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Does anyone have any first hand experience using the unbeatably priced Dover publications of Vierne's symphonies 1-3, Franck's organ works, Buxtehude's complete organ works, Brahms, Mendelssohn and various other major composers, as I'm thinking of buying a few. I know of the problems with the bindings and the Widor edition but apart from that are there any other things to look out for?

 

Many Thanks

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Dover only print out-of-copyright editions, so it all depends on how reliable these editions are. I have not seen the ones you mention, butI would guess that they are all serviceable enough, except for the Buxtehude, where modern scholarship will most certainly have surpassed anything Dover might be permitted to reprint. Also, Dover can print only the original Vierne edityions with all their misprints and misunderstandings which have been corrected in the new editions. With Dover the best question to ask yourself is: how up to date do you want your scholarship to be?

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Dover only print out-of-copyright editions, so it all depends on how reliable these editions are. I have not seen the ones you mention, butI would guess that they are all serviceable enough, except for the Buxtehude, where modern scholarship will most certainly have surpassed anything Dover might be permitted to reprint. Also, Dover can print only the original Vierne edityions with all their misprints and misunderstandings which have been corrected in the new editions. With Dover the best question to ask yourself is: how up to date do you want your scholarship to be?

 

I always supposed that the Buxtehude edition would be a bit dodgy (maybe includes C clefs and all that).

I'm wanting to work specifically on the Finale from Vierne's Symphony no. 1. Are there any notation errors in dover's publication of that?

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I have quite a number of Dover editions among my collection of music.

 

As mentioned before, binding is always an issue, although it seems to have improved slightly in more recent editions.

 

If anything, I prefer some of the Dover collections for their inclusion of relatively unknown and hard to find music, including pieces which have been out of print for quite some time (eg. Dupre Souvenir Op.65, or Saint-Saens Trois Pieces).

 

They are perhaps better as editions to start out with, from a financial point of view, perhaps upgrading later on. The Dupre volume is perhaps the best bargain in their catalogue (compared with the French editions!). I'd love to see them release a cheaper reprint of Tournemire's L'Orgue Mystique or the Rheinberger Sonatas.

 

VA

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I always supposed that the Buxtehude edition would be a bit dodgy (maybe includes C clefs and all that).

I'm wanting to work specifically on the Finale from Vierne's Symphony no. 1. Are there any notation errors in dover's publication of that?

 

Further to your response, I believe that the reprint is based upon the first edition by Hamelle - I'm pretty sure that there are bound to be misprints, but perhaps another more informed member of the board can help you with this - I'd be interested to know as well! (Perhaps a new misprints thread...?)

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They are perhaps better as editions to start out with, from a financial point of view, perhaps upgrading later on. The Dupre volume is perhaps the best bargain in their catalogue (compared with the French editions!).

VA

Not available here due to copyright, though. (At least I don't think so)

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I'm quite a fan.

NB, the Brahms/Mendelssohn/Schumann volume does have a lot of C clefs (perhaps only in the Brahms, can't remember). I've had 2 copies of their Franck - left the first one on a console somewhere and found I couldn't live without it. I learnt the Vierne Final from another edition (sorry can't remember) and didn't notice any different notes when I changed to Dover.

I also think their 3 Bach volumes are absolutely stupendous value for money, even though they also use C clefs in the chorale preludes.

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My understanding is that Dover is fine for Bach (Bach-Gesellschaft reprint); Sweelinck; and Widor where it is a reprint of the first editions - but it doesn't included Widor's revisions (NB use the American edition). Scholarship has resulted in more authoritative editions of all the other composers you mention, if that is an issue for you.

 

Tournemire appears to be out of copyright, and his works are available electronically from two different sources. Note though that Rupert Gough has published a new edition of the Five Improvisations which aims to be be a more faithful transcription of the now-available remastered audio recordings of Tournemire's playing.

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The Dover Franck facsimile comes highly recommended - it's a reproduction of the Durand edition and it's very good indeed.

It's oblong format and the binding is properly stitched these days - mine is still going strong after 12-14 years. It is my prefered edition for Franck.

 

The Dover Preludes and Fugues and Toccatas, Fantasias & Fugues are excellent too. Being Bach Gesellschaft you get the barring (of quavers, semi-quavers, etc) as Bach wrote it - you don't have the standardised barrings (plus some funny readings) that you get in the Barenreiter NBA, which are not useful. Th BG is a bit cramped in places but I still rate it highly. I have to say though that the my Dover edition of the Chorale Preludes and Trio Sonatas generally stays on the shelf - it doesn't get much use.

