The Evolution of Annotated String Editions - Clive Brown
This article is intended to follow directly from 'Bowing and Fingering Instructions in String Music during the 18th and Early 19th Centuries'.
[Please note that this article is being developed further as more material is acquired and evaluated.]
Editions of Bach in the early 19th century
Revival of interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach played a significant role in encouraging editors to offer technical guidance to performers. Interest in Bach's works became an increasingly prominent aspect of musical life during the second quarter of the nineteenth century. A number of previously unpublished works for string instruments appeared in print during the first three decades of the century, most importantly the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin (Bonn: Simrock, 1802), the Sonatas for violin and obligato keyboard (Zurich: Nägeli, [c.1804]), and the Suites for solo cello (Paris: Janet et Cotelle, 1824). None of these editions was textually reliable. More importantly for the reception of the works, they presented string players with an unfamiliar style of music. This posed particular challenges for musicians trained in performing practices that prioritised legato phrasing and the types and patterns of bowing associated with the Viotti School, which was rapidly becoming the dominant force in string playing during the first decade of the century. It seems likely that many early 19th-century string players found it difficult to make sense of music that was so far removed from their normal experience. Several leading string players appear to have seen a solution to this problem in providing specific technical guidance for performing these works. As one of those musicians, Ferdinand David, wrote to Mendelssohn on 2 January 1845, in the context of providing bowing and fingering for the solo part of the latter’s Violin Concerto:
I have also revised it, deleting many superfluous fingerings and bowings that I had written in and adding sundry new ones. Just strike out everything that’s superfluous. I know from my own experience and with Beethoven and Bach, that it is not good to send forth a violin piece into the uncultivated world of violinists without all the bowings and fingerings. They don’t take the trouble to discover the right ones and would rather say that it is ungrateful and unplayable in places. Therefore put up with anything that your composer’s conscience can tolerate. [Julius Eckardt, Ferdinand David und die Familie Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Leipzig: Duncker und Humblot, 188), p. 229.]
By that time, David had already published his extensively bowed and fingered edition of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, the first annotated edition of these works since their initial publication in 1802 and the first of his path-breaking editions of violin and chamber music classics, which were to become his most durable legacy for the future.
David’s Bach edition of 1843 was not, however the first attempt to improve upon the earliest publications of the Baroque master's music for strings.
Almost immediately after the appearance of the first printed edition of Bach's Suites for solo cello (Paris: Janet et Cotelle,1824), a bowed and fingered edition Six Solos ou Etudes pour le Violoncelle (Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, 1826), edited by J. J. F. Dotzauer ‘avec le Doigter et les coups d’Archet indiqués’ was published. This seems to be the first string edition of its kind with a named editor. Dotzauer had been a member of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in the early years of the century moving to the Dresden Court Orchestra in 1811, where he became solo cellist in 1821. He was strongly influenced by Bernhard Romberg and his chamber music playing was admired by Spohr, suggesting that his style was broadly in line with the predominant practice of the period. Dotzauer’s own Méthode de Violoncelle (Mainz: Schott, c. 1825) confirms this. The text of his edition of the Bach Suites appears to derive from a source that is no longer extant, but which was considerably more reliable than the earlier Janet et Cotelle edition. Dotzauer’s approach to providing guidance for performers was essentially technical rather than aesthetic. He seems to have refrained from adapting the text to suit a 19th-century style of bowing. For the most part the intended bowing is simply indicated by slurs and detached notes (sometimes with staccato dots) that mostly accord with those of the best sources (Bach’s autograph is lost); bow direction is specified only in the Gavottes of the Fifth and Sixth Suites (with the instruction 'tire' [sic]), where, however, there seems no particular reason for doing so. In some cases Dotzauer adds longer slurs, such as the Allemande from the Fourth Suite, or a few passages in the Second Suite’s Prelude. This may suggest a preference for a more flowing style of performance, but it could also represent his attempt to make the erratic and imprecise slurs of the Anna Magdalena Bach manuscript more consistent (in the case of the E flat major Allemande, his bowing accords quite well with that in the Kellner manuscript). Dotzauer evidently assumed that in places where, for instance, an additional up-bow was needed on an up-beat, this would be so obvious to the player that no guidance was required. Bach’s music offered few opportunities for expressive fingering techniques such as portamento, which is taught in Dotzauer’s Méthode, but some musically motivated fingerings, indicating a portamento execution, occur in the Allemande of the Second Suite , where Dotzauer indicates a downward portamento on the D string, and in the Sarabande of the same Suite where an upward portamento is marked. In the Largo of the Fifth Suite an isolated fingering that would surely have elicited portamento within the stylistic parameters of the period seems musically unmotivated.
Another fifteen years were to pass before any more annotated string editions with a named editor appeared in print. Once again it seems to have been the particular challenges of Bach’s works that were felt to require editions with editorial bowing and fingering. Two such editions appeared in quick succession: the first of these, in 1841, was of the Sonatas for Violin and Keyboard (BWV 1014-1019) as Volume 10 of C. F. Peters’ series of Bach’s Oeuvres complets, with the title Six grandes Sonates pour le Pianoforte et Violon obligé composes par Jean Sebastien Bach. Edition nouvelle, soigneusement revue, corrigée, métronomisée et doigtée; enrichie de notes sur l’execution et acompagnée d’une preface. The Preface contains the information that:
the publisher has conscientiously ensured diverse collaboration in order to produce these works with all their original exactitude. The discovery of an old, very correct manuscript made it possible to avoid previous errors, so that in the present edition there is no longer anything in the notation that offends against the spirit of Bach’s composition. The comparison with that manuscript was kindly undertaken by Chamber Musican (Kammermusikus) M[oritz] Hauptmann in Cassel [the provenance and location of the source is not specified]. Thereafter these sonatas were played through several times and critically tested in their total effect, by the Royal Saxon Court Organist Herr A. A. Klengel and the Royal Concert Master Herr Karl Lipinski, as a result of which Herr Lipinski provided the violin part with signs for bowing and all other suggestions, which also substantially aid the violinist to gain a perfect conception of the work.
On the contents page, a note informs the reader that in the piano part ‘The tempo markings (according to Maelzel’s Metronome) as well as the fingering have been supplied by Herr Carl Czerny, as in the previous volumes.’
