Dvorak concerto editions

October 26, 2017, 2:11 PM · Anyone got thoughts on the best current edition of the Dvorak violin concerto? Henle, Barenreiter, International, something else?

Replies (20)

October 26, 2017, 3:01 PM · The international Galamian edition is good. He always had good fingering and bowing selections.
October 26, 2017, 5:05 PM · Lydia, I also use the international Galamian edition. It's a beautiful piece and it's not as hard as it sounds. There's no awkwardness in the hand, as I recall. I didn't learn the 3rd movement so the entire piece may be harder than I thought. You've done Tchaikovsky so I'd think this one will be a piece of cake for you.
October 26, 2017, 8:26 PM · If I were looking for a blank, scholarly urtext, unmarked: Barenreiter or Henle?

(I own a Galamian edition, bought back when I was a high schooler, but the paper has yellowed significantly.)

October 26, 2017, 8:54 PM · I don't think you can go wrong with either Barenreiter or Henle. I'd probably try Barenreiter first.
October 31, 2017, 2:55 PM · Try the Schott edition with Max Rostal, love it!
October 31, 2017, 3:01 PM · We just got a card in the mail from Sheet Music Plus, advertising a Barenreiter 20% off sale starting soon.
November 1, 2017, 7:53 AM · Thanks all. I ordered a Barenreiter before I saw the last two posts. :-P
November 3, 2017, 2:06 PM · Dvorak is an extraordinarily awkward concerto...I envy the ease that Ms. Zhang finds in the piece! Come up with bowings and fingerings that fit your hand - not Galamian's, Francescatti's, or anyone else's. Do you have a private teacher to assist in sound, logical markings?
Edited: November 3, 2017, 2:21 PM · I study with Emil Chudnovsky, whom I'm sure you know. :-)

(I prefer a clean, scholarly urtext as the starting point these days... preferably with good page turns.)

November 4, 2017, 7:53 PM · I like the editions that come with one Urtext and one marked-up. That way if you feel stuck on how to finger or bow something you can take a peek at what the editor recommends.
November 4, 2017, 9:12 PM · I thought that was the case with the Barenreiter, but apparently it's only the case with the Henle.

The Barenreiter has thoughtful trifolds for page turns where necessary.

November 5, 2017, 12:18 AM · Mr. Sords, if you think the Dvorak is an extraordinarily awkward, it's likely I don't know what I'm talking about. I worked on mvt 1 and 2, but not the last mvt. With the help of my teacher, I found the music is pretty much all in the notes, and the notes are "in the hand". But I did underestimate the difficulty of some works in the past, so I wouldn't be surprised if I have underestimated the difficulty of this one.
November 5, 2017, 7:27 AM · My edition is off of IMSLP, but if I were buying new, I would probably go with Barenreiter. Easy for an old guy like me to see, and it does not usually have edits. Henle tends to be edited although the urtext is shown clearly. The only other suggestion is to find an edition edited by some violinist whose version of the piece you like to listen to, so you can take advantage of whatever that violinist has to offer in the way of edits. Good luck!
November 7, 2017, 10:47 AM · Ms. Zhang - I've always found the Dvorak supremely awkward and unviolinistic - certainly much more challenging than, say, Lalo and Tchaikovsky. Even after performances of the piece with a dozen different orchestras, it never gets easier! The walk-off-the-plane concerti (Bruch, Mendelssohn, Tchaik) seem to stay in the fingers...Sibelius, Dvorak, Barber 3rd mvt...not so much!

Ms. Leong - you have a rockstar teacher in Mr. Chudnovsky! In that case, he'd be able to the provide catered fingerings/bowings as he hears you week in/week out.

November 7, 2017, 3:23 PM · Andrew many thanks for posting on this forum!
November 14, 2017, 11:32 AM · The earliest edition would surely be Simrock's, wouldn't it? The best ... THAT's another question!
Edited: November 19, 2017, 10:42 PM · Now that I've had a week to look at it, and a lesson, I agree on the awkwardness. Lots of places where there's not a good fingering solution, and many places requiring non-intuitive shifts in order to maintain the color of a single string. The intervals of a fifth are awkward, too. Not so much difficult in the traditional sense, as inconvenient; it doesn't really feel like it lies in the hand well for me. Beautiful, though.

Yixi, I find it very interesting that you feel like it lies well in the hand for you. :-)

Edited: November 20, 2017, 12:37 AM · I used my teacher's fingerings and I found it wasn't as hard as it sounds. I find the notes were more manageable and the whole thing was less exposed than Mendelssohn. Musically speaking it is pretty straightforward too. One pretty melody after the other and you don't have to think so much as,say, with Mozart. Not sure about the last mvt because I didn't learn it.

I suspect that the difficulty of anything has to do with the finished quality. It will be much harder if I approach it at a professional level or if I were to perform it than I did as a learning piece a few years ago.

November 20, 2017, 7:56 PM · That's interesting. I would judge it to be substantially more difficult than Mendelssohn, but this might be because I'm doing a much more complicated set of fingerings.
Edited: November 20, 2017, 11:38 PM · Probably. Keep it simple! :)

I just chatted with a young violinist during the break of local conservatory orchestra rehearsal about this. She is quite good (better than me for sure) and has been learning the first mvt of Dvorak for the past a few months. She also agreed with me that it was not that hard and very much in the hands. It's probably comes down to fingering choice. My teacher keeps telling me to keep things simple, especially noty pieces like Dvorak. We also agree that Dvorak is not easy, but Mendelssohn and Mozart are almost impossible to play well.

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