Bärenreiter Urtext (English version)

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OCTO
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Bärenreiter Urtext (English version)

Post by OCTO » 30 Sep 2019, 09:26

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John Ruggero
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Re: Bärenreiter Urtext (English version)

Post by John Ruggero » 01 Oct 2019, 20:18

Thanks, OCTO. They were interesting to watch.

Because of my recent intensive experience with the piano sonatas, I agree completely with the gentleman at the beginning of the second video when he says that Beethoven took great, even extraordinary care in notating his music. So why then does Baerenreiter modify Beethoven's notation?

When I looked at a sample page from the latest Baerenreiter edition of the Sonata op. 81a, I see in the second measure, 2 deviations from Beethoven's manuscript, in the third measure,4 deviations, in the fourth measure, 2 deviations, and so it goes from most of the measures on the page. All are modernizations of the stemming and slurring; and in my opinion, none enhance the visual communication but detract from it, simply for the sake of conforming to the current engraving practice. In my opinion, Wiener Urtext is doing a much better job of preserving the original notation in its recent editions, as if it is finally dawning on some editors that these composers really notated their music exactly as they wanted it.

The engraving itself has none of the beauty that I recall from Baerenreiter editions of the past, which I found inspirational. I got out my copy of Baerenreiter's Handel 8 Great Suites (1974) to compare. Elegant, powerful beautiful. Now the sample page of the Beethoven op. 81a. None of those things. The various elements are similar, but in every case the new version is inferior to the old. The G-clef looks squashed, as do the piano braces, in fact the entire visual picture seems squashed. The accidentals, particularly the sharp and natural are quite unattractive, the note heads seem too small. And the slurs are often too bowed and unappetizing.The typography is undistinguished and out-of-proportion, with some elements too small and others too large. Perhaps Notat.io's experts can comment. Or maybe I am completely off base.

And what is the software?

https://www.baerenreiter.com/en/shop/pr ... s/BA11843/
>music sample no. 2

Here is the first edition, which preserves Beethoven's notation, and which as a single visual experience I think is far more attractive.
op 81a 1st ed..jpeg
op 81a 1st ed..jpeg (262.05 KiB) Viewed 398 times
Last edited by John Ruggero on 01 Oct 2019, 22:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Schonbergian
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Re: Bärenreiter Urtext (English version)

Post by Schonbergian » 01 Oct 2019, 22:15

Not only are the noteheads too small, the staff size is smaller than the Schenker edition and most piano scores I've seen, including past Baerenreiter keyboard scores.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Bärenreiter Urtext (English version)

Post by John Ruggero » 01 Oct 2019, 22:46

That's exactly what it is, Schonbergian. The small staff size makes the music look puny.

Here is the Schenker edition:

http://ks.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usim ... ata_26.pdf
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Schonbergian
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Re: Bärenreiter Urtext (English version)

Post by Schonbergian » 01 Oct 2019, 22:53

Software looks to be Finale with Palatino Linotype and the Vienna music font.

John, is the slur in m.3 RH an error in the first edition or in the Baerenreiter?

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John Ruggero
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Re: Bärenreiter Urtext (English version)

Post by John Ruggero » 02 Oct 2019, 02:00

Beethoven sometimes indicates a simile by omitting markings that he felt were obvious. Thus the slur he placed in measure two in the MS is apparently to indicate that all similar patterns in the introduction are to be slurred. The first edition added the slur in measure 3 because it was felt (either by the editor or Beethoven himself) that one more slur should be added for insurance. Beethoven seems to have considered putting in every similar slur to be redundant, fussy, and insulting the player's intelligence; quite a different attitude from today. He could be inconsistent in applying this principal, however, sometimes writing in more such indications and sometimes fewer before assuming a tacit simile. And, of course, there are cases where we simply don't know for sure what he wanted.

This type of "simile by omission" creates an issue for a modern editor. Schenker takes the position that such simile's should be written out, since modern performers are not necessarily aware of the convention. Purist editions just give the facts. In this case, the facts do include the slur in m. 3 of the first edition, since it is not at all clear that it was not Beethoven's idea written into the proofs or communicated in a letter or supplied by the editor and consented to by Beethoven.

In my edition, I put all of Beethoven's MS slurs in regular type. All the first edition slurs are also in regular type if they appear to be genuine additions by Beethoven or a fleshing out or correcting of accidentally omitted slurs by the first editor and engraver. My own additions use dashed slurs, or a {sim.} depending on the situation. The player will never be left in doubt as to what is in the primary sources, what is not, or in the dark as to my position on any missing indications.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Bärenreiter Urtext (English version)

Post by John Ruggero » 02 Oct 2019, 02:19

Sorry, but I can't restrain myself. Please note the centered beam in the left hand of m. 6 in the first edition above. Beethoven only uses centered beams between such small intervals on special occasions. The upward stem for the third B-flat-D shows these left hand tones leading, with a change of mode, to the the B-flat D-flat within the right hand diminished seventh chord in the next measure. This diminished seventh chord is a passing entity within the B-flat dominant chords that end m. 6 and m. 7.
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OCTO
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Re: Bärenreiter Urtext (English version)

Post by OCTO » 02 Oct 2019, 06:52

John, you should get job at Bärenreiter! As a chief advisor.
John Ruggero wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 20:18
And what is the software?
https://www.baerenreiter.com/en/shop/pr ... s/BA11843/
>music sample no. 2
I think it looks like Finale.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Bärenreiter Urtext (English version)

Post by John Ruggero » 02 Oct 2019, 14:42

Thanks very much, OCTO. Don't think they would want me though. Not much for organizations, compromises and politics. I have this pet theory that technology has now empowered individuals to create the best editions.

So that's two for Finale. What was the giveaway? The slur ends are wispy. Many of the slurs end too close to the note heads. I always thought it was a minimum of half a space; Gould agrees. Finale does that by default. The engraver must have overridden it. I see dashed hairpins in the other example for the volume. Perhaps they drew those with the dashed line tool.
Last edited by John Ruggero on 03 Oct 2019, 02:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Schonbergian
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Re: Bärenreiter Urtext (English version)

Post by Schonbergian » 02 Oct 2019, 23:33

The slurs are the giveaway. The note spacing is too good (not saying much) to be Sibelius, I can't imagine them using MuseScore, and it's definitely not LilyPond.

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