A review of the publication in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung by the journal’s editor, G. W. Fink, gave it an enthusiastic welcome. On the subject of the performance markings in the violin part he referred to the comment in the Preface that Lipinski had played the sonatas though before deciding how to mark them and expressed the opinion that the markings:
make a complete grasp of the work significantly easier for the violinist [...] This too we regard as a service of great significance, for the provision of annotations comes from a man who is not merely a perfect master of his instrument, but also suffused with the sublimity of Bach’s spirit.
welche die vollkommene Auffassung des Werkes auch dem Violinspieler wesentlich erleichtern. [...] Auch dies erachten wir für einen Dienst von grosser Bedeutung, da die Angabe der Bezeichnungen von einem Manne kommt, der nicht blos volkommener Meister seines Instrumentes, sondern auch vom Geiste Bach’scher Grossartigkeit durchdrungen ist. [AmZ 43(1841), col. 147]
In fact, Lipinski treated the violin part very freely, extensively adding and changing bowing, providing numerous articulation, dynamic and accent markings (including ' . > < cresc. dim. sf, as well as f and p in their various gradations). He indicated portato in several places and also included such characteristic 19th-century instructions as dol[ce] 3ta Corda to obtain a particular style of execution on a specific string, marqué, ten[uto], sostenuto, appassionato, espressivo, animato, tranquillo. In the double-stopped Adagio of the Fifth Sonata he added a footnote instructing the performer to execute 'Each note with the whole length of the bow, but lightly. The same in the forte, but with more vibration [vibrato?] and force.' Throughout the volume, the violin part in the piano score is quite different from the separate violin part, presumably reflecting the original source.
Two years after the publication of the Sonatas for Violin and Keyboard, the growing enthusiasm for Bach in Leipzig bore fruit in the unveiling of the Bach monument, for which Mendelssohn had campaigned, and the publication of Ferdinand David’s edition of the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (BWV 1001-1006) (Kistner, 1843). In 1840 and 1841 David had already publicly performed the Chaconne from the D minor Partita and the Praeludium from the E major Partita with Mendelssohn’s improvised piano accompaniment (later written down and published); the provision of a piano accompaniment seems to have been deemed necessary to make this difficult and relatively unfamiliar music more readily accessible to the audience. Bach’s music for solo violin was not, however entirely unperformed before that time. David’s teacher, Spohr, seems to have owned a manuscript copy of the Sonatas and Partitas (now in the Henry Watson Music Library, Manchester), and they will have been more widely known from the Simrock edition of 1802. That they were, in fact, performed by other violinists in the period around 1840 is demonstrated by the report of a visit to Leipzig by Kapellmeister Carl Müller in 1840 [AmZ
David’s edition set out to offer a practicable solution to the daunting challenges this music would have posed for most mid-19th-century violinists. Published in the foundation year of the Leipzig Conservatorium [see Clive Brown, A Portrait of MendelssohnFerdinand David as editor Sechs Sonaten für die Violine allein zum Gebrauch bei dem Conservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig mit Fingersatz, Bogenstrichen und sonstigen Bezeichnungen versehen
The influence of David’s edition of Bach’s Solo Sonatas and Partitas was extensive and long lasting. Bernhard Molique’s editions of selected movements with piano accompaniment, published in 1853, also by Kistner, corresponds almost exactly with David’s in respect of bowing and fingering; it seems that Molique’s role was to supply a piano part rather than to revise the violin part (this is implied by the wording of the title page in the English edition). Hellmesberger’s edition of all six pieces (Peters, c. 1865) also owes much to David’s example. Despite Joachim’s highly critical attitude towards David’s editing, his own edition of the Sonatas and Partitas, prepared in collaboration with Andreas Moser and published by Bote & Bock in 1908, the year after his death, retains many of the distinctive characteristics of David’s [see Clive Brown, ‘Joachim’s Performance Style as reflected in his editions and other writings’, Wiener Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft. Anklaenge 2008, ed. Michaele Calella & Christian Glanz (Vienna: Mille tre Verlag, 2008), pp. 205-224]. This undoubtedly reflects the fact that he had first learned the pieces under David’s tutelage in the early 1840s and that his early performances, at least, will have been from David’s edition, often in those years with Mendelssohn’s piano accompaniment to the Chaconne. (The French edition of Mendelssohn’s piano accompaniment to the Chaconne (1848) included the following comment on the title page ‘executée à Paris dans plusieurs concerts, / PAR / JOACHIM / Member du Conservatoire de Leipsic’. (See John Michael Cooper, ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Ferdinand David und Johann Sebastian Bach: Mendelssohns Bach-Auffassung im Spiegel der Wiederentdeckung der “Chaconne”’ in Mendelssohn Studien, vol. 10 (Berlin, 1997), pp. 157-179). For more detailed comparison of editions of the Bach Solo Sonatas and Partitas see Duncan Druce’s article on this website 'Bach - Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin BWV 1001-6'.
For another decade after the appearance of David’s edition of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, no more annotated string editions seem to have been published under an editor’s name in Leipzig. David, however, anonymously provided performance markings for Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto (1845) in the solo violin part of the original edition. Whereas Baillot’s authorship of the fingerings and bowings that were published in the Richault edition of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and the Kistner/Pacini edition of Cherubini’s quartets can only be conjectural, it is certain that the fingerings in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto are David’s as demonstrated by his letter of 2 January 1845 (quoted above). The original edition contains a modest amount of fingering and bowing, although David was to add many more markings in the new edition he published in 1865 as part of his collection of Violin-Concerte neuere Meister (Violin Concertos by modern masters).
As these editorial practices were slowly evolving in Leipzig, a similar concern to preserve and make accessible a different musical repertoire was being undertaken in Paris. Just as Lipinski’s and David’s Bach editions were linked on their title pages to the teaching of the Leipzig Conservatorium (retrospectively in the case of the Sonatas for Violin and Cembalo), Lambert Massart’s monumental edition of Viotti’s twenty-nine violin concertos was connected with his position as a violin professor at the Paris Conservatoire, where Viotti’s concertos still remained central teaching material. Massart's aims and procedures in this edition, however, were somewhat different from those of the Leipzig editions. Whereas the former were clearly aimed at the needs of contemporary performers and adapted the received text in various ways, Massart’s edition, despite its inclusion of fingering and regularisation of bowing, seems to have been more concerned with establishing an authoritative text. The preface to the edition (evidently provided by the publisher rather than Massart himself) made the point that Viotti’s concertos are ‘in the first rank of those pieces that serve as a foundation for violin teaching and contribute most to maintaining the grandeur and severity of style which were the glory of the French school’. It went on to point out that the original editions were negligently corrected, that whole pages had no indications for bowing, and there was never any fingering, so that violinists who were not in touch with the traditions of Viotti’s style would have difficulties in executing the music properly. For that reason Massart had compared the old editions to establish the most reliable text and had ‘added the markings which he considered indispensable’. The publishers could therefore claim that this edition was ‘the most correct of all’. Massart did not, however, think he should alter the notes, even ‘though they ought not to be executed in the way they are written’. This refers in particular to the notation of appoggiaturas with small notes, but the preface also states that although it was well known that Viotti often changed the bowing and even the notes when a passage was repeated Massart had not made any suggestions of this kind, because such things were a matter of taste. Massart’s self-denying ordinance in this respect was not to be followed by many later editors of Viotti’s concertos, including Massart’s Paris Conservatoire colleague Charles Dancla, as well as David and Joachim. Massart’s unembellished version of the slow movement of the Violin Concerto No. 22 contrasts strongly in its sparseness with the highly ornamented versions provided by these other editors.
