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#471548 - 07/02/01 09:13 PM What is the best publisher/edition?  
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CrashTest Offline
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What are some good publishers to look for, I have basically all G. Schirmer books, I like the Beethoven and Chopin published by them, but is there a better publisher? I didn't like dover much, and I do not know very much about Peters. Thanks!

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#471549 - 07/02/01 09:26 PM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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MacDuff Offline
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Generally, Peters has good fingering and prints on high quality paper. Beautiful covers. Arrau edition of Beethoven Sonatas is good. Kroll edition of the Bach WTC is good.

Vienna Urtext is very good in terms reflecting the composer's text and has nice page layout. Ugly covers. Best edition for Mozart Sonatas.

Henle: similar to Vienna Urtext in terms of quality scholarship. Notes are engraved by hand on lead plates to make the master copy for off-set printing. Fingerings are not always very good. My favorite edition for Chopin. Expensive. Bland blue covers that only look good on an ebonized piano.

Editio Musica Budapest. Best for Liszt. Has a good collection of 200 Scarlatti sonatas. Cheap paper.

Dover: Good paper, binding. Tends to reprint old 19th century editions with no fingerings.

Schirmer: Actually not too bad, but over-edited.

[ July 02, 2001: Message edited by: MacDuff ]

#471550 - 07/02/01 10:39 PM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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magnezium Offline
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hehe... i didn't know the look of the cover was that important...=] you don't look at the cover most of the time anyway, only the pages inside usually...

I usually use Edition Peters, since it has pretty good fingering and is supposedly less "contaminated" than other editions, they try to make it as Urtext as possible i think... but sometimes i refer to the Dover for pedalling and extra fingerings...

#471551 - 07/02/01 11:06 PM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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Joe Offline
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I've noticed some fine Alfred editions available. They have good printing on good paper, and pretty painstaking research is put into them. Some of them do have quite a bit of editing, but they are very careful to indicate the composers's directions as opposed to their own. They also give a good deal of background on the composer and the music, as well as explanation of ornaments etc. This is a good edition for newcomers, as well as more advanced pianists. Oh yes, the appearance is a bit on the modern side for me, but some of them DO have thoroughly crankin' paintings on the front. smile

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#471552 - 07/03/01 08:11 AM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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Editions are like pianists - good at some things and not so good at others. For example, Peters. Sometimes it's good but sometimes (Schubert Impromptus) it's awful with obvious wrong notes. So there is no one right answer. Urtext editions are usually preferable but most times have no fingerings which can be a pain. But, I've found that if I take the time to work the fingerings out myself that it usually works out better than to just accept someone else's. Generally, IMO, Henle is the best but the most expensive.

#471553 - 07/03/01 11:00 AM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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I agree with what Alex has said; while Urtext editions don't give fingerings unless they are those of the composer, if you take the time and effort to work out fingerings that suit you best, you'll have what you need in an otherwise fairly "pure" edition. It is useful, however, to see what some editors suggest as possible fingerings, but they should all be taken with the proverbial grain of salt since what works for one doesn't always work for another.
What, by the way, Alex, are some of the mistakes that you have found in the Peters edition of the Schubert Impromptus? What I have found particularly frustrating about that edition - and I'm getting about as far away from musical values as possible - is that the damn thing will never stay open on the piano. It is printed on such stiff paper that I have to keep pressing each page down after I've turned it or it starts to turn back to the previous page. I've had this particular edition for a couple of years, and it still does it. Maybe the edition is smarter than I think and is trying to tell me to go back and do it over again, and do it better! Nevertheless, very frustrating.


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#471554 - 07/03/01 12:37 PM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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Anybody who would purchase an unfingered edition of such things as the Bach WTC or the sonatas of Mozart (a.k.a. "Mr. Always-Wiggle-The-Way-You-Don't-Expect") is a COMPLETE IDIOT. Why totally re-invent the wheel? Yes, you end up changing up to 90% of the fingerings, but it is better to have a jumping off place. :p

And don't give me that Rudolf Serkin stuff about not scribbling on the page, never redistributing, etc.
mad mad mad wink

[ July 03, 2001: Message edited by: MacDuff ]

#471555 - 07/03/01 01:11 PM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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Alex Offline
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Well then, I must be a complete idiot.

#471556 - 07/03/01 02:06 PM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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Holy moly! Such passion regarding fingering. I find the fingerings provided in then Henele editions to be contrary to how my fingers work. Give me a clean score anyday and let me work out fingerings that suit me. That said, I think Konnemann offer good clean 'Urtext' editions at an affordable price. I have the complete Beethoven sonatas at the fraction of the price one would pay for the Henle.


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#471557 - 07/03/01 02:15 PM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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ROFL! I guess I'm an idiot too! In fact, I'm such an idiot that I didn't even reallize my edition of WTC doesn't have fingerings until just now when I went over to check it.

