(M.J.E. / Composer Listings / Schoenberg / Gurre-Lieder Errors)

List of possible errors in
Gurre-Lieder by Arnold Schoenberg

Compiled by Michael Edwards

      Gurre-Lieder is one of Schoenberg's early scores, and is in a hyper-romantic style: tonal, but very chromatic rather in the manner of late Wagner or Richard Strauss, and with very intricately-textured and colourful orchestration in that "larger-than-life" manner of composers such as Wagner or R. Strauss, and other very late romantic composers. It is scored for a huge orchestra, several vocal soloists, mixed chorus, and extra men's chorus. It is essentially a huge cantata, and is based on a libretto by Jens Peter Jacobsen.
      The score is published by Universal Edition, and is available in full size and in a smaller size about half-way in size between a full-size score and a miniature score. Being scored for a huge orchestra, this results in the size of score I purchased being printed very small. It is probably the smallest-printed orchestral score I have ever seen, to the point of being difficult to read. (Some people with glasses might actually find it easier to read with their glasses off and with the score very close to their eyes.) Being a rather expensive score, I bought the smaller size to save money; but, given the difficulty of reading it, it might have been better to choose the larger size, especially if I wanted to study the score in depth.
      I purchased the score recently because I was very interested to study the techniques this late-romantic work uses; and as I read the score I found a number of what I feel sure to be misprints that have never been corrected. Although I realize publication of a new edition of this work is unlikely, and that corrections are unlikely ever to be incorporated in the score, I thought I would compile a list of them, just in case future scholars or editors want to prepare a new edition, and just in case by some fluke this list comes into their hands. (Once the list is complete, I can always try contacting people who might know what to do with it.)
      That is what this page is here for: it is a list of the errors I believe I've found in this score, together with my reasons for feeling sure that they are indeed mistakes. There are very few mistakes that I've found so far, and, given the immense complexity of the score, its accuracy overall all seems quite impressive. I hardly think a score of such complexity could be totally free of mistakes; and the few I found are very small ones, and a study of the context usually makes it clear what is intended.
      I think most of the items are quite clear; however, the list is designed to be read in conjunction with the score itself, and will be meaningless to anyone who doesn't have a copy of the score.
      My thanks to Edward Solomon, the British Trombone Society's Webmaster, who sent me several more errors, backed up with reasons similar to those I give for errors discovered by myself. Because I agree with his claims about errors, and the reasons for them, I am quoting them directly in this list, with his permission. I will indicate these items by inserting "[E.S.]" before comments of his that I quote. All other comments are written by myself, and express my own opinions, and "[M.J.E.:]" is only inserted to indicate the end of a comment by Edward, where my own authorship resumes.

      In the following list, I've marked each item with either an asterisk or a question mark: the asterisk marks items I feel fairly sure are mistakes; the question mark denotes items where I do not feel sure, but it seems uncertain enough that it should at least be looked at more closely by an expert to decide.
      In referring to musical notes, I do not have musical symbols available for use in this list. (Possibly they do exist in a form that is usable in H.T.M.L. code (the "language" web pages are written in) - but until the ridiculous lack of standards in H.T.M.L. is sorted out, I am determined to keep my web-site files as simple and standard as possible, as I don't want to render my web pages unreadable to some readers because I've used techniques their browsers can't interpret correctly.) Therefore I use the symbol "#" for sharps (as in F#), the letter "b" for flats (as in Bb), "x" for double-sharps (as in Fx), and "bb" for double-flats (as in Bbb). A note-name without these symbols is always to be taken as natural (as in D - that is, D natural). If I need to emphasize that a note is natural, as against sharp or flat, I will say something like "D-nat.", since I cannot even approximate a natural sign with any characters available to me.
      Please note that the score does not come with bar-numbers indicated. For ease of referring to particular bars, I identify them by counting bars separately for each system on a page, and where necessary systems are counted for each page. So I will refer, for example, to page 3, system 2, bar 4 - and so on.

Michael Edwards,
Victoria, Australia.

E-mail me about this music.

      Click here if you need an explanation for the strange appearance of the e-mail address which will appear when you click on the e-mail link, or if you don't know what you need to do to make the e-mail address work properly.


* p. 6, 3. Hrf., bar 4 - 4th chord:
      Error: The chord is written (in ascending order) as D-nat.-Eb-A-nat.-Eb. Almost certainly the lowest note should be A-nat., 3 degrees below the D actually written.
      Reason: The chord appears in a passage where the 3rd harp part consists of 4-note chords which are really 2 notes each, doubled in octaves. This chord as written breaks that pattern for no apparent reason. Also the presence of a min. 2nd interval does not seem in keeping with the harmonic structure of the passage.

