Kalmus editions

Edited: November 23, 2021, 6:07 PM · I'm looking at editions for the Schubert Cello Quintet, and I stumbled across the Kalmus edition at Southwest strings. This is the only edition they have and I was curious if anyone has used their stuff before and what they think about it. Do they have any misprints? Are they urtext? Stuff like that.

I usually use henle, but so far I haven't been able to find a henle edition for the Schubert.

Replies (19)

November 23, 2021, 6:27 PM · Kalmus a standby that is old enough to be slightly disreputable. But their editions tend to be fairly useful. No idea about the Schubert, specifically.
Edited: November 24, 2021, 8:18 AM · I always played from the Peters edition.
Personally, so much of my chamber music playing was sight-reading, at least the first time through, that I liked having edited editions with some fingering - actually I still like that. I think I have had my copy almost 60 years.

The Peters edition is definitely not over-marked and it is one of the editions available free at IMSLP.ORG.

November 24, 2021, 6:06 AM · Kalmus editions tend to have misprints.

For this quintet, I'd suggest getting the Baerenreiter. You can get it from a variety of online sources. (I bought mine from Shar.)

November 24, 2021, 7:26 AM · I have never played the piece, but I would normally try to use Barenreiter for almost any music I was playing because it is so easily readable and is an urtext (although at least one piece I am playing in that edition has a clear mistake where what are supposed to be 16th notes are 8th notes in the edition). However, I am currently doing the Beethoven opus 18 quartets with my group, and we are using the Peters edition. It is good edition, so I think Andrew has a good point. Peters is probably fine and free on IMSLP.
Edited: November 24, 2021, 8:20 AM · As far as I know, Kalmus simply reprints from the old mostly public domain editions you can also find on IMSLP. Baerenreiter has an urtext.
November 24, 2021, 10:19 AM · It turns out Southwest does have the Henle edition. It was just in the cello section instead of the general music section with the Kalmus edition.

With that in mind, which edition would be the better choice? Henle or Barenreiter? I like the henle parts, but I’ve never played from a barenreiter before. Southwest has both editions.

November 24, 2021, 11:21 AM · To my mind Henle editions are even easier to read than Bärenreiter (generally speaking) and are more carefully arranged for page turns. But either is reliably top quality and carefully created Urtext. Take whichever you can get most easily.

Personally I find Peters often hard to read. In the Dvorak piano quintet (violin 1) for example I kept jumping lines or repeating lines because so many lines are cramped onto one page that they "infringe" on each other's territory. Or Beethoven op. 59/1 second violin, slow movement: Those 32nd accompaniments are printed so densely that they become very hard to read. You change to Henle and all of a sudden all your problems with that section go away!

November 24, 2021, 11:34 AM · You can't go wrong with either of them. Both Bärenreiter and Henle have sample pages of many of their editions on their web pages so you could have a look at the details.
In the few cases where I have had the choice between these editions I have found that I preferred Bärenreiter because of better page turns and use of cues. But the differences are small. Both are miles above Peters. The only advantage of Peters is that they use less paper because so much is crammed into every page.
November 24, 2021, 6:24 PM · Barenreiter all the way...quality of page turns in a performance!
Edited: November 24, 2021, 8:11 PM · While Albrecht finds the Peters editions hard to read, you can get it off of IMSLP and see what you think about its readability.


You don't need to rely on the opinion of others on that issue.

November 24, 2021, 9:30 PM · Greetings
that’s true Gene but I am thinking you can get the henle on its app in which case the page turning should be a piece of cake.
November 25, 2021, 7:25 AM · Or, if you want something more portable, you can convert to pdf and cut/paste until that is also easy to turn-- on paper, or electronically.
November 25, 2021, 10:30 AM · Buri, I scanned in my marked-up Barenreiter parts for violin and viola so I can use it in Forscore when the need to play the work comes up again. :)
November 25, 2021, 1:42 PM · Yeah I’m not too concerned with page turns since I play chamber music from my iPad using forScore. I’m mainly concerned about which is the better edition, but it seems like it’s up to interpretation for the most part. Maybe I’ll do Bärenreiter purely because I’ve never tried a Bärenreiter for anything.
November 26, 2021, 5:52 AM · Hi, Just to add to the comment above. The role of the editor and the performer, with regards to interpretation, are different. The editor of an edition, like Barenreiter, is to study the sources (manuscript, first edition etc. if they exist) and to produce something that is as close as possible to the composer's intentions. Sometimes there are decisions to be made by the editor due to complications with the source material. But this is different from the performer's act of 'interpretation', which is to present the notes to the public in a meaningful way that is individual to their thoughts about the piece.

An analogy might be that the editor provides the skeleton of the ancient 1000 year old human, and the performer adds the computer image face of what the man might have looked like.

Edition - definitely go with Barenreiter for this piece.

November 26, 2021, 7:29 AM · @James - is there a particular reason you recommend the Barenreiter edition?
Edited: November 26, 2021, 7:33 AM · Barenreiter are consistently the best modern editions. Some of their editions are better than others, and some are being updated due to errors, but they are almost always the best choice for an individual piece if they publish it.
November 26, 2021, 11:40 AM · @James- Is there a particular reason you don’t use Henle?
November 26, 2021, 5:31 PM · The Baerenreiter and the Henle make different textual selection choices in this quintet. The Baerenreiter is theoretically more faithful to what they believed was Schubert's intent. The Henle attempts to be faithful to the original published score, which occurred after Schubert's death. No autograph exists, so either choice can be legit.

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