Find out the motivation for this publishing project, the methods of my work and details about special features in my sheet music caused by the very different styles of the published composers:

Notated music is a message from composer to performer. As in a letter, the composer indicates in his musical text, as precisely as he deems necessary, how his conceived music should sound. This form of communication, like any, varies a lot depending on the composer’s personality and the type of message he wishes to convey as well as particularities of the musical language. The relationship to the addressee also plays a role: a letter written to a close friend contains less information than would a letter to a stranger.

Living in the 21-st century, there is little that connects us with the reality of every day life as experienced by a composer in an earlier epoch, which is why we are obliged to consider with care every notated detail. Our attempt at insight is made particularly difficult by the fact that the, without doubt useful, standardized print from which we play today is already a smoothing of the handwritten source, which in turn is merely a projection of the conceived soundscape of the composer.

Since the autograph is our only remaining authentic connection to the composer, it is my endeavour to communicate the composer’s testament as accurately as possible. As well as aiming for the greatest possible faithfulness to the score and meeting high graphic and aesthetic expectations, I consider it important to impart information that is contained “between the lines”. In the process, the preservation of ambiguity is central: since in music we are not dealing with an absolute, stringent text, and the position and form of a marking can considerably influence its meaning, a handwritten score can often be interpreted in multiple ways.

Contrary to the usual method of creating a clear solution through comparison and correction, I venture to preserve any ambiguity in print. In some cases the appearance of a musical symbol needs to be changed, in other cases additional symbols need to be created in order to remain as faithful as possible to the original handwriting. (Further details regarding this can be found in the sections about individual composers and in the forward to each score.)

As a whole it is my wish that, in contact with the music of these great composers, a player can experience great musical pleasure with the help of these painstakingly produced editions.

One characteristic of the notation of Hummel’s Bassoon Concerto is the great freedom of articulation and dynamics that the composer allows the soloist. While all the orchestral parts contain exact instructions, the bassoon part is almost completely free of indications. This is due, in my opinion, to the virtuoso style of the concerto. With the freedom allowed by Hummel, the bassoonist has ample space to balance the needs and possibilities of his part in order to achieve the greatest effect.

I would briefly like to mention an unusual symbol in Hummel’s handwriting that looks similar to a crescendo but is a closed triangle. Hummel places the symbol over notes or short phrases that are of particular melodic or harmonic importance (often followed by a piano). This implementation and the symbol’s closed shape indicate to me that it is not intended as a crescendo, leading from one dynamic level to another. Rather, I believe that it indicates Hummel’s permission for freedom of sound and dynamic for the duration of the note or phrase.

Suited to his musical style, Vivaldi’s handwriting is very clear and distinct. The character and affect of each concerto is immediately apparent through the graphical expression of the composer. The fact that Vivaldi used dynamic and articulation markings sparingly makes small details even clearer and more significant to the interpreter. I have invested a lot of time and energy in making the fundamental graphic character of each autograph apparent in print, whilst conveying to the performer every possible indication for interpretation – from the ambiguous positioning of slurs to the angle of beams and the closer or more spaced writing style.

One distinguishing feature of my Vivaldi editions is the handling of accidentals. As was common in his time, Vivaldi’s employment of accidentals was very intuitive; precise rules for their use were only developed 100 to 150 years ago. In particular, the question of melodic or harmonic minor is not definitely solved in his text, and this isn’t necessary! In order to enable the player to select the appropriate accidentals for himself – perhaps even spontaneously in performance – all the music has been printed twice. In each score, the whole concerto is first printed with the original baroque accidentals and then again according to present-day convention. For each separate part, there are versions with both baroque and modern accidentals, facilitating the musician’s choice of interpretation.

Overall, the manuscripts of Weber’s works for bassoon are well preserved and very detailed – they contain little that is unclear. In some cases his positioning of slurs leaves room for interpretation, but there are very clear dynamic and articulation indications. One symbol in Weber’s handwriting that doesn’t belong to standard music notation is a small curved vertical line, similar to a staccato mark, which however isn’t placed over a note but slightly to the right, always at the end of a legato slur. My interpretation of this symbol would be that the phrase should be ended clearly, however whether the note should be shortened to achieve this is arguable. In this edition, I have recreated the symbol with as much likeness as possible to the original.

Through my small publishing house I would like to share everything that I discovered while investigating the music of Hummel, Vivaldi and Weber. The music and paper are of the highest possible quality and I have strived for aesthetic excellence in both print and notation. The throughput of my editions is very small. In order to keep the music affordable for musicians and students, I have for the present avoided sales via dealerships, which would increase the price to the customer by between 30 to 50 percent. For this reason, I would be particularly grateful for your recommendations to your colleagues!