* p. 13, 2 Bss-Klar., 2nd system, bar 2 - second half of bar:
      Error: The second half of the bar contains a nonuplet measured tremolo (3 triplets of quavers), written in abbreviated form as two dotted-minim 2-note chords joined by a quaver beam, representing the chords the Bass Clarinets alternate between. These two chords should probably be exchanged, B-B (written) becoming the first chord, and D-G becoming the second one.
      Reason: It is rather unusual to see this abbreviated tremolo notation used for a tremolo with an odd number of notes, thus ending on the same note that it began on. But such notation is probably not incorrect - and presumably the tremolo must always begin on the first note shown in the beamed notes.
      Now it can be presumed from the passage as a whole that the tremolo is meant to constantly alternate the notes involved (changing them only where the harmony changes), and not repeat any notes. Yet, as notated, and interpreting the tremolo notation as just explained, this passage would involve D-F# being followed immediately by D-G in the middle of the bar - one note repeated in the same instrument, and the other changing only because the harmony changes at that point.
      If you look at the shape of the tremolo for the entire passage, it can be seen that the outer notes of the implied 4-note chord play together in the two instruments, alternating with the two inner notes playing together. Any one instrument alternates between two notes, with one of the notes changing only when the harmony requires it; and for most of the passage no instrument repeats a note immediately.
      Clearly the notation given here violates that pattern, and it would seem to be unintended. The pattern is restored at the beginning of the next bar, and this transition from the disrupted pattern to the restored one also involves a repeated note: the D in the lower part repeats, and the G in the upper part moves to F#.
      In both parts the shape of the tremolo is disrupted in both places mentioned (middle of the bar, and beginning of the next bar).
      Also, the passage two bars later is clearly parallel, and it adopts the changes suggested here, strengthening the likelihood that the version printed here is in error.

* p. 13, 2 Bss-Klar., 2nd system, bar 3 - second half of bar:
      Error: The staff for the two Bass Clarinets in this bar uses the same tremolo notation as in the previous bar (see the previous entry). Possibly the second tremolo, which presently reads B-G and D-B for the first and second notes respectively, should read B-B and D-G.
      Reason: The second tremolo, as notated, changes the shape of the tremolo for the 1st Bass Clarinet, for no reason that can be easily discerned. Adopting the correction suggested here would preserve that shape.
      Also, the passage two bars later is clearly parallel, and it adopts the changes suggested here, strengthening the likelihood that the version printed here is in error.

* p. 33, beginning of system, "2 Pos.":
      Error [E.S.]: There is no indication which of the four tenor-bass trombones these two are supposed to be.
      Reason [E.S.]: Looking at the first bar on page 34, it seems clear that they are supposed to be "1. 2. Pos.".

* p. 34, bar 4 - Ktr.-Bss.-Pos.:
      Error [E.S.]: I [E.S.] would argue that the D# should be a B natural.
      Reason [E.S.]: Judging by the rest of the score, it seems out of place for Schoenberg to suddenly place the contrabass trombone on the third of the chord. I think it is probably a misprint and should double the contrabass tuba at the octave.
      [E.S., later:] The D sharp is definitely an error in the contrabass trombone line in the score. The note is a B natural, as I surmised, confirmed by the orchestral part.
      [M.J.E.:] The fact of the two contrabassoons playing B octaves in the same chord, and the Cellos and Double Basses also doing this, strengthens Edward Solomon's reasoning.

* p. 38, 2. Hrf., 1st system, bar 1 - clef:
      Error: The clef should be a treble clef, not the bass clef actually shown. If this correction is made, then the treble clef at the end of the bar becomes superfluous, and should be removed.
      Reason: The part has a treble clef at the end of the previous system, indicating a change of clef. If the part after that is read in bass clef, the two notes are Ax and B, which doesn't make sense harmonically. But if read in the treble clef, the notes become Cx and D#, which makes complete sense harmonically. That is, apart from the fact that notation of harp parts doesn't normally use double accidentals - but obviously this part is written with enharmonic notation that is correct according to harmonic theory generally, not in the harp's usual style of enharmonic notation (showing the actual strings and pedal settings used, without regard to harmonic theory).