In fact I like to have some fingerings suggested, they are usually a help. It's no biggie if there aren't any though, I have a fabulous teacher who can get me out of any mess I get myself into. I've seen the Squirmer edition of the WTC, and I'd prefer no fingerings at all over having all that stuff on the page. I like Schirmer for some things, but not the WTC.

#471558 - 07/03/01 05:41 PM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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I'm a Henle man myself. Look at it this way - higher cost editions mean one of two things. Either a great amount of scholarship went into the production of the edition, or they are the only publishing firm that has the copyright (which is why Durand can charge $180 for Messiaen and $50 for the Ravel Concerto). In Henle's case, it's the first. They've actually been expanding their editions a lot lately, taking in some Scriabin and others.

Talk about good luck, a friend of mine ordered Book 2 of the Beethoven Sonatas in Henle and was accidentally sent book one as well for no extra charge. If only we all were so lucky.

Edit:

Fingerings...a tricky subject. Usually they fit the editor's hands and few others. Most of them obey the bread and butter rules like never put your thumb on a black key (which has to be disregarded from time to time if you're faced with quick arpeggios and need to get as many figers in a row as possible...lots of turn-unders slow you down), but I think that most here will agree in that they're usually idiomatic.

Brendan

[ July 03, 2001: Message edited by: Brendan ]

#471559 - 07/03/01 07:44 PM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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MacDuff Offline
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I find I fight with the editor's fingerings less and less as the years grind on. Some of the old Schirmer and Peters scores were edited by students of Liszt or Leschetizsky, and have concert pianist wisdom behind the fingerings (i.e. they work up to tempo).

Many of us accumulate good and bad scores over the years and simply use what we already have when the next nocturne, sonata, or etude rolls around (often this score was purchased by mistake--"I only do my own fingerings" sometimes means, "OOOPs, I didn't know that the score the music shop special ordered a month ago, which can't be returned, wouldn't HAVE fingerings!").

It's useful to know what the major publishers' covers look like, so you can spot what edition a friend is using and ask to look at it.

Schirmer: Yellow, green lettering

Peters: Light green, black letters

Henle: Blue, dark blue letters

Vienna Urtext: "Frank Lloyd Wright" orange with a reproduction of the composer's signature in blue

Dover: Moonlight and Roses, the composer's mug, may be anything at all.

I knew a crabby piano teacher with the worst sounding walnut Steinway M in the world who loved to pile those blue Henle scores all over her PSO (piano-shaped object)--hence the wisecrack about Henle scores only looking good on an ebony piano.

Oh, and, sometimes I'm an idiot, sometimes not. laugh

[ July 03, 2001: Message edited by: MacDuff ]

#471560 - 07/03/01 08:14 PM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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Of the various editings of the Beethoven sonatas, I still like the Schnabel edition. With respect to Chopin, I use the Paderewski --though I know its not the rage it once was. Editions Peters has started bringing out a new "critical edition" of Chopin's works which by all accounts promises to be good. Perhaps somebody who has first-hand knowledge could give us more information.

I don't know if it's still in print (I imagine it is, Dover or another of that sort must have it in their catalog), but the Busoni edition of Bach's WTC is one of the whackier editings (in a good sense I suppose) that I've encountered. My copy is pretty beat up, I inherited it years ago from a former teacher. It has all these suggested "excercises" to prel/fugues. For example, I think Busoni has the 17th from BK1 as an excercise in octaves. That sort of thing. And, no, I am not recommending it as a starting point for anybody. But I suppose it's worth a gander.

I agree with MacDuff. Ultimately, working out the fingering to a work is such an individual thing. I am all for cheating/redistributing if it's in the service of the music.


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we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt
#471561 - 07/06/01 09:57 AM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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I use Dover for pretty much everything.

I especially like Dover's edition of Beethoven's Sonata's, which was edited by Schenker. He leaves notation exactly as Beethoven wrote it, including distribution between hands. He does offer good suggestions for performance, including his own fingerings, which are often very helpful.

For Bach's WTC, I really like the Tovey annotated edition, but the name of the publisher has evaporated from my head. I'll look that up and post it when I get back home. It has wonderful notes on performance, and the print is easy to read.

Sometimes I think it is valuable to have a couple of different editions avaliable. For instance, Paderewski's edition of Chopin Etudes is a popular and solid edition. However, I think that Friedman has some great ideas for fingerings and other performance issues in his edition for Schirmer. Plus, his notes on the how the Etudes have been approached in the past are a pretty interesting read.

Just a few thoughts...

#471562 - 07/06/01 10:27 AM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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Wasn't (almost) all of Tovey published by The Associated Board, of London?


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#471563 - 07/06/01 11:04 AM Re: What is the best publisher/edition?  
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I believe that's it. Thanks, Bruce.

Ryan


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