Another monumental complete collection of a composer’s seminal contribution to a particular genre of music was Lipinski’s edition of Haydn’s string quartets (Dresden: Wilhelm Paul, 1851). In this case, however, Lipinski provided no fingering or bowing, though the preface indicates that, as with Massart’s Viotti edition, he conducted diligent research into the source material in order to establish a reliable text. Lipinski did, however, include metronome markings for every movement (see list). These indicate, among other things, that the fast, pre-Wagnerian, tempo for minuets was current in Lipinski's circle. The conception of the fast minuet appears to have been preserved in the Leipzig tradition, and to have been maintained by Joachim and his most faithful pupils into the era of early recording. Karl Klingler, a Joachim student who had played viola in the master's ensemble during its final phase, founded his own quartet in the first decade of the 20th century and made recordings of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven minuets between 1911 and 1921, which are all at brisk tempos that accord closely with the evidence for Classical performing practice. Their approach to the tempo of Mozart minuets is in sharp contrast to the markedly slower tempos adopted by other contemporary quartets (for instance the Viennese Rosé Quartet and the French Capet Quartet).
In his first decade and a half of activity in Leipzig, Ferdinand David made no annotated editions of concert repertoire except Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, which, as indicated earlier, seem to have been seen rather as study material than as music for the concert hall. He made a number of transcriptions of cello sonatas for violin, but without including additional performance markings. In his own compositions, however, he followed his master, Spohr's practice of including detailed bowing and fingering, the observation of which was necessary to render these compositionsin the spirit of their composer. He also supplied performance markings for a range of study material issued by several Leipzig publishers during the early 1850s. This seems to have been a direct outcome of his work at the Leipzig Conservatorium, with which these pedagogic editions were associated by the wording of their title pages. This is the case, for instance, with David's editions of Kreutzer’s Etudesand Fiorillo’s Caprices (Senff), Rode’s Caprices (Peters), and Paganini’s Caprices (Breitkopf und Härtel). And in 1856 he also provided detailed performance markings for a series of sixteen concertos by 'celebrated older
masters' (berühmter älterer Meister ), four each by Viotti, Rode and Kreutzer, for Senff; by that date these were seen as pedagogical works rather than concert pieces (with the occasional exception of Viotti's Twenty-second Violin Concerto in A minor).
Up to that time no publisher had apparently thought of including editorial performance instructions in new editions with of contemporary repertoire (that is to say music that had been a continuous feature of concert programmes ever since it was composed). A number of factors, commercial and practical, led to a change of approach during the second half of the century. Works that remained central to the repertoire required new editions when the original plates had become too worn to produce decent copies. There was also a growing sense that works by composers who had already achieved classic status were very poorly served by the inaccurate editions that were currently available. Such concerns were soon to lead to the production of collected editions (Gesammtausgaben) of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn. In the meanwhile new performing material was required to satisfy the needs of the growing numbers of conservatoires and amateur musicians. Among the earliest republications of classical chamber works was Breitkopf und Härtel's new edition of Mozart's ten mature string quartets in 1857 (pl. nos. 9293-9302). Initially, despite the claim on the title page ‘Neue Ausgabe zum Gebrauch beim Conservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig genau bezeichnet von Ferdinand David’ (New edition for use at the Leipzig Conservatorium precisely marked by Ferdinand David), neither David nor the publisher appear at first to have envisaged anything more than a coherent and correct text. For the first seven quartets this is what David supplied. These contain neither fingering nor bow direction signs (see for example No. 7, K. 499, pl. no. 9299). At a fairly late stage in the project, however, either David or the publisher (probably the former) evidently decided that it would be advantageous to provide bowing and fingering; thus the last three quartets (in the order K. 589. K. 590, K. 575, pl. nos. 9300-9302) were supplied with editorial fingering and bowing (see for example No. 8, K. 589). This established the practice David was to maintain in almost all his subsequent editions of Classical chamber music. In a reissue of these Mozart string quartets in a single volume, published around the time of David's death from the same plates, but with the new plate number 13168 (c. 1873), bowing and fingering was also added to the first seven quartets.
Edouard Deldevez and the publication of early music
The twenty-six Pièces in the collection include complete sonatas and separate movements by Italian, French and German composers ranging in time from Corelli to Viotti. Although eighteen of the pieces had already appeared in Cartier’s L’art du violon of 1798 (see below), Deldevez seems to have gone back to original sources rather than merely taking pieces directly from Cartier. The Pièces diverses were issued in two volumes; the first contains the violin part with the bass line in smaller type, the second the violin part above Deldevez’s piano accompaniment, which reveals Deldevez the composer rather than the scholar. This volume also contains an introductory section dealing with interpretation, including the performance of the notated ornaments. Deldevez provided bowings and marks of expression in the violin part, but most items in the collection (many of which only occasionally require the violinist to move out of 1st position) are un-fingered. Fingering is, nevertheless, include in a few pieces, though it is not always clear why these particular fingerings should be provided when similar passages are left un-fingered. All the fingering that occurs in Deldevez’s collection is practical, not expressive (never indicating portamento). A rare instance of 2nd position occurs in the opening section of Geminiani’s Sonata op. 1 no. 1 (avoiding an extension of the 4th finger for c'''), where fingering for bariolage is also used; and in the fugue of the same sonata more, albeit rather sporadic, fingering is supplied. Where fingering would really be useful, it is frequently not provided (for instance in a Pugnani violin sonata, where an early user has added pencilled fingering in the copy on this website). For a more detailed account see Duncan Druce's article on this collection.
