Two more Beethoven sonata editions!

I visited Sweet Classics in Shaw Centre yesterday, but they were closed. It was my first visit and I was hoping to find the Schnabel editions of the Beethoven sonatas there. I was also looking for the Schubert piano sonatas and the Wanderer Fantasy. I rang Sweet Classics many times this afternoon. Nobody picked up.

By mid-afternoon I was at The Adelphi, so hopped onto the MRT at City Hall station for the short ride to Dhoby Ghaut station and thence Plaza Singapore and Yamaha Music Plaza’s sheet music shop. And got partial satisfaction. I managed to get the Schnabel edition of the Beethoven sonatas, and the ABRSM/Cooper edition as well! Sadly, no Schubert, at least not what I was looking for.

These two editions are to supplement the Schenker edition which I usually play from. I use Schenker because it is generally considered to be the best researched ‘urtext’ edition. The Schnabel edition dates back to the first half of the 20th century. It famously includes very detailed editorial markup by Schnabel, who was considered to be one of the greatest Beethoven interpreters of the modern age. That’s of course subjective, but nevertheless pianists turned to Schnabel for ideas of interpretation and alternate fingering suggestions.

Cooper’s edition printed by the ABRSM is the most recent one, published in 2007. It too is an ‘urtext’ edition, and includes new Beethoven scholarship done by Cooper and others in the last 50 years or so. Cooper’s edition is spread over 3 volumes, and includes new commentary in the form of CDs (one per volume) and full-sized inserts containing very detailed notes.

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