* p. 39, 2. Hrf., bar 1 - 3rd chord in r.h.:
      Error: The r.h. chord should probably be only B-E-G, not G-B-E-G. The lower G should be assigned to the l.h., replacing the E actually written for the l.h.
      Reason: If you look at the surrounding passages, this correction would make the shape of this figure in both hands conform more closely to the shape of the surrounding figures. The deviation printed seems to be without reason, and appears to nbe slightly less idiomatic harp writing, with the single repeated note (E) in the l.h. Turning the l.h. passage into a short arpeggio, as in the surrounding passages, would seem to be more correct.

* p. 40, 2nd system, I. Gge., key signature at beginning of system:
      Error: The signature should be 5 sharps, not the 4 shown.
      Reason: All the other parts on the page have 5 sharps, apart from transposing instruments - and this part itself has 5 sharps on both the preceding and following system. There is no reason whatever to suggest that a temporary change to 4 sharps is needed or intended here.

* p. 52, beginning of system - 4 Pos.:
      Error [E.S.]: The key signature for trombones 3 & 4 should be two sharps, not four.
      Reason [M.J.E.]: This is completely obvious, as no bitonality is implied here, and the trombone is not a transposing instrument requiring a different key signature from the concert one.

* p. 52, II. Gge., bar 3:
      Error: The beginning of the passage in chords should be marked "4 fach get.".
      Reason: The passage cannot be played as quadruple stops, so division is required. The passage could probably be played divided only into two parts, but in that case dual stems pointing up and down would have been used to show the exact double stops to be used in each part. But a divided passage with all notes on the same stem would always be interpreted as being divided into as many parts as there are notes in each of the chords.
      There are many passages throughout this score where passages which are certainly intended to be divided within a string part are not marked "get." (that is, "geteilt", which is German for "divisi", Schoenberg using German terms in this score). There are also places where, when a divided passages ends, the new unison passage is not marked "alle" ("all") or "zus." ("zusammen" or "together") (used in place of "unis.").
      A few other instances of missing instructions of this sort are already listed in this document, but there are many others I've discovered more recently. I don't propose to list them all here, as it would be very tedious and time-consuming, and I think searching for all the places where this occurs is best done at the time the edition is revised (if that ever happens). But my examination of the score suggests that there may be many dozen places where "get." or "zus." are omitted where they should be written. Possibly Schoenberg quite intentionally decided not to clutter up this complex score with these instructions in certain places, because it is usually obvious when a passage must be divided; but my understanding is that, strictly, all such passages should be marked, and that it is not optional.

* p. 56, 2nd system, 3 Trp. (F), bar 8 - second crotchet chord:
      Error: The chord is C# F A#, written (sounding F# Bb D#); the F should have a sharp sign in front of it.
      Reason: Given that the harmony at this point is a B dom. 7th, F (sounding Bb) does not fit, but F# (sounding B) does, making a complete B-major triad in the trumpets. Moreover, if the note written had been intended, it would probably have been notated as an E#, not F (sounding A#, not Bb).

* p. 62, 2nd system, 2. Hrf., bar 1 - clef on lower staff:
      Error: The clef should be a bass clef, not a treble clef. (The actual notes printed on the staff later in the system appear to be correct, taking this into account.)
      Reason: In the second bar of the system, the notes on this staff would be in E minor if read in the treble clef, and this does not fit the prevailing harmony; if you read them in the bass clef, however, they are in G major, which does fit the prevailing harmony. The shape of the arpeggios makes more sense, too, if the lower staff is read in the bass clef.

* p. 62, 2nd system, 1. Hrf., bar 1 - end of bar in lower staff:
      Error: A bass clef should be inserted here, for the notes in the next bar.
      Reason: In the following bar, the notes on the lower staff would be in E minor if read in the treble clef, and this does not fit the prevailing harmony; if you read them in the bass clef, however, they are in G major, which does fit the prevailing harmony. The shape of the arpeggios makes more sense, too, if the lower staff is read in the bass clef.

* pp. 63, 64, Ktrbss.-Ta., beginning of staff:
      Error: Probably "Ktrbss.-Pos." should be written above "Ktrbss.-Ta.", indicating a shared staff for the two instruments.
      Reason: There are two parts on the staff: when only one line of notes appears, there are rests indicating another silent instrument; and, briefly, there are two actual lines of notes. If a second instrument has to play, the Contrabass Trombone is the obvious candidate: it suits the range and orchestration, and is one of the few brass instruments not marked on other staves as playing at the time. These two very low-pitched brass instruments also share a staff in other parts of the score.

