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#418293 - 10/23/07 11:22 AM Best Bach WTC edition?
JenniferGC1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Colorado
Does anyone have suggestions on a good edition of Well Tempered Clavier? I have the Dover edition, and I usually like Dover, but I'm looking for an edition that breaks the voices out between the hands a bit better and is easier to read.

Thanks
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#418294 - 10/23/07 11:38 AM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Out of interest, who is the editor of your Dover edition?
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#418295 - 10/23/07 12:13 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
JenniferGC1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Colorado
Hmmm...I don't have it in front of me right now but will post it tonight.

So I guess I'm not sure how editions work now that I read your question. Should one look for a specific editor rather than specific editions?

Thanks
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#418296 - 10/23/07 12:19 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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On the front page it will say edited by or (in German) Kritische Ausgabe von. The fingering could well be by someone else. Dover normally reprint very good editions, so I'm wondering whose they chose.
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#418297 - 10/23/07 12:50 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
8ude Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
I'm not familiar with the Dover, but I have had good luck with other Dover scores, so that'd probably be good. Henle is really good, but expensive.

One to avoid at all costs is the Schirmer edited by Czerny.
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#418298 - 10/23/07 01:01 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
Knabe26 Offline
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Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 221
Loc: Northern California
8ude, what it is about Schirmer/Czerny that makes it one to avoid? (Since I've picked up some old Schirmer editions at used book sales, including WTC 2, I'm wondering if I should just donate them back...) I have volume 1 in a Peters edition, fingered (if I'm reading the German correctly) by Kroll. Is that a good edition?
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#418299 - 10/23/07 01:23 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
pianoexcellence Offline
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Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
I just bought the palmer edition. I use it for teaching.
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#418300 - 10/23/07 01:41 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
8ude Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
 Quote:
Originally posted by Knabe26:
8ude, what it is about Schirmer/Czerny that makes it one to avoid? (Since I've picked up some old Schirmer editions at used book sales, including WTC 2, I'm wondering if I should just donate them back...) I have volume 1 in a Peters edition, fingered (if I'm reading the German correctly) by Kroll. Is that a good edition? [/b]
Quite simply, there are numerous mistakes, many of them rather blatant. I have played probably about 3/4 of book one - and for each of those that I've played I compare various editions and in almost all cases, better editions have shown the Schirmer to be in error. Some of the errors are more obvious than others, but from what I've seen, this edition just comes up lacking.
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#418301 - 10/23/07 01:46 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17675
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by JenniferGC1:
Does anyone have suggestions on a good edition of Well Tempered Clavier? I have the Dover edition, and I usually like Dover, but I'm looking for an edition that breaks the voices out between the hands a bit better and is easier to read.

Thanks [/b]
I'm not sure what you mean about "breaks the voices aout between the hands a bit better" [than Dover]. Most editions I have seen have pretty well the same hand distribution, although some editors will shift one or two notes from one hand to the other if that is deemed helpful. I don't think you're going to find much variation in distribution of parts between the hands.

On the other hand - so to speak! - Henle is always considered good for fingering, the print and paper quality are excellent; you might want to investigate Henle.

Alfred (ed. by Willard A. Palmer) is heavily edited, but done by a recognized scholar in Baroque performance practice; the phrasing and dynamics are considered by some to be quite useful suggestions, as long as the reader realizes that these are editorial suggestions and not Bach's indications.

In Alfred, all the ornaments are written out above or below the stave in light grey print, which can be very helpful if you don't have a good memory for all the Baroque ornament signs and symbols.

Alfred does have some peculiarities in its edition, one of them being that some pages have as few as four staves - very open, and easy to read - while others have as many as six. It's also bound in plastic spiral - which I particularly do not like since some Preludes and Fugues span several pages, and one needs to be careful if you have to turn pages quickly while playing.

What is particularly interesting in Alfred are the tables at the back of the volume. One, "Articulation Tables," takes each Fugue's voice and shows how as many as a dozen different performers - Gould, Gulda, Demus, Hamilton, Landowska among them - have articulated the voice of each Fugue. Another, "Table of Tempo Indications" lists the tempi that some editions, some pianists' recordings and some harpsichordists' recordings have used for the Prelude and Fugue in each.

Personally, I might not recommend Alfred as ones only edition; but it certainly is a useful accompaniment to an Urtext.

The ABRSM edition (edited by Sir Donald Francis Tovey and fingered by Harold Samuel) is also interesting for its comments on each Prelude and Fugue.

Regards,
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#418302 - 10/23/07 04:53 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
JenniferGC1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Colorado
 Quote:
I'm not sure what you mean about "breaks the voices out between the hands a bit better" [than Dover]. Most editions I have seen have pretty well the same hand distribution, although some editors will shift one or two notes from one hand to the other if that is deemed helpful. I don't think you're going to find much variation in distribution of parts between the hands. [/b]
It's difficult to explain, but perhaps I should have written "broken out between the clefs" rather than "between the hands." So, a voicing that is on the treble clef in the Dover book is written on the bass clef in another edition and is easier to read; however, both editions may indicate that the same note is to be played with the left hand.

