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 Post subject: Help - which editions?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:21 pm 
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I know I could go searching for this using the search function, but hopefully you can understand that I already spend a lot of time doing things here and I just need some quick answers from all you smart people. :)

1. What edition is best for Bach – Goldberg Variations? I printed out three copies off IMSLP and they are each different. One of them has no dynamic markings and it fits onto one page. But the print is very small. The other copy has all kind of dynamic markings but it’s easier to see because it goes for a page, plus one line onto page 2. The third copy is the one Busoni edited where he wrote out all the ornaments. I need a publisher name so I make sure to use the best edition. And btw – the ornaments are shown slightly different in the first two copies, so what’s a person to do with that?

2. Same question as above, only it is about Chopin’s Barcarolle. I have been slowly replacing all my Chopin books (by various publishers) with Paderewski editions, but I have not yet replaced my old Schirmer edition of the Barcarolle and wonder if I should still go for Paderewski or is there an even better one?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:59 pm 
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Hi Monica,
my answer to your question is quite simple:
the best editions for Bachs Goldberg-Variationen as well as for Chopins Barcarolle are the Henle-Urtext-editions (with the blue cover). They are the nearest to the original and all the remarks of editioners of former times are deleted or declared as such. I mainly use the Henle-editions for most of the classical piano-works (Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven f.ex., for other [mored modern componists] like Rachmaninof or Ravel f.ex. there are other [respective better] editions, I think).
I think, especially with the Busoni-edition you should be attentive, because he arranged Bach in a romantic sense and it´s not his demand, to come as near as possible to the original. But that is the main idea of our modern times and IMO this is the most important concerning the evaluation of an edition.
Ornaments are often not add from Bach himself, but from former editioners. The ornaments and embellishments in the time of baroque were mostly improvised by the performer. So, the modern interpreter is free to create his own embellishments in the sense of baroque-style. If Bach add embellishments himself, I`m of the opinion, in most cases it is the best thing, to take these original ones and not to create own ones.
I hope, I could help you a bit.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:37 pm 
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Hi again, Andreas. :wink:

Thanks for the information. I am aware of Henle being considered one of the leading authorities, but I have also heard that another publisher...starts with a B....can't remember the name right now, is also good, if not better. Do you know what I'm talking about? As to embellishments - that's something I discussed with my teacher today. He basically said the same thing, that Bach did not write them in and that I am free (sort of) to play them how I like, as long as they fit the style, beginning note, right with rhythm, etc...

As to Chopin editions - I was under the impression that Paderewski editions were best but I wonder if there is something out there that maybe I don't know about. And I haven't yet looked to see if Paderewski edited the Barcarolle. Let's see if anyone else has any other ideas.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:06 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
I am aware of Henle being considered one of the leading authorities, but I have also heard that another publisher...starts with a B....can't remember the name right now, is also good, if not better. Do you know what I'm talking about?


You certainly mean the "Bärenreiter"-editions, right? They are not better than the ones of Henle IMO, because Henle is nearer to the original. You may look into some Bach-topics in AR, in which Chris and me discussed about the vantages of Henle against Bärenreiter. IMO Henle always wins.

Quote:
As to embellishments - that's something I discussed with my teacher today. He basically said the same thing, that Bach did not write them in and that I am free (sort of) to play them how I like, as long as they fit the style, beginning note, right with rhythm, etc...


Yes, that´s what I meant. In the case of the "Aria" of the Goldberg-variations I choosed mainly the embellishments of the Henle-edition, in some few cases I did some personal ones.

Quote:
As to Chopin editions - I was under the impression that Paderewski editions were best but I wonder if there is something out there that maybe I don't know about. And I haven't yet looked to see if Paderewski edited the Barcarolle. Let's see if anyone else has any other ideas.


I think, Henle is also the best edition for Chopin-pieces. But that´s only my opinion.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:01 am 
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I could not say whether Henle is 'better' than Baerenreiter or vice versa. I prefer the latter for Bach Organ works (as Henle does not seem to do any organ music) and they are very good quality too.

But certainly with Henle, you can never go wrong. They're not cheap bot always worth their money.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:25 pm 
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So in these editions - the Henle and the Baerenreiter, who wrote in the ornaments/embellishments? Are they much different in the two books? And I'm slightly confused with what I just said - Did Bach actually write in the ornaments (the tiny squiggly things) but then he allowed the player to play them as they like (so now they are called embellishments?), or did Bach not even write them in the music in the first place? And if so, how did they get there?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:02 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
So in these editions - the Henle and the Baerenreiter, who wrote in the ornaments/embellishments? Are they much different in the two books? And I'm slightly confused with what I just said - Did Bach actually write in the ornaments (the tiny squiggly things) but then he allowed the player to play them as they like (so now they are called embellishments?), or did Bach not even write them in the music in the first place? And if so, how did they get there?


