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Mozart Requiem editions

I have finally decided to take the plunge program the Mozart Requiem for the Spring of 2012.
We will be purchasing the conductor's score, orchestration, and choral parts for our University choral library.
Now, the question - which edition to choose?
I have used the Barenreiter edition of the Mozart Solemn Vespers and found the parts for orchestra
and the choral parts to be clean, easily-read, and accurate.
 
The problem with the Requiem is, of course, which "version" to use and therefore which to purchase.
I am aware of the various different "completions" out there and I am intrigued by the Beyer edition and the Landon Robbins editions.
 
Have any of you had experience with the scores and orchestral parts for the various editions available?
I will be conducting a combination of college students and community singers and will have only two rehearsals with the chorus, soloists, and orchestra.
I need parts and scores that will facilitate the learning and provide the best possible musical experience and present the least issues in rehearsal.  I have a copy of the G. Schirmer choral score and am getting copies of the other editions - those are easy to evaluate but I need advice on the orchestral parts and conductor's score from the different publishers.
 
Cost is also somewhat of an issue, but the biggest issue is to get parts that will be useful for many years to come and a performing edition that will give both collegiate music majors and talented amateur singers the best experience.
 
I appreciate your thoughts and experience.
 
Grace and peace,
Larry Smith
Missouri Baptist University
St. Louis
buswasu798699(a)yahoo.com
smithl(a)mobap.edu
Replies (12): Threaded | Chronological
on April 16, 2011 10:55am
This has been a frequent topic on ChoralNet in the past: here, here, here.
 
In the Kunzelmann (Beyer) edition the vocal parts are similar to the Süssmayr version (the changes are small) but the orchestration has been completely redone and is much more delicate and (to my ear) more Mozartean — particularly valuable if your chorus isn't especially large.
on April 16, 2011 1:31pm
Thanks Allen, I did consult those three postings, but since the lengthiest of the bunch is now over 12 years old and I had a few more specific questions I thought it worth posting this, especially to see if anyone has done the H. C. Robbins Landon version published by Breitkopf and Hartel.  I have heard several of the versions but not the Landon version and am not having much luck finding a copy of it.
I do like the idea of a lighter orchestration it's not essential, as I expect to have a large chorus.
on April 16, 2011 11:31pm
Allen Simon wrote about the Beyer edition (published by Kunzelmann):
 
"...the orchestration has been completely redone..."
 
To clarify: The orchestration hasn't been "completely" redone, but it has been adjusted in places.  And it's not so much that the orchestration is lighter per se, but that Beyer makes clear suggestions concerning where to omit the trombones.  More importantly, Beyer rewrote some contrapuntal lines where Suessmayr was ungraceful or inept (depending on your point of view), and recomposed the Osanna fugues so that they don't end quite so abruptly.  Unlike some other solutions such as Maunder's or Levin's, Beyer's changes aren't likely to be audible to a casual listener, but should still be satisfying to a musician sensitive to Classical voice-leading standards.  Also, the full and p/v scores and the parts are clearly engraved and quite easily legible.  So unless you're committed to the Suessmayr Urtext (for which Landon is likely to be best) or are looking for something obviously different, Beyer, to me, is an ideal compromise.
 
The one place I quibble with Beyer's caution is in the Osanna after the Benedictus; it bothers me that the music doesn't return to D, instead remaining in the B-flat of the Benedictus proper.  I've rewritten Suessmayr's transition to create a modulation to D, which I've used (successfully, I think) and am happy to provide via a scanned attachment.
 
I believe there are recordings of the Landon edition conducted by Roy Goodman (Nimbus) and Bruno Weil (Sony).
 
Best regards,
Jerome Hoberman
 
Music Director/Conductor, The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra
Principal Conductor, Baguio Cathedral International Music Festival (Philippines)
on April 18, 2011 6:15am
I wholeheartedly agree with the remarks about the Kunzelmann/Beyer edition.  The first time I did Mozart's Requiem, I tried to reseach ALL editions as much as possible and came across (can't find the source now!! will continue to look!) a source that suggested that the performance practice and corrections in conductors scores using Sussmeyers's edition had been used in that edition.
 
