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For which composers (and/or works) are Bärenreiter Urtext editions considered the best among the urtext editions? (I'm making this a general query so "best" can be interpreted from whatever standpoint - quality, errancy, scholarship, notes, fingering, etc.)

Sheet Music Plus is having a sale on Bärenreiter Urtext editions and I don't have a single one. I thought I'd pick up 2-3 and have a look and compare with my Henle and Weiner urtext editions.


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The only Bärenreiter editions I have are works by Bach: both books of WTC and also Clavier-Übung I, II and IV. Also the cello suites. Not being an authority on the manuscripts or first editions I can't speak to the scholarly accuracy of them, but they're certainly "clean", i.e. none of the Czerny editing in the edition I grew up with. I'd recommend any of the above (although the old Kirkpatrick edition of the Goldberg Variations is still my favorite one, for better or worse).

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Well, 2 things to say as a preliminary comment. First Barenreiter is a top editor so whatever they publish is generally high quality at equivalent or higher level than Henle or Wiener. Second, in terms of print quality, their editions vary in terms of presentation depending on the first publication date. Their older editions, typically Bach are (in my opinion) of a lesser print quality than the newer ones. The new ones are (again personal opinion) at the very top in terms of print quality, lisibility, paper and binding and I would rate them just a little above Henle. That is very personal as some people may prefer Henle or Wiener. But just for you to know that there is some variations in the way it is printed, when for example it is more consistent with Henle and extremely consistent with Wiener.

That said, even for Bach, I actually prefer reading the Barenreiter rather than Henle. Also they do not have usually complete keyboard works but only a selection.

For the content and limiting to keyboard solo only, Bach WTC is a top reference by Walter Dürr (one of the editor of the New Bach complete editions), the Partitas by Jones. You can actually acquire the complete Bach works (for an astronomical price). Mendelssohn is a top edition for song without words, Rameau keyboard works, Schumann (opus 68, 15, 82), Haendel sonatas, Xaver Dusek, Janacek, Froberger, Frescobaldi. Particularly well done is also Debussy and a few Ravel pieces.

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Forgot to mention of course the keyboard Mozart sonatas by Wolfgang Plath and the unique (not available anywhere else) complete set of music composed by Mozart in his early years for his sisters (includes the Nanerl book and other compositions). Though in these particular cases I find the print to be small, so I prefer the Wiener edition.

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Does Bärenreiter editions have a separate fingering editor as Henle does? Or are their editions generally fingering-free?


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Does Bärenreiter editions have a separate fingering editor as Henle does? Or are their editions generally fingering-free?


It depends on the particular piece. For Bach they have sometimes separate editions with and without fingering. The newer ones have usually fingering,the older ones not always. The Mozart early pieces does not, but the sonatas do. It is indicated on their web site along with the name of the person who provided the fingering. For example the Bach Inventions and Sinfonias, the editor is Dadelsen (an eminent well known scholar) and fingering by Renate Kretschmar-Fischer.

Depending which one you want to buy, just test one. As I said there is a pretty big difference in the printing between the Bach for example and the Debussy. I find their new editions like Debussy just gorgeous, but that is just me ....
For the Bach, I have anyway several editions, of which Barenreiter, Wiener, ABRSM and Henle. I prefer using the Barenreiter most of the time (easier to read, the fingering works also better even if I usually make my own anyway) but no doubt that the Henle is maybe better documented with more critical notes. I do not use them that much and I have pretty solid knowledge so the Barenreiter works fine for me, but it may matter for other people.

If you want to try one, go for the Bach Inventions and Sinfonias, you'll always use it. The other one which is really top is Mendelssohn songs (which you will probably tackle one day) and Debussy Arabesque.

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Thank you for the tips, Sidokar! I remember a harpsichord professor recommending Barenreiter as the way to go for Bach, if one doesn't have access to the Neue Bach Ausgabe. I have WTC 2 and the Partitas and I'm pretty happy with them, but I agree that it's always useful to consult several editions. One of my favorites is also Ravel Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, with fingering and introduction/ comments by Alexandre Tharaud (a wonderful musician whose recording of the work is a treasure). The layout is beautiful and very readable.


"Love has to be the starting point- love of music. It is one of my firmest convictions that love always produces some knowledge, while knowledge only rarely produces something similar to love."
Arthur Schnabel

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Does Bärenreiter editions have a separate fingering editor as Henle does? Or are their editions generally fingering-free?

For some works they offer both. The WTC comes in an unmarked edition (which is what I have) and also one with fingerings by András Schiff. My Bärenreiter copies of the Partitas and Goldberg Variations have fingerings by Ragna Schirmer.

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Peters Urtext should be up there as well. grin

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Have anyone already had experience with their fresh release of complete Beethoven sonatas?


