Chapter 3

An Analysis and Comparison of Feuermann's

Performance Edition of the Schumann Concerto


Feuermann made three commercial performance editions, the Schumann concerto [1], the Boccherini Adagio and Allegro from the Sonata No. 6 [2], and the Mozart concerto, formerly K. 314, transcribed for cello by George Szell [3]. In this chapter, we will examine Feuermann's choice of fingerings and bowings. We will examine the type of fingering patterns chosen (e.g. 1 3 4 vs. 1 2 4, etc...), from which finger to which finger shifts are made and the placement of shifts -both in respect to the rhythmic structure and in respect to the overlying phrase. We will also examine Feuermann's use of slurs (i.e. does he slur notes under the same bow to a greater or lesser extent than the other editors?), his choice in the placement of up and down-bows, and his choice in the placement of bow changes, both rhythmically and within the phrase.

As the objective is to understand what it is that Feuermann does differently from other cellists, and there are no other editions of the Mozart concerto transcription to compare with, and the only readily available editions of the Boccherini are by Stutschewsky and Forino, whose playing styles are less well known, we will focus our attention on the Schumann concerto, which has several performing editions created by well known performers. We will compare Feuermann's edition with those of Stutschewsky, Rose and Schiff [4], representing three distinct generations of performers.

Certain basic assumptions are made in this discussion to follow: A change of bow between notes creates at least a small accent, compared to slurring the same notes. Similarly a change of position in the left hand, whether silent or with a glissando, creates some degree of emphasis on the arrival note. The type of sound and emphasis created by a shift varies depending on the type of shift, particularly depending on whether the shift is from a higher finger to a lower, on the same finger, or from a lower finger to a higher. With descending shifts, the type of hand motion required is the exact reverse of the ascending shift (i.e. 1-3 ascending is the mirror opposite of 3-1 descending). Shifting to or from a harmonic, for which the string is not completely depressed, eliminates some of the emphasis created by the shift and simplifies the mechanics of the shifting. Shifting from an open string allows much more time for the shift since the hand can begin moving towards the destination note immediately following the conclusion of the note prior to the open string. Extensions, in which the hand is stretched to reach a note without leaving its original position, do not necessarily create the emphasis that a change of position would. While most cellists do generally attempt to minimize accents resulting from change of bow and left hand position, some degree of emphasis is heard from all cellists.

Feuermann's editions of the Schumann and Boccherini are unique in their use of a "//" symbol to indicate a break or small separation. While it is interesting to note Feuermann's placement of these symbols, we can not contrast it with what other editors might or might not have chosen, since no other edition uses this indication. Still, by observing their placement in the complete editions (in appendix II), one can gain a better understanding of Feuermann's desired use of separation, and from this, also some idea of his desired use of legato. Since an in depth analysis and comparison of the complete Schumann edition would become both repetitive and unwieldy, we will concentrate on three excerpts, one from each movement: the opening through letter A (mm.5-34) in the first movement, the complete second movement (mm.282-319), and a portion of the third movement from just before letter T until letter U (mm.630-668).

In order to better understand the musical perspective of the other three performance editions, it is useful to know something of the background of the editors.

Joachim Stutschewsky (1892-1982) was born in the Ukraine and studied with Julius Klengel (who was also later Feuermann's teacher) from 1909-12, and then moved to Vienna, where he was a member of the Kolisch quartet and in close association with Schoenberg, Berg and Webern. Following the Nazi occupation of Austria in 1938, he emigrated to Palestine, where he lived for the remainder of his life. He wrote a four volume work on cello technique and a history of cello playing, in addition to numerous compositions, transcriptions and editions.

Leonard Rose (1918-1984) was born in Washington, D.C. and studied first with his cousin Frank Miller in New York and then with Felix Salmond at the Curtis Institute. He later held posts as assistant principal cellist of the NBC Symphony and principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. In 1951 he left the New York Philharmonic post to pursue a solo career, which he continued for the remainder of his life. In addition, he taught actively at both Juilliard and Curtis and edited a large portion of the cello repertoire for International Music. Most of these editions are currently still in print and in common use.

Heinrich Schiff (1951- ) was born in Gmunden, Austria and studied cello with Tobias Kühne in Vienna, and then later Andre Navarra in Detmold. He won competitions in Geneva, Vienna and Warsaw and since has appeared as soloist with orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic, The Concertgebouw and the Royal Philharmonic. He made his U.S. debut in 1981 with the Cleveland Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis. He performs a wide repertory of works including the Henze concerto, which was written for him and two concertos by Vieuxtamps, which he discovered. In addition to his performing career, Schiff is active as a conductor.

