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#3165737 10/22/21 09:54 AM
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I just got this book:
https://www.musicshopeurope.com/the-giant-book-of-beethoven-hl50603277
and I must say that I am very impressed.

It's a huge collection of Beethoven pieces from early intermediate (Ecossaises, German dances) to advanced (Pathetique, Moonlight - all movements, not just the easy ones wink ). The book is comb bound so it stays open despite being 432 pages. It's not a pure urtext edition and has various interpretational comments in the footnotes but I think that's even an advantage for us adult learners.

I saw that Schirmer has other collections of piano pieces like:
https://www.musicshopeurope.com/bach-the-ultimate-piano-collection-hl50498736
https://www.musicshopeurope.com/debussy-the-ultimate-piano-collection-hl50498739
https://www.musicshopeurope.com/chopin-the-ultimate-piano-collection-hl50498738

These books are gigantic but they contain almost every piece you will ever want to learn from these composers. For what they contain I think these are a great bargain.

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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
I just got this book:
https://www.musicshopeurope.com/the-giant-book-of-beethoven-hl50603277
and I must say that I am very impressed.

It's a huge collection of Beethoven pieces from early intermediate (Ecossaises, German dances) to advanced (Pathetique, Moonlight - all movements, not just the easy ones wink ). The book is comb bound so it stays open despite being 432 pages. It's not a pure urtext edition and has various interpretational comments in the footnotes but I think that's even an advantage for us adult learners.

I saw that Schirmer has other collections of piano pieces like:
https://www.musicshopeurope.com/bach-the-ultimate-piano-collection-hl50498736
https://www.musicshopeurope.com/debussy-the-ultimate-piano-collection-hl50498739
https://www.musicshopeurope.com/chopin-the-ultimate-piano-collection-hl50498738

These books are gigantic but they contain almost every piece you will ever want to learn from these composers. For what they contain I think these are a great bargain.
I have dozens of Shirmer books containing compositions from various composers. I use the as references only to try out pieces but almost always end up buying urtext editions of works I really want to learn. Do you like Schirmers edits?


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Originally Posted by Jethro
I have dozens of Shirmer books containing compositions from various composers. I use the as references only to try out pieces but almost always end up buying urtext editions of works I really want to learn. Do you like Schirmers edits?
I can't say yet as I only got this book and didn't compare to different editions yet. Are there a lot of edits? I don't mind the editorial remarks but do they add a lot of marks to the music?

I suppose for serious study you may want to get a good urtext edition but I'm not a scholar and I don't really care about Henle's detailed notes like in Kayser's copy of this French suite there is an A-flat in this measure but it is not present in later copies, etc. I just want a plain score to study.

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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by Jethro
I have dozens of Shirmer books containing compositions from various composers. I use the as references only to try out pieces but almost always end up buying urtext editions of works I really want to learn. Do you like Schirmers edits?
I can't say yet as I only got this book and didn't compare to different editions yet. Are there a lot of edits? I don't mind the editorial remarks but do they add a lot of marks to the music?

I suppose for serious study you may want to get a good urtext edition but I'm not a scholar and I don't really care about Henle's detailed notes like in Kayser's copy of this French suite there is an A-flat in this measure but it is not present in later copies, etc. I just want a plain score to study.
Sometimes they definitely add dynamic markings that were not in the composers originals. If that doesn’t bother you I guess it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes though the fingerings are not the best for everyone. So if you like a clean page the urtexts tend to be less cluttered. Depends on the editor and edition sometimes.


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That's a really nice volume collating the smaller works. I'd say they could have omitted the sonatas as those are readily available elsewhere.


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I purchased the Barry Cooper edition of the Beethoven piano sonatas earlier this year. I decided to revisit opus 2 no 1, which I had played as a teenager and had learned from a Schirmer folio that had originally belonged to my grandmother. There were pretty significant differences in both the dynamic markings and the phrasing/articulation markings between the two editions. The Barry Cooper edition is very nice and has quite extensive historical and performance notes, which I have enjoyed reading.

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Schirmer editions are generally very affordable, but what you buy today is unchanged from the early 1900s (or thereabouts) and doesn't take advantage of any new scholarship on the scores--or have any corrections of errors in their editions from when they first published them. Sometimes they're fine, but other times they're not--luck of the draw. I think the affordability is related to them not having put any more work into them after their initial publication more than a century ago--just keep cranking them out.


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As others have said, Schirmer editions are "old and busted". Sort of like me, since I was using them 50 years ago. I wouldn't buy a Schirmer edition, but many of them are available on imslp for free. If you need free - go for it.

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My experience with Schirmer from years ago is that the fingerings are pretty messed up and there are odd hand shifts indicated. I would certainly say Henle Urtext for Bach.


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The main issue with these large compilations is that you dont know who edited (not sure Schirmer provides the info) when you buy.

For example the Beethoven sonatas seems to be Hans von Bülow (based on the one page example provided on the site). The Hans von Bülow is problematic as his editing includes additional dynamic, phrasing, ... which are sometimes quite dated and also very "romantic". So you have to be careful when using them. If you want good fingering and phrasing indications the Schnabel edition is excellent. Thats why it is always better to buy a specific edition. But if you dont mind about all that and you just want a printed score, then Schirmer is fine and cheap. That said, nearly all Schirmer editions are also available on imslp for free.

