When wandering the book section this afternoon in the Burlington Costco, I happened upon a sight completely unexpected for such a store: music scores. Not just any old scores, but Urtext editions [wiki] by Koenemann Music Budapest. And at a price that I was astonished to behold: $3.99 each ($1 CDN equals approximately 89 cents US). These are the scores I bought:
Bach WTC I
Bach WTC II
Bach English Suites
Grieg Lyrische Stuecke I
Grieg Lyrische Stuecke II
There were also the Bach French Suites (got it in Henle), a Schumann collection (ditto), and a Mussorgsky collection (should have bought it). These editions might not be the real thing for the Baerenreiter/Peters/Henle/Weiner crowd, but from what I've seen so far, they hold up pretty well in comparison. Looking at the books stacked in piles several feet high in no recognizable order, I couldn't help but reminisce about scores that belonged to my teachers and older colleagues purchased in the 60's and 70's with $3 and $4 price tags still affixed. (A friendly cashier, upon my asking about why the prices were so insanely low, chalked it up to an astute buyer.)
Anyway folks, these books won't last for long. I have no idea which Costco locations in the Toronto area are carrying the Koenemann Urtexts, but it is a deal not to be missed. And with the stamp of Urtext authenticity, correctly executing those articulation markings and exact beginnings and endings of crescendi and rallentandi will mean that performers will impress the Urtext police, who are said to inhabit the auditoriums of major cities across Europe and North America, judging concerts solely on the basis of just how accurate and faithful the performers play according to the original intentions of the composer....