
skern49 #2988049 06/05/20 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by skern49
Hi all. It seems there isn't much sheet music out there with zero fingering. Besides a few Henle editions, Bärenreiter seems to be the only one that has a decent amount of publications without fingering, but many (most?) of their publications still have them. Am I missing something here?

You might be missing the fact that many composers from the late Classical period onward actually wrote in some - even if minimal - fingering, so an Urtext or "authentic" edition such as Henle and Bärenreiter and others would provide the composer's fingering in such cases. Some editions, Henle's Chopin and the New National Edition of Chopin among them, will include the composer's fingering in a different type font than those of an editor, if an editor's fingering is added. Most good editions will indicate whether the fingering is added by one of their editors.

I think, as you observe, that it is rare to find works from the Classical period onward without some fingering, whether by the composer or by an editor.

In my experience, the music with the least amount of fingering are those good editions of the music of Rachmaninoff; unless edited, it's rare to find any fingering in Rachmaninoff's works. That said, every once in a while, there will be a little passage with fingering indicated, presumably by the composer. But I can't find a single instance of fingering in either Book I or Book II of the "original" (Durand) edition of the Debussy Preludes. But Bärenreiter, in their "authoritative performing" editions of other works of Debussy that I have, do provide fingering by Frederik Palme. Similarly, Henle, in their Urtext editions of Debussy give fingering by an editor.

I find fingering suggestions can be helpful, but I can also ignore them if they don't seem to suit my hand.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Editions without fingering
skern49 #2988057 06/05/20 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by skern49
Hi all. It seems there isn't much sheet music out there with zero fingering. Besides a few Henle editions, Bärenreiter seems to be the only one that has a decent amount of publications without fingering, but many (most?) of their publications still have them. Am I missing something here?

I guess that since most people would ask for fingering, having 2 versions with and without is additional costs. So i assume it is simplier for editors to just publish only one. The few cases where there is no fingering in Barenreiter are older editions where there was no fingering to start with and usually in that case there isnt another version with. Are you specifically looking at editions without fingering ?

Re: Editions without fingering
Sidokar #2988198 06/05/20 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
You might be missing the fact that many composers from the late Classical period onward actually wrote in some - even if minimal - fingering, so an Urtext or "authentic" edition such as Henle and Bärenreiter and others would provide the composer's fingering in such cases.
Yes, that's true. I was thinking of a few works in particular. One is Debussy, which you mentioned. I know the Durand doesn't have fingering, but I have not read good things on the quality of their binding, printing, etc. I was also trying to find the Schubert Impromptus, Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words, and Brahms's Op. 117. Apparently Bärenreiter used to print an edition of the Impromptus that doesn't have fingering, but have since replaced it with one that does.
Originally Posted by Sidokar
I guess that since most people would ask for fingering, having 2 versions with and without is additional costs. So i assume it is simplier for editors to just publish only one. The few cases where there is no fingering in Barenreiter are older editions where there was no fingering to start with and usually in that case there isnt another version with. Are you specifically looking at editions without fingering ?
Yes I'm specifically looking for editions without added fingering. The composer's fingering is fine. The pickings are pretty small!

Re: Editions without fingering
skern49 #2988210 06/05/20 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by skern49
[...]One is Debussy, which you mentioned. I know the Durand doesn't have fingering, but I have not read good things on the quality of their binding, printing, etc.[...]

My Durand edition of Book I of the Debussy Preludes is quite old; the paper is not high quality, the cover - not much different from super market paper bag material - has detached from the binding but the rest of the book is intact.

My Durand edition of Book II of the Debussy Preludes is a newer printing, different cover design, heavier cover paper, and the binding seems to be a little sturdier than that of Book I. The paper seems to be slightly better quality than that in my Book I, as well.

The print quality is acceptable in both copies. I have read that Durand - at least their earlier editions - were subject to careless or poor editing, leading to mistakes in the text. I don't know if that reputation still applies.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Editions without fingering
skern49 #2988216 06/05/20 04:10 PM
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I have the United Music Publishers editions of Debussy which proclaim themselves as "Original Edition" and have no editorial interference.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Editions without fingering
skern49 #2988259 06/05/20 06:36 PM
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I think most pianists, even most professionals, can benefit from excellently fingered editions. Many of the most demanding pieces in the piano literature appear in fingered editions, and these are pieces that could only be reasonably attempted by very advanced pianists.

Re: Editions without fingering
BruceD #2988607 06/06/20 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
My Durand edition of Book II of the Debussy Preludes is a newer printing, different cover design, heavier cover paper, and the binding seems to be a little sturdier than that of Book I. The paper seems to be slightly better quality than that in my Book I, as well.