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I don't quite understand the problem of using something that is not urtext. If the non-urtext sounds bad, then just play it so that it sounds they way you want it. Is it completely necessary that what is played coincides with what modern scholars believe was the original intention? Isn't the main purpose that the music sounds good?

Concerning this MusicShopEurope.com, does anyone know where they ship from? Apparently their shipping times are shortest for customers in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, indicating that they might ship from within the EU. But their phone number is UK-based.


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Originally Posted by Jethro
Sometimes they definitely add dynamic markings that were not in the composers originals.

As I understand, any dynamic marking in a piece of, for instance, Bach, was added afterwards.

Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
I don't quite understand the problem of using something that is not urtext. If the non-urtext sounds bad, then just play it so that it sounds they way you want it.

I feel the same way. It is nice to see the editor's suggestions, and then you can always change them if you don't agree.


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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
I don't quite understand the problem of using something that is not urtext. If the non-urtext sounds bad, then just play it so that it sounds they way you want it. Is it completely necessary that what is played coincides with what modern scholars believe was the original intention? Isn't the main purpose that the music sounds good?
Exactly. For Beethoven sonatas I intend to get a good edition like the Henle complete Beethoven sonatas but for the other pieces I don't care that much. It has hundreds of pieces in one book and I use it for sight-reading mostly.

Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Concerning this MusicShopEurope.com, does anyone know where they ship from? Apparently their shipping times are shortest for customers in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, indicating that they might ship from within the EU. But their phone number is UK-based.
I think they have different locations depending on the country you order from. I ordered from Poland and got the parcel from Heerenveen in the Netherlands. BTW, for orders that are below a certain weight the standard shipping is free.

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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Jethro
Sometimes they definitely add dynamic markings that were not in the composers originals.

As I understand, any dynamic marking in a piece of, for instance, Bach, was added afterwards.

Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
I don't quite understand the problem of using something that is not urtext. If the non-urtext sounds bad, then just play it so that it sounds they way you want it.

I feel the same way. It is nice to see the editor's suggestions, and then you can always change them if you don't agree.
Bach’s music didn’t have dynamic markings because the instruments at that time didn’t have much dynamics until the soft/loud keyboard was invented and had sustain. Once the piano was invented composers added dynamical markings and if you want to see the original markings and the composer’s intent you buy the urtext. But even those have some editing with fingering for example and may differ from one urtext edition to the other.


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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Jethro
Sometimes they definitely add dynamic markings that were not in the composers originals.

As I understand, any dynamic marking in a piece of, for instance, Bach, was added afterwards.


For solo keyboard yes. But some of his non solo keyboard pieces do have some dynamic markings, like in his orchestral pieces.

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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Jethro
Sometimes they definitely add dynamic markings that were not in the composers originals.

As I understand, any dynamic marking in a piece of, for instance, Bach, was added afterwards.

Like most things Bach, it's complicated, Bach's Italian Concerto BWV 971, which is not a "concerto" but a work for solo keyboard, has dynamic markings - piano and forte. It's intended for a 2 manual harpsichord, so one manual is set to be softer than the other, and the hands can move from manual to manual as needed.

I have the Henle urtext for this, which is what I am using for daily practice. But I also have an edition edited by Rosalyn Tureck, which has a lot of additional performance markings. It also has Bach's original manuscript, printed very small, 4 pages to a sheet, which is kind of cool to look at.

So I am using the urtext and the edited version, and trying to make up my own mind what I want to do.

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Originally Posted by Sam S
Like most things Bach, it's complicated, Bach's Italian Concerto BWV 971, which is not a "concerto" but a work for solo keyboard, has dynamic markings - piano and forte. It's intended for a 2 manual harpsichord, so one manual is set to be softer than the other, and the hands can move from manual to manual as needed.

The Italian concerto is an interesting piece as it is in fact a concerto form to be played on a solo keyboard. It is constructed as an italian concerto similar to Vivaldi pieces with ritornellos played by the tutti and the episodes played by the concertino with or without accompaniement from the ripieno. The text by Bach that comes with the edition indicates that the piece in a galant style is indeed written in the "italian taste".

So many (but not all) of the dynamic marks help to indicate when there is a tutti or a solo and these marks are put in a similar way as he would put them in an actual concerto.

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Sam S
Like most things Bach, it's complicated, Bach's Italian Concerto BWV 971, which is not a "concerto" but a work for solo keyboard, has dynamic markings - piano and forte. It's intended for a 2 manual harpsichord, so one manual is set to be softer than the other, and the hands can move from manual to manual as needed.

The Italian concerto is an interesting piece as it is in fact a concerto form to be played on a solo keyboard. It is constructed as an italian concerto similar to Vivaldi pieces with ritornellos played by the tutti and the episodes played by the concertino with or without accompaniement from the ripieno. The text by Bach that comes with the edition indicates that the piece in a galant style is indeed written in the "italian taste".

So many (but not all) of the dynamic marks help to indicate when there is a tutti or a solo and these marks are put in a similar way as he would put them in an actual concerto.
I have the Henle edition of this piece as well. Bach I believe wrote this piece in the Italian style in honor of Vivaldi whose work he found intriguing.


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