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Originally Posted by Mati
Have anyone already had experience with their fresh release of complete Beethoven sonatas?


It has been published this year so i think few people will have it. I have several separate sonatas editions and the Barry Cooper set with ABRSM which is a very good editions with a lot of comments in additions. But Barenreiter is a serious editor. If they decided to make a full set, it must be of high quality.

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I bought a full set of Wiener's just few weeks before Barenreiter announced theirs. For the moment I felt bad, but heck, Wiener Urtext is great and I shouldn't think about it too much. The new edition sure looks good though. I'm very happy with all Bach and Mozart books from Barenreiter I have. I can't really comment on historical accuracy, but I love the print quality and typesetting, including page changes. For those few editions that I have with fingerings, I find them very helpful too.


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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Peters Urtext should be up there as well. grin

I've never heard of Edition Peters until you mentioned it here. I googled and can't find too much about these. How do the Edition Peters urtexts compare with Henle, Weiner, and Bärenreiter, in general?


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Peters Urtext should be up there as well. grin

I've never heard of Edition Peters until you mentioned it here. I googled and can't find too much about these. How do the Edition Peters urtexts compare with Henle, Weiner, and Bärenreiter, in general?


Here is (probably) more than you want to know about Peters. As you can see, they have been around for a long time.

Peters Editions

Regards,


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Peters publishes A LOT of repertoire in generally good editions, although some are very old. Many of the older ones, however, have been supplanted by Peters' own urtext versions, which are well researched. The urtext ones are marked with a bit of red on the covers.

Their typesetting tends to be large and black with fingering numbers that are easy to see. Bindings are so-so to OK. Covers are a beautiful green with the composers' names in large black letters.

My uni teacher preferred them to Schirmer for standard piano concerti because the orchestral reductions are arranged better. Bear in mind, they don't include cadenzas, you have to buy a separate volume having all the (longer) cadenzas to the Mozart or the Beethoven concerti, for example, unless something has changed.


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Originally Posted by Sidokar
[...]I find their new editions like Debussy just gorgeous, but that is just me ....
[...]


No, it's not just you. I have two (only, so far) of the Bärenreiter Debussy publications and they are just that; should I add the word "stunning"? They are exquisitely printed in remarkably clear print, well-spaced (maybe too well, involving more page turns than in some other editions, perhaps) and the scholarship that has gone into presenting these editions is unlike any I have yet seen.

Their edition of Pour le piano, for example, has 32 pages of text introduction (granted, you have to divide that by three for the three languages given), with another four pages of critical commentary at the end in English only. Well worth the only $12.50CDN I paid for it. Similar extensive and informative scholarship is devoted to their edition of Children's Corner

There is a sticker on the front of each of my copies:
- "with fingering
- text on Debussy's piano aesthetics and his use of tempo, pedal, articulation (English, German, French)
- critical commentary"

Both editions have fingering by Frederik Palme.

Regards,

Last edited by BruceD; 11/16/19 05:24 PM.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
How do the Edition Peters urtexts compare with Henle, Weiner, and Bärenreiter, in general?


I really like them. The good editions are all of the same quality IMHO. Peters also have heavily edited versions of pieces, and these are interesting. The Beethoven sonatas, for example, are edited by Claudio Arrau. These are interesting in themselves. Their newer editions are urtexts.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Sheet Music Plus is having a sale on Bärenreiter Urtext editions and I don't have a single one.

Thought I would just mention that the Sheet Music Plus discount on Bärenreiter improved to 28% with a coupon.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Sheet Music Plus is having a sale on Bärenreiter Urtext editions and I don't have a single one.

Thought I would just mention that the Sheet Music Plus discount on Bärenreiter improved to 28% with a coupon.


So which one have you decided to buy (if any) ?

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Sheet Music Plus is having a sale on Bärenreiter Urtext editions and I don't have a single one.
Thought I would just mention that the Sheet Music Plus discount on Bärenreiter improved to 28% with a coupon.
So which one have you decided to buy (if any) ?

As a sampling, I ordered:

Bach
Little Preludes and Fughettas
Item Number: BA.BA05238

Inventions and Sinfonias BWV 772-801
Item Number: BA.BA05241

Debussy
Suite bergamasque
Item Number: BA.BA08769

Satie
Ogives / Gymnopedies
Item Number: BA.BA10806

In addition the to 20% discount, I used the coupon/promo code "KEYS19" and that got me the full 28% discount from Sheet Music Plus, So with tax and shipping, it came out to $53.23, which I think is a decent price for 4 nice music books. I will compare these with my Henle and Weiner since I have the Inventions/Sinfonias in both Henle and Weiner too.


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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