* p. 68, 2nd system, Br., bar 7 - at beginning of bar:
      Error: The notation "get." should be placed above the staff at the beginning of the bar (or possibly at the end of the previous bar).
      Reason: It is obvious from the part that the violas divide into two parts at this point, and it is usual to indicate this - in this case, with "get." (geteilt), given that Schoenberg uses German terms in this score.
      There might be some room for variation in the exact point at which the division begins. For instance, the D octave could be played in unison, not divided. But the point for dividing suggested here is based on a later passage in the violas which is similar (3rd bar in the next system).

* p. 76, 1st system, 3 gr. Fl., bar 2 - last semiquaver in bar:
      Error: The last semiquaver in the 1st Flute should be E, not E#.
      Reason: E# doesn't fit the harmony at this point, nor with other instruments playing similar parts. To confirm E-nat. as against E#, compare with 2nd Klar. (Es) and 2nd Bss.-Klar. (B), which play the same part, either at the same pitch, or in octave transposition.

* p. 76, 1st system, 2 Bss.-Klar. (B), bar 2 - first semiquaver in bar, beat 2:
      Error: The first semiquaver in the 2nd Bass Clarinet should be Gb, not A.
      Reason: A doesn't fit the harmony at this point, nor with other instruments playing similar parts. To confirm Gb as against A, compare with 1st Fl. and 2nd Klar. (Es), which play the same part, either at the same pitch, or in octave transposition.

* p. 77, Ktrbss.-Pos., Ktrbss.-Ta., bars 1-2:
      Error: The tied notes in these two bars are marked Kb. Pos. (meaning Ktrbss.-Pos.), but probably should be marked Ktrbss.-Ta.
      Reason [E.S.]: This is marked contrabass trombone in the score, though the part has nothing. According to the friend who sent me the copy, when he performed it, the low E was in the tuba part, which makes a lot of sense. Why, for the sake of one note, would Schoenberg suddenly change from contrabass tuba to contrabass trombone, especially seeing as the tuba has done all the preparatory work leading down to the low E? It must be contrabass tuba.
      [M.J.E.:] I assume Edward Solomon's comment that the Contrabass Trombone part has nothing in it is referring only to those two bars: in the same staff, in the last bar of the system, there are two notes, obviously intended to be played by the Contrabass Trombone and Contrabass Tuba.

* p. 81, Hlzharm., beginning of staff:
      Error: The part is labelled "Hlzharm. (Hylophon)". The second word should be "Xylophon".
      Reason: Given that the part is obviously a Xylophone part, and that both the names "Holzharmonika" and "Xylophon" are used in the score (in the score itself, and in the list of instruments at the beginning of the score), it is obvious that "Hylophon" is a misprint for "Xylophon".

* p. 93, I. Gge., first bar - 1st tremolo:
      Error: This tremolo is in a passage with two-note tremolos which change notes for each crotchet beat of the bar. The I. Gge. part is divided into two parts, each part playing different notes in their tremolos. Sometimes the notes involved are all different, involving four separate notes in each crotchet beat, and sometimes the notes overlap so that the second tremolo note in one part is the same note as the first tremolo note in the other part. But the thing all the tremolos have in common is that there are always two different notes involved in any given tremolo in either of the two parts. However, in the first tremolo, the upper part is notated as a tremolo between two Eb's, and the lower part is notated as a tremolo between two Bb's - in other words, only one note is involved in the tremolo for each part, unlike all the other tremolos in the entire passage. It appears likely that this is a misprint, and that the parts are meant to cross on the second tremolo notes, so that the top part is Eb and Bb respectively, and the lower is Bb and Eb. Making this correction would make this tremolo identical to that which appears on beat 3 of the same bar.
      Reason: This would make the part consistent with all the other tremolos, some of which also cross in the same way. Single-note tremolos and two-note tremolos involve quite different string-playing techniques, and this would make the passage more consistent, using the same technique throughout the whole passage.

* p. 94, bar 2, various instruments:
      Error: The harmony is Ab minor, but the following instruments playing a C (or written G, in the case of a transposing Cor Anglais) do not have a flat sign in front of the C as they should: 3rd Piccolo; 1st and 3rd Flutes; 2nd Oboe; 1st Cor Anglais; 1st Bassoon; 3rd Tenor-Bass Trombone.
      Reason: The following instruments are also playing a C, and all of them have a flat sign in front of the C: 2nd Bb Clarinet; 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th Horns; 3rd Trumpet; Alto Trombone; 1st and 2nd Violins; Violas.
      It would seem conceivable that having some Cb's and some C-naturals was intended. There are somewhat similar conflicts in the music of Mahler, for instance. However, it would seem unlikely that this was intended here: for a start, if it had been intended, very likely all the C's (flat and natural) would have been marked with an accidental, in order to forestall the possibility of players interpreting the note as a misprint; and there is nothing about this passage to suggest that such an unusual effect is intended, it being a relatively ordinary passage, harmonically speaking.
      [E.S.:] The issue of the C flats instead of C naturals, for example, is very straightforward - it's in the parts. Every recording I have (and I have three) and performance (I've been to three) has the orchestra playing a chord of A flat minor.