The approximate dates the editions were published are Stutschewsky's c.1940 [5], Feuermann's in 1939, Rose's in 1960 and Schiff's in 1995.

While some general trends can be seen from a comparison of these editions, certain limitations should be kept in mind in such a comparison. Not every fingering indication is present in any of the editions, creating places where several different fingering alternatives might be plausible for that edition. In these cases, we will generally assume the simplest or most 'obvious' fingering, as was most likely implied. Also, occasionally the editors will give two choices for fingerings or bowings, making it unclear as to which the editor would perform. In the Schumann editions, this is true only of the Stutschewsky and Schiff editions, but Feuermann, too, gives alternative fingering indications in his edition of the Mozart concerto.

Most importantly, these editions might sometimes represent the indications that these performers would make for students studying the work, and this does not necessarily imply that these were the fingerings and bowings which they themselves necessarily used in performance or, even if they did, that they were consistent from performance to performance. While Rose and Schiff have made commercial recordings of the Schumann, Feuermann was never able to do so, nor was Stutschewsky. It is clear from the interviews that Feuermann did mark his student's music with fingerings and bowings, but many of the students also referred to his uncanny ability to play almost any different fingering or bowing and produce the same effect. Mosa Havivi speaks of Feuermann changing fingerings right before a performance. He also remembers writing down Feuermann's bowings for the second movement of the Schumann during a rehearsal, and he believes those bowings to be different from those in the published Feuermann edition. The differences seen in these editions are important and revealing, but can not be considered to provide the complete or only account of the performers' choices of fingerings or bowings.


Since it is not practical or necessarily informative to discuss every single difference in editions, we will discuss only what seems most meaningful, but the sections of each edition discussed are reprinted here to provide a complete reference. The first section we examine is the opening of the first movement (mm.5-34). (scores on pp.109-111)

In the first few measures, the editions are fairly homogeneous, with the only major difference in fingering coming from Stutschewsky's use of 1-1 or, alternately, 2-2 on the first two notes and suggesting 3-1 as one possibility for the descending eighths in measure 7. Only Schiff's bowing is different, suggesting that measure 7 be slurred entirely. In a footnote to the edition he explains that this slurring would be convenient if one were taking Schumann's metronome marking of q = 130, which is faster than today's

common performance practice, and he further suggests slurring mm.5-6 together in one bow. The first major difference in editions, however, comes with Feuermann's slurring of the last quarter of m. 8 into the next three beats of m.9, which the other editors begin with a fresh down-bow and consequent accentuation. Feuermann's choice of bowing produces slightly less accent both on the pickup to and down-beat of m.9. After this, Stutschewsky follows the same slurring as Feuermann until m.13, but with the reverse bowing. Rose and Schiff, however, take the down-beat of m.13 on an up-bow, like Feuermann, despite being reversed to him earlier. They achieve this by breaking the slurring of the eighth and triplets in m.11, though Schiff has an alternate version (again for a quick tempo, he explains) in which he instead slurs the last two beats of m.11 into m.12. In m.13, all the editors but Stutschewsky separate the last beat from the preceding note, but in the following septuplet an interesting divergence is seen. Feuermann places the bow change on the third beat D, the arrival point of the septuplets. Stutschewsky and Rose place the change on the D, the second note of the septuplets. The accent this creates, in conjunction with the first note of the septuplets being tied to the previous note, makes it seem as if the D is actually the start of a delayed group of sextuplets. Schiff places the up-bow on the last septuplet, Bb, but this seems as if it might be a misprint, since he changes, like Feuermann, on the note following the septuplets when the similar passage is played in m.18.

The only major difference in fingering in mm.9-14 is Feuermann's fingering of the eighth and triplet passage in m.11 on the D string. All the other cellists ascend on the A string, which is much brighter but requires the shift to fall on the third triplet, whereas with Feuermann's fingering it falls on the first triplet note, directly on the second beat. Stutschewsky offers two slides from 2-2, in mm.11 and 13, which seem more prevalent in his fingerings than in the fingerings of the others .

Feuermann's fingering in m.15 is noticeably different from the others in his shifting to 4 on the last eighth of m.15, eliminating the shift (and consequent emphasis) that the other three make on the down-beat of m.16. Feuermann takes the last beat of m.18 and down-beat of m.19 on the D string, while Stutschewsky makes the large shift in order to play it on the A string. Schiff also suggests this approach in his footnotes, though his marking is for the D string. In the eight notes that immediately follow, Feuermann (and Stutschewsky) place the shift directly on the fourth beat and first beat of m.20 and make both shifts 1-2, while Rose places them on the second half of the third beat of m.19 and the down-beat of m.20, making 2-3 and then 1-2 shifts. Schiff shifts on the third beat (3-3) and then on the second half of the fourth beat of m.20 (1-3). Here again we see Feuermann's greater concern for placing shifts on rhythmically strong beats.