This collection of early music was the natural outcome of a growing interestin historical repertoire. The first major collection of pre-Classical music, that of Jean Baptiste Cartier (1765-1841), contained an extensive selection of complete sonatas and single movements by Italian, German and French composers of the 17th and 18th centuries. Many of these works were later to reappear not only in Deldevez Pièces diverses, but also in similar collections by Jean Delphin Alard and Ferdinand David. Influential figures in the musical world of the 1820s to1840s did much to encourage a growing awareness and interest in this repertoire among performers, musical connoisseurs and, in due course, the concert-going public. Baillot was an early advocate of this repertoire, indeed Cartier's publication of Tartini's 'Devil's trill' sonata had been obtained from a manuscript owned by Baillot. In 1833 Baillot also performed Bach's A minor Violin Concerto from a set of manuscript parts copied from an unknown source by Bernhard Molique, which was supplied to him by Mendelssohn's friend Ferdinand Hiller (the concerto was not published until Dehn's edition, issued by Peters around 1850). In Paris at about the same time, François-Joseph Fétis made a number of attempts to organise public performances of early music, and Ignaz Moscheles made similar efforts in London (for further detail on the 19th-century revival of early music see Peter Holman: Life after Death: the Viola da Gamba in Britain from Purcell to Dolmetsch (Woodbridge, 2010)).
Developing concepts of the annotated string edition in Leipzig and Paris
Ferdinand David’s publications from the early 1860s show a rather puzzling diversity of approaches. His edition of Mozart’s string quintets (listed in Hofmeister in January 1861), despite being described, like his edition of the Mozart quartets, ‘Neue Ausgabe zum Gebrauch beim Conservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig genau bezeichnet von Ferdinand David’, contain neither bowing nor fingering instructions. His editions of pedagogic literature and concertos, which appeared in astonishing numbers, however, consistently contained performance markings. At the end of his Violinschule (Hofmeister Dec. 1863), David appended a list of publications ‘which the author principally uses for teaching advanced pupils’; these included all the pedagogic editions he had published up to that time. For more detailed discussion of the Mozart quintets edition and his other publications of the early 1860s see on this website 'Ferdinand David as editor'.
In the first half of the 1860s, as David's editorial method was developing towards a more comprehensive provision of bowing and fingering in chamber music editions, Jean-Delphin Alard, Baillot's successor at the Paris Conservatoire, began his editorial work on Les maîtres classiques du violon. Collection de morceaux choisis dans les chef d'oevres des plus grands maîtres classiques Italiens, Allemands et Français avec le style, le phrasé, l’expression, les doigtés, et les coups d’archet propres à l’interprétation traditionnelle de ces œuvres (collection of pieces selected from the principal works of the greatest classical Italian, German and French masters with the style, phrasing, expression, fingerings and bowings appropriate for the traditional interpretation of these works). This project was to run for more than twenty years (1862-1883) with two publishers (Gérard in Paris and Schott in Mainz) and eventually numbered fifty-six individual items (for a more detailed discussion of the publication history of this collection see George Kennaway's article). In a Preface, the publisher explained that the series was intended to answer ‘an often-expressed desire by violinists of all levels: artist-virtuosos, artist-professors and simple amateurs’ by supplying reliable editions of violin works that were ‘now sparse and often incorrect as editions’. It was evidently thought that the venture would prove to be commercially successful, for the Preface stated:
Never was a moment more opportune for editing anew these incomparably beautiful works than this, where the French public turns away from light, meaningless productions to seek out the pure pleasures of true art. Encouraged by the success which, from its appearance, adhered to our Ecole classiques du chant by Madame Pauline Viardot-Garcia, we have followed the same path for the publication of the Maîtres classiques du violon.
Alard, referred to in the Preface as ‘professor at the Imperial Conservatoire of Music, and one of the artists who most honour the French school of violin playing’, had been asked to act as editor because he was 'a virtuoso of the first rank and having the cult of the classics to the highest degree, a professor of unarguable merit, an artist of the most clear taste’. He was entrusted with the duty ‘of seeking out and classifying the works which must make up this collection, of annotating and completing them in such a way by means of the traditions of which he is the faithful repository, of fixing the tempo by the metronome – in a word, of giving each piece it true colour, by the precious marking of nuances and accents.’ From the fourth piece onwards a short explanation of Alard's editorial principles was included (unvarying from volume to volume) as follows:
Of separate bowstrokes
If there are no dots over the notes they are executed with the bow on the string. With dots, however, they are played in the middle of the bow, which is called sautillé [with springing bow]. If it is indicated by strokes
Staccato is mostly executed with the bow biting on the string. It is shown with normal dots [under a slur]. If it is marked with strokes [under a slur] it is played with a light lifted bow, as with sautillé, which I call flying staccato.
Of little notes
I have indicated the length the little notes should be given as accurately as possible. If, however, they are given with a line through them they should be short. If they have no line through them they are played long.
In general the works of the old masters are played at a very moderate tempo. Moreover, we have indicated it with the metronome according to what we believe to be the tradition. One can therefore consult this to make matters easier.
Alard also supplied a biographical note on the composer and a few specific performance recommendations for each piece. Although these occasionally contain technical instructions they are mostly of a general nature. For a Stamitz Divertimento for solo violin, for instance, he states: ‘the Andante should be played mezza voce, with the whole length of the bow; the Allegro with fire and expansiveness; the Menuet, of a gracious type, very sustained and singing; and the fugue, which concludes the piece, at a moderate tempo, very rhythmical and very broad.’
Alard’s work on the maîtres classiques and, with Franchcomme on the parallel edition of chamber music, Les maîtres classiques concertantes, was to remain an exception in Parisian practice, largely because Parisian musicians and public were slow to develop an interest in instrumental chamber music.
While Alard's work was progressing on its slow progress towards completion, Ferdinand David continued his intensive editing activity in Leipzig, producing a steady stream of editions of core Classical chamber music and concerto repertoire. Notable among his publications of the early 1860 is the collection of Violinconcerte neuerer Meister (1865) containing the concertos of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Lipinski (op. 21), and Ernst (op. 23). His edition of the Beethoven concerto reflects the newly-established text of the Gesamtausgabe, for which he had also been responsible, but includes extensive changes to the bowing and phrasing, as well as comprehensive fingering, which clearly reflect David’s own to performing the concerto. Among the other works in the collection, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto is of particular interest for its differences from the original edition, which had been published with more sparing bowing and fingering by David. (See
'Ferdinand David as editor' for further discussion of his editions at this period and of his earlier personal performing copy of Beethoven's Violin Concerto).
