Celebrating Bärenreiter

Products featured here are selected for review by ANDREW EALES

The year 2023 marks the 100th Anniversary of the hugely respected publishing house Bärenreiter, and they certainly aren’t missing the opportunity to celebrate!

The company published its first song sheets in Augsburg in 1923, and was officially founded by Karl Vötterle in 1924. Today, Bärenreiter is one of the largest music publishers worldwide, but remains a family business managed by the daughter of the founder, Barbara Scheuch-Vötterle, her husband Leonhard Scheuch, and their son Clemens Scheuch.

With scholarly-critical complete editions of the works of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Schubert and many other great composers from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods, the publisher has consolidated a growing international reputation since the 1950s, their scores enthusiastically endorsed by many of the world’s leading performers.

Today, Bärenreiter Urtext editions regarded as a gold standard by musicologists, and welcomed by students and music lovers on every continent.

Explore my reviews of Bärenreiter publications here

To celebrate this milestone in their company’s history, Bärenreiter have released a series of “Jubilee editions at Jubilee prices”, including seven piano scores which I will look at below. They have also launched a Jubilee website packed with behind-the-scenes insight into the history of this most revered publishing house, which is well worth an extended visit.

Jubilee Editions at Jubilee Prices

Bärenreiter’s Jubilee Editions offer a series of 19 slim music books at give-away prices, valid until 17 June 2024 or as long as stocks last. The promotion also includes manuscript books, pencils, post-it notes, mugs and tote bags, all sporting the colourful appearance that has become their trademark image.

Seven of the publications are for piano solo, and are each priced at an eye-wateringly inexpensive £2.50. These are concise anthologies (most have 16 pages) dedicated to single composers, each bringing together a sample selection of intermediate to early advanced pieces chosen from Bärenreiter’s complete editions.

Let’s get specific with a full rundown of the included pieces:

• Sonata in E flat major, Hob.XVI:49 (complete)

MOZART Selected Piano Pieces
• Menuett in F, Kv 5
• Klavierstück in C, Kv 9a
• Klavierstück in F, Kv 33B
• Gigue in G, Kv 574
• Fantasie in D minor, Kv 397
• Marsch in F (I)
• Allegro in B flat, Kv 3

SCHUBERT Selected Piano Pieces
• Allegretto in C minor, D 915
• Moment Musical No.4 in C sharp minor, D 780
• Moment Musical No.5 in F minor, D 780
• Hungarian Melody in B minor, D 817

SCHUMANN Selected Piano Pieces
Kinderszenen Op.15, numbers 1, 3 and 7
Waldszenen Op.82, numbers 1 and 3
Album for the Young Op.68, six selections

CHOPIN Preludes Op.28 (selection)
• C major, A minor, E minor, B minor, A major, B major, D flat major, E flat major, C minor.

BRAHMS Selected Piano Pieces
• Intermezzo in E major, Op.116/6
• Ballade in D minor, Op.10/1
• Waltz in B minor, Op.39/1
• Intermezzo in E flat major, Op.117/1
• Intermezzo in A minor, Op.118/1
• Intermezzo in B minor, Op.119/1
• Waltz in E major, Op.39/2 (easy version)

SATIE Selected Piano Pieces
En Plus (from 3 Morceaux en from de Loire à quatre mains)
Gymnopédie No.1
Gnossienne No.3
Méditation (from Avant-dernières pensées)
d’Edriophthalma (from Embryons desséchés)
Gnossienne No.7

Suffice to reiterate that all these scores are identical to the authoritative benchmark editions from which they are curated, and are presented with the same vivid cover design, luxury cream paper and exquisite music engraving.

They really are beyond criticism, and at this price they are as unmissable a bargain for anyone wanting this specific repertoire in their music library as they are for those who, intrigued, want to dip in to sample the many delights of Bärenreiter’s house presentation and editorial quality.

All that said, I cannot vouch for whether their pencil and mug manufacturing equals their stunning music editing and presentation!

Coming Soon

For their anniversary year, Bärenreiter certainly have some exciting titles scheduled, including for pianists:

  • The completion of their new benchmark edition of the complete Schubert piano sonatas
  • Fanny Hensel‘s rediscovered “Easter Sonata”
  • A landmark new view of Chopin‘s Sonata in B minor Op.58
  • Saint-Saëns three series of virtuoso piano études
  • Josef Mysliveček‘s Easy Sonatas
  • Easy Piano Pieces and Dances: Josef Suk
  • Jakub Metelka: The Secret Garden (15 new nocturnes)

Keep following Pianodao for full reviews of each of these highly anticipated publications as they reach the market!

It remains for me to congratulation Bärenreiter on their landmark anniversary, thank them for their superb support of the piano playing world, and offer my gratitude to Patrick Abrams and Christopher Jackson in the UK office for their friendship and support.

Here’s to the next 100 years!

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Published by

Andrew Eales

Andrew Eales is a widely respected piano educator, writer and composer based on Milton Keynes UK. His book HOW TO PRACTISE MUSIC is published by Hal Leonard.