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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: 986
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 Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6812
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 Online   blank
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 6436
Loc: UK
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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#2165167 - 10/12/13 05:59 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1625
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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#2165169 - 10/12/13 06:02 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1625
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: 29
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: 29
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: 24318
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 Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6812
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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#2165544 - 10/13/13 06:16 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: AZNpiano]
Nikolas Online   blank
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 6436
Loc: UK
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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#2165611 - 10/13/13 10:37 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Nikolas]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7639
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.
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#2165666 - 10/13/13 01:21 PM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: AZNpiano]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3950
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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#2571162 - 09/14/16 04:33 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 147
Loc: Vilnius
Yes, yes I'm resurrecting a 3 year old thread... smile
I'm considering buying the Debussy Ultimate Piano Collection by Schirmer. However, I can not find the information on which edition reprint it is. Maybe someone has other Debussy publications by Schirmer and would know?
I'm torn between buying this book or printing from IMSLP and then taking the pages to be comb bound... IMSLP has beautiful scans of Edition Peters...

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#2571163 - 09/14/16 04:41 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
Nikolas Online   blank
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 6436
Loc: UK
There's absolutely NO comparison between a print off IMSLP, bound by yourself and a professionally printed score. Even the worst possible professional score will be tons better than a print off IMSLP.

Of course a professional edition, from another professional edition can really be miles apart, but still...

:-/

Sorry...
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#2571164 - 09/14/16 04:53 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Nikolas]
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6812
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By Nikolas
There's absolutely NO comparison between a print off IMSLP, bound by yourself and a professionally printed score. Even the worst possible professional score will be tons better than a print off IMSLP.

Sorry, Nikolas, I must disagree. There are some stuff on imslp that were impeccably scanned and/or computer-generated, so the print comes out perfect.

And you know which European publishers I'm talking about when I say their product is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy...and there's absolutely nothing the consumer can do other than coughing up the dough and buying their inferior products--because of this "thing" called international copyright.
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#2571167 - 09/14/16 04:58 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Evaldas]
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6812
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By Evaldas
I'm considering buying the Debussy Ultimate Piano Collection by Schirmer.

Buyer beware!
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#2571172 - 09/14/16 05:49 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: AZNpiano]
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 147
Loc: Vilnius
Originally Posted By AZNpiano
Originally Posted By Evaldas
I'm considering buying the Debussy Ultimate Piano Collection by Schirmer.

Buyer beware!

Any reason? Please don't tell me it's because of the comb binding, as it turns out to be a more controversial topic that it should be laugh. Personally, I am a fan of comb bound books smile

Originally Posted By Nikolas
There's absolutely NO comparison between a print off IMSLP, bound by yourself and a professionally printed score. Even the worst possible professional score will be tons better than a print off IMSLP.

Of course a professional edition, from another professional edition can really be miles apart, but still...

:-/

Sorry...


Well, if we're going THERE, I will say that there are advantages/disatvantages to both smile
For example, now I learned to print my pdfs so that the notes take up as much space on the page as possible and that the staves are also as large as possible. They lay completely flat, whereas the sown/glued store bought ones either have problems staying open or when they are open the pages are warped near the binding causing a shadow, which annoys me.

The store bought ones are usually a bit larger than the A4 paper we have here so the notes are larger, which is something I always seek. Although, I recently bought Schirmer Rachmaninoff Preludes (nice edition in my opinion) and the margins are still too large in my opinion, they could've made the music larger. And also, yet the margins are quite wide, in the second half of the book when you fold the page, a few milimeters of the actual music is hidden by the fold which is annoying as some pages are not centered very well...

I will try to post some pictures later today of my recently printed Mikuli Chopin etudes from IMSLP, which I'm very proud of laugh
I also noticed that I don't value the DIY books as much as the ones that I bought...

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#2571174 - 09/14/16 05:50 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: AZNpiano]
Nikolas Online   blank
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 6436
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By AZNpiano
Originally Posted By Nikolas
There's absolutely NO comparison between a print off IMSLP, bound by yourself and a professionally printed score. Even the worst possible professional score will be tons better than a print off IMSLP.

Sorry, Nikolas, I must disagree. There are some stuff on imslp that were impeccably scanned and/or computer-generated, so the print comes out perfect.

And you know which European publishers I'm talking about when I say their product is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy...and there's absolutely nothing the consumer can do other than coughing up the dough and buying their inferior products--because of this "thing" called international copyright.

It's not just the matter of the quality of the scan (or PDF). The professional printing machines cost A LOT and there's reasons for that. The same goes for the paper choice (which Schirmer, for example, has good paper weight and texture) and the binding.

A professionally printed score will be better than a home made score, if you take the layout and notation out of the equation.

That's what I mean.

EDIT: Paper size is also important. A lot of European publishers (Henle, Wiener Urtext, even Schirmer) use a lager size page, which can be really useful for the added space, larger notation and margins.


Edited by Nikolas (09/14/16 05:52 AM)
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#2571194 - 09/14/16 08:30 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
hreichgott Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 2935
Loc: western MA, USA
For Debussy, Durand is the best edition, and the Durand available on imslp is not very different from what you get when you buy a book, AND the weak point of Durand editions is the poor staple bindings. So in this case imslp is a pretty good choice.
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#2571209 - 09/14/16 10:00 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: hreichgott]
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 147
Loc: Vilnius
Originally Posted By hreichgott
For Debussy, Durand is the best edition, and the Durand available on imslp is not very different from what you get when you buy a book, AND the weak point of Durand editions is the poor staple bindings. So in this case imslp is a pretty good choice.

I've heard that Durand is great for Debussy and Ravel. Although I just looked and the scan is not great on IMSLP at least compared to Peters. I believe Dover reprints Durand for Debussy (at least the preludes)?

But still... I'm very interested in Schirmer's Ultimate Debussy Collection, because it has so much content and it costs around £20! So I wonder what they have reprinted there... I guess I'll try comparing the sample pages with what's on IMSLP laugh


Edited by Evaldas (09/14/16 10:09 AM)

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#2571214 - 09/14/16 10:20 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
Nikolas Online   blank
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 6436
Loc: UK
Evaldas: Can't you access a physical copy of what you want to buy? If you're in London, doesn't the music shop in Church street have a copy, perhaps? To see with your own eyes and decide? Other than that both AZN and Heather do have a point about bad professional scores... :-/ Dear me...
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#2571217 - 09/14/16 10:27 AM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 147
Loc: Vilnius
No, I am not in London. I am in Lithuania and most of the sheet music I buy is from musicroom as they have good prices also shipping is free over £25. I looked at the sample of the 10th etude "Pour les sonorites opposees" on sheetmusicplus and what's on IMSLP and I am almost sure it's Durand, will check later for more comparisons smile.

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#2573597 - 09/24/16 01:57 PM Re: Question about Schirmer editions [Re: Candywoman]
JazzyMac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/13
Posts: 216
Loc: World Traveler
How does Baerenreiter compare to all of these?

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