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Die Klaviersonaten Friedrich Kuhlaus

Wenn Liebhaber des Klaviers und Pianisten den Namen "Kuhlau" hören, denken sie sogleich an die "Sonatinen", von denen der deutsch-dänische Komponist insgesamt neunzehn verfasste und deren Beliebtheit für den Unterricht bis in unsere heutige Zeit reicht.

Demgegenüber existieren jedoch eben so viele, nämlich 19 größer angelegte "Sonaten", die zu Unrecht etwas in den Hintergrund getreten sind und die hier erstmals in einer vierbändigen Urtext-Edition vorgelegt werden.

Band I: op.6a (a, D, F) und op.4 (Es)
ISBN 978-4-88364-330-1

Band II: op.5a (d), op.6b (D), op.8a (a) und op.127 (Es)
ISBN 978-4-88364-331-8

Band III: op.26 (G, C, Es) und op.30 (B)
ISBN 978-4-88364-332-5

Band IV: op.34 (G), op.46 (G, d, C) und op.52 (F, B, A)
ISBN 978-4-88364-333-2

Herausgeber sind der dänische Musikwissenschaftler Dr. Gorm Busk und der Gründer und Administrative Director der International Friedrich Kuhlau Society Prof. Toshinori Ishihara.

Der Flötist und Kuhlau-Experte Ishihara bemerkt hierzu: "Es ist sehr nützlich, nicht nur für Pianisten sondern auch für Flötisten, die Klaviersonaten Kuhlaus zu spielen oder zu hören, um noch tiefer in das Innere des Kuhlau'schen Gesamtschaffens eindringen.zu können." - eine Ansicht, der sich der Herausgeber der Wissenschaftlich-praktischen Gesamtausgabe der Flötenwerke Kuhlaus (UEKE) nur anschließen kann.

NEU 2014: Die Klaviervariationen Friedrich Kuhlaus

Band I: DF 199, 196, op. 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 22, 25, 35, 42-1, 42-2, 42-3, 42-4, 42-5, 42-6
ISBN 978-4-9907675-0-1

Band II: op. 48, 49-1, 49-2, 49-3, 49-4, 49-5, 49-6, 53-1, 53-2, 53-3, 54
ISBN 978-4-9907675-1-8

Band III: op. 62-1, 62-2, 62-3, 91, 93, 112-1, 112-2, 112-3, 116-1, 116-2, 126
ISBN 978-4-9907675-2-5

Herausgeber sind der dänische Musikwissenschaftler Dr. Gorm Busk und der Gründer und Administrative Director der International Friedrich Kuhlau Society Prof. Toshinori Ishihara.

NEU 2016: Rondos und andere Klavierstücke

Band I: Hamburgischer Favorit Walzer, DF 210 (6), op 1, 2, 3, DF 211 (10), 218 (6), 220, 203, 205, 207, 202, 206a, 206b, 208 (2), 213, 212 (12), 209, op. 31 (3), 37, 40 (6)
ISBN 978-4-9907675-3-2

Band II: op. 41 (8), DF 216, op. 56 (3), 61 (6), 73 (3), 84 (3), 92, 96
ISBN 978-4-9907675-4-9

Band III: op. 97 (2), 98b, 109 (3), 113 (3), 117 (3), 118 (3), 120, 121, DF 125, 214, 221
ISBN 978-4-9907675-5-6

Herausgeber sind der dänische Musikwissenschaftler Dr. Gorm Busk und der Gründer und Administrative Director der International Friedrich Kuhlau Society Prof. Toshinori Ishihara.

Der Syrinx-Verlag freut sich, auf diese wertvollen Ausgaben hinweisen zu können.

Als Verlag zeichnet die IFKS mit Sitz in Tokyo.
Aerie Minami-Aoyama 801, 2-18-5 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Tel: 0081 (0) 3-5770-5220, Fax: 0081 (0) 3- 5770-5221, e-mail: ifks@kuhlau

Die Auslieferung erfolgt über die HANNA Corp.
3-6-4-2F Nakameguro, Meguru-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Tel: 0081 (0) 5721-5222, Fax: 0081 (0) 3-5721-6226; e-mail:

Vorworte aus den Editionen:

Introduction piano sonatas

Kuhlau's 38 sonata works for piano consist of 19 sonatas and the same number of sonatinas. The latter (op. 20, 55,59, 60, 88) have been famous for almost two hundred years throughout the piano-playing world. The former, which are contained in this new edition, are totally unknown but at least as valuable as the sonatinas and are, thus, a welcome contribution to the sonata literature from the transition between the Classical and Romantic periods at the beginning of the 1800s.