* p. 95, 2 Hrf. (1st of two pairs of staves so labelled), clef at start of staff:
      Error: The treble clef on the lower of the two staves should be a bass clef.
      Reason: The notes in the staff fit the harmony only if a bass clef is assumed. A natural sign shown is also superfluous if the notes are read in the treble clef, but essential if read in the bass clef.


* p. 100, I. Gge., bar 7:
      Error: In the second beamed group of notes (3rd quaver in the bar), the last note should be Ab, not Bb.
      Reason: The harmony is Ab major at this point, and there is nothing about the passage that suggests that a non-harmonic note is suitable, or intended. The preceding and following figures in the same part are very similar, and all the notes belong to the relevant harmony.

* p. 101, 4 Pos., 1. 2., bar 1:
      Error: The beam connecting the first two notes extends a little way backwards, as if notes in the previous system are included in the beamed group, going across the bar-line; but if you look at the corresponding staff in the previous system, no notes are indicated to belong to the beamed group - there is just a single quaver with a flag, not a beam. Therefore the beam for the two notes should not extend backwards, but just begin with the first note of the bar.
      Reason: I considered the possibility that the last note in the previous bar should have a beam extending forwards across the bar-line. Indeed, this would seem reasonably plausible, considering the articulation notated, and the fact that the two notes in this bar and the last note in the preceding bar do seem to form a group. But an examination of other brass parts in the preceding and following bars, which contain very similar groups of notes, shows that, even when motifs go across bar-lines, they are not beamed over any bar-lines. Schoenberg could have plausibly done so, but didn't - so I assume that in this case it wasn't intended either, but is merely a misprint.

* p. 101, Ktrbss.-Pos., Ktrbss.-Ta., bar 1:
      Error: It is not clear what instrument is meant to play the single note in this bar.
      Reason: [E.S.] Looks like I might have an error in the Second Part. Just been looking at Page 101 and there is one note in bar one of the contrabass trombone/tuba line. Judging by the fact that the stem is going up, it could be for contrabass trombone, but I doubt it because the only brass instrument doubling it at the octave is the lowerwost bass Wagner tuba and the bass trombone (in Eb). Looking back at the second last bar of the previous page, there is a small passage for bass trombone and contrabass tuba in octaves that is clearly marked. I am assuming that this is also meant to be the case for the pianissimo note in bar one of page 101.
      [M.J.E.:] I agree with Edward Solomon that the note should be played by the Contrabass Tuba. However, I must admit that I don't see how the choice of instruments to play the note is affected by what the lowermost bass Wagner Tuba and the Bass Trombone in Eb are doing, so my agreement is not influenced by this. Perhaps it's a fine point about proper balance within the brass section that I don't appreciate, but which I'm sure Edward does. But my agreement with him is based on the analogy he mentions with the short passage played a few bars earlier by the Contrabass Trombone and Contrabass Tuba.
      Edward considered the question of whether the direction of the stem of the note in question gave information about what instrument should play the note - and then considered that other factors overrode this. I agree with this reasoning - but I don't actually think the direction of the stem conveys anything at all.
      Unless the number of lines of notes and/or rests in a part tallies with the number of instruments the staff is labelled with, notes on a staff should at all times be clearly labelled with the instrument that is intended to play them, so that there is not the slightest doubt about what instrument should play every single note. But, provided this is done, it is accepted practice that a single note on a multi-instrument staff can go either up or down, following the usual rules about stem direction on a staff containing only a single line of notes. If there are fewer parts on a staff than the number of instruments listed for the staff, then the direction of a stem does not provide information on what instrument is playing the note in question, but merely leaves the matter ambiguous.

? p. 106, bar 8, brass staves:
      Error: Possibly the brass should remove mutes at this point, and play unmuted to the end of the movement.
      Reason: The passage in question is, as far as the score indicates, to be played with the entire brass section muted, because instructions to use mutes are given one and two pages earlier, and no instruction appears here to remove them. But Edward Solomon, who has access to the brass parts (which I don't have access to), tells me the following:
      [E.S.]: The brass parts all indicate that the last passage in Teil II, three bars after figure 9, is unmuted. However, the score is unequivocal in that the brass remain muted. The recent EMI recording (Rattle/Berlin Philharmonic) resolves this by checking all these inaccuracies and the brass remain muted. I can only assume that the score is correct here.