Is this helpful, or more confusing?

Thanks for all the info everyone...very helpful!
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Yamaha GC1

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#418303 - 10/23/07 05:15 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
Piano Again Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1162
Loc: Washington metro
I have been liking the Kalmus edition because it has a lot of scholarly notes explaining differences between the different manuscripts. It also has some fingerings, most very helpful.

I don't think any edition is going to change where the voices appear on the staff. The direction of the stems and the fingerings will tell you which hand to use.

I haven't liked the Alfred with the gray markings; I find them confusing.
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#418304 - 10/23/07 05:33 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
I have both Henle[1] and ABRSM editions and both have their good points. I think the Henle is a good bit easier to read (paper colour and print quality) and the fingering tends to fit my hands a little better. That said, the ABRSM is pretty good overall, and as Bruce mentions, the accompanying commentaries are interesting and enlightening.

-Michael B.
[1] I have an extra (paperbound) Book 2, which I had rush out and buy on the morning of my exam in Oxford this summer, having discovered on the plane that I had indeed picked up the wrong volume in my rush to get to the airport :rolleyes: . I was playing from memory but needed to provide the examiners with the sheet music...
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#418305 - 10/23/07 07:34 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
bukopaudan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 506
Loc: USA
I agree with the people who say HENLE.

I own the Bach WTC by Henle and it's easier to read, nice paper and print quality, and even though it's a little bit more expensive, it lasts quite a long time--it's beautifully bound as well. It makes you feel quite pampered at the piano.
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#418306 - 10/23/07 11:02 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Knabe26:
8ude, what it is about Schirmer/Czerny that makes it one to avoid? (Since I've picked up some old Schirmer editions at used book sales, including WTC 2, I'm wondering if I should just donate them back...) I have volume 1 in a Peters edition, fingered (if I'm reading the German correctly) by Kroll. Is that a good edition? [/b]
Kroll was probably the first scholar to produce urtext editions (1866). So it's good.
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#418307 - 10/23/07 11:29 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8699
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:
I have both Henle and ABRSM editions and both have their good points. I think the Henle is a good bit easier to read and the fingering tends to fit my hands a little better.
Well said, Michael. I agree. Fingering in Henle is superb.

Funny thing about that... whenever I have changed the fingering -I'm certain I must know better- always down the line I find that Henle was best after all.
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#418308 - 10/23/07 11:43 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3408
Loc: US
I'm using the Peters (Kroll, Ed.) urtext. It seems reasonably good but I have not compared it to the Henle.

Sophia

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#418309 - 10/24/07 03:38 AM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5284
Loc: Orange County, CA
I own both the Henle Urtext and Peters Urtext (ed. Kroll). Henle's layout and print is wonderful. But the Kroll-edited Peters is probably the best Peters edition I've seen. Both editions can get a bit too compressed (e.g., the C-sharp major prelude). And both are really expensive. My Peters edition cost $18.65 in 1994. I got my Henle edition from Taiwan (for $150 NTD, or about $4.50 USD), but I know it runs about $30.00 in the US.

For teaching purposes, I made some students buy the Keith Snell collection of P&F. I like the wide-open layout of the Snell edition, but it does have a lot of wrong notes--they're pretty obvious ones, so you can fix them easily. But the biggest reason is it's cheap. Snell's editorial suggestions always have the student-performer in mind, not the Baroque scholar.

I haven't seen the Alfred/Palmer edition, but I might check it out some time. I like Palmer's edition of the Inventions.
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#418310 - 10/24/07 04:48 AM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
Jason:
always down the line I find that Henle was best after all.

I get the impression that the Henle editor (Theopold?) was much less afraid of thumbs on black notes, 4 (and 3) over 5 (and vice versa under, in both hands), etc., than was Mr Craxton.

-Michael B.
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#418311 - 10/24/07 07:54 AM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
Schubertian Offline
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Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 937
Loc: Dallas, TX, US
The most up to date and scholarly edition is the Neue Bach Ausgabe edited by Alfred Duerr and recently published by Baerenreiter.

This is Paul Badura-Skoda's opinion. I just bought it based on his advise in his book on Bach Perforance. It is in paper-bound now. It changed my life.
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#418312 - 10/24/07 09:29 AM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
Schubertian:
recently published by Baerenreiter....It is in paper-bound now

Their website lists only the clothbound (two) volumes of WTC at quite eye-watering prices, (€123 and €185.) Do you have a reference number(s) for the clothbound ones, or are they part of the four volume Complete Works set (listed at €169)?

-Michael B.
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#418313 - 10/24/07 02:03 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
JenniferGC1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Colorado
 Quote:
Out of interest, who is the editor of your Dover edition?[/b]
I'm afraid I can't find the name of an editor in any of the front matter. It does say it was originally published by Bach-Gesellschaft. Corrections and explanation of ornaments by Saul Novack.

Thanks to everyone for replying.
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Yamaha GC1

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#418314 - 10/24/07 02:45 PM Re: Best Bach WTC edition?
Amant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/07
Posts: 310
Loc: Southwest
Henle hardcover.

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