David’s other editions from the late 1860s and early 1870s consist of a mixture of standard chamber, solo repertoire, and arrangements. Compared with the editions he made during the 1850s and at the beginning of the 1860s, these later editions are, for the most part, much more fully marked with bowing and fingering. It seems clear that this change represents a key stage in the developing concept of the annotated edition. David’s late editions do not merely indicate slurring and articulation (as in his editions of the Haydn Piano Trios and Mozart String Quintets), or provide only basic bowing together with an indication of the most necessary position changes for executing difficult passages (as in the first edition of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto). The editor’s additions now aim to convey a complete set of guidelines for fingering and bowing patterns that are both technical and expressive. Nevertheless, David’s annotations in these late editions rarely go as far as those in the 1843 edition of the Bach Solo Sonatas and Partitas, where he sometimes included instructions for a particular type of bowstroke, nor can they be seen as a definitive record of David's own approach to performing this material, although they undoubtedly represent a version of the works that he may have used on one particular occasion (even if only in private). David’s manuscript annotation in copies he used for his own performances provide much more detailed information about his playing style than the printed annotations in his published editions. The incomplete and provisional nature of his printed annotations is strikingly revealed by his manuscript markings in copies of his own editions that were used by him in performance, often containing radical changes (for specific examples see 'Ferdinand David as editor'). Nevertheless, taken as a whole, Ferdinand David's published editorial work can justly be seen as the yardstick against which later annotated editions of string music may be measured.
in the mid 1860s, edited by Joseph Hellmesberger senior; they could not ask
David, their most prestigious editor, to do it because he had already made an
edition of this work for Kistner. At this time Peters were positioning
themselves in the market as publishers of the full range of major classical
repertoire. Breitkopf und Härtel were also increasingly anxious to offer
editions of all the major classics, and in due course (though not until the
1890s, some 50 years after David's edition) they commissioned David’s former pupil and colleague at the Leipzig
Conservatorium, Friedrich Hermann (1828-1907) to provide a new editionConcert-Studien
für die Violine for
which Hermann provided a piano reduction of the orchestral parts, while
Hermann’s edition of the Schubert Sonatinas (actually entitled Sonatas by the
composer) was published only a year or so after David’s. The
fact that two annotated editions of the Schubert and Weber should have been
published in such close succession is indicative of the commercial competition
that was developing even between different Leipzig publishing houses.
During the last few years of Ferdinand David’s life,
Friedrich Hermann remained in competition,
The continuing buoyancy of the market for Classical works during the last quarter of the 19th century saw an increasing number of German musicians of Hermann's generation engaged in producing annotated editions, and some anonymous editorial activity of this kind was also taking place. Notable players, a few of whom produced only one or a very small number of annotated editions, were engaged to edit works that were central either to the teaching or concert repertoire. Thus Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Romances warranted editions from almost all major publishers of serious music. Following David's 1865 edition of the concerto for Breitkopf und Härtel in 1865, Henri Vieuxtemps edited it together with the Romances for Schuberth in 1869, Jacob Dont for Schlesinger in 1880, August Wilhelmj for Peters in 1883 and many more annotated editions followed later in the century and during the first decades of the 20th century.
Among younger editors, Henri Schradieck (b. 1846) began his editorial career editing repertoire that was established as teaching material. During his time as Ferdinand David's successor as professor of violin at the Leipzig Conservatorium (1874-82), he edited Spohr's Ninth COncerto for the old established publisher André (together with Augener in London and Schirmer in New York); this was sold as 'Neue zum Gebrauche am Conservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig v[on] H. Schradieck beziechnete Ausgabe' (New edition by H. Schradieck for the use of the Conservatorium for Music, Leipzig)
While publishing houses were attempting to gain a larger share of the market, many of the old established houses were obliged to produce new editions of works already in their catalogue. Re-engraving became necessary in the case of editions that had been commercially successful, such as those of chamber music by the Classical masters, because the old plates were no longer in a satisfactory condition for reprinting (the worn state of the plates can clearly be seen in late reprints of the original editions), and also because technological advances had led to a much higher standard of printing. The competitive market place, therefore, required publishers to increase the quality of their product if they were to retain their position in the marketplace. Where publishers had the rights to editions edited by Ferdinand David, they seem to have been loth to replace them with new ones edited by another musician. In the case of a few Peters editions, however, although David’s name on the title page was enough of a commercial advantage to warrant its retention, an un-named editor or editors seem to have been involved in revising the annotations. In the newly engraved editions of Beethoven's Violin Sonatas (c. 1881) and String Trios (c. 1903), much of the bowing and fingering was no longer his, despite the wording of the title pager remaining the same. Many of his editions were reissued with newly-engraved plates but without any change to the annotations during the late 19th and early 20th century.There is no direct evidence to explain why revision was deemed necessary in some cases and not others, such as Schubert's Piano Trios (1868 , re-engraved 1886) and String Quartets (1870-71, re-engraved 1888).This presumably resulted either from personal preference on the part of an anonymous reviser, or perhaps from a shift in approach to technique that was taking place during those decades, which made some of David’s markings seem old fashioned or idiosyncratic. David's edition of Beethoven's String Quartets was never re-engraved. It seems probable that, when the plates were becoming worn, Peters, recognising that Joseph Joachim had become such a prestigious interpreter of Beethoven’s quartets, planned to replace it with the new edition by Joachim and his former pupil Andreas Moser. This decision may also have been connected with the appearance of an elegant new edition of the quartets by Engelbert Röntgen from Breitkopf und Härtel in 1890, which represented a serious commercial threat to David's much less beautifully engraved Peters edition. If this lay behind the decision of the management at Peters, they were certainly proved right, for the new Peters edition of Beethoven's String Quartets became the standard one for many decades, while the Breitkopf und Härtel edition seems to have been relatively unsuccessful, to judge by the very small number of copies held in international libraries. [check B&H for sales figures].
