New editions from Henle: Beethoven & Rossini

Beethoven: Klaviersonate Nr. 27 e-moll, Opus 90

Urtext edition by Norbert Gertsch · Murray Perahia
Fingering by Murray Perahia
G. Henle Verlag, 2017. HN1124
ix+16+6pp.
ISMN 979-0-2018-1124-6
€8.50

Dedicated to Moritz von Lichnowsky, the E minor sonata – described as a contemporary as “aside from two passages, one of Beethoven’s easiest” – consists of two movements, the first a troubled piece in sonata form whose innocent opening gives no hint of the searching doubt to be explored as the composer’s imagination takes flight, and a rondo in the major key which, though not without drama, is far more tuneful, the calm after the storm, as it were. After the introduction which details the work’s history and hidden story (which explains the opening movement’s tumultuous character), a separate text by Perahia discusses its structure (both are given in three languages); as seems to be the norm for Henle, the critical notes after the edition itself are restricted to German and English. The score is beautifully laid out, with footnotes drawing attention to aspects of performance practice and possible variant readings in the autograph source. Even if you have the complete sonatas on your shelves, this pristine version will be a valuable addition to your collection.

Rossini: Une larme

Urtext Edition by Tobias Glöckler
G. Henle Verlag, 2017. HN571
Score (v+4+2pp) and part (Urtext and fingered/bowed).
ISMN 979-0-2018-0571-9
€9.00

Tobias Glöckler’s edition of this short lament from 1858 was inspired by the discovery of a second autograph manuscript in St Petersburg, which helped to date its composition. His informative introduction is given in French and German, as well as English, but there are no critical notes in French. The musical text is given twice, once in A minor (for bass in standard orchestral tuning) and again a tone higher for the brighter solo tuning. The solo part (a single sheet) has the clean Urtext version on one side and the editor’s minimal additions on the reverse; in other words, help where it might be needed without unnecessary interference. From a practical point of view, this consists of fingering and bowing marks, one suggested extra slur (Rossini already marks the phrasing), and the replacement of the original’s tenor (C4) clef with the treble (G2) clef expected nowadays when the music goes beyond ledger lines. Footnotes offer further performance advice. All in all, an excellent little edition, worth every cent.

Brian Clark