The long-awaited Critical Edition of Stefan Wolpe's Four Studies on Basic Rows has just been released by Theodore Presser. This edition was edited and proof-read by Austin Clarkson and David Holzman and contains a Preface by Clarkson and a five-page Notes for the Performer by Holzman. The score is available directly from www.presser.com or from your favorite dealer. Excerpts provided below:

Excerpt I (from On Rhythm):

Study No.3 The rhythmic challenges of this Study are daunting. Changes of speed, meter and note value vary from measure to measure at presto speed. Metronome changes from mm.52-69 are neither 'tightening' nor 'rebukes', rather, they are unannounced and irrational leaps into different time zones and mind states. Measures 122-150 are even more frightening. The only way a performer can stay on top, especially given the thick chordal leaps, is to hear in quarter notes or smaller chunks of time (such as the 4/16) of m.125). From ms.135 on, each bar should be heard as a single entity regardless of the meter. One cannot suddenly feel a triplet in a different speed by subdividing the beat. Similarly, one can use the metronome to gauge Wolpe's suggested speeds, but ultimately these changes are faster or slower thrusts as feel most meaningful.

Excerpt II (from On Texture):

The Passacaglia presents these challenges from the first bar to the last and thus requires the most imaginative and difficult solutions. The work is largely in three voices, with the cantus sustained in high, middle, or low register. Lines of different speed, touch, color and shape hover both above and below the cantus. To bring out these unique textures requires an effortless mastery of these techniques and the entire panoply of dynamics and colors. This is also a mental challenge, as one must think well ahead of oneself to make these gestures second natures.

An additional factor is utterly indispensable, namely, the frequent and at times very subtle use of the middle pedal.....



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