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#2165110 - 10/12/13 12:56 AM Question about Schirmer editions
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 837
At times, I've noticed piano teachers look down on Schirmer Editions. I've always been very happy with them. I'm guessing the reason is because so many fingerings are given, but I'm not sure. For me, I'd take it over a Henle edition any day because it has far more personality.

Any comments?

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#2165114 - 10/12/13 01:17 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5462
Loc: Orange County, CA
Schirmer has wild swings of quality mostly because there are so many different editors whose work ended up being distributed by Schirmer.

Schirmer's edition of Bach is basically useless. They still write out the mordents as "grace notes."

And I've noted the awful, awful fingering suggestions that Schirmer provides. But the same could be said about some Henle editions.

The older Schirmer editions tend to be cramped and cluttered. I haven't really paid much attention to the most recent editions, so things may have improved in the layout department.
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#2165119 - 10/12/13 01:37 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5246
Loc: Europe
I think that the old schirmer editions are indeed, awful. Everything about the editions was bad.

Jump in Frankfurt 2012 and I saw some FABULOUS Schirmer editions. nothing like the old yellow paper! Excellent! John (von Brook) who we were together, told me that these are recent publications and work very well!

So... not sure anymore...

But generally speaking, the old dinosaurs are difficult to change: Schirmer, Peters, Kalmus (ouch...)... :-/
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http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2165167 - 10/12/13 05:59 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
musicpassion Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 948
Loc: California, USA
The Schirmer editions have had some truly terrible editing. As already mentioned, some are absolutely useless and I would not allow a student (or myself) to use them lest we become musically tainted by the dark, evil errors.

That being said there are also some wonderful Schirmer editions. I think it depends on who edited.
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Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2165169 - 10/12/13 06:02 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
musicpassion Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 948
Loc: California, USA
You mention Henle... the reason someone reaches for an urtext edition is usually to understand what the composer actually wrote (as opposed to an editor). Some modern edited editions are good at clearly identifying the editors work, but the old Schirmer editions are not.
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#2165170 - 10/12/13 06:04 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: Candywoman
At times, I've noticed piano teachers look down on Schirmer Editions. I've always been very happy with them. I'm guessing the reason is because so many fingerings are given, but I'm not sure. For me, I'd take it over a Henle edition any day because it has far more personality.

Any comments?


Schirmer editions really depend on the editor. I don't think Schirmer edition is comparable to Henle because one is edited and one is urtext with critical commentaries.

If you have questions, try find Schirmer editions on imslp. Some of it are in public domain.

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#2165185 - 10/12/13 07:35 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
Arthritis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/12
Posts: 28
As one who has his fair share of old Shirmer editions lying about the house, I'd like to add one thing. As we get older and look back on things in life, I think that it's good to have lots of pleasant memories. When I consider my old Shirmer editions, however, I tend to think of poorly laid out, poorly edited scores on paper that even looked yellow and old even when it was new. Not to beat up on just Shirmer, I also have my fair share of crappy old Dover editions (Schumann's piano music in two volumes comes to mind) for which those lousy old volumes haunt my memories of Schumann's works to this very day.

Buy yourself nice editions -- nice in terms of the paper, the editing, the page layout, the commentary, etc. Maybe, as someone remarked, the newer Schirmer editions are better than they used to be. I hope so.

And if you're a teacher, think of your students' future memories. They will forever associate the piece of music (and you, their teacher) with the score they learn from. So have them buy good editions.

By the way, the other day I started a thread about editions, and I'm still looking for suggestions for a good edition of the Mozart Piano Concerto in A, K 488. (I learned this piece from an old, yellowing Schirmer Edition, and I definitely want something nicer for my student who is going to work on the piece.)

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#2165230 - 10/12/13 10:43 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
DinaP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 152
So...........if the consensus so far is at least the old Shirmer editions are bad -- what do you use with your students???

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#2165496 - 10/13/13 01:08 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
Arthritis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/04/12
Posts: 28
Quote:
So...........if the consensus so far is at least the old Shirmer editions are bad -- what do you use with your students???


There isn't one publishing company that makes the best edition for everything. I like Henle for some works, Barenreiter for others, Wiener Urtext for yet others, International, Peters, and so on and so on. The newer Shirmer editions might be good for some things, as well. Take Billy Joel's "Music for Solo Piano, Op. 1-10" for instance; it's probably only available in the Shirmer Edition.

In short, I think it is good to take a look at scores and compare, or else get recommendations from knowledgeable people. I started a separate thread the other day called "Recommendations on Editions" to ask advice on editions of specific pieces for my students. I live in a place where there isn't a good music store nearby, so I need to order things online.

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#2165511 - 10/13/13 03:01 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21444
Loc: Oakland
Some Schirmer editions are very good, others are not so good. The Kirkpatrick Scarlatti sonatas should be in your collection. So should the complete Brahms piano works, which is a corrected version of the Breitkopf & Härtel edition. Like many other publishers, they have been revising their editions of the standard piano repertoire, bringing them up to current standards.

Anything written in the past 75 years or so is in copyright, so the only edition is the original publisher, and Schirmer did (and still does) a lot of original publishing.
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#2165512 - 10/13/13 03:02 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: DinaP]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5462
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: DinaP
So...........if the consensus so far is at least the old Shirmer editions are bad -- what do you use with your students???

I'm a big fan of Henle Urtext for most things, especially Bach. I've used a few of the Alfred Masterwork Editions, which are really well researched and edited. Once in a blue moon I would venture into Peters and (gasp!) Schirmer. When I do, I tend to have the students whiteout all the fingering.

I tend to teach off-the-wall music, so sometimes the only available edition is a really awful one. 20th-century European music is notorious for bad editions that are copyrighted, so nobody can do anything about it except for buying these super expensive editions that look like absolute garbage.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2165544 - 10/13/13 06:16 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: AZNpiano]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5246
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[quote=DinaP]I tend to teach off-the-wall music, so sometimes the only available edition is a really awful one. 20th-century European music is notorious for bad editions that are copyrighted, so nobody can do anything about it except for buying these super expensive editions that look like absolute garbage.
hmmm reminds me of Durand (Lemoine) and the case of Ravel and Messiaen... hmmm...
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http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2165611 - 10/13/13 10:37 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Nikolas]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7352
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
We used to have a Schirmer expert here on the forum. Guess he's on vacation at the moment.

In the earlier part of the 20th Century, Schirmer purchased publishing rights for the USA from a number of European publishers. For example, Peters. These were highly edited, romanticized editors of the old school. With the advent of the Urtext editions, we got away from such "free" style playing, back to what could be termed more authentic performance. Never mind that we were not playing on the same instruments or in the same venues or in the same cultural periods in which these editions were published.

The recent Schirmer editions are edited by contemporary pedagogues, with students in mind, and have highly informative performance practice notes, level of difficulties, etc. In other words, they are 21st century editions for 21st century students and performers. Worth taking a look at.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2165666 - 10/13/13 01:21 PM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: AZNpiano]
ShiroKuro Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3476
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

I tend to teach off-the-wall music, so sometimes the only available edition is a really awful one. 20th-century European music is notorious for bad editions that are copyrighted, so nobody can do anything about it except for buying these super expensive editions that look like absolute garbage.


AZNpiano, I'm curious about the "off-the-wall" music, would you mind sharing some examples of what you're teaching?
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Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
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