Brahms, Requiem: Editions 2
Thanks to all who responded to my search for the best available full score of
the Brahms Requiem. What follows is a summary of the responses as well as my
own research and conclusions.
The full scores available are Breitkopf ( with Kalmus and Dover
incarnations); Peters, and Hinshaw.
Breitkopf has the advantage over Kalmus of being more durable, and having
better quality orchestra parts as well. The Dover edition reduces the score
size, making it harder to read. Of course, both Kalmus and Dover are much
The first edition (1868) was by J. Rieter-Biedermann (Leipzig). This was
followed in the 1890's by a Peters edition. The Breitkopf edition first
appeared in 1926. I have not seen the Peters edition, but in general find
Breitkopf kinder to the eyes.
The Hinshaw edition, edited by Lara Hoggard (HMB 145) in the mid-1980's,
includes Hoggard's scholarship and insight as well as his thoughtful English
translation. Hoggard's goal was to make the English translation conform to
the musical intentions obvious from the original German. Hoggard added many
articulation and phrasing suggestions. One respondent criticized the score
for being over-edited. The piano-vocal score, which I have seen, is
absolutely beautiful. The full score costs $150.
The Columbus Civic Chorale edition includes an English translation by William
B. Bullock as well as the German. This is available only as a piano-vocal
score. According to Dr. Bullock, this score is full of scholarship,
especially about the other English editions. He says, "It is clean and bound
beautifully. The rehearsal letters match those used in all the full scores."
Another vocal score which is highly recommended is the Carus-Verlag.
I have decided to go with Breitkopf, and consult the other scores.
Many thanks to Gene Morlan, Leroy Wiens, Leonard Ratzlaff, William Bullock,
Kevin Sutton, Thomas Sheets, and one other person who recommended the Hinshaw
(sorry, I lost the message).
Frances Fowler Slade
Princeton Pro Musica