Regards,
Hi Bruce. Can you provide a link to this edition you mentioned? I looked around and the only newer printing I was able to find is both books in one volume.

Re: Editions without fingering
skern49 #2988612 06/07/20 12:31 AM
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The question of fingering is a most important one for pianists. I would submit that fingering is a skill, an art that all pianists should work at for themselves.

It is interesting that members here are often pleased to find an edition that has fingering. But not all fingerings and editions are equal. I regularly come across appalling examples of fingering and it's what I expect to find now when I see fingering. I have a white-out pen next to me at the piano to put a little white dot over the incorrect number. An eraser is there to change my pencil markings.

I would further say that editors of piano music editions cannot always be trusted. Have a look at the 3rd movt of Ravel's Sonatine in Maurice Hinson's "At the Piano with Ravel." What a mess. As for fingering, I am still getting over the Universal Urtext Edition of Bach's Italian Concerto, 3rd movt. Awful!

What to do? Look at editions by respected, trusted musicians, not just "editors". I have found the Schnabel edition of the complete Beethoven Sonatas interesting for fingering. Similarly, the Brendel edition of Selected Piano Pieces by Beethoven I would take seriously. Surely Brendel knew what he was doing?

Finally, I have a 1971 Russian edition of Rachmaninov transcriptions. While Rachmaninov was not overly generous with his fingering suggestions, the Scherzo from Mendelsohn's A Midsummer Nights Dream is a lesson, a masterclass in fingering.

I'm having a look at Liebesleid (Love's Sorrow) by Kreisler at the moment, and that doesn't have any fingering suggestions. Oh well. Can't win them all.

Re: Editions without fingering
skern49 #2988711 06/07/20 10:48 AM
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With a tablet and a good digital edition (Henle, for instance), you can have the best of both worlds, with editorial fingering in a separate layer that can be turned on and off at will.


Steinway A grand (1919), Richard Lipp grand (1913), Yamaha P2 upright (1983), Casio PX-150 digital (2013)
Re: Editions without fingering
skern49 #2988719 06/07/20 11:09 AM
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As my eyes age, it’s harder to see finger numbers. So they usually get ignored! I write mine bigger and do use those.

Re: Editions without fingering
RubberFingers #2988745 06/07/20 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think most pianists, even most professionals, can benefit from excellently fingered editions.
This isn't always true because fingering is not "one size fits all". I often find the fingering provided by the publisher to be impossible or uncomfortable for my hands and I end up crossing out the suggested fingering. I remember working with a Schirmer Chopin edition fingered by Joseffy and I kept thinking, "this guy must be crazy." IMO, fingered editions are more beneficial for pianists who are not advanced. Advanced pianists have played so much music, the solutions are programmed into their hands or they spend a small amount of time working out the kinks. I much prefer editions that have minimal fingering.


Originally Posted by RubberFingers
As my eyes age, it’s harder to see finger numbers. So they usually get ignored! I write mine bigger and do use those.
I feel your pain.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Editions without fingering
skern49 #2988764 06/07/20 01:50 PM
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My time is limited as is my piano experience. I prefer fingered editions because it's much quicker to use a printed fingering than to work one out from scratch. Yes some printed fingerings apply only to people with big hands or from specific piano methodology schools. But those are the exceptions not the rule. I spot those quickly and replace them with something better suited to my idiosyncrasies.

Fingerings mutate over time. I think really advanced pianists automagically deploy multiple natural fingerings and need no help. However I'm not there yet so I appreciate the help of fingered editions.


With new students Chopin was chiefly anxious to do away with any stiffness in, or cramped, or convulsive movement of the hand, thereby obtaining the first requisite of fine technique "souplesse" (suppleness). -- Carl Mikuli on Chopin the teacher.
Re: Editions without fingering
skern49 #2988778 06/07/20 02:46 PM
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Personally, I like editorial fingerings in my scores, even if they prove not to suit me. Apropos of which, I've usually found that it's often the composers' own fingerings that are totally impracticable for me - think Luddy's, Rach's....(the former because he had narrow-keyed fortepianos at his disposal and/or big misshapen hands, the latter because, well, he had elephantine hands) much more so than good editors'.

Fingerings given in the score mean that I can often more easily and fluently sight-read the music without 'running out of fingers', and also enable me to just play the music for fun without actually spending time on learning it properly (because I'm basically reading it each time). Life is too short to spend precious time learning every piece that you want to play just a few times before you expire, and I only properly learn and practice a small percentage of the pieces I play for my own amusement. (If I'm not amused, like Her Majesty, I promptly discard them..... smirk ).


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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