Four Seasons - Barenreiter
(I'd have added to a previous post
but it's now closed for comments.)
The Barenreiter edition of the Four Seasons has quite a few choices that are different from traditional renderings. Hogwood's notes included in the edition say that in general, when two readings are possible, the less common has been chosen, on the belief that players who want the traditional one can easily change the text. (I wish that an explicit Ossia had been noted in all of those cases.)
Those of you who perform this work from the Barenreiter: Where do you keep the reading in this edition, and where are you choosing to revert to tradition? If you've been performing it with orchestra / intend to do so in the future, how are you dealing with the discrepancies where the orchestra might not be using Barenreiter parts (and therefore, for instance, the accidentals / chord might be different than the solo part)?
My son had this happen earlier this year when he played Winter with his high school orchestra. He learned off the Barenreiter, which for Winter is pretty much straightforward, but he still had to ask the school orch to change a few things. The conductor in turn asked him to change a few and it all worked out in the end. However, this was HS orchestra...it would have been an entirely different story had he been playing this with a more professional ensemble.
Interesting. An old Ricordi is available on IMSLP.
I find Baerenreiter odd. Their Bach double concerto has bowings that are the opposite of a lot of others (e.g. Suzuki and Oistrakh and Menuhin) and make bow distribution very difficult, and I wonder why. I had a problem with something in their Corelli too.
@Gordon I don't know about all the editors of the Barenreiter editions, but the Four Seasons is edited by Christopher Hogwood who is not a violinist, so it is more a scholarly approach than a technical one.
Opinions vary on that last point. Jaap Schroeder once made a big argument to me that I should follow Bach’s beings literally in the S&P. I didn’t buy that then, though, and would be careful about doing it now.
I must ask my teacher, of course, and also about my botched Corelli question from the other day. We did one baroque piece in the string orchestra before the lockdown, and my teacher used quite a lot of hooked bowing in that to my surprise.
A tangential thought about the comment "In general, with Bach, who was not primarily a violinist, adjustments need to made."
Slurs definitely were not random in Bach -- but they often are sloppy in the manuscripts, which means we can't always be sure what he meant. In addition, slurs are sometimes intended more as musical features than necessarily bowings. If you go through something like the earliest manuscript copies of the Sonatas and Partitas, the bowings never quite work out. You need to make adjustments here and there to make them work.
"Slurs definitely were not random in Bach -- but they often are sloppy in the manuscripts"
A very interesting argument to be made is the reliability of Ana Magdalena's slurs. Take a look at her copy of the Sonatas and Partitas, for which we have Bach's original, and take your own conclusions...
Even in Bach's autograph ms of the S&Ps, it is often difficult to tell which notes are contained within the slur. And, there does not always seem to be a lot of consistency. So, the slurs in any urtext of the S&Ps are questionable. With regard to the Cello Suites where there is no autograph ms, we are in difficult territory concerning bowings. The various copies from which the urtext is compiled tend to disagree, so good luck!
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