Even though they constitute half the corpus in terms of sheer numbers, these sonatas, as proper sonatas, loom much larger - especially since Kuhlau began with some very comprehensive works. Some of them came out later in several new editions particularly, Danish ones - in the 1800s (op.6b, 26 no. 1, 34, 46, 52), but the rest are only available as the first editions that are the basis for this publication.

The three sonatas of op. 6a have been called Kuhlau's Mozart sonatas because of their similarities to Mozart's piano sonata in A minor (K. V. 310) at the beginning of no. 1, the many Papageno-like tone repetitions in nos. 1 and 3, the conversion of the fugue theme from the beginning of the fast part of The Magic Flute overture to 6/8 time in no. 1 (3rd movement) and no.2 (2nd movement), and the variations on the March of the Priests that introduces the second act of The Magic Flute as the closing movement in no. 3.

Vollmer's first edition appears both with and without the quite late (with respect to publication) opus number 6, and Cranz's reissue (without opus number) is also mentioned in a review (in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (AMZ), Intelligenzblatt IX, Dec. 1822, and IV, June 1823) as "neue Auflagen von Jugend-Arbeiten des Componisten". It is the reason for introducing this collection.

The slow B-flat major movement in no. 2 for "linke Hand solo" may be inspired by the slow G major movement of Haydn's piano trio in B-flat major (Hob. XV/20), in which certain sections are for solo con mano sinistra", but Kuhlau's movement is probably the first in music historv for left hand alone for the entire movement.

The sonatas in E-flat major op. 4 and D minor op. 5a seem more influenced by Beethoven, the sonatas in D-major op. 6b (with violin ad lib.) and A minor op. 8a by Haydn and Clementi.

The E-flat major sonata op. 127 was Kuhlau's problem child. It was originally labeled opus number 16, and Kuhlau tried in vain to get it sold to various publishing houses: first, Peters, Böhme and Härtel in 1815, then ten years later to Nägeli with the white lie that it had not yet been composed but that he would very much like to write a great piano sonata. It was not published until 1833 by Lose and Farrenc, the year after Kuhlau's death.

After these major, often quite complicated and difficult works (in volumes I and II) with musical and technical oddities - the second subject in the first movements of op. 6a, nos. 1 and 2 in the same key in the exposition and recapitulation, the almost unplayable passages with crossed hands in op. 4, and, of course, the movement for left hand alone, he begins on minor sonatas. This is due to sales reasons and requests from publishing houses (a letter to Härtel dated July 27, 1821 points in this direction): major sonatas were becoming "passé". The sonatas 9 - 19 (in volumes III and IV) are, for the most part, less extensive and were written in a simpler style - even the otherwise very broad, almost Schubertian B-flat major sonata op. 30. Some resemble the sonatinas op. 59 and 60, which were published as "sonates faciles et brillantes, suite de l'Oeuvre 55" and "sonates non difficiles, suite de l'Oeuvre 55 et 59".

The allusions to and influences from the great composers of the day are characteristic of Kuhlau but do not affect his personal style. This characterizes all his sonatas of which many even possess very high musical quality and great originality.

This new edition is in Kuhlau's spirit. In a letter to a musicologist Müller in Bremen, who planned and in 1830 published a musical- biographical encyclopedia, Kuhlau relates with a certain annoyance that Müller only mentions his lesser compositions that "first and foremost are written for beginners and mediocre piano players" but that he "has written other pieces prior to these in a great style for 'accomplished' piano players".

For more information on this topic, see my article, "Kuhlaus klaversonater og -sonatiner" ["Kuhlau's Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas"] in Dansk årbog for musikforskning XIX, 1988 - 1991, Copenhagen 1992.

Dr. Gorm Busk

Introduction piano variations

As an extension of our edition of Kuhlau's piano sonatas,we are following up with his piano variations. These two genres, sonatas and variations, were (together with rondos) the most common types of piano music at the time; and, like the variation works of other composers, Kuhlau's were based on popular melodies of the day - either from operas (mostly, arias) or folksongs.

The pattern for these sets of variations is a theme followed by a number of variations - from 2 to 12, but mostly 7 or 8, all depending on the length of the theme: long themes were given only a few variations and short themes many. Among them are a variation in a variant key - that is, a key with the same keynote: in minor if the theme is in major, and in major if the theme is in minor (for example, C major becomes C minor or C minor becomes C major), a variation in a slow tempo for themes that are, for the most part, fast or moderately fast and, finally, a long, final variation. This presents the theme in a new time signature: even time signatures (for example, 2/4) for themes in uneven time signatures (for example, 3/4) and vice versa, followed then by a longer, free movement that sometimes provides yet another variation (often incomplete and not stated in the score as a new variation) before a long, virtuoso finish. There may also be a conclusion with a slightly altered version of the theme itself.

