Of the many Bärenreiter publications in my collection of scores, I now have before me – as an advance copy – the latest: Paul Prévost’s forthcoming new edition of Bizet’s Carmen in its three Opéra comique versions (1874, 1874-75, 1875). These three versions are of equal value, even if in the 1874 version Carmen’s opening aria was not yet the famous Habanera which Bizet was only later to borrow from a foreign composition, but a piece of music he had composed himself.
The new Carmen edition is a musicological tour de force. In its objectivity it invites us, the performer, to subjective interpretations, because it is made with great love – completely in keeping with the other Bärenreiter editions.
The courage of the publisher to produce (complete) editions of composers who are still played far too rarely – I am thinking of Cavalli and Telemann – because they are in the shadow of canonized geniuses, can never be praised too highly.
Here’s to a further hundred years!