I am looking to buy a copy of the English Suites, and need an urtext edition. Normally I'd just go to the music store and buy the book; however, they only have the Henle edition, and being a student, I don't really have to spend $45 on a book. Can you recommend any other good urtext edition?

4 Answers 4


Good quality Urtexts tend to be expensive... A quick check suggests that Henle, Vienna and Bärenreiter are all similarly priced while Peters is a little cheaper.

The Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe is an old Urtext whose quality, they say, varies a lot. According to Wikipedia the parts edited by W. Rust should be of good quality and it just happens that the suites are edited by him (althought there seems to be a corrected version available, too). You can get this (and the corrected version) for free on IMSLP. There is also a Dover book available which is quite cheap and contains a lot more (but at least my copy is impossible to keep open).

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    Yes I have a similar problem with Dover books... When laying them flat they work great, but as soon as you put them at an angle they refuse to stay open until they have a good crease. I'll take a look at the Ausgabe, as long as I can get a preview of how the inside looks. Aug 17, 2014 at 22:23
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    Truth. Those Dover books are a great deal, and usually great quality scores, but they're practically worthless without something to hold them open. Aug 17, 2014 at 22:24
  • I had the spines shorn from mine and got them spiral-bound, at an office supply store that also does printing. A 2 mm plastic spiral through holes spaced about 5 mm apart. Works great, but does occasionally dribble chaff. Dec 21, 2020 at 16:16

I've found new and used books at Amazon US (if that's your location) for ~$10 (Peters, Henle) if you go with half the suites (no. 1-3 or 4-6).

Searching for "Englische Suiten" appears to result in more hits...


I found an Urtext edition by an Italian publisher, also available at Amazon: here. I can't comment on the publisher, since I never heard or seen something from it before.

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    Not much of a recommendation then, eh? Aug 20, 2014 at 19:27

ABRSM (Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music) editions are generally reliable to work from, and somewhat less costly.

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