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#423769 - 01/22/02 03:41 PM Variations in sheet music
Monique Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 11
Loc: Orlando
Hi everyone. First let me say I'm glad to have found this forum. Like so many I took piano lessons growing up (around 7 years) but haven't really played at all in the last 15 or so years. I'm just now taking it up again. We finally bought a piano that was just delivered yesterday. I've been playing almost nonstop since (my poor fingers), trying to hack through some things I used to play oh so long ago.

So here's my question. I'm specifically working on Mozart's Fantasia in D Minor (k. 397). On the one hand I'm thrilled that my fingers seem to have a memory of their own, so relearning the piece isn't as difficult as I had expected. On the other hand, I'm playing from a different version of the sheet music and am going crazy because though the notes are the same, this version is annotated completely differently. For instance, in some places it indicates p where my old one indicated f, it emphasizes different notes to be played staccato, and it has no notation at all for when to pedal. This is not what I remember! Am I crazy? Is this variation in music normal? How do I know which is right???

Sign me stumped.


[ January 22, 2002: Message edited by: Monique ]

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#423770 - 01/22/02 05:59 PM Re: Variations in sheet music
Rodion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/01
Posts: 296
Loc: Salt Lake City
it is normal for editions to have different markings, i'm not sure how normal for them to be so drastic though. the best thing would be (perhaps) to find out which of the two editions is the most accurate. do you know what they are, or at least the one you have now?
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. - Hector Berlioz

#423771 - 01/22/02 06:09 PM Re: Variations in sheet music
EricL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 144
Loc: Upstate NY
I know what you are talking about. I also have two editions of Mozart's d-minor Fantasia (one is the Alfred edition, the other is the Schirmer edition). The notations are quite different for these two editions. Apparently, the notations are NOT Mozart's notations. They are just editors' notations. Bear in mind that music written in that era was not usually heavily annotated because (1) the 'pianos' in the eighteenth century were not as 'standard' as today's modern pianos, and (2) performers were often encouraged to play music the way they 'felt' was right. (Look at Beethoven's sonatas, the early ones were not annotated much, but the last few were heavily annotated by the composer).

If you are bothered by the (editor's) notations, get the urtext edition of the piece. And if you want to know how the piece should be played, may be you can get a CD and see how a professional pianist plays the piece.


[ January 22, 2002: Message edited by: EricL ]

[ January 22, 2002: Message edited by: EricL ]

#423772 - 01/22/02 11:53 PM Re: Variations in sheet music
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3917
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
It was different editions of that fantasia that taught me the importance of finding a good edition. I had been learning the piece from one edition, and came across the Broder (Th. Presser) edition. I was astonished at the difference. What appeared to be minute changes in the staccato marks and the slurs made a world of difference in the expression in performance. Now, Broder claimed not to add anything in the way of expression (without brackets indicating the addition), and considering the punctiliousness with which he brackets even a single added staccato dot ['], I believe him. I suggest you look at his work in this regard.
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

#423773 - 01/23/02 12:09 AM Re: Variations in sheet music
MacDuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 560
Loc: Southeast, U.S.A.
The Broder edition that Palindrome mentions is of the complete piano sonatas plus the fantasies. Henle and Vienna Urtext publish the D Minor Fantasy separately. Henle also includes it in a collection of various miscellaneous works ("Klavierstucke").

[ January 23, 2002: Message edited by: MacDuff ]

#423774 - 01/23/02 01:31 PM Re: Variations in sheet music
Monique Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 11
Loc: Orlando
Thanks for confirming that I'm not crazy! In my youthful piano days this is something I never thought about. I just played what my teacher gave me. Anyway, the current version that I've been trying to play is from a compilation book of various classical pieces. I have confirmed that the edition I learned on and prefer is the Schirmer edition, and am now, as of today, the proud owner of a fresh copy. I don't know if this is the "best" edition (if there is such a thing) but it's the one I'm comfortable with. I'm not a creative pianist so I really need the additional notation for guidance. Sheesh, the things my piano teacher never told me! I'm a beginner all over again.


#423775 - 01/23/02 01:51 PM Re: Variations in sheet music
SnowSky Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 8
Haha... I have the same problem! I bought the "Classical Pieces" (I believe it is the same one you have.) then start to practice. However, without any anotation, it is too difficult for someone like me, who stopped playing piano 15 years ago, to play again. I never thought it will be a problem for me when I purchased it. However, I don't even know how to place my hand on the piano! I end up buying Alfred version and have much better idea about the fingering and expression!
I spent 30 minutes yesterday just to practice the Mozart Sonata 545 the first section. From slow to fast, different expression, every single detail... I found myself missed so many things in childhood learning! It feels so good to play again! \:\)

#423776 - 01/24/02 05:07 PM Re: Variations in sheet music
Monique Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 11
Loc: Orlando
It does feel REALLY great to play again, though my poor fingers are aching from the abuse. I've spent every free second this week since we got the piano making up for 15 years of not playing. I too am amazed at all the things I missed when I took lessons. For my Fantasia piece I've already got the first 2 pages down better than I ever played it the first time around, in terms of expression. Now I just have to work up the nerve to re-learn the rest...



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