Alfred editions - To play or not to play?

Technique, methods and advice for learners

Postby classicafila » Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:08 am


I have several music books from Alfred Publishing and I would like to know are their classical music books Urtext? If not, should I replace them with Urtext editions like G. Henle, and Edition Peters? I have the Bach Two-Part Inventions, Mozart Viennese Sonatinas, and the Chopin Preludes from Alfred.
Thank you for your time.
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:01 am

These Alfred editions by Willard Palmer are excellent, Bach in particular, which has a list of the proper execution of ornaments and notes about style and tempos. Palmer has done a really swell job on a whole series, including Bach, Bartok, Beethoven, Burgmueller, Chopin, Clementi, and Schumann. Henry Levine's Alfred edition of Brahms is also very good.

I would be a little suspicious of the word "urtext", which does not always mean the pure, unedited version of the composer. Often the interpretation of a composer's manuscript is open to question, or the manuscript might be lost and only a copy, or perhaps an early edition, were available. And many composers were known to leave behind slightly different versions of the same piece.

W. L.

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