Klarinet Archive - Posting 000122.txt from 1994/09
From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Edition for the Kegelstatt
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 1994 11:26:11 -0400
Since we are talking about this wonderful work, it is appropriate to mention
editions. To the best of my knowledge, the only edition based on the autograph
is that of Barenreiter. That happens to be the one that I use but I have
some others also. I mentioned the major problem with Schirmer's edition and
none of the other ones that I have contain anything so exceptional that they
are worth considering. Some are badly overedited with crescendi every time
the line goes up, and decrescendi every time the line goes down. That is
a very romantic view of music and represents the opinion of the editor more
than the explicit instructions of the composer.
While this is not the place for a lengthy disucssion of this topic, it is
important to realize the various interpretations of the role of an editor
of a piece of music like the Kegelstatt.
Some editors believe that they are put in place to show the average musician
how the piece should go. Therefore, the add editorial symbols (including
dynamics) under the belief that their personal preferences for the music's
performance characteristics should be universal.
Some editors believe that their function is to tell you exactly what the
composer wrote, no more, no less. Such efforts may leave the player with
complications that he or she does not have the background to address. The
distinction between point and stroke staccatos are such a case.
Some editors believe that their function is to tell you what the composer
meant by what he wrote. But, unfortunately, what the composer meant is
not so easily understood. Sometimes the editor presumes that what the
composer meant is what he or she likes.
It is not an easy task to edit music. You really have to be on top of a
lot of things including handwriting styles, historical performance practice,
music dictionaries contemporary to the time of composition of the work,
watermarks for music of that epoch, ink colors, etc., etc. And if you do
not have an autograph from which to work, it is really impossible to come up
with an accurate performing edition. Slurs alone can drive one to drink.
Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California
Any of the above three addresses may be used. Take your pick.