? p. 107, 1st system, bar 8, 2 Ten.-Ta. (Es) m. Dpf. (Wagner tubas), 2 Bss.-Ta. (B) m. Dpf. (Wagner tubas), Ktrbss.-Ta. m. Dpf.:
      Error: There is at least a slight question about whether the passage that begins here should be muted.
      Reason [E.S.]: I have also seen the Wagner tuben and the contrabass tuba play the veiled muted passage at the beginning of Teil III (at figure 1) without mutes, though that is probably due to the inability of certain groups to obtain mutes for the tuben, as they are something of a rarity. All large professional orchestras generally adhere to the letter of the score.

* p. 110, bar 5, Ktrbss.-Pos., Ktrbss.-Ta. - 2nd of two tied notes in lower part:
      Error: The lower part (Ktrbss.-Ta.) shows an E-nat. connected with a curved line to a Gb. The Gb should be an E, which will be natural because of the earlier natural sign in front of the first E. The curved line would in that event be read as a tie, not a slur.
      Reason: The harmony is E major, and Gb makes no sense here. All other parts which start the bar on E either stay on E or move to other notes which belong to an E-major triad.

* p. 114, 1st system, bar 5, Ktrbss., upper of two staves marked "die übrigen in zwei gl. Hälften":
      Error: The second beamed group of notes, E-E-G, should be E-F#-G.
      Reason: These notes are part of an ostinato pattern that repeats many times in two different double-bass parts, with the rhythm staggered between the two parts. There is no reason to think that any one occurrence of this pattern should be different.

* p. 115, 2nd system, bars 1-2, Pos. u. Ktrbss.-Ta.:
      Error: I don't necessarily see any error here, although there could be several ways of interpreting what instruments are meant to play what notes.
      Reason: This was brought to my attention by Edward Solomon of the British Trombone Society. I will, for the time being, present what he says - but I wish to correspond with him about this further before giving a conclusive explanation. Meanwhile, here is what he says, followed by my own view of this:
      [E.S.:] This passage is marked for contrabass and bass trombones (contra joins the bass to complete the phrase). I checked the part, which has nothing, the line in question being for tuba. The score clearly indicates contrabass trombone, although on a staff marked "Pos. u. Ktrbss.-Ta.". So the line reads, from rehearsal figure 8, bass trombone for 2 bars, bass trombone and contrabss trombone for 2 bars, trombones 3 & 4 for one bar and trombone 4 and tuba for one bar. I am fairly certain that I've heard the tuba playing that little two bar entry with the bass trombone (pretty exposed, as it happens), though there's no reason why it couldn't be contrabass trombone instead. The staff makes provision for it and I think it makes sense. In this case, the score could be correct, but on the strength of the other errors, it seems unlikely, particularly as this passage and subsequent bars leading up to 11 appear to be restricted to the "4 Tenorbassposaunen" and tuba. In conclusion, therefore, these two bars should read 4th trombone and tuba.
      [M.J.E.:] My response:
      I must admit I don't quite follow your reasoning here. Your reasoning on other points has always seemed so obvious that I feel sure I must be misunderstanding it now - but I need to ask you further about this.
      After considering the various possibilities, you conclude that the two bars in question are to be played by the 4th Tenor-Bass Trombone and Contrabass Tuba, thus making *both* instrument markings in the two bars wrong (Bass Trombone (Eb) and Contrabass Trombone).
      But what about the preceding bars, 2 bars after figure 8? They are clearly marked "Bss.-Pos.", and that phrase obviously continues into the contentious bars, which must surely then mean that the notation "Bss.-Pos." for the upper part is correct? So why do you think it must be the 4th Tenor-Bass Trombone? Do you think the marking "Bss.-Pos." in the previous system containing figure 8 is *also* incorrect? And, if so, why? (You would also have to square that with the fact that, before figure 8, there is another staff containing Tenor-Bass Trombones 3 and 4, and they are actually playing notes at the beginning of that system.)
      This is the way I would reason things: In the system containing figure 8, the notation "Bss.-Pos." is correct. That part continues into the following system (which begins with the two contentious bars), so that "Bss.-Pos." for the upper part is correct.
      As for the lower part which enters on the second beat, I can't see any real way of deciding between "Ktrbss.-Pos." and "Ktrbss.-Ta.". I see no reason why "Ktrbss.-Pos.", as notated beneath the stave, couldn't be correct. It is obvious that, in this score, related instruments sometimes share a staff, and care has not always been taken to make sure they are all listed in the margin, at the beginning of the staff, as they should be. And the "Ktrbss.-Ta.", which *is* indicated in the margin, obviously refers to the passage in the third-last bar in the system, lower part, against which the marking "Ktrbss.-Ta." is repeated.
      While there may be other ways of taking it, it is not completely obvious to me that there is any error in this passage at all except for the failure to include "Ktrbss.-Pos." in the left margin at the beginning of the staff.

