Friday, February 06, 2009

20% Off All G. Henle Urtext Editions at Sheet Music Plus Until March 5

Walk through any music school on the planet and you'll spot them. These blue-grey Urtext editions lend a certain authority to anyone that uses them for practicing, studying, teaching, or performing. Their hefty, acid-free pages, clean layout, and authoritative sources make these editions some of the most sought-after in the music world and are put together with a level of quality that can remain in good shape for the duration of your career.

Yes, I'm talking about G. Henle Urtext editions. Go to most music retailers and they're almost always sold at full price. Until now...

Until March 5, Sheet Music Plus is offering 20% off all G. Henle Urtext editions. In case you've never used an Urtext edition, here is a quick rundown on what it is:
The word Urtext means original text. An Urtext then is closest to what the composer originally intended. Over the years, various editors have often made additions to compositions which have obscured the original purity of the composition. In creating an Urtext edition, musicologists strive to re-create the purest version of the composition.

Extensive research goes into creating an Urtext edition - scholars examine all available manuscripts, variances, copies and early editions of compositions available. Different Urtext editions are often available for a single composition because different musicologists reach different conclusions regarding a composer's intent. Almost all Urtext editions include editorial additions that aid in playing including fingerings and bowings that are clearly marked as such.

Sheet Music Plus is one of the most respected online retailers of music scores and offers fast and inexpensive international shipping, as well as a massive selection of music from dozens of publishers. In case you're interested in grabbing some Henle scores, here are links to several of them for piano, many of which grace the walls of my studio bookshelf:




Johann Sebastian Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 846-869, part I - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Johann Sebastian Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 846-869, part I Without fingering - with Comments in English. By Johann Sebastian Bach. Edited by E.-G. Heinemann. For piano solo. This edition: HN256. Piano (Harpsichord), 2-hands. Henle Music Folios. Pages: VII and 128. Urtext edition without fingering-paper bound. 138 pages. Published by G. Henle. (51480256)
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Klaviersonaten - Band II  (Piano Sonatas - Volume II) - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Klaviersonaten - Band II (Piano Sonatas - Volume II) (K. 330 (300h) - K. 576) Fingerings by Hans-Martin Theopold, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), edited by Ernst Herttrich. Collection (paper bound) for solo piano. Urtext edition. 157 pages. Published by G. Henle. (HL.51480002)
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Klaviersonaten - Band I (Piano Sonatas - Volume I) - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Klaviersonaten - Band I (Piano Sonatas - Volume I) Fingered by Conrad Hansen, composed by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), edited by Bertha Antonia Wallner. Collection for solo piano. Series: Urtext Editions. Text language English, German and French. 286 pages. Published by G. Henle. (HL.51480032)
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Sonatas for Piano and Violin - Volume I - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Sonatas for Piano and Violin - Volume I By Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), edited by Sieghard Brandenburg. Collection and set of performance parts for Violin and piano. Urtext edition-paper bound. 159 pages. Published by G. Henle. (HL.51480007)
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Etuden (Etudes) - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Etuden (Etudes) Fingered by Hermann Keller, composed by Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), edited by Ewald Zimmermann. Collection for solo piano. Series: Urtext Editions. Text language English, German and French. 127 pages. Published by G. Henle. (HL.51480124)
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Piano pieces - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Piano pieces By Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), edited by Monica Steegmann. Urtext edition-paper bound for solo piano. 120 pages. Published by G. Henle. (HL.51480036)
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Preludes, Premier Livre - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Preludes, Premier Livre By Claude Debussy (1862-1918), edited by Ernst-Gunter Heinemann. Collection for solo piano. Urtext edition-paper bound. 61 pages. Published by G. Henle. (HL.51480383)
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3 comments:

  1. It should be pointed out that the term Urtext is purely a marketing term, not a musicological one. The fad started in response to nineteenth-century editions of piano music which were full of editorial fingerings and expression markings. Nowadays, however, most editors are extremely transparent in setting off editorial markings in a separate font - so that if you purchase any modern edition, with or without the Urtext label, it should be possible to clearly distinguish between markings of the editor and of the composer.

    The most dangerous aspect of the Urtext label, however, is the implication that the composer left a single musical text which can be precisely reconstructed. In actuality, the works of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, et al often exist in several different forms - an autograph manuscript, handwritten copies by students, a first edition supervised by the composer - which differ significantly from each other. Which one do you choose? Obviously, there's no one correct answer, which is why there is room for many different editions (and why a good edition gives you a critical apparatus at the back so that you can judge their choices for yourself). The label Urtext, however, implies that there is only one possible answer, and that all other editions are wrong. No wonder these scores sell so well.

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  2. Hmm...I should probably replace my Urtext of Bach Sinfonien, which I doused with a water gun in a fit of contrapuntal frustration many years ago.

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  3. Margaret McGillivray2:46 AM

    Hey Chris - don't know what the shipping would be to Canada, but you can get 25% of Henle editions until Feb. 15th at primamusic.com. I use them because I get flat-rate shipping, but I have a US mailing address.

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