If Friedrich Hermann approached the task of editing Classical repertoire from a less interventionist standpoint than David, Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) seems for many years to have been disinclined to provide more than the most cursory performance instructions and at one stage was decisively opposed to the notion of providing them at all, as a letter written to Alfred Dörffel at Breitkopf und Härtel in 1879 indicates. As early as 1869 he accepted the task of editing Corelli's Sonaten für 2 Violinen, Violoncell und Bass. Op.I und II for a series entitled Denkmäler der Tonkunst (Bergedorf: H. Weissenborn), but his concern was purely with the text and he provided no technical or stylistic instructions for performers. During the 1870s, however, he was persuaded to act as an editor for Simrock's collected edition of Mendelssohn’s Werke undertaking the chamber music for strings and the Violin Concerto as well as collaborating with the pianist Ernst Rudorff to edit the Piano Trios. Despite the statement on the title page 'revidirte mit Stricharten, Fingersatz und Vortragsbezeichnungen versehen von Joseph Joachim' (revised and provided with bowings, fingering and performance markings by Joseph Joachim), fingerings and bowing indications are sparse (many movements having none at all). Strangely, although no editor is specified for the cello part, this includes as much fingering as the violin part. In both string parts, however, the fingerings are almost entirely technical rather than expressive. For the first edition of Brahms's Violin Concerto in 1879, on the other hand, Joachim, in consultation with the composer, provided performance markings, including fingerings at the proof stage of the publication process, some of which conveys interesting stylistic information about his own performing practice in the concerto (see the preface to Clive Brown's edition of Brahms's Violin Concerto (Bärenreiter, 2006)).
Only in the mid 1890s did Joachim return to editing, perhaps encouraged by his former pupil and colleague at the Berlin Hochschule, Andreas Moser, with whom he edited the Beethoven String Quartets for Peters. The op. 18 quartets appeared in 1895 and the others were all published by 1901. At a time when the performance traditions represented by Joachim were increasingly being rejected by younger musicians Joachim seems at last to have been persuaded that more extensively annotated editions might at least put on record the values for which he stood. Beethoven's Violin Sonatas (Peters, 1901), edited by Joachim alone, and Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, with Moser (Bote und Bock, 1908), works with which he was particularly associated, appeared separately, while a range of major violin masterpieces was included in Volume 3 of the Violinschule, which he and Moser produced in the early years of the 20th century. These were accompanied by a highly informative extended essay 'On Style and Artistic Performance' (Vom Vortrag) by Moser. (For a more detailed discussion of Joachim's editorial activities see my article 'Joseph Joachim as editor' and for discussion of elements in Moser's essay, my article 'The decline of the 19th-century German school of violin playing' .)
In sharp contrast to the paucity of performance instructions in Joachim's early editions are the copious markings in editions by two other prominent violinist of his generation Edmund Singer (1830-1912) and Johann Christoph Lauterbach (1832-1918).
The editorial work undertaken by Singer, who was a fellow pupil with Joachim of Joseph Boehm, was done for several different publishers. For Litolff he produced a number of editions of H. W. Ernst's works (opp. 10, 11, 18, 22, 23); for Hugo Pohle of Hamburg (later taken over by Schweer und Haake of Bremen) he edited a series of pedagogic Studien-Werke (studies and caprices by Gavines, Fiorillo, Kreutzer, Rode, Rovelli and Paganini), which were described on the title page as 'Eingeführt im Conservatorium der Musik zu Stuttgart' (introduced in the Stuttgart Music Conservatorium), where Singer was head of violin studies. In these he supplemented Rode's markings with additional instructions for the part of the bow and other performance indications. Pohle also published Singer's editions of concert pieces, including eighteen of Mozart's violin sonatas (with Wilhelm Speidel), Beethoven's Romances, Schubert's Sonatas (Sonatinas) op 137 and Rondo op. 70, and Mendelssohn's Piano Trios op. 49 and 66 (with Bernhard Cossman and Wilhelm Speidel). The Mendelssohn is announced on the title page as 'kritisch durchgesehen und genau bezeichnet' (critically revised and precisely annotated). In this edition he provided fingering, bow direction, and indicated particular types of articulation through the use of staccato dots, wedge-shaped strokes, and horizontal lines, although he gave no account of what he meant by these signs except to describe the lines (-) as 'tenuto' in the key to symbols on the first page of the violin part. Furthermore, Singer, sometimes alone and sometimes in collaboration with his colleague, included additional terms of expression. Examples of all three types of articulation marks, as well as additional terms of expression occur in the violin part on the second page of the D minor Trio. In the Andante of the same trio, Singer also indicated portamento in circumstances where the fingering alone could not imply it, by inserting glissez and slanting lines, often where he wished an audible slide to occur between bowstrokes (see further discussion of the passage in the red box on the scan).
A more didactic purpose is suggested by the announcement 'Zum Studium und Concertvortrag genau bezeichnet' (for study and concert performance) on the title page of Singer's edition of the Beethoven Romances (although this edition does not contain more detailed markings than the Mendelssohn Piano Trios), while on the title page of the Mozart Sonatas an even more obvious pedagogical aim is indicated by 'Zum Gebrauch bei Conservatorien der Musik revidirt und genau bezeichnet' (edited for use in music conservatoires and precisely annotated). Most of these editions originally appeared during the 1870s. In the early 1880s Singer published the first two volumes of a projected three-volume Violinschule (which, however, was never completed), issued by J. G. Cotta in Stuttgart. Then in 1887, again with Wilhelm Speidel, he edited the Beethoven Violin Sonatas. This publication, similarly described on the title page as 'Inbesondere zum Gebrauch in Conservatorien für Music revidiert und genau bezeichnet' (edited particularly for use in music conservatoires and precisely annoted), was also 'Eingeführt im Conservatorium der Musik zu Stuttgart'. Singer's didactic aims are more fully developed in this Beethoven edition than in his earlier editions, as indicated by the key to symbols at the top of the first page of each sonata, which lists not only the usual signs for up- and down-bow, but also the abbreviations Fr., Sp., and M.(Frosch, Spitze, Mitte), for the heel, point and middle of the bow, a slanting line (/) for portamento (here described as Rutschen (gleiten)), restez, a comma to signify 'a short pause' (eine kurze Pause), a horizontal line (-) for 'sustained' (gehalten), as well as I, II, III, IV for the four strings. In addition there are many footnotes; two, for instance, occur on the first page of the first sonata.
Like Singer, Lauterbach was closely associated with Pohle, who also published some of his original compositions. He seems first to have contributed an edition of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in 1878 to the same series of Mendelssohn's works for which Singer edited the piano trios. In 1887 Lauterbach also edited several of Robert Schumann's works for a series of that composer's music published by Pohle, taking responsibility for the Violin Sonatas opp. 105 and 121, the Phantasiestücke op. 88, and the Phantasie for violin and orchestra op. 131, which, according to a note on the first page, he also altered for the sake of 'the technical and tonal peculiarites of the violin' (die technischen und klanglichen Eigenthümlichkeiten der Violine). Lauterbach did not edit Schumann's string quartets for this series however; these were entrusted to the violinist and noted quartet player Robert Heckmann, who was closely involved with Edvard Grieg's composition of his String Quartet op. 27; but Heckmann seems not to have edited any other music for Pohl or other publishers. In the meanwhile, in 1885, Lauterbach had produced an annotated edition of the solo part of Karl Goldmark's Violin Concerto op. 28 (the work having originally been published by Pohle in 1877). He also made annotated editions of Albert Dietrich's D minor Violin Concerto op. 30 of 1875 and three Spohr concertos (nos 7, 8, and 9) in 1890. Shortly afterwards all his editions of works for violin and orchestra together with his edition of Beethoven's Violin Concerto (probably prepared specially for this collection) were published together in a two-volume series entitled Neue Concert-Studien (new concerto studies).