 

I have the Widor Symphonies in Dover editions but I would get the later editions from Leduc/Hamelle first. Widor revised quite a few of his symphonies and there are some quite notable differences between them! The Dover editions only real value is as an oddity to compare to see what Widor changed when he re-edited them - I wouldn't play from them. There's a lot of music here which will take a long time to get through so I don't think you'll save much money buying the big Dover editions.

 

I'm surprised Dover haven't done the Rheinberger Sonatas - I have all of them in the original Forberg edition, which has all of the composer's indications as he wrote them and they are extremely well laid out. I still think it's the best edition. They could do all of them in 3 volumes and it'll be far better than Harvey Grace!

 

For Schumann I cannot recommend the Henle edition highly enough - you get the sketches, canons & BACH fugues in an excellent and practical oblong book.

 

The Dover Sweelinck and Fitzwilliam Virginal books are excellent too.

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I always supposed that the Buxtehude edition would be a bit dodgy (maybe includes C clefs and all that).
...their 3 Bach volumes are absolutely stupendous value for money, even though they also use C clefs in the chorale preludes.

And what, dare one ask, is wrong with C clefs? :unsure:

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Nothing. Plenty wrong with my ability to play from them though.

 

I did actually learn Wachet Auf with the melody in the C clef, but I ended up writing the letter names at the beginning of each phrase, just to be on the safe side. :unsure:

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Worth adding that out-of-copyright editions such as those used by Dover (though I can't say if they are the same edition that Dover use or not) are often available online too as free pdfs - it can be very convenient to be able to print off just the pages you need, in a size that suits you, and spread the pages across the music stand to avoid pageturns.

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I have the Widor Symphonies in Dover editions but I would get the later editions from Leduc/Hamelle first. Widor revised quite a few of his symphonies and there are some quite notable differences between them! The Dover editions only real value is as an oddity to compare to see what Widor changed when he re-edited them - I wouldn't play from them. There's a lot of music here which will take a long time to get through so I don't think you'll save much money buying the big Dover editions.

 

I'm surprised Dover haven't done the Rheinberger Sonatas - I have all of them in the original Forberg edition, which has all of the composer's indications as he wrote them and they are extremely well laid out. I still think it's the best edition. They could do all of them in 3 volumes and it'll be far better than Harvey Grace!

Agree with much of your post, particularly about the Rheinberger; so many sonatas, so many decent movements, but not necessarily in the same sonatas!

 

However, I do use the Widor for performance. I bought the volumes as a poor student (£25 for the fifth just for the Toccata, or £10 for all of 1 to 5? No contest!) and yes there are some substantial differences in places (a whole section in the last movement of the 6th that various editions don't have) but many of the differences are a bit more subtle (I did quite a lengthy analysis of the first movement of the fifth) and in many cases I quite like them. Always makes for an interesting conversation post-voluntary/recital from the amoral brigade!

 

PS My absence over the last few weeks due to moving across the country, bye to Dorset, hello Essex, some interesting comparisons so far.....my box set of The Only Way is Essex has come in useful for the cultural surroundings and as my induction!

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And what, dare one ask, is wrong with C clefs? :)

 

Personally, I cannot see the point of this. An organist's job is often difficult enough as it is.

 

Whilst I frequently have to read open score (often with overlapping parts) and transpose (last Sunday at Choral Mattins, it was down a minor third), I have yet to be confronted with organ music which uses C clefs*

 

If it is just for some kind of perceived valour or merit 'badge' - forget it.

 

 

 

* Apart from a couple of lines in a Widor symphony which, I am fairly certain, was only the result of the editor using a cramped layout - either a bass or treble clef would have involved over-printing, or reducing the type size.

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Thank you for your replies. Would Barenreiter be a suitable choice for Mendelssohn, Buxtehude and others?

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Personally, I cannot see the point of this. An organist's job is often difficult enough as it is.

 

Whilst I frequently have to read open score (often with overlapping parts) and transpose (last Sunday at Choral Mattins, it was down a minor third), I have yet to be confronted with organ music which uses C clefs*

 

If it is just for some kind of perceived valour or merit 'badge' - forget it.

 

 

 

* Apart from a couple of lines in a Widor symphony which, I am fairly certain, was only the result of the editor using a cramped layout - either a bass or treble clef would have involved over-printing, or reducing the type size.

I am sure that there is, and has been, an element of archaism about the use of C Clefs, as with many aspects of "Western" music notation eg C and ¢ time signatures, the use of transposition and non-standard key signatures in writing for clarinets, horns, brass, and percussion.

 

I like the sense of continuity and connection with the past that C clefs represent. I have a facsimile of the original partbooks of Tallis and Byrd’s Cantiones Sacrae of 1575, which use 9 or so different clefs, many in the same part book, and I have huge respect for those church musicians of the 16th century who were sufficiently fluent to take those clefs (and canonic instructions) in their stride.