* p. 121, "Bss.-Ta.", beginning of staff in both systems:
* p. 122, "Bss.-Ta.", beginning of staff in first system:
* p. 140, "Bss.-Ta.", beginning of staff in first system:
* p. 147, "Bss.-Ta.", beginning of staff in second system:
* p. 149, "Bss.-Ta.", beginning of staff in both systems:
* p. 150, "Bss.-Ta.", beginning of staff in both systems:
* p. 151, "Bss.-Ta.", beginning of staff in first system:
* p. 152, "Bss.-Ta.", beginning of staff in second system:
* p. 154, "Bss.-Ta.", beginning of staff in both systems:
      Error [E.S.]: "Bss.-Ta." should read "Ktr.-Bss.-Ta.".
      Reason [M.J.E.]: The list of instruments at the beginning of the score does not include anything labelled "Bss.-Ta.". The only kind of Tuba listed is labelled "Ktr.-Bss.-Ta.", which is presumably a deeper-pitched instrument than the standard Bass Tuba which "Bss.-Ta." would imply.

* p. 123, 3 Klar. (A), bars 4-5:
      Error: Both bars consist of the same 3-note semibreve chord, played by 3 Clarinets. The top one is marked as a trill with a wavy line extending the trill through both bars. Probably the lower two notes should have trill signs and wavy lines.
      Reason: All the other woodwind parts which are not resting at this point have similar trills, including ones which are doubling all three Clarinet notes at the unison, and it seems likely all three Clarinets were intended to trill also. It would be usual to use trill signs and wavy lines for each part that trills, and not to assume the one sign applies to the entire staff. (Doing this would be ambiguous, because there would then be no way of being sure how many of the Clarinets were intended to trill.)

? p. 123, Woodwind, bars 4-5:
      Error: These two bars consist of woodwind trills, similar to the preceding three bars, which also contain long trills tied over bar-lines. It seems likely that all the semibreves in these two bars, in all woodwind parts, should be tied together, as in those previous two bars.
      Reason: The woodwind trills in these two bars appear in all respects exactly parallel to the trills in the preceding three bars, only the positioning of the trills within the bars differing, and it appears that these trills are intended to be continuous, as with the preceding trills. It would seem likely, therefore, that the notes in these trills should be tied together, just like the previous three bars.
      It might seem to some to make no difference, since in either case, the notes continue trilling, whether the ties are present or not. And indeed some composers don't use ties to join notes which are trilled, even though it appears certain that the trill is to be regarded as a continuous trill. But some commentators believe a difference could be interpreted according to whether the ties are present or not, and that the absence of ties would indicate a fresh attack on the second note, while the trill continues. In any case, it appears that Schoenberg does use ties for long tied notes, so the omission of ties here would appear possibly to be an oversight.

* p. 131, II. Chor, Tenor I. II., bar 4 - first note:
      Error: The first note is written G-Bb (sung by the two Tenor parts). The G should be an F.
      Reason: G doesn't fit the harmony. All other parts which double the lower Tenor part have F at this point rather than G (for instance, 3rd and 7th Horns).

* p. 142, second system, unlabelled staff below "Alt.-Pos.", and "Ktr.-Bss.-Ta." below that, beginning of these staves:
      Error [E.S.]: Second system should include "1. 2. Pos." on staff below "Alt.-Pos."; and "3. 4. Pos." on same staff as "Ktr.-Bss.-Ta.", as in the first system.
      Reason [M.J.E.]: The labelling for these staves is either absent or incomplete. Taking account of the number of instruments on these two staves, the instruments suggested by Edward Solomon are the only ones that can fit here.

* p. 147, first system, "2 Pos. m. Dpf.", bars 1 - 2:
      Error [E.S.]: The score does not indicate which of the four tenor-bass trombones these are.
      Reason [E.S.]:Judging by the clef, these must be the third and fourth tenor-bass trombones.

