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Beethoven's handwriting and his editors, etc.
#447012 05/29/06 12:38 PM
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In a booklet to one Horowitz album Samuel Chotzinoff writes, among many other things:

Quote
Horowitz rummaged among some books on a table and held up a black, oblong notebook. "But best of all," he announced, "I have a facsimile of Beethoven's own manuscript of the 'Appassionata'" He turned to the last page and pointed to the tenth bar before the end. "Look at this," he said. "Beethoven has A-flat in the bass, not the F that you find printed in every edition. And it is A flat, no mistake about it! For once Beethoven's handwriting is clear." The note was indeed unmistakably A-flat. Yet every editor, even Tovey, had seen fit to change it to F. "Now hear how it sounds," and Horowitz went to the piano and played the last ten bars. I had to admit that the A-flat was the right, the inevitable note. The F now seemed to me obvious, amateurish, quite un-Beethovenish in fact. Why had I never suspected the validity of the printed note? But Horowitz had, and had gone to the source: the composer himself.
The mistake is there in the sheetmusicarchive edition. I wonder if it's still there in some better done editions? Anyway, it's interesting that there may be some notes like that in all editions, and that pianists may have been playing them instead of the right ones. Thoughts?

Re: Beethoven's handwriting and his editors, etc.
#447013 05/29/06 12:49 PM
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It could be that an edition corrected by Beethoven had F. You need to read the critical notes. (We went through this a while ago with one of the Bagatelles.)


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Re: Beethoven's handwriting and his editors, etc.
#447014 05/29/06 01:09 PM
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First I have to get some critical edition. laugh

However...

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/2/9516.html#000000

They "presumed"... One question: why wouldn't Beethoven have corrected the manuscript (after all, his manuscripts are normally full of all kinds of changes and corrections, or so I've heard)?

And didn't editors at that time tend to "correct" things when something seemed much more obvious*, especially in a manuscript full of difficult to read handwriting?

*In a similar way as one critic wrote about a "mistake" in the first performance of Beethoven's 1st symphony, when in fact it was the composition itself that was merely unusual.

Re: Beethoven's handwriting and his editors, etc.
#447015 05/29/06 05:56 PM
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I only have two editions, the Dover reprint of the Schenker, and the current printing of the ABRSM (Tovey/Craxton). If this is bar 351 you're talking about, both have in the bass, an F quarter note, an eighth note rest, and then an eighth note C.


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Re: Beethoven's handwriting and his editors, etc.
#447016 05/29/06 06:18 PM
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I'm talking about the tenth bar before the end, in the third movement. In that bar, the left hand should play F, C, F, C, according to the edition at sheetmusicarchive, but Horowitz plays A-flat, C, A-flat, C, which I think sounds much better.


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