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Helga Schauerte and LOUIS VIERNE BÄRENREITER EDITION

The American Organist, June 2009:
LOUIS VIERNE
BÄRENREITER EDITION
Extraits from the Review Feature by Lawrence Archbo


These beautifully presented editions of organ works by Louis Vierne make an auspicious beginning to a very ambitious project: the publication of the complete organ (and piano) works of the composer in a multi-volume "urtext" edition. Remarkable enough by itself, this effort is particularly noteworthy because it is the second of two new editions of Vierne's complete organ works to have recently appeared or been announced. Each presents the composer's entire output for organ in one multi-volume publication, and each brings to the task rigorous musicological inquiry. The first comes from Carus, edited by Jon Laukvik and David Sanger, and has been available in its entirety since 2008. Bärenreiter is issuing the second, edited by Helga Schauerte-Maubouet and an "editorial team", of which the third volume, containing the Troisième Symphonie, was the first to appear; its last volume is not anticipated until 2011.

Schauerte-Maubouet is to be commended for making her editorial practices so transparent; this edition also shows her to possess very solid musicological instincts as well as a specialist's sense of what might work well in performance. "The first edition of 1912," a subsection of "The Genesis of the Edition," highlights many of the most interesting decisions that she has faced. It points out what are, from the editor's perspective, some of the most notable flaws of the first edition and discusses the rationale for their resolution. By this the reader comes best to understand what this new volume has to offer. And the temptation is inescapable to compare the results of these decisions with the readings presented by the Carus edition. [...]


The Bärenreiter edition, to judge from only three of its projected 14 volumes, is significantly, even substantially, different from its competition. It offers many insights and even some surprises, the choice of facsimiles is felicitous, and the illustrations are copious and revealing. (Especially appreciated in the forth volume of the Fantasy Pieces are the photos of chimeras that guard Notre-Dame Cathedral, here drawing attention to the composer's largely neglected "Garguilles et Chimères.") Prefatory material is rich and engaging (and superior to that of the Carus edition), while the critical report appear in large enough type to encourage the reader to explore their intricacies. (All of the material appears in three languages.) The scores are likewise easy to read, and the page turns are thoughtfully placed: gone, for example, is Lemoine's awkward turn in the middle of the apotheosis of "Cathédrales," an especially annoying one that the Carus edition moved but did not find a way to eliminate. Of course, despite Schauerte-Maubouet's manifold strenghths as an editor, she has not solved every problem: the believability of Vierne's metronome marks, to name but one, remains in doubt (a topic about which, in the Preface to the Third Symphony, she is uncharacteristically inconclusive). Bärenreiter is to be commended for making available such an impressive achievment; organists have every reason to believe that the remaining volumes will continue these high standards.

by Lawrence Archbold(transmited by Helga Schauerte)
                A big thank for Helga Schauerte