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I'm a bit confused. The first and third movements in the 2 editions I have of the K 545 sonata have no difference at all.

But the second movement has a difference in the development section. Both editions are from the same people who published 19 Sonatas for the Piano where K 545 is Sonata I.

The older edition I have has a few bars of false recapitulation before the whole development repeats. The newer edition doesn't have that, just a true recapitulation after the G minor development.

Why the difference though? I can understand that different editors emphasize different things about Mozart and the only way to get everything is to look at Mozart's original manuscript which I doubt exists anymore for this sonata. I can also understand minor differences from 1 edition to another.

But this is the case of 2 editions from the same publisher being significantly different. Why?

  • I've seen some pretty disgusting differences between editions for other pieces. The key signature differences between editions of Chopin's Heroic Polonaise are bad enough (I've seen both an A flat major key signature and an E major key signature being used for that infamous section where Chopin modulates down a semitone from E major), but tens of bars of introduction being in the urtext but not another edition of Liszt's Csardas Macabre is even worse. – Dekkadeci Aug 2 '18 at 5:37
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    So you're saying that the difference I see in the 2 editions I have of the K 545 sonata(false recapitulation and a repeat of the whole development vs going straight into a true recapitulation), while it might seem significant is not all that major compared to differences seen in some other pieces – Caters Aug 2 '18 at 5:59
  • @Dekkadeci Don't forget that both Chopin and Liszt endlessly revised most of their pieces, and there are many manuscripts of "the same piece" in the composer's handwriting with significant differences between them. Often there is no way to make an objective decision as to what the "final" or "best" version of a piece actually is. (Not that all 19th-century editors and publishers were saints attempting an impossible task, though - in some cases, they were quite happy to add their own "improvements" to what they published!) – user19146 Aug 2 '18 at 12:12
  • @Caters I'm lost - why do you think the second movement of K545 is in sonata form? It's just a rondo IMO. I can't make sense of your description in terms of "development", "false recapitulation", etc. – user19146 Aug 2 '18 at 12:17
  • @Caters You got it. – Dekkadeci Aug 2 '18 at 14:30
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If you want to find out what Mozart actually wrote (or the best approximation you can get to that given the current state of musicological research) then go to an authoritative source such as the Neue Mozart Ausgabe - http://dme.mozarteum.at/DME/nma.

Schirmer's "editions" are just photographic reprints of whatever out-of-copyright edition they feel like reprinting, and often they don't tell you what the original edition was. Their musicological value is zero. They used to have the advantage of being cheap, but since the internet they don't even have that advantage, compared with https://imslp.org/ (which contains much more material than Schirmer, often including the first published edition and/or the composer's original manuscript).

There's little point copying the NMA edition here, since it's easy to find either from the NMA website or from IMSLP (and IMSLP has seven different editions - all free - if you want to cherry-pick the one that suits your individual ideas about how the piece should go!)

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