Ravel: La Valse - Poème chorégraphique
Breitkopf Urtext ed. by Jean-François Monnard
Jean-François Monnard’s Urtext edition is the first edition of La Valse that compares all relevant sources. The first edition of the score, published in 1921, was used as the source. Errors and inconsistencies arising from the comparison with the previous edition were corrected on the basis of the autograph score. Moreover, the handwritten and printed piano versions also provide valuable insights into the work’s origin.
To this day, the soft opening measures of La Valse still represent a challenge to the interpretation. This problem preoccupied the sound aesthete Ravel up to the end of his life. This is the reason for which Manuel Rosenthal, a conductor and friend of Ravel’s, decided to retouch the opening measures. This is presented for the first time in the Critical Commentary to the new edition. Rosenthal’s suggestion allows a more differentiated sound of the double basses at the beginning.
Compared with the previous edition, this new Urtext edition optimizes and reduces the page turns in the orchestral parts. But wherever the page turns are inevitable and awkward, the edition provides a compelling solution by inserting extra pages as well as providing turning aids that allow a glimpse of what is coming on the next page.