 

I love coming across C Clefs in organ music, both in the Peters Edition of Bach and in the original edition (as reprinted by Kalmus) of the Brahms opus 122 Chorale Preludes. Brahms, always fond of archaisms such as the natural horn and the passacaglia, also used C clefs in his vocal music eg the motet Warum Ist Das Licht Gegeben Op 74. He was a subscriber to the first critical complete editions of Handel and Bach which he apparently played through on the piano as soon as each volume was delivered; those editions are littered with C clefs.

 

I'm always slightly disappointed that the OUP facsimile edition of John Stanley's organ voluntaries re-notated the sections in Alto clef.

 

Archaicly,

 

Michael

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I am sure that there is, and has been, an element of archaism about the use of C Clefs, as with many aspects of "Western" music notation eg C and ¢ time signatures, the use of transposition and non-standard key signatures in writing for clarinets, horns, brass, and percussion.

 

I like the sense of continuity and connection with the past that C clefs represent. I have a facsimile of the original partbooks of Tallis and Byrd’s Cantiones Sacrae of 1575, which use 9 or so different clefs, many in the same part book, and I have huge respect for those church musicians of the 16th century who were sufficiently fluent to take those clefs (and canonic instructions) in their stride.

 

I love coming across C Clefs in organ music, both in the Peters Edition of Bach and in the original edition (as reprinted by Kalmus) of the Brahms opus 122 Chorale Preludes. Brahms, always fond of archaisms such as the natural horn and the passacaglia, also used C clefs in his vocal music eg the motet Warum Ist Das Licht Gegeben Op 74. He was a subscriber to the first critical complete editions of Handel and Bach which he apparently played through on the piano as soon as each volume was delivered; those editions are littered with C clefs.

 

I'm always slightly disappointed that the OUP facsimile edition of John Stanley's organ voluntaries re-notated the sections in Alto clef.

 

Archaicly,

 

Michael

 

Can I take it that you play in a powdered wig, some form of breeches (with shiny knee buckles) and a big shirt....?

 

(Incidentally, do you get your candles from a wholesaler?)

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Can I take it that you play in a powdered wig, some form of breeches (with shiny knee buckles) and a big shirt....?

Did Brahms?

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Personally, I cannot see the point of this. An organist's job is often difficult enough as it is.

 

Whilst I frequently have to read open score (often with overlapping parts) and transpose (last Sunday at Choral Mattins, it was down a minor third), I have yet to be confronted with organ music which uses C clefs*

 

If it is just for some kind of perceived valour or merit 'badge' - forget it.

No doubt there are even more organists who cannot see the point of score reading and transposition because they never have any need of it - not to mention those who can't read music at all - and no doubt they all get by. Similarly, there are many illiterates in our society who manage to survive perfectly well by developing all sorts of ploys to disguise the fact that they can't read or write. But I bet all of them would get more out of life if they could.

 

Of course one can manage without learning C clefs, but how much more music is open to you if you can! This is becoming ever more pertinent nowadays when the free scores available on the internet are increasingly featuring old nineteenth-century editions of choral music. One wouldn't ask one's choir to sing from them, but the ability to read them online in order to decide whether a given piece is worthwhile must surely be useful. I daresay there are a few cathedral libraries around with these old scores too.

 

There's no great secret to C clefs. It's like anything else: the more you practise them, the easier it gets. To be honest, I still have to think about them a bit, which I don't have to do with treble and bass clefs, but I'm quite sure that would be unnecessary if C clefs were used as routinely as the G and F clefs.

 

* Apart from a couple of lines in a Widor symphony which, I am fairly certain, was only the result of the editor using a cramped layout

Isn't that the whole point of using them in organ music - to avoid the crowding or cramping that might result from too many leger lines?

 

I like the sense of continuity and connection with the past that C clefs represent. I have a facsimile of the original partbooks of Tallis and Byrd's Cantiones Sacrae of 1575, which use 9 or so different clefs, many in the same part book, and I have huge respect for those church musicians of the 16th century who were sufficiently fluent to take those clefs (and canonic instructions) in their stride.

That brings to mind an occasion at a seminar around 30 years ago when I ended up around a table with Maragret Bent, Oliver Neighbour, Michael Morrow, John Milsom, and one or two others (Christopher Page?), singing these motets from the Boethius Press facsimile. We started with the easy ones and went from there. Great fun. We had just finished Byrd's Emendemus in melius when Bruno Turner's shadow filled the doorframe and he said in the most serene voice, "You know, listening to that performance wafting out into the next room, you would never recognise this as one of Byrd's most sublime motets." You probably had to be there.

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Thank you for your replies. Would Barenreiter be a suitable choice for Mendelssohn, Buxtehude and others?

Can't speak for "others" because it all depends! Generally the standard of scholarship in modern Bärenreiter editions is fine.

