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  • 1 Hungarian Academy of Sciences Bartók Archives, Institute of Musicology Research Centre for the Humanities Táncsics Mihály u. 7 H-1014 Budapest Hungary
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The concept of the historisch-kritische Gesamtausgabe series of the 1950s (the New Bach, Mozart, Haydn, etc., editions) is rightly questioned today. Not least because for the sake of making an impeccable text of a scholarly edition a certain kind of selfdefensive attitude of editors had priority over the interest of the intelligent user: the text should be eternally valid, the editor would not take the responsibility to answer justifiable questions of the performer. In case of 20th-century composers the source chain of a work from sketches to the printed and revised version(s) is not only much better documented than in the music of Baroque and Classical masters, but some composers (Schoenberg, etc.) explained their special use of performance instructions. In this respect Bartók is an intriguing and well-studied case, however, performers are often mislead by contradictory information or supposed authentic traditions. The forthcoming complete critical edition will offer two texts in each volume — not within the Critical Commentaries but before the score On Bartók’s Notation (partly standard, partly genre-oriented basic information), and Editorial Notes for the Performer (on each composition in the volume).