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Alkan Preludes Op.31 - Editions

Posted By: almo82

Alkan Preludes Op.31 - Editions - 12/09/18 05:54 AM

This set appears to have only one published edition (Schlesinger) available for purchase or for download (see http://www.free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=54614# for sample).

Does anyone know if any other editions are available?
Posted By: wr

Re: Alkan Preludes Op.31 - Editions - 12/09/18 10:20 AM

My copy is from Billaudot. I think, but am not completely sure, that it's a reprint of Schlesigner.

Music Masters also has a reprint.
Posted By: almo82

Re: Alkan Preludes Op.31 - Editions - 12/09/18 11:56 AM

Hi WR.

I’m pretty sure Billaudot and Schlesinger are the same one: take a look at the sample in the OP and it should look identical to yours.
I am hoping to find a more modern setting - preferably Urtext.
Posted By: gp84

Re: Alkan Preludes Op.31 - Editions - 12/10/18 11:06 AM

Originally Posted by almo82
I am hoping to find a more modern setting - preferably Urtext.


Please note:

Since Alkan was a French composer the original edition for all of his compositions are Billaudot -- as this is the first / primary edition -- therefore, there are no other "urtext" editions for Alkan's works.

As I am not aware of any other reprints that changes the formatting / appearance of the notes in the orginal Billaudot edition as that is the way notation appeared at that time.

Hope this helps!
Posted By: wr

Re: Alkan Preludes Op.31 - Editions - 12/10/18 12:59 PM

Originally Posted by almo82
Hi WR.

I’m pretty sure Billaudot and Schlesinger are the same one: take a look at the sample in the OP and it should look identical to yours.
I am hoping to find a more modern setting - preferably Urtext.


It turns out that they are not the same. The Billaudot is a different edition that was re-engraved, and it appears they took quite a few liberties with tempo indications and expressive markings. I'm going to have to take a careful look at the Schesinger. Suddenly, I no longer completely trust the extensive collection of Billaudot Alkan editions in my library!

Or maybe I am misinterpreting what I am seeing - I suppose that the preludes could have came out in multiple editions more or less simultaneously, in the way that much of Chopin did. I don't remember any mention of anything like that in any of the Alkan books I've read, though.

By the way, the only Alkan edition I know of that purports to be urtext is a collection put out by Heugel, back in the 1960s, IIRC. There are rumors that Henle may do some Alkan. Who knows - if they do, it could even be the preludes.
Posted By: almo82

Re: Alkan Preludes Op.31 - Editions - 12/10/18 05:59 PM

Thank you GP - I didn't know the point about Billaudot. Not certain it's true for All French composers though : Chopin (yes, technically not a French composer), used several publishers in different countries. What I think WR is suggesting, is that Alkan may have used a similar approach : I have no idea if this is correct or not. Would be interesting to find out.


Turns our WR is right : I've found two editions for sale :

1. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pr%C3%A9ludes-majeurs-mineurs-piano-orgue/dp/B075DVJKKJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544464568&sr=8-1&keywords=alkan+preludes+sheet+music - this appears to be a reprint of Schlesinger.

2. https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/titl...urs-et-mineurs-op-31-sheet-music/1982257 - which is clearly marked as Billaudot.


WR: can you post a sample page of the Billaudot? I am curious to see what the differences are (visually, at least). What I was originally hoping to find is a more modern setting of the score - I'm finding the Schlesinger difficult to read
Posted By: wr

Re: Alkan Preludes Op.31 - Editions - 12/11/18 04:40 AM

I made a quick and dirty scan of the first prelude from Billaudot. Here's the link -
https://app.box.com/s/ulicsn6flgtc5yvqpg683mc6sd9mnnm4

My understanding of the provenance of the edition has become even more complicated than it was in my last post. I should have checked the Alkan Society website right away. They give yet a different publisher for the first edition in France - they say it was Brandus, in 1847. The IMSLP publisher information (click here) for Brandus tells us it was once Maurice Schlesigner's firm. The IMSLP publisher information (click here) for Schlesinger reveals that there were actually two of them, father Adolph in Berlin and son Maurice in Paris. They list the Alkan Preludes as being published by the father in Berlin, also in 1847.

The plate info of the Billaudot prelude says "B. et Cie.". I first thought the "B" was for "Billaudot", but it appears to actually stands for "Brandus".

We definitely need an urtext to sort out the discrepancies between these two editions. For the time being, I think I'll go back to relying on the Billaudot, seeing that it may be just as likely to be proof-read and approved by Alkan as the Schlesinger.

By the way, that edition you linked from UK Amazon is a print out of what is online at IMSLP.




Posted By: almo82

Re: Alkan Preludes Op.31 - Editions - 12/11/18 07:29 AM

Thanks WR,

Your info makes sense as the titles in the Schlesinger are in both German and French. (Yes, the Amazon ia a schlesinger reprint) - The Billaudot appears to be a clearer edition although i would need to compare the two to decide.

Thanks for sharing.
Posted By: wr

Re: Alkan Preludes Op.31 - Editions - 12/11/18 11:36 AM

I did a partial, quick comparison, out of curiosity, and can say that, for the most part, I would prefer the Brandus/Billaudot for clarity (although their 32nd note beams are too thick and tend to merge, in prelude no. 24). There are several places where material that is on one page in the Schlesinger is spread over two in the Billaudot, which helps readability. There's a clear key sequence in the Billaudot (pairs of preludes ascending in chromatic half-steps), and for some reason, the Schlsinger is in a different order. In "Un petit rien", Billaudot has both turns and mordants as ornaments, Schlesinger has only mordants and no turns. Since Billaudot made the distinction, it seems to me that it is probably correct (but that's just an assumption, of course) .

And finally, there is one discrepancy I noticed that's amusing. In "Rêve d'amour", at a spot around halfway through the piece, the Brandus/Billaudot edition has a marking of "avec volupté". The Schlesinger has no expressive marking at that point at all. Was the idea of voluptuousness in a dream of love just a bit too racy for them to handle? smile
Posted By: almo82

Re: Alkan Preludes Op.31 - Editions - 12/13/18 07:38 AM

Thanks WR.

Regarding the Order - yes i am aware that the order of some of the later preludes is different : i was hoping to find some reference link on this but have been unable to find any .

Thanks for your input - i will try to find the Billaudot edition.
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