* p. 148, first system, "2. Bss.-Ta. o. Dpf.", bars 4 - 8:
      Error [M.J.E.]: The part is labelled, like several pages noted above, with an instrument not listed in the orchestra. Moreover, even if we assume that "Ktr.-Bss.-Ta." is intended, which seems probable, only one such instrument is listed in the orchestration; but the part on this staff calls for two instruments.
      Opinion on this more expert than my own, from Edward Solomon of the British Trombone Society, favours the 4th Tenor-Bass Trombone for the upper part on this staff.
      [E.S.:] I have checked this passage [in the orchestral parts] and found the answer that eluded us previously. The contrabass trombone part includes a cue for trombone 4 and tuba, so that line should read "4. Pos. u. Ktr-Bss.-Ta. o. Dpf.". In the context of virtually the entire Klaus Narr song, therefore, the scoring for low brass is consistently for 4 tenor-bass trombones and contrabass tuba.
      The orchestral parts definitely explain the whole thing. The passage is written for the 4th tenor-bass trombone and tuba, unmuted, and the 4th tenor-bass trombone then has to re-insert the mute very quickly for the next entry three bars before figure 49. The mutes, in fact, keep going in and out like yo-yos!

      * p. 159, second system, Lower brass, bars 1 - 2, 6:
      Error [M.J.E.]: The Tuba part seems to be divided between two staves quite needlessly - or alternatively (according to how you interpret it) an extra Tuba is called for, although not listed in the orchestration.
      Reason [E.S.]: The score only calls for one contrabass tuba, yet here we find the lower trombones and tuba listed as "3. 4. u. Bss.-Ta." as well as "Ktrbss.-Pos. u. Ktrbss.-Ta. m. Dpf.". Clearly there is some mistake, for there is only one orchestral tuba (discounting the Wagner tuben), although for some inexplicable reason, the tuba finds itself annotated on two different lines in the score at the same time. [M.J.E.: Not simultaneously, but within the same system, only a few bars apart.]
      [E.S.:] A more correct interpretation would be to have the contrabass tuba double the 4th tenor-bass trombone (without mute) on the low A natural, then add the mute and play the low Db on the staff with the contrabass trombone. However, this would necessitate an arrow in the score to indicate that the tuba moves from one staff to another.
      [M.J.E.:] Such an arrow would certainly clarify the matter, but it is unorthodox notation, and I feel it should not be used unless necessary. A much easier way to clarify it would be to decide what staff the Contrabass Tuba should be notated on, and (at least for that system) keep it only on that staff, which of course should be labelled clearly with the precise instrument(s) it carries.

Des Sommerwindes wilde Jagd

Melodram, später gemischter Chor

* p. 185, II. Gge., bar 2:
      Error: The part is marked "3 fach" (short for "3 fach get.) It should merely be marked "get.".
      Reason: Although the passage is marked as being divided into three parts, there are actually only two parts. There are no rests to indicate a third part which is resting. "get.", not "2 fach get." would be the normal German term for division into two parts.

* p. 185, Vcll., bar 2:
      Error: The part should be marked "3 fach get.".
      Reason: The passage is obviously divided, but not marked as such.

* p. 186, bar 2, Br. - 3rd note in lower part:
      Error: The note should be A, not C.
      Reason: The note is in a quaver tremolo passage that alternates two notes: A and C. C obviously breaks this pattern, for no good reason, while A would preserve it.

* p. 186, bar 9, Chor, Baß - lower semibreve:
      Error: The lower note needs a flat sign.
      Reason: The note obviously needs to be Fb, not F. The upper note in the same staff is Fb, and Fb also appears in various other parts at this point. There is nothing about the passage to suggest that a false relation between F and Fb is intended.

* p. 189, I. Gge. and II. Gge., bar 2:
      Error: Both parts should be marked "get.".
      Reason: The passages are obviously divided, but not marked as such.

      I hope this list comes one day to the notice of anyone who might be involved in editing future editions of Gurre-Lieder. If any such people read this, please e-mail me if you think the above list will be of assistance in correcting the edition.
      If any such people who read this really feel I have nothing useful to contribute, and that I am merely duplicating discoveries others have already made, I would appreciate being told this so that I do not waste time searching the score for mistakes.
      But I would very much appreciate feedback or suggestions from anyone who reads this who is familiar with this score, or who might one day be involved in producing future editions of this work.

Michael Edwards,
Victoria, Australia.

Thursday, 10 August, 2000.

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This page written on Thursday, 10 August, 2000;
posted on web site on Monday, 21 August, 2000;
last modified on Thursday, 1 August, 2002.