This is a practical performing edition of Edgard Varèse’s 1923 work Octandre, now in the US public domain. I conducted it when I was fresh out of college, and I know that it ends up on many conducting recitals and student concerts of modern music, so I am offering these .pdfs at what I consider to be a thoroughly reasonable price point.
I have been meticulous in engraving Varèse’s ridiculously overwrought notation. I have also made a few editorial decisions:
- I have translated a few tiny things from French into English or Italian.
- I have changed Varèse’s “old style” notation in the horn bass clef (sounding a fourth up) to “new style” notation (sounding a fifth down, as it does in treble clef.)
- I have clarified the notation for the string bass harmonics.
- I have swapped the positions of the oboe and clarinet from Varèse’s original score.
- I have dispensed with several of Varèse’s redundant markings such as courtesy accidentals and repeated “con sord.” markings.
- I have included bar numbers and changed Varèse’s rehearsal numbers to rehearsal letters. These are continuous through the three movements of the work so as to remove ambiguity in rehearsal.
If you purchase the materials and would like to check me on my work, I encourage you to do so. You can find the score of the original edition freely available on imslp. Please email me with any corrections.
Octandre is a potent work that packs a wallop into its short running time. I think it merits its place in the canon of 20th century masterpieces, and I hope that this practical performing edition will be used widely.