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ERRATA LIST FOR PRINCESS IDA

(Chappell Piano/Vocal Score)

In preparing this list, I have adopted three principal modi operandi: First, I made as minute a comparison as I could between what I believe are the two most commonly used scores: the older, small-print Chappell vocal score (copyright 1911), and the more recent large-print Chappell score (which shows no copyright date). Second, I studied both scores during repeated listenings to the 1965 D'Oyly Carte recording of the opera (the only one I own at present). And third, I made a note of all issues that I could not immediately resolve through either of the first two means, and availed myself of the kind assistance of the ever-helpful members of Savoynet — principally Marc Shepherd and Larry Byler, the former possessing a photocopy of Sullivan's autograph score, the latter having access to the Kalmus orchestra parts.

The large-print edition is one which I cannot personally recommend, though many singers doubtless find the larger printing and the modernized notation (replacing the old-style quarter rests, which look like inverted eighth rests, with modern quarter rests) convenient for rehearsal use. Pianists, on the other hand, have reason to prefer the older score, to avoid the frequent page-turns imposed by the newer one. Speaking as a pianist myself, I venture to believe that most accompanists would far rather contend with a few inverted eighth rests — a notational practice which, once one has grasped the basic idea, really isn't at all difficult to read — than grapple with the increased performance difficulty created by the presence of 39 extra page turns. In addition to the fact that the 68 page turns in the small-print are, by and large, better planned for the pianist's convenience, the large-print edition — whose purported purpose is an increased legibility — suffers from extremely poor layout, both for notation and lyrics. The notation was frequently done without regard for the presence of accidentals, which are often squeezed in, in a miniscule font, as if placed there at the last moment during a second round of editing (which is probably exactly what happened). The lyrics were obviously done separately from the notation, after the latter was completed, and in many places do not fit into the score at all, protruding beyond the end of a system, or with spare words typed above or below the main line of text, trusting that the singer will correctly interpret where to place them. The font is ungraceful, typed on an old-style typewriter which lacked exclamation points (those being unconvincingly created by means of typing a period, the back space key, and an apostrophe), and lyrics originally written in italics are instead underlined. Above and beyond all that, the edition introduces a large number of new musical and linguistic errors. In a very few cases it corrects old errors, but for the most part it's really quite a shoddy presentation, and I include it in this list mainly because its use is so widespread. The small-print edition was done with professionalism and attention to detail, and there's really no comparison between the two.

To differentiate between the Small-Print and Large-Print editions, I will use the following formula in presenting each issue:

SP: a/b/c
LP: x/y/z

SP represents Small-Print edition; LP (in red) represents Large-Print. a/b/c and x/y/z represent page/system/measure numbers for each edition.

The "owner" of a given issue is identified by character name (e.g., Hilarion), by chorus part (e.g., Soprano) or by RH or LH for Right-Hand or Left-Hand piano parts. If an issue applies to the piano part in general, irrespective of which hand is playing, I simply write "Piano." The note or rest at issue is identified by "n1" for the first note in the bar in question, by "r2" for the second rest in the bar, etc. Notes sounded simultaneously within a single staff are all counted as one note for initial identification; issues with specific notes are then clarified.

The issues are presented in the following categories:

  1. ERRORS/ISSUES IN THE VOCAL PARTS
  2. ERRORS/ISSUES IN THE PIANO PART
  3. ERRORS IN SMALL-PRINT ONLY
  4. ERRORS IN LARGE-PRINT ONLY
  5. GRAMMAR, SPELLING, LINGUISTIC QUIBBLES
  6. MISCELLANEOUS
Thus, all issues in parts 1 and 2 (which apply to both editions) can be noted initially. The reader can then continue with either part 3 or part 4, depending on which edition he or she possesses. Within parts 3 and 4, vocal issues are shown first, followed by piano issues. Part 5 contains, in general, issues that are less seriously detrimental, and more "nitpicky" in nature. Part 5 may apply to either or both editions, and is organized in the same order as parts 1-4: First, issues that are identical in both editions, then issues for small-print only, and finally issues for large-print only. Part 6 is for any other issues I wasn't able to categorize, and currently contains only one minor issue. All other contributions to that or any other section are welcomed, and will be added to the list with due credit given to the contributor (provided I agree with his/her findings!).

Again, I must particularly acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Marc Shepherd, who patiently answered many questions with reference to the autograph score, and even went to the trouble of creating a PDF file showing the complete orchestration of the "Walls and fences scaling" section, for my study purposes. Without his help, any level of completeness and authority this study may have could not have been attained. However, any errors it may contain (whether typographical or judgmental) are entirely my own.

— Steven Lichtenstein
MusikDrama@aol.com

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