Betty Devine
Artistic Director/Founder
The Houston Choral Society
 
Minister of Worship Arts
The Foundry UMC
on April 19, 2011 5:20am
We recently performed the Robert Levin edition at the Opera House in Sarasota.  Since you've done research into various editions of the Mozart Requiem, you're probably aware that Levin determined that Sussmayr was mostly correct in his realization of the score.  He did clean up the orchestrations and created wind parts that are more idiomatic to Mozart.  There are some changes in voice leading in the choral parts and a few changes in text underlay.  In addition, he added a lengthy Amen fugue following the Lacrymosa based upon a fragment that Mozart composed.  He also lengthened the Hosanna fugue in the Sanctus and kept the return of that fugue in the Benedictus in the key of D major.  The extensive notes in the conductor's score are illuminating and the parts, now published by Carus, are nice and clean.  Our music library is designed as a lending library if you'd like to see the score and parts.  We purchased the score and parts through Sheet Music Plus at a good discount.
 
Joseph Holt
Artistic Director
Gloria Musicae
Sarasota, FL
on April 19, 2011 4:13pm
Stanley Stadie stated it well in his rebuttal of Maunder’s harsh attacks on Süssmayr’s completion: “He must forgive me if I retain my obstinate preference for a version that originates in the Mozart circle in Vienna, and sounds like it, over one that originates in the late twentieth century, and sounds like it.”[1] Robert Levin, who himself produced an alternate completion of the work, writes, “Süssmayr’s historical position guarantees him a unique perspective, and no other version of the Requiem can be understood except through what he attempted. This is reason enough to appreciate his work.”[2]


[1] Richard Maunder, Stanley Sadie, and Giovanni Da Pozzo, "Communications," Notes 47, no. 2 (1990): 587.
[2] Levin, “Colloquy,” 588.
on April 22, 2011 6:16pm
Dear friends - good discussion since we're been thinking of maybe doing this for Veterans Day this year, but - 
 
Can anyone recommend a good organ reduction only, or one at best supplemented by a 12-piece band - incl string, brass and ww 1/4tets + timpani.  Is it doable with a choir of 30?
 
Brendan
on April 26, 2011 10:40am
who publishes the Beyer edition and who publishes the Levin edition?  For some reason I have had no luck finding this information.  I would like to get scores to look over but other than the names of the editors I cannot find the name of the publishers and relative prices of the chorus, piano/vocal, full score, and orchestration.
 
Larry Smith
on April 26, 2011 2:12pm
The Beyer is published by Edition Kunzelmann and the Levin by Carus.
on April 26, 2011 3:53pm
And it appears that Kunzelmann is distributed here in the US through Peters.  Prices will be high in either case, I fear.
 
Larry Smith
on May 29, 2011 3:44am
As far as I can tell, the Beyer is a rental-only title.  You can purchase scores and parts of the Levin through Carus.  I performed the Levin last year and am convinced that the Amen sketch was intended for the Requiem.  I am not as sold however as to the completion, especially the changes to the vocal parts.  I too am considering performing this again at my new position and wanting the library to purchase scores and parts, but am leaning towards the Robbins-Landon as a "safer" bet.  It seems to me as scholarship advances, the Levin has the potential to be eclipsed by another version, while there is no doubt in my mind that the vocal parts from the Süssmeyer version will always be performed.
 
As far as accompaniment for a small choir of 30, as long as you have trombones who can play well I would still use them.  Can you imagine not having the solo at the beginning of the Tuba mirum?  or the forte chords before the first choral entrance of the Introit?  You must have two clarinets and two bassoons.  Timp is also important.  I guess I could live without the trumpets.  Now we have the important "color" winds but only five more places for all of the strings in your 12 piece option!  Organ might work if you have a top-notch organist, but it is quite difficult for the keyboard to play that darned Kyrie....  (especially at the tempo that I like!!!)
 
Thomas Kim
on May 29, 2011 6:49pm
Thomas Kim writes:
 
"As far as I can tell, the Beyer is a rental-only title."
 
Not so.  Kunzelmann's full score and parts available for purchase (I own a set).
 
Best regards,
Jerome Hoberman
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