 

For Buxtehude, the bee's knees is said to be the two horrendously expensive volumes from the collected works published by Broude Brothers (which I have not seen). It's definitely one for the thinking musician, though, as apparently you need to consult the critical commentary and make your own decisions about the text - and then emend (or make) your playing edition. Most organists, however, will just want an "oven ready" score and for this the best option is indeed Bärenreiter's (according to most - although some, including this chap, prefer Beckmann's edition from Breitkopf).

 

Bärenreiter's Mendelssohn editions comes in two volumes: 1) the sonatas; 2) everything else. I have volume 2 only. Textually it seems fine, but I find the portrait format unhelpful, especially as the volume is thick enough to dislike staying open on the music desk (it has a flat spine). I'm not sure there's currently anything better, however, now that the Novello edition by William Little is out of print.

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Note that there are two editions of Buxtehude by Beckmann. Breitkopf published his new edition in 1997; but some people prefer his older 1971 edition.

 

Paul

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Bärenreiter's Mendelssohn editions comes in two volumes: 1) the sonatas; 2) everything else. I have volume 2 only. Textually it seems fine, but I find the portrait format unhelpful, especially as the volume is thick enough to dislike staying open on the music desk (it has a flat spine). I'm not sure there's currently anything better, however, now that the Novello edition by William Little is out of print.

The Breitkopf (Schmidt) edition appears to be equally reliable. I moved to the Henle edition ten years ago.

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No doubt there are even more organists who cannot see the point of score reading and transposition because they never have any need of it - not to mention those who can't read music at all - and no doubt they all get by. Similarly, there are many illiterates in our society who manage to survive perfectly well by developing all sorts of ploys to disguise the fact that they can't read or write. But I bet all of them would get more out of life if they could.

 

Of course one can manage without learning C clefs, but how much more music is open to you if you can! This is becoming ever more pertinent nowadays when the free scores available on the internet are increasingly featuring old nineteenth-century editions of choral music. One wouldn't ask one's choir to sing from them, but the ability to read them online in order to decide whether a given piece is worthwhile must surely be useful. I daresay there are a few cathedral libraries around with these old scores too.

 

There's no great secret to C clefs. It's like anything else: the more you practise them, the easier it gets. To be honest, I still have to think about them a bit, which I don't have to do with treble and bass clefs, but I'm quite sure that would be unnecessary if C clefs were used as routinely as the G and F clefs.

 

 

Isn't that the whole point of using them in organ music - to avoid the crowding or cramping that might result from too many leger lines?

 

 

That brings to mind an occasion at a seminar around 30 years ago when I ended up around a table with Maragret Bent, Oliver Neighbour, Michael Morrow, John Milsom, and one or two others (Christopher Page?), singing these motets from the Boethius Press facsimile. We started with the easy ones and went from there. Great fun. We had just finished Byrd's Emendemus in melius when Bruno Turner's shadow filled the doorframe and he said in the most serene voice, "You know, listening to that performance wafting out into the next room, you would never recognise this as one of Byrd's most sublime motets." You probably had to be there.

 

Whilst you make some interesting points, Vox, I am not convinced that this is anything more than either preserving archaism for its own sake, or possibly oneupmanship, as it were.

 

Whilst I take your point regarding the assessment of scores, it still remains that, whilst I have regularly to score-read and transpose (often at intervals in excess of those which are required for the FRCO diploma), I have yet to meet a score which requires me to be fluent in the reading of C-clefs. (Aside from the aforementioned Widor symphony.)

 

I do not particularly regard myself as musically illiterate. I simply feel that there are far more useful things an organist needs to be trained to do - such as improvisation in a liturgical context. This I regard personally as infinitely more useful and of far greater importance than the maintenance of reading clefs which have largely fallen into disuse.

 

It seems to me that this is not that far removed from insisting that one's choir should all read from part-books.

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Whilst I take your point regarding the assessment of scores, it still remains that, whilst I have regularly to score-read and transpose (often at intervals in excess of those which are required for the FRCO diploma), I have yet to meet a score which requires me to be fluent in the reading of C-clefs. (Aside from the aforementioned Widor symphony.)

 

I do not particularly regard myself as musically illiterate. I simply feel that there are far more useful things an organist needs to be trained to do - such as improvisation in a liturgical context. This I regard personally as infinitely more useful and of far greater importance than the maintenance of reading clefs which have largely fallen into disuse.

Do you ever read orchestral scores or chamber music? C clefs very much the opposite of obsolete there. I appreciate that organists are rarely required to read orchestral scores but Sydney Watson always accompanied Stanford in A from the full score. And keyboard continuo players (many organists amongst them) are often confronted with a b.c. part that migrates into Tenor clef.

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