As a counterpart to the long, final variation, both as to scope and the free movement, which - unlike the variations - is not bound to the theme, the whole set of variations is often commenced by an introduction, as a rule with powerful chords and virtuoso passage play spanning the entire keyboard, followed by variations or simplified fragments of the theme to be varied. To introduce the set of variations with this sort of introduzione must be seen as a partially new, romantic feature of the time around 1800. It appears neither in Mozart nor Beethoven and only rarely in Clementi, Dussek, Cramer, Hummel and Weber, whose variations Kuhlau's otherwise most resemble. They introduce half of his total variation works (38 in number) - primarily, the major sets of variations - but, for Kuhlau, they become so indispensable that they also appear in his final, simple works.

Some variations - especially at he beginning of a set - appear in pairs in that the ornamentation of or accompaniment for the theme first comes in quick note values for the right hand and then for the left. A "harmonically interesting" variation is also not uncommon in which the theme acquires chromatic sequences of chords but retains its key.

Beyond these prevalent modes for varying themes, some more personal traits are found in Kuhlau. He often presents varied themes in new keys - that is, not only in the variant keys mentioned above but in parallel keys (for example, A minor in C major) and, more unusually, in more distant keys. Sometimes, it happens with a subtle retention of the theme's notes (no. 5, var. 5 and no. 16, var. 10 and 11, in which A minor themes appear, respectively, in F major, C major and G major) or simply with the theme transposed and varied in new keys.

In many variations, the theme with its figural variations is easily recognisable - the performers should, of course, be able to enjoy their favourite melody most of the time. In others, it is through a new structure so altered that it approaches a character variation that is so far from the theme that it is difficult to recognize.

Thus, Kuhlau's variations are for "Kenner und Liebhaber" - for professionals and amateurs. Similarly, in the sonatas, there are both major, virtuoso works and minor, easier ones. He was able to shift without difficulty from one style to the other; and this edition therefore, contains valuable works for every taste and ability.

As with the sonatas, the sources here are first editions from Kuhlau's time, which are only found as antiquarian rarities and all but the first at the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen, which helps make this a welcome edition for today's pianists and music lovers.

Beyond the works in this edition, we are familiar with two additional variation works but have no documentation for whether they were published. Specifically, this has to do with "Auf Hamburgs Wohlergehen", which Kuhlau played at his last concert on 17 March 1810 in Hamburg before his departure for Denmark. We do not know the melody but only the underlying poem, printed in "Lieder für fröhliche Gesellschaften", Hamburg 1791, under the title "Auf Hamburgs Wohl. Nach bekannter Melodie."

The second work has variations on F. L. Ae. Kunzen's "Student March: To Arms! See the Enemy Coming", a club song to the text by Enevold Falsen, written about the 1801 Danish mobilisation for "the Battle of Copenhagen" against England (2 April 1801). It was played by Kuhlau as the finale for his concert at the Danish Royal Theatre in Copenhagen on 30 November 1811 (the Danish newspaper Adresseavisen, 11 November 1811), but here we know the melody:

"To Armsl See the enemy approaches, to arms, you Nordic men! The resounding drums stirs all, to battle everyone embarks! Yonder froth the Øresund's waves of anger against the followers of tyranny. Arise, Danish men! Fight in the footsteps of your fathers for King, for hearth, for freedom in the North! For King, for hearth, for freedom in the North!"

Dr. Gorm Busk

Introduction rondos and other piano pieces

After the publication of Kuhlau's piano sonatas and piano variations, we are now publishing his free-standing piano works - especially rondos but also minor works. A concluding series with well-known sonatinas will follow later as a conclusion to the publication of all of Kuhlau's solo piano works. Like the sonatas and variations, the order of this series is strictly chronological - for the minor early works, with Dan Fog's numbering (DF) based on advertisements from periodicals of the day and, for various individual works, based on Kuhlau's own information on the date of composition.

The rondos may be based on their own themes; but, for the most part, in the same way as the variations, they are based on outside themes - namely, opera melodies. The small rondos are in simple rondo forms. More numerous are the longer sonata rondos with a form typical of Kuhlau in which the recapitulation is not introduced with the first subject but with music between the first subject and the second subject. This may either be a reshaping of the first subject or it may be a theme by Kuhlau himself or, sometimes, with a different theme from the opera from which the theme was taken. Many rondos, and all the later rondos, begin with a virtuoso introduzione, something with which we are familiar from the variations. They may simply be a demonstration with a showy flourish of chords or passage play to impress listeners, but they may also contain elegant hints of the rondo theme to come.

Dr. Gorm Busk