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Britain’s pioneer of the New Brahms Complete Edition dead

Inconceivable without him: the “Johannes Brahms New Complete Edition”, published by G. Henle Verlag and edited in the Brahms Forschungszentrum (Brahms research center) of the department of musicology of Kiel University. British Brahms researcher Robert Pascall, born in Colwyn Bay, Wales, in 1944, edited the four symphonies, including Brahms’ piano-four-hand arrangements. These seven weighty volumes of the Brahms Complete Edition were published between 1996 and 2013 by G. Henle Verlag, Munich. The new conductor’s scores and orchestral parts, jointly published by Henle and Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden, follow this musical text. Thus, the historical-critical editions that were so exactly and meticulously worked on by Pascall in cooperation with the research center in Kiel have asserted their existence also in the international music world. For instance, new recordings, such as the Brahms symphonies performed by the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi are based on the new edition.

Pascall, who studied musicology and organ at Oxford University, taught at the universities of Nottingham and Bangor (Wales), and was honorary professor of Cambridge University. He also supported the new Brahms Complete Edition as vice chairman of the Brahms Trägerverein and as a member of the editorial board, and was significantly involved in the development of the generally acknowledged editorial guidelines. Most recently, he edited Brahms’ Viennese performance versions of Bach cantatas. They are soon to be published within the Complete Edition.

Robert Pascall died on June 9 in Nottingham (England) at the age of 74. G. Henle Verlag, the Brahms Forschungszentrum Kiel and the international world of musicology mourn the loss of a great and inspirational Brahms scholar.


Dr. Michael Struck

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