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The Hungarian Dances were published in three different, yet authentic versions during the composers lifetime: (1) all 21 dances arranged for piano duet, (2) nos. 1-10 also for solo piano and (3) nos.1, 3 and 10 as orchestral arrangements. Now the Wiener Urtext Edition presents both the piano versions (for 2 and for 4 hands) in new editions and the piano duet version appears here for the first time in the form of a score, i.e. primo and secondo are set as pairs on one page and not, as usual, separated on facing pages. This layout mirrors that of Brahms surviving autograph of versions 1 and 2 but, additionally, offers significant advantages for study and performance: clearer presentation of the entire composition, easier orientation, no more frantic counting during rests in one part, thanks to the easy legibility of the portrait-format music both players can be more in tune with each other.
Perfect Communication. So far, musicians had to painstakingly count bars and beats in case of primo and secondo parts if they wished to find the correct place for joint reentry when rehearsing difficult passages. With the new score format, all you need to do is point a finger to the place, and even asynchronous entries can be easily accomplished, as in our example from Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 3
Perfect Musical Coordination. At the beginning of Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 4, the secondo player has the thematic lead. One quick glance at the score is sufficient for the primo player to restrain his massive accompanying part to such an extent that his partner playing the melody becomes audible in that role - a joint, well coordinated musical experience brought to perfection.
(…) Mit dem Notenbild in Partiturform, das heißt dem Notentext für beide Spieler untereinander, unterscheidet sich diese Ausgabe jedoch in einem wesentlichen Punkt von der über Generationen im allgemeinen üblich gewordenen Präsentation des Druckes für Primo und Secondo getrennt auf gegenüberliegenden Seiten. Spieler, die das weniger gewohnt sind, sollten nicht vor dieser Leseweise zurückschrecken. Peter Roggenkamps Bemerkungen dazu, wie auch zu so manchen spieltechnischen Fragen, sind sehr hilfreich. Man spürt den Praktiker mit großer Erfahrung. (…) NMZ 03/2007 (Reinhard Schulz)