Finally, we are able to offer one of Rachmaninoff’s most important, most substantial piano works in a meticulous Urtext edition that does justice to the work and to the editorial difficulties it raises. Rachmaninoff was unhappy with the dense textures and the length of his Piano Sonata in b-flat minor, so almost 20 years after its composition and publication he made numerous cuts and “streamlined” it – though this has been criticised by pianists down to the present day. For this reason, it is mostly the first version that is played today – or even a mixture of the two versions such as Vladimir Horowitz used to perform (albeit with the permission of the composer).
This Henle Urtext edition contains both versions by Rachmaninoff in their entirety and also takes into account the autograph in the Moscow Glinka Museum. As in all the Rachmaninoff editions in the catalogue of G. Henle Publishers, the fingerings here are by Marc-André Hamelin, one of the outstanding pianists of our time.