Chou Wen-chung

Octandre (1923)

Octandre (1923) was first published by J. Curwen & Sons of London in 1924. The Curwen edition is also provided with an Errata that contains some, but not all, of the numerous misprints and omissions. In 1956, a new edition was published by G. Ricordi & Co., New York. It was, however, only a reissue of the Curwen edition with corrections and some revisions and additions by Varèse. These, as well as other changes made by Varèse, are found in the manuscript and in a copy of the Curwen edition the cover of which prominently bears not only Varèse’s signature and address but also the words “Reference Copy” in his handwriting in both black and red ink and the words “include Errata” (which refers to the Curwen Errata with some modifications).

The changes made by Varèse in the manuscript are not numerous and concern mostly tempi and dynamics; they are in pencil and red ink and appear to be all in Varèse’s handwriting. There are, on the other hand, considerably more corrections and revisions in the reference copy, mostly in pencil or red ink, a few in red or blue pencil. Some of these markings, which fortunately are not particularly relevant to the editing of the music, are probably not in Varèse’s handwriting.

For the present edition, aside from the obvious misprints, references are made to the markings in both the manuscript and the reference copy.


V — Varèse; MS — manuscript; CE — Curwen Edition; RE — Ricordi Edition; RC — reference copy. Abbreviations for instruments are the same as in score; all page and measure numbers refer to this edition.

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