Brahms’ popular 16 “Waltzes”, opus 39, composed in 1866 for four hands, were transcribed by Brahms one year later for two hands. At the request of his publisher, Brahms also wrote an easier version of the work for solo piano. Brahms himself described the first version as suitable for "reasonable hands", that is for proficient players, and the easier version as "perhaps for prettier hands", that is, for domestic music-making. He initially described the latter version to his publisher as a "children’s edition". The catchy and musically easily accessible pieces are among the composer’s most popular works and are particularly suitable for piano students and lovers of the Romantic repertoire.
Both versions of the “Waltzes” op. 39 (BA 9602, BA 9603) are available in separate editions and form an important contribution to Bärenreiter’s series of Brahms’s works in scholarly-critical Urtext editions. Both editions include fingering, a well-presented musical layout and optimum page-turns. The Urtext editions are complemented by explanations on performance practice used by Brahms, an informative foreword on the genesis, sources and significance of the works together with comments on the primary sources.
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