Hi Monica,
I`ll try to answer your questions as well as I´m able to. The Henle-edition of the Goldberg-Variationen f.ex. is edited by Rudolf Steglich. I can´t compare with the Bärenreiter-edition, because I don´t possess it. In the Henle-edition there are the embellishments (=ornaments) of Bach and of the "Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach". In the remarks at the end of the book it´s all explained very exactly. Yes, Bach wrote his own embellishments in the Goldberg-Variationen, but he did not in every piece this so profoundly and often like here. In the WTC f.ex. you find less embellishments of himself. If Bach wrote his own embellishments, the player should first respect his ones an play them, then he may see, if it is necessary to add his own ones or to replace the ones of Bach by his own ones. The Henle-edition in every case is the nearest to the original. I compared other Bach-pieces and found that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:54 pm 
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Ok, thank you so much, Andreas. If Bach wrote in the ornaments, and that is what shows in the Goldberg Variations Henle edition, then tomorrow I am going shopping - at the music store!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:04 am 
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Pianoladywrote:
Quote:
Ok, thank you so much, Andreas. If Bach wrote in the ornaments, and that is what shows in the Goldberg Variations Henle edition, then tomorrow I am going shopping - at the music store!


Always a pleasure to help you!
Yes, in the Henle edition of Goldberg-variations there are the original ornaments of Bachs private copy (and/or Anna Magdalena Bach - his wife helped to copy many of his works, you know - and/or the first edition, published and printed by Balthasar Schmids in Nürnberg, which contains also Bachs original ornaments). The critical part at the end of the book (remarks) is very profound and valuable, you can exactly see, which ornaments are of Bach himself and which are of his wife Anna Magdalena. It´s the best decision to buy the Henle-edition.

If you are in the music-store, could you do me a little favour, please? Could you compare the Aria of the Goldberg-Variationen in the Henle-edition with those in the Bärenreiter-edition, especially the embellishments, and tell me, if there are much differences? It would be very interesting for me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:29 pm 
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Thanks for your input, Raul. I agree with you about going with Paderewski for Chopin music.

Andreas - sorry, but I coud not do that comparison. There are two music stores nearby - one of them is closed on Sundays so I drove to the other one but found that they did not have the Henle or the Baerenreiter. :x I hate when that happens!

So I'll be going to the other store tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:14 pm 
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Strike two for me. :x Andreas, the other music store did not have the Henle (or any Goldberg Variations) in stock, either, so I just now ordered it online. Hopefully, I'll have it by the end of the week, but now for sure I will not be able to peak inside the Baerenreiter edition. sorry.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:06 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
Strike two for me. :x Andreas, the other music store did not have the Henle (or any Goldberg Variations) in stock, either, so I just now ordered it online. Hopefully, I'll have it by the end of the week, but now for sure I will not be able to peak inside the Baerenreiter edition. sorry.


Thank you for your effort, Monica. Doesn´t matter. With me it´s the same. The next music-store, which has classical piano-scores is about an hour distance with the car. And it has also only the Henle, which I still possess. So, I think, I will not buy the Bärenreiter-edition just for to compare and after it probably I will still use further the Henle-edition. For Bach it´s certainly the best. (May be for Chopin Cherub-rocker is right with his statements above, I´m not sure, because I haven´t cared so much about a critical review of Chopin-pieces until now, in the case of Chopin I only used the Henle-edition until now without making too much thoughts about the best edition.)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:57 am 
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musicusblau wrote:
Hi Monica,
my answer to your question is quite simple:
the best editions for Bachs Goldberg-Variationen as well as for Chopins Barcarolle are the Henle-Urtext-editions (with the blue cover).


According to Badura-Skoda (see his Bach Interpretation) the best edition for the GV is the NBA (Bärenreiter/Dürr). By the way NBA is the only edition to have e3 in Var.8, bar 3, 2nd sixteenth RH, instead of the wrong d3. I've recently bought the Bärenreiter Partitas and WTC and must say that they are IMO better than all the other urtext editions I already own (Henle, Carisch and Könemann). I highly esteem Henle (which is unbeatable ragarding the quality of paper and typography and best choice for many composers like Beethoven, Schumann or Brahms) and I will still use it, but not anymore for Bach.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:31 pm 
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Oh, Alfonso! Where were you a couple days ago? I ordered the Henle edition, which will probably arrive today or tomorrow.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:29 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Oh, Alfonso! Where were you a couple days ago?


I was here (guess where, this is a "Where in the World" variation):

ImageImage


pianolady wrote:
I ordered the Henle edition, which will probably arrive today or tomorrow.


Yes, I've seen. You are totally safe with Henle. I am a bit obsessed with music editions and was splitting hairs in my reply to Andreas,

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