Piano Music, Series I & II



Here are 576 pages from that photogenic Gesamtausgabe; clearly reproduced, well designed, handsomely paperbound; well worth the money, merely as merchandise.

     But I find it impossible to take them seriously as “Series”, or opt for them as a “selection”. The first volume, spanning 1830-39, claims to contain “all the major early work”. But opp.20-23 are in the second volume, and opp.4, 5, 13 and 17 are nowhere at all. Perhaps the Etudes Symphoniques were whimsically excluded as being (in a sense) minor; but the omission of the Fantasieis itself fantastic. The second volume is better balanced, with the description “later compositions” flexibly interpreted to include some earlier ones, though not opp.28 or 32. Other notable omissions are opp.76, 111, 124, 126 and 133.

    Would it not have been just as viable com­mercially (not to say more respectable intellectually) too have offered the complete piano music in this attractive and serviceable format?



The Musical Times, Jul., 1973 (p. 716) © the estate of eric sams