"Library" vs "Performance" editions

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Schonbergian
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"Library" vs "Performance" editions

Post by Schonbergian » 19 Mar 2018, 17:26

What is the real difference between these?

Perhaps the difference isn't as clear-cut in choral music, my usual environment--but even the Breitkopf Complete Works edition of the Brahms piano works, ostensibly a "library" edition, is perfectly usable (in my eyes) for performance, save the lack of fingerings. And my "performance" Barenreiter Mozart Piano Sonatas lacks fingering as well.

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OCTO
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Re: "Library" vs "Performance" editions

Post by OCTO » 19 Mar 2018, 19:45

You don't mean "study score" or "pocket score" to say "taschenpartitur"?
Interesting, I'v never heard about the "library" edition.
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RMK
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Re: "Library" vs "Performance" editions

Post by RMK » 19 Mar 2018, 23:16

Perhaps the OP meant critical vs. practical performing edition?

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John Ruggero
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Re: "Library" vs "Performance" editions

Post by John Ruggero » 20 Mar 2018, 02:40

For some, the lack of fingering in a critical edition would an advantage in using it as a practical edition. But the lack of concern about page turns in some critical editions of the past (Schumann and Mendelssohn) and even present (Chopin National edition) can make them awkward to use.The Breitkopf Brahms is better and the New Mozart edition of the sonatas has superb page turns that make it an excellent practical edition.

Artur Schnabel asked his students to use the Breitkopf critical edition of the Beethoven sonatas for study rather than his own very elaborate personal edition. So turning the whole thing on its head: practical editions are great for reference purposes and critical editions make excellent working copies!
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benwiggy
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Re: "Library" vs "Performance" editions

Post by benwiggy » 02 May 2018, 08:38

It's mainly one of intent.
A scholarly or critical edition has, as its primary purpose, the accurate rendering of the source material, with some degree of allowance for differences between the source and present-day conventions. Such scores are of course performable.

A 'performing edition' has performance as its primary purpose, and so may well contain additional editorial content, such as fingerings, dynamics, Tempo indications. If several different sources exist, it may represent a mixture or selection of that material. It may also contain editorial reconstruction of missing parts, realisation of figured bass, etc, etc. It may adjust notation for improved reading, whereas the critical edition will hesitate to do so.

The difference is more apparent the further back in time you go, or for source material that is 'sketchy'.

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John Ruggero
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Re: "Library" vs "Performance" editions

Post by John Ruggero » 02 May 2018, 10:59

benwiggy wrote:
02 May 2018, 08:38
The difference is more apparent the further back in time you go...'.
As you imply, the difference between the two has become less now, with the "Urtext" editions being a kind of hybrid of the two. Perhaps the essential difference between the older type of performing edition and a current critical or Urtext edition is that editorial additions and changes were or are not annotated or distinguished in some way in the text. In that way, such a performing edition is something like an "arrangement" of the original.
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Re: "Library" vs "Performance" editions

Post by benwiggy » 02 May 2018, 11:06

I meant back in time for the source, e.g. a 17th-century work will have greater differences between critical and performing editions than a 19th-century work, but I take your point.

Commercial publishers have to 'add value' in some way, to make the Neue Edition worth purchasing - particularly when older ones are freely available online.

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John Ruggero
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Re: "Library" vs "Performance" editions

Post by John Ruggero » 02 May 2018, 11:33

Sorry, benwiggy, I missed your excellent point.

As mentioned in this and another thread, I think that multiplicity of responsible editions of standard works, whether by major publishers or by individuals, is a very good thing as a way to share musical knowledge. And there should be a website for musicians to share performance ideas online with its own database containing fingering, bowing, interpretive markings of various kinds, technical advice etc.
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Schonbergian
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Re: "Library" vs "Performance" editions

Post by Schonbergian » 02 May 2018, 20:05

Isn't this included in the Henle app to some extent, where you can select different bowings and fingerings on the fly to be overlaid on a base Urtext score?

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Re: "Library" vs "Performance" editions

Post by John Ruggero » 03 May 2018, 02:54

The Henle app is definitely a step in the right direction, but I would envision something of much greater scope.
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