Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

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wmichael taylor
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Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby wmichael taylor » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:52 pm

It not time for the unblocking of the Op. 5 Clarinet Pieces by Berg? A print alternative to the UE edition of 1924 (which was not the first publication, the composer having published the score at his own expense in 1920. UE simply corrected errors in the original, without, as far as I am aware, re-engraving, just as they did with the similarly self-published Piano Sonata Op. 1, Op. 2 Lieder and Op. 3 String Quartet, all available on IMSLP) appeared in 2006 (Henle).

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby Carolus » Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:55 am

If you can prove publication in 1920, I'll gladly re-tag it. I've read that the vocal score for Wozzeck was actually self-published as well. UE has gone to great lengths to make it look like they were first published later. In light of our unfortunate incident with them back in 2007, I have to be on more solid ground than a few references here and there.

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby kalliwoda » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:58 am

There are lots of copies in the online catalog of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
http://aleph18.onb.ac.at:80
including F21.Berg.137. Mus (Schlesinger 1920) Anm: Dieses Exemplar enthält Korrekturen in Bergs Hand.
und F21.Berg.140. Mus (Universal-Ed. 1924) Anm: Die in F21 Berg 137 eingetragenen Korrekturen sind in dieser Ausgabe berücksichtigt worden.

So it seems to me the Universal-Edition might be copyright in the US because it includes Berg's corrections. But the original edition should be public domain - and both are public domain in the +70 countries.

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby wmichael taylor » Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:08 pm

According to the introduction and critical commentary appended to the Henle edition, the first edition--Verlag der Schlesinger'schen Buch- und Musikhandlung (Rob. Lienau), Berlin--appeared in 1920. There is a letter from Berg to Schoenberg (14th August 1920, Briefwechsel Schoenberg-Berg, II 57) in which he talks about correcting the first proof, and another (17th July, 1922) mentioning that the publisher has sold 33 copies of this edition in the year to April (Briefwechsel, II 170). In addition, the journal Melos published the third of the pieces as a supplement to its issue of 16th January, 1921, which, if memory seves me correctly, was reproduced from the 1920 edition. It was only the successful performance of the String Quartet, Op. 3 in Salzburg on 3rd August, 1923, that finally led Emil Herzka to take on Berg as a composer (see Letters to his Wife), Universal Edition acquiring the work in 1924 (Scheideler, Henle Preface). The original edition, as Kalliwoda says, must be public domain in the US.

As regards the Wozzeck vocal score (that Berg also published himself); it was definitely in existence by Christmas 1922, as Schoenberg received a copy as a present (Briefwechsel, II 185, n. 353).

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby daphnis » Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:46 pm

But with the Wozzeck vocal score, didn't Fritz Heinrich Klein produce the piano transcription used therein? If so that may make it PD in the U.S. but copyright everywhere else as he died in 1977.

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby wmichael taylor » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:34 pm

You are correct about Klein, although he simply made Berg's short score playable. The British Library gives 1922 as the publication date, noting 'A slip bearing the imprint Universal-Edition, Wien, Leipzig, has been pasted on the titlepage over the words "Eigentum des Komponisten."'

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby daphnis » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:40 pm

Even still, as concerning Wozzeck, that "playability" could likely and easily be defended as "arrangement" and therefore disqualify it from inclusion on the site.

Regarding the Opus 5, if Berg's original printing that was subsequently corrected and re-issued by Universal Edition is founded on the same engraving, then the chances of that U.E. (re)printing being public domain in the U.S. are quite strong.

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby wmichael taylor » Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:41 pm

The Henle editor states unequivocally that the UE edition uses the same plates as the 1920 printing, and 'has only [a] few changes in the music text,' so, even if the UE is not deemed PD, the earlier score would be good to have on IMSLP.

Pity about Wozzeck; likewise, presumably, the original score of the Op. 6 Orchestral Pieces, published in facsimile in 1923.

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby daphnis » Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:05 pm

In that case I would be comfortable with tagging the existing U.E. printing as "checked" in the U.S.
Carolus, do you concur?

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby Carolus » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:16 am

Yes, I think the info kindly provided above is convincing enough to justify this. If we can get a copy of the 1920 score posted, it would basically blow UE's claim out of the water. Correction of a few minor errors would not be enough for a new copyright. Thanks to everyone above for all the superb detailed info!

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby daphnis » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:46 am

I've retagged the file in question accordingly. Once we get our hands on the 1920 version we can settle the matter for good, however.

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby wmichael taylor » Wed May 20, 2009 4:29 am

May I pick up a point that I made in the course of the discussions about the Berg Op. 5? The Orchestral Pieces Op. 6 were first published by UE in a beautiful facsimile edition in 1923, the first two being given their first performance the same year. Berg revised the pieces for the first complete performance in 1929, and this is the text that UE later brought out & is still selling. My question is this: does the copyright renewal include the original version?

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby Carolus » Wed May 20, 2009 6:11 am

Helene (Berg's widow) would have needed to file two separate renewals: one in 1951 (28 years after initial publication in 1923) and another six years later in 1957 (28 years after the 1929 publication of the revised score). If no renewal was filed in 1957, only the new material added by Berg in 1929 would be free in the USA, which renders the whole score effectively still under copyright until 2019 assuming the 1923 score was renewed (which it almost certainly was - UE rarely dropped the ball on US copyright formalities). If the 1923 score was somehow not renewed, only the new material added in 1929 would be under copyright in the USA.

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Re: Berg, 4 Clarinet Pieces, Op.5

Postby bassist5 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:11 pm

I have uploaded scans of the 1920 edition found in the Bavarian State Library Munich, Germany ( https://opacplus.bsb-muenchen.de/metaop ... anguage=en ). This edition should definitely be in public domain.


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