Editions of the Mendelssohn VC

November 23, 2006 at 05:11 PM · I'll be finally getting around to learning the Mendelssohn concerto next year, and was just wondering what editions people use. Who's editing/fingerings work best, and why?

(I'll just mention, that I have a liking for Peters Editions, but more so because I think they look nice on my bookshelf, more than the fingerings they provide, seeing as I generally have most of them changed anyway.)

Replies (21)

November 23, 2006 at 05:14 PM · I have not done the Mendelsohn, but generally, I prefer Barenreiter (an urtext) if available. Alternatively, choose an edition edited by someone whose recording you like so that you can benefit from whatever wisdom went into the recording. For example, for solo Bach, I use Szeryng's edition published by Schott because I like his solo Bach and the edition is also an urtext. Have fun!

November 23, 2006 at 05:36 PM · Speaking of urtext editions, this isn't about the Mendelssohn specifically, but rather a general warning about Henle Urtext editions--i have their edition of the Debussy sonata and the fingerings in the violin part are just awful. I think they were done by a pianist! I've heard similar complaints about other Henle editions, so be careful. :)

Peters Editions are indeed really pretty! :) however I don't like their Mendelssohn edition, it is Carl Flesch's fingerings and my teacher told me to avoid those. I have that edition, but I just wrote in the fingerings and bowings we're doing, so I get the right markings AND the pretty cover. :)

November 23, 2006 at 05:39 PM · I learned this piece from the International Edition, but before I started it, my teacher Mr. Kiradjieff gave me a copy of his part with all of Galamian's fingerings and bowings to put into my part, so I guess I did the Galamian edition!

November 23, 2006 at 05:40 PM · I think this will be my next concerto, so I have looked a lot at the edition I have (International Edited by Francescatti) and I like it. I'll have to see when I learn it with my teacher, but I think international is a pretty good edition.

November 23, 2006 at 06:12 PM · careful with International too. The Mendelssohn seems to be OK but I've heard dozens of my colleagues and teachers griping about various IMC misprints--as one former teacher put it, "I don't trust an International edition any further than I can throw it." :)

In other words, just do the fingerings and bowings your teacher wants. :)

November 23, 2006 at 06:44 PM · If you are willing to shell out about $60 the new Bärenreiter (urtext) has good fingerings and bowings. The editor was a student of Perlman so fingerings are based on Galamian's. The Henle (urtext) fingerings are a bit bizarre. David Cerone's edition would be a good bet although I have not looked at it. International is not good. I love Francescatti's playing, but not his bowings and fingerings.

November 23, 2006 at 11:00 PM · $60? I had a bit of a look around, and at the Baerenreiter website (http://www.baerenreiter.com/) you can order it for $16.95 Euros, should come out to about US$21

November 23, 2006 at 11:15 PM · does that include shipping cost to the US? :)

November 24, 2006 at 12:54 AM · nah, you'd need to add some shipping to that, but it shouldn't be much.

However, in my further investigations, I found that Barenreiter have published two versions of the Mendelssohn, the one I mentioned above for 16.95 euros only has the second version of the Mendelssohn Concerto, where as they have another one for around 33 euros which has the first and the second version.

Can anyone explain the differences between the first and the second, and is it worth getting both?

November 24, 2006 at 01:12 AM · The first version contains mostly differences in octaves, a few phrases with different notes and dynamics, as well as a slight difference in the cadenza. The most obvious thing is one in the 2nd movement, when the solo violin moves to D minor in the 2nd section, it starts off with an A minor chord instead of the dominant of D minor.

Unless you really are interested in collecting first or original edition, it isn't a big deal to miss this version to be honest.

November 24, 2006 at 02:48 AM · I got both the first and second versions which explains the $60 price. However, my advice is to get the second version which is the standard played today. The first version has just the sketches of the cadenza which is played today. Perhaps this is the reason Joshua Bell thought he could write his own cadenza.

November 25, 2006 at 09:08 PM · I have/use International's edition Edited by Francescatti.

I can't complain...

November 26, 2006 at 12:07 AM · Hi,

Getting an Urtext is good, as long as you know what the conventions for bowings and fingerings means in the context of the time and with the equipment of the time. An eye opener if you want to get closer to the spirit of the music in its original context, but less so otherwise. Nonetheless, since getting close to the affects in the music itself is important, this deserves careful study.

The Mendelssohn cadenza... It seems that the cadenza we use was written by Ferdinand David, not Mendelssohn using Mendelssohn's sketch of the harmonic progression. That is why Mr. Bell probably found it OK to explore other avenues. However, evidence suggests that Mendelssohn seemed quite happy with David's cadenza and found it to be an integral part of the concerto, so evidence for doing another seems spurious at best.


November 26, 2006 at 12:54 AM · Yeah--some cadenzas just weren't meant to be re-written....

November 26, 2006 at 03:24 AM · I have the international. There are a few misprints (such as in the cadenza), but it works ok. I wasn't a very big fan of Mr. Francescatti's bowings and fingers, but then again, my performance of the concerto wasn't that great, so maybe I should have used them.

November 26, 2006 at 04:02 AM · WHAT? Where is the misprint in the cadenza?!

November 26, 2006 at 04:57 AM · It may not be a misprint, rather an interpretation thing. Ask Peter Rovit about it, he's the one who gave it to me.

November 26, 2006 at 09:22 AM · Is the misprint in the beginning of the cadenza? Because I think I might have heard someone play that edition, because when they were playing the cadenza I was thinking, 'They're missing a measure.'

November 26, 2006 at 07:24 PM · i have the francescatti edition i got from the library that's all marked up. so i can't say i like it. i'm not aware of any missing measures or extra measures in the part. i listened to Midori's recording and followed the part and the cadenza she plays sounds like what's printed.

November 26, 2006 at 07:51 PM · Measure 300 is the measure in question. There's nothing missing, it's just about the double As on the E string that don't occur in the prior measures. I guess some think there should only be one A, therefore changing the arpeggio. I've looked at 2 other editions and it's the same as the internation in both. Perhaps it was a Galamian thing because my other teacher (Felicia Moye) said she was taught without the 2 As.

December 1, 2006 at 06:39 AM · "I love Francescatti's playing, but not his bowings and fingerings"-- Well, then-- lucky for us he managed to play without bowings and fingerings!

No, really: I understand and I agree, but still the way it was written seemed pretty funny to me! Thanks!

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