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  • 6 String Quartets, Opus 20, Hoboken III: 31-36, and: 6 String Quartets, Opus 33, Hoboken III: 37-42, and: 6 String Quartets, Opus 50, Hoboken III: 44-49, and: Streichquartette "Opus 76", "Opus 77" und "Opus 103"
  • W. Dean Sutcliffe
Joseph Haydn. 6 String Quartets, Opus 20, Hoboken III: 31–36. Edited by Simon Rowland-Jones; editorial consultant, David Ledbetter. Urtext. London: Edition Peters, c2001. [1 plate; pref. in Eng., Fr., Ger., p. v–xv; explanation of terms, p. xvi–xvii; references, p. xviii; score, 88 p.; crit. commentary, p. 89–101; and 4 parts. ISMN M-57708-356-8; ISBN 1-901507-21-1; Edition Peters no. 7594. $55.]
Joseph Haydn. 6 String Quartets, Opus 33, Hoboken III: 37–42. Edited by Simon Rowland-Jones; editorial consultant, David Ledbetter. London: Edition Peters, c2002. [1 plate; pref., references in Eng., Fr., Ger., p. v–xxii; score, 78 p.; crit. commentary, p. 79–90; and 4 parts. ISMN M-57708-357-5; ISBN 1-901507-22-X; Edition Peters no. 7595. $55.]
Joseph Haydn. 6 String Quartets, Opus 50, Hoboken III: 44–49. Edited by Simon Rowland-Jones; editorial consultant, David Ledbetter. Urtext. London: Edition Peters, c2003. [1 plate; pref. in Eng., Fr., Ger., p. v–xxiv; references, p. xxv; opening dynamics, p. xxvi; score, 98 p.; crit. commentary, p. 99–110; and 4 parts. ISMN M-57708-463-3; Edition Peters no. 7615. $55.]
Joseph Haydn. Streichquartette “Opus 76,” “Opus 77” und “Opus 103.” Herausgegeben von Horst Walter mit Vorarbeiten von Lars Schmidt-Thieme. (Joseph Haydn Werke, ser. 12, vol. 6.) Munich: G. Henle Verlag, 2003. [Frontispiece (2 MS leaves from op. 103); Vorwort, p. vii–xvi; Zur Gestaltung der Ausgabe, p. xvii; score, p. 3–166; Anhang, p. 167–74; Krit. Bericht, p. 175–227. Cloth: HN 5342, €165; paper: HN 5341, €156.]

Although this is not spelled out by means of a general series preface, the new Peters editions of Joseph Haydn's opus 20, 33, and 50 string quartets are meant above all for the performer. Yet whereas such performing editions of old took for granted their right to alter and add to previous texts without troubling the player, times have changed, and editor Simon Rowland-Jones shows far greater care. Thus while his brief is clearly to offer explicit and full indications for the practicing musician, he also presents an extensive critical commentary for these quartets that tracks most of the editorial decisions based on the sources at hand. Editorial brackets generally appear only when dynamic levels are suggested at the start of a movement. In most other circumstances a novel system of six numerical categories alerts players to editorial intervention by placing numbers at the relevant spots in the score (and, importantly, in the individual parts). Separate listings in each movement's critical report then elucidate these emendations by dividing them into categories of general (covering such matters [End Page 486] as varying tempo indications and fingerings), variants of pitch and duration, slurs and ties, staccato marks, ornaments, and dynamics.

One can only applaud any attempt to make the details of the editorial process more approachable and to tempt players into consulting the back pages. Even reputable ensembles may still be playing from comfortable older editions despite the availability of several better, more recent alternatives. There are the editions by Reginald Barrett-Ayres and H. C. Robbins Landon published by Doblinger (op. 20: Diletto musicale, 722–27 [Vienna, 1981–87; reissued as set, 1995, Diletto musicale, 988]; op. 33: Diletto musicale, 728–33 [1988; reissued as set, 1995, Diletto musicale, 989]; op. 50: Diletto musicale, 735–40 [1985; reissued as set, 1989, Diletto musicale, 990]), likewise available as scores and parts; and for opus 20 and 33, there is, supremely, the edition in the Joseph Haydn Werke edited by Georg Feder and Sonja Gerlach (ser. 12, vol. 3 [Munich: G. Henle, 1974]), but performance parts remain unavailable. In the case of opus 50, however, we still await the verdict from the Werke; when published, the volume covering opus 42, 50, 54, and 55 will conclude the series of quartets in the complete edition. While the Doblinger edition of opus 50 was able...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-150X
Print ISSN
0027-4380
Pages
pp. 486-490
Launched on MUSE
2005-11-15
Open Access
No
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