Despite its unusual form - a structure with two sections, each comprising two movements that are to be played without interruption - this work from 1875 enjoyed great success from the start. In its balanced proportion of solo part to orchestra, it corresponds almost perfectly to the model of the “symphonic concerto” and numbers among the most popular concerti by this French composer. For the first edition of 1877, no less a figure than Gabriel Fauré undertook the piano transcription of the orchestral part - an optimal basis for Johannes Umbreit’s piano reduction for the first Urtext edition ever of this work. As for the Piano Concerti no. 2 and no. 5 already issued by Henle, Pascal Rogé, one of the greatest experts on Saint-Saëns’ piano works, also provided the fingerings for this edition.
G. Henle Publishers stands for Urtext sheet music of the highest quality. The Urtext editions not only provide the undistorted and authoritative musical text but are also aesthetically pleasing, optimised for practical use and extremely durable. And then there is the strong, distinctive blue profile: (almost) all of the Urtext editions are bound in the characteristic blue cardboard.
Musicians trust Henle's blue Urtext editions because they:
- provide an undistorted, reliable and authoritative musical text
- offer superb, aesthetically appealing music engraving
- are optimized for practical use (page turns, fingerings)
- are of high quality and durable (cover, paper, binding)
- contain a short preface that introduces the work (particularly useful for AMEB exams) in German, English and French, as well as explanatory footnotes for particularly interesting passages in the score
- contain a description of the sources, an evaluation of the sources, readings and a documentation of the corrections made (= "Critical Report") in German and English, and often also in French