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The Urtext paradigm

An urtext edition of a work of classical music is a printed critical musicological edition for practical use, intended to reproduce the original intention of the composer as exactly as possible, without any added or changed material.

The composer's original manuscript is often gone and even if it is available, the editor must ascertain whether the composer did not also authorize later sources. Therefore a urtext edition differs from the autograph manuscript of a composer, and the other sources, just for the choices that are made in the drafting of the text.

The musical text is prepared on the basis of precise examination of all sources by renowned musicologists, and in most cases they have to choose between different readings in the primary sources. Also, well-known musicians and pedagogues contribute fingerings, bowings, etc., according to the principle to provide an edition for practical use.

The publisher who has devoted his entire production to Urtext editions is G. Hanle Verlag, whose title for sale on this website are listed here:

G. Henle Verlag

Even other publishers have published Urtext editions, albeit not exclusively, whose title for sale on this website are listed here:

Bärenreiter Verlag

Edition Eulenburg