A New Edition of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas

Barry Cooper


Why do we need a new edition of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas? There are three main reasons. Firstly, some of the older editions do not distinguish clearly between what Beethoven wrote and what editors have added. The previous edition from ABRSM, produced by Donald Tovey and Harold Craxton in 1931, was by no means the worst in this respect, but it did need replacing by something more in tune with today’s requirements. Secondly, although there are several recent editions that seem to fulfill this need, with no unmarked editorial interference, they are not as reliable as one might assume. The third main reason for producing a new edition was to provide practical performance advice. This issue is particularly pertinent today, since there has been much recent research into performance practices of Beethoven’s day.

Keywords: new edition of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, editorial work, score and performance

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