In the same generation as Joachim, Singer, and Lauterbach, the cellist Friedrich Grützmacher (1832-1903) was by far the most prolific and most detailed 19th-century editor of solo cello music. He seems to have derived much of his method from Ferdinand David, with whom he was closely associated in his early years as a professional cellist, but in some respects went further in his editorial practice. This is most strikingly shown by his inclusion of the term gliss. employed in many of his editions, which, as in Singer's editions, was used to indicate portamento in places where, for the most part, it was not immediately obvious from the fingering. (For further information on Grützmacher as an editor see George Kennaway's article.) Coming a distant second to Grützmacher, at least in the quantity of his activity, was Bernhard Cossmann (1822-1910), who contributed only to Pohle's Mendelssohn editions.
Collaborative editors of chamber music
Only a very small number of editions produced during this period involved more than one editor providing instrument-specific annotations. Most often, these occurred in editions of piano chamber music. An early example of collaboration between keyboard and string players was the Czerny and Lipìnski Bach Violin Sonatas and a later one the Singer and Speidel Beethoven Violin Sonatas. But even in music where the piano was just as important, the piano part was frequently left unmarked and only the string part was annotated (as in David's Beethoven Violin Sonatas, Joachim's Beethoven Violin Sonatas, or Grützmacher's Beethoven and Mendelssohn Cello Sonatas). In the case of editions involving more than one string instrument it was even rarer for, say, a violinist and a cellist to be engaged. The editions of Mendelssohn's chamber music produced by Pohle and Simrock in the 1870s appear to be the earliest to employ separate editors for violin/viola and cello parts; in the case of the Pohle editions this was Cossmann, but in the case of the Simrock editions (see the paragraph on Joachim above) no cello editor was acknowledged. In the next decade, in the series of Schumann's works issued by Pohle to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the composer's death, most volumes had only a single editor, but in the case of the Piano Trios, as in Pohle's edition of Mendelssohn's Piano Trios, three editors were acknowledged: Lauterbach (violin), Davidoff (cello), and Niemann (piano). Such enterprises remained exceptional, probably because of the additional expense of employing more than one editor to work on a single piece. At the turn of the century, however, Hugo Dechert (1860-1923) provided fingerings for the cello parts of Joachim's and Moser's Beethoven Quartet edition, though he was named only on the individual part, not on the title page of the edition.
In the first decades of the 20th century editions of string chamber music appeared with the name of a well-known quartet as editors. In a range of Universal Edition publications of major string chamber music, the parts (Stimmen) of the celebrated Hellmesberger String Quartet were acknowledged as having provided the basis of the edition. Publications based on these parts include Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Schumann string quartets, Mozart, Beethoven and Mendelssohn string quintets, Beethoven's Septet and Mendelssohn's Octet. Schumann's Piano Quintet was edited by the leader of the quartet, Joseph Hellmesberger junior, with the pianist Jan Brandts-Buys. At the time these editions were first published the Hellmesberger Quartet (formed in 1849 by Georg Hellmesberger and finally disbanded in 1905 two years before the death of his son Joseph Hellmesberger junior) was still regarded as one of the leading ensembles in Vienna, but there is no firm evidence that any of the quartet's members contributed directly to the editorial process. The editions contain only bowing markings, not fingering; even in the string parts of Joseph Hellmesberger's edition of Schumann's Piano Quintet there is no fingering.
The other well-known string quartet that was named in chamber music editions during this period was the Gewandhaus Quartet of Leipzig, which was credited as the source of the performance markings in a series of editions of Brahms's String Quartets, String Quintets, Sextets, and Clarinet Quintet that was produced by Peters during the 1920s. Unlike the Hellmesberger Quartet editions, the Gewandhaus Quartet's Brahms editions contain much fuller markings, including detailed fingering. It is nevertheless unclear what the relationship of individual members of the quartet or their own marked up copies may have had with the published editions. There has as yet there has been insufficient research on the publisher's archives to be more specific about the process by which the quartet's members or their material was involved in the production of these editions. Since the Gewandhaus Quartet's viola player, Carl Herrmann, was extensively employed as an editor for Peters, it seems possible that it may have been largely his work, perhaps in consultation with other members of the quartet.
Changing technology and strategies in publishing
Late 19th-century publishers were evidently keen to seize as much of a share of the market as they felt could be profitable, which led to a number of publishers competing aggressively. As mentioned above, Pohle and Simrock both produced new collected editions of Mendelssohn in the 1870s at the same time that Breitkopf und Härtel were compiling the Mendelssohn Gesamtausgabe (alongside which Breitkopf also issued separate parts). The Gesamtausgabe, which was distinguished by its status as a 'critically revised edition' (kritisch durchgesehene Ausgabe), was not provided with additional performance annotations; but Pohle and Simrock sought to add attraction to their editions by engaging a team of high profile performers as editors. And in 1887, while Breitkopf und Härtel were producing the Schumann Gesamtausgabe (published between 1879 and 1893), Pohle competed with Peters to issue new editions of Schumann's works, including the Violin Sonatas (edited respectively by Lauterbach and Hermann), String Quartets (edited Heckmann and Hermann), and Cello Concerto (Davidoff and Grützmacher).
Different publishers pursued differing paths during the last decades of the 19th century, and a considerable number of less prominent string players were involved to a greater or lesser extent in satisfying the demand for annotated editions of repertoire that formed the basis of teaching, as well as professional and amateur music making. Some, such as Litolff, seem to have made cheapness their main selling point, undercutting even the relatively inexpensive Peter's editions that had been made possible by the new lithographic Notendruckschnellpresse (rapid music printing press), developed by the printing firm of C. G. Röder in the early 1860s. But in the early days this undercutting was only achieved at the expense of quality. Many Litolff editions from the 1860s and 1870s are printed on poorer paper and appear particularly crowded on the page in comparison with Peters edition; this can be seen by comparing the Litolff and Peters editions of Schubert's Rondeau Brillant, which are typical of the difference between these publishers at that stage.
