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"Best" edition for Franck Chorals?


mrbouffant
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What's the latest thinking on this? I know there are various editions, some portrait, some landscape, some are reprints of old editions, some have engraving mistakes and some have been heavily edited by various big hitter organists of the "Franck tradition".

If one was to buy the definitive edition for these masterworks today, which one should it be?

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There’s probably not much to choose between the newer editions - either Henle or Wiener Urtext will be just fine. If Barenreiter have got round to the chorals, it will likewise be reliable in terms of scholarship, although I haven’t used it myself.  There’s nothing particularly wrong with the old Durand really - if you have access to Rollin Smith and the list of misprints that text is perfectly OK. Just steer clear of Harvey Grace, invaluable effort as it was for its era. And Dupre is not perhaps first choice. The two Rollin Smith books are invaluable background reading, if you can get hold of them.  

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“Playing the Organ Works of César Franck” by Rollin Smith is currently available from abebooks.co.uk in two editions, 1997 and 2009, with different publishers but the same number of pages and a substantial difference in price, the cheapest in softcover costing £44.23 including UK delivery.  

I have found Abe Books to be invaluable in locating rare works, but stress that I am not an agent!

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13 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

“Playing the Organ Works of César Franck” by Rollin Smith is currently available from abebooks.co.uk in two editions, 1997 and 2009, with different publishers but the same number of pages and a substantial difference in price, the cheapest in softcover costing £44.23 including UK delivery.  

I have found Abe Books to be invaluable in locating rare works, but stress that I am not an agent!

bookfinder.com is useful because it checks various sites, including ABE. In this instance one could shave a few pounds off that price:

https://www.bookfinder.com/book/9781576471777/

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Based on my experience of modern Vierne editions, I wouldn't have an automatic confidence that any new edition would be 'just fine',   as excellent scholarship is often undermined by careless printing or proofreading.  Every Vierne movement I taught had at least one wrong note (and in one case half a bar that made no sense) - and these weren't corrections as they weren't mentioned in the (extensive) notes. At least the mistakes in the reprints of old Franck editions are known and well documented.  If you're going to try a modern edition I'd suggest you speak to someone who has experience of using it first.

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Henle and Wiener Urtext are to the best of my knowledge free of misprints and incorporate necessary corrections - I've used Henle for the second and third without issues and read through the first from it, although I'm perfectly happy to be corrected on this point if someone knows different. I reviewed the Wiener Urtext somewhere, and again didn't find any errors. That was the basis for my assertion, rather than blind faith in modern publishing. But on the point of principle Darius hits the nail on the head. The only way to be absolutely sure of the accuracy of any edition is to get hold of the MS in facsimile and check it note by note. That will be the case with any edition, from any house, and if you don't want to do that you'll always have to take a certain amount on trust. How many people check every reading of the NBA against the sources on bach-digital? Or use the new Breitkopf Bach and have never looked at the CDs of variant readings, some of which are pretty surprising? I think in terms of general usage among players Durand is probably way out in front, and the location of the errors has long been identified - not a vast number in any case. And I think you can get it free on imslp. 

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