A history of the Litolff publishing house, Fünfzig Jahre Collection Litolff. Haus-Chronik von Henry Litolff`s Verlag Braunschweig, published by the firm in 1914, gives fascinating statistics for the impact of the new printing methods on production. In 1860 there were six workers in the printing department operating three Kupferdruckpressen (presses printing from engraved copper plates) producing approximately 700 pages a day (p. 22). Shortly thereafter, two lithographische Handpressen (lithographic hand presses) were acquired, which significantly increased production. Then in 1862 Theodor Litolff purchased their first Schnellpresse, manufactured by G. Sigl in Berlin, and 'instead of formerly c. 4000 pages per week approximately ten times as many were achieved' (p. 25). This enabled the firm to establish its 'Collection Litolff' with an edition of Beethoven's works, although at this stage, the music was published without editorial annotations. By 1864 a second Schnellpresse had been installed. Theodor Litolff, however, was keen to improve the appearance of his editions and to do this quickly obtained two more advanced cylinder presses.By 1867, however, he had devised improvements in the design and commissioned the firm of Klein, Forst and Bohn in Johannisberg to construct two more machines to his own design, and by 1873 he had purchased six more of this type. At about this time the firm employed 30 engravers. In 1882, the firm changed from a lithographic method to one using zink plates, also designed by Theodor Litolff, which significantly increased the quality of their printing. By the end of the century, the firm was producing 200,000-250,000 pages of music a day (p. 45).
Litolff's editions of mainstream chamber works were issued without editorial annotations at that stage, but it seems to have become increasingly important to them to engage named editors from the 1870s onwards. Among their editors of string music were August Schulz who edited works ranging from Mozart (Concerto K. 219) to Schumann (Sonata op. 105), Johann Nepomuk Rauch, whose editions included Mozart's and Beethoven's violin sonatas, Schubert's works for violin and piano, and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, Adolf Grunewald undertook Handel Sonatas and Viotti's 22nd Concerto, while Albrecht Blumenstengel was primarily occupied with pedagogical works and duets, including all Spohr's violin Duos and his op. 13 Duo for violin and viola. Occasionally well-known performers were engaged for isolated tasks; Edmund Singer edited a series of Ernst's compositions (see above) and August Wilhelmj Schubert's Fantasie in C major op. 159 (D. 934) 'for concert performance', while Leopold Grützmacher competed with his brother Friedrich's edition of Mendelssohn's Cello Sonatas (Peters). During the 1880s Leopold Auer made his first forays into editing with a series of Spohr Violin Concertos for Litolff. And in the early 20th century Clemens Schultze-Biesantz, who assumed the role of Litolff's principal editor in 1899 worked with various collaborators re-edited works by Mozart and Schubert, as well as making editions of Beethoven's Violin Concerto and all three Brahms Violin Sonatas. Schultze-Biezantz's father had been associated with Litolff for many years and his son was apparently educated specifically to take over as head of the editing department. [something on Schumann op. 131 from Litolff's 'neue kritisch durchgesehene Ausgabe' RCM]
Publishing activity was fostered by the commercial advantage of issuing new or revised editions of works that had already been annotated by an earlier editor, and by the entry into the marketplace of publishing houses outside Germany. The most remarkable new entrant into the field was the Viennese publishing house Universal, founded in 1901, which set out to provide annotated editions of all the major chamber music and concerto repertoire for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It accomplished this task within a very few years, before Emil Hertzka took over as managing director in 1907 and made the firm's principal focus the publication of contemporary music. Within the first three years of its existence it reached plate numbers of more than 2000, with a catalogue dominated by the works of Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, and Schumann. This rapidity of production was apparently made possible by bare-faced opportunism. It seems clear from the physical appearance of the majority of these early Universal editions that the publishers supplied their editors with a rival's edition into which any editorial amendments could be made, using the existing printed annotations as a basis. Many of the Universal editions on this website show a very close correspondence with Peters editions, which seem to have been the favoured models. This can clearly be seen by comparing the Peters edition of Beethoven's Violin Concerto edited by Wilhelmj with Prill's Universal edition; they differ only in respect of a few cosmetic changes and give the impression of having been engraved directly from an annotated Peters edition.
In the second and third decades of the 20th century, while young editors, later to become influential, were just beginning their careers, one much older musicians, Leopold Auer, whose previous involvement with editing had been limited, became increasingly active during the second decade of the 20th century. This may have been partly connected with his increasing focus on teaching, as his playing career declined. These later editions, beginning in the early stages of the 1914-18 war, were almost all for the New York publisher Carl Fischer, who was largely unaffected by the problems that beset European publishers during those years. When Auer was forced to flee Russia by the revolutionary convulsions of 1917, leaving almost all his possessions behind, this American connection stood him in good stead and he made his new home in New York, where he continued to publish editions and teaching material for Fischer.
During the early 20th century, French publications of classic German repertoire increased greatly in number, indicating the growing taste for classical chamber music in France. The process was accelerated by the Great War of 1914-18, which led to a clear distinction between German music (which was seen as a universal cultural treasure) and German publishers, who were viewed in a more nationalistic light. The motivation is clearly expressed in the introduction to Heugel's Édition francais de musique classique that was printed on the covers of individual editions. It stated:
The Edition française de musique classique was born of the patriotic enthusiasm which animated publishers, dealers, teachers and amateurs of music from the beginning of the war, and made them consider that the Edition française itself had to achieve a collective effort with the view to constituting a national edition of classic works, equalling, even surpassing, in respect both of importance and of presentation, the celebrated foreign collections which are almost the only ones currently in use.
One knows what circumstances have held back the completion of this project and have compromised its very late realisation. But theEdition, created thanks to the active involvement of many people of goodwill, enables the publication of an already notable collection of volumes which will be unanimously recognised as representing the most perfect of the French classical editions.
Maison Heugel, from where originated in November 1914 the first idea for this collection, thought [it] a patriotic duty to acquire the Edition, and to pursue the work of its founders, until the complete realisation of their project. To this end, and in order to complete a more important and complete collection more quickly, it has incorporated in the existing edition the greater part of the excellent “Orphée” and “Bonnefond” collections, while also beginning the preparation of a considerable number of new works, in order to speedily build the most important, best presented, and least expensive classical edition.
With absolute confidence, Maison Heugel calls to all those who, from the first hour, have born witness to their commitment to a work born from a common struggle, and for which the active sympathy of all will assure the complete and rapid realisation.