Similar bowing patterns to mm.13-14 are seen in mm.17-18 of the editions, though Stutschewsky now slurs the first three beats of m.18. Schiff now, like Feuermann, makes the bow change on the third beat at the top of the scale, while Rose still changes on the 2nd septuplet. In the last half of m.19, Schiff slurs the descending eighths which the other three play separately. In a footnote, Schiff explains that this slurring corresponds to the original sources, but suggests a two note and two note hooked bowing for the final two beats. The slurs create somewhat less emphasis on the eighths than the separate bowing would (or less emphasis only on the offbeat eighths in the case of the alternative bowing.)

The next major bowing difference comes at m.22, where Feuermann (and Rose) slur the eight notes preceding m.23 into the down-beat eighth, presumably allowing the slight glissando that is implied in Feuermann's 3-3 fingering (Rose's fingering is unclear here). Stutschewsky and Schiff make the shift on the preceding eighth and take the down-beat of m.23 with a new bow, creating an entirely different type of emphasis. In m.24-26 Rose diverges from Feuermann, making six bow changes in the course of these three measures to Feuermann's three. Schiff also makes one more bow change than Feuermann, separating the last beat of m.25 from m.26.

Stutschewsky's prevalent use of same finger shifts is again evident in his 1-1 shift in mm.20-21 and 3-3 shift in m.23. The other interesting variances in fingering are Schiff's use of 1-3 2 rather than 1-4 3 in the triplet on the last beat of m.23 (the reason for which is unclear, since the fingering for the rest of the passage is not indicated) and Rose's choice to shift 3-4 on the first beats on m.25 rather than to use the 3-2 extension used by Feuermann and the others. This creates a significant emphasis on the last beat and forces the following shift in m.26 to come on the second half of the first beat, rather than on the second beat, as with the others.

In the latter half of m.26, Feuermann's choice of fingering is unclear, as it is possible that last three eighths were intended to be played 1 3 1, moving to the D string, but more likely that he intended 1 4 1 descending on the A string. In either case, only Feuermann does not shift position to play the F eighth after the A harmonic, and Feuermann's fingerings here make interesting use of repeated 1-4 patterns. In m.28, Feuermann makes a 3-3 ascending shift (again seeming to imply some degree of glissando) as he did in m.23, while the others shift instead on the second eighth of the second beat to 1 and then play the third beat in the same position with 3. In the descending passage immediately following, Feuermann differs from the others in descending on the D string where they remain on the A and again Feuermann uses a 1-4-1-4 type of pattern. The motion produced by this type of pattern relates to Mosa Havivi's description of Feuermann's 'rocking' hand motion for shifts. It is also interesting to note Feuermann and Stutschewsky's use of 4 on the sforzando third beat of m.29, where Rose and Schiff use 2, requiring a much larger shift. Apparently Rose and Schiff feel that the fourth finger does not provide the necessary strength.

The bowings are similar between the editions in mm.26-27, though Stutschewsky and Schiff are the reverse of Feuermann and Rose. Thus Feuermann and Rose take the fp on the third beat of m.27 on an up-bow, while Schiff and Stutschewsky take it on a down-bow, though Schiff also proposes an alternate bowing in which he takes two extra bows and makes a separate up-bow just on that fp. Schiff differs from the others in detaching the first eighth of the third beat of m.28, but it is Feuermann's breaking of the following four notes into two slurs of two notes each that is unusual. The down-beat of m.30 is marked down-bow in the Feuermann edition, which seems very unlikely if the later half of m.29 is also down-bow, as it would be one followed the marked bowings. It seems that either the indication for m.30 was a mistake or there is some missing bowing indication in the preceding measures.
Feuermann's bowing for mm.30-31 is fairly straightforward, putting the bow changes in the ascending scales on the new grouping of septuplets and of octuplets (i.e. the fourth beat) [6] . Rose and Schiff bow similarly, while Stutschewsky changes on the second note of the ascending scale, immediately after the beat, creating emphasis on the second note of the septuplet group. Schiff also proposes an alternate bowing that makes two bow changes in the ascending scale in m.31, which would produce more volume for the scale, but also an accent on the second note of the octuplets. In m.32, only Feuermann takes the climactic fourth beat, marked with a sforzando, on an up-bow, and he then slurs the second half of the first beat of m.33 into this up-bow, avoiding the accentuation of the separate bow taken on this note by Rose and Schiff. This accentuation is more pronounced due to the fact that the preceding down-beat is a tied extension from the previous measure and is therefore not articulated.

The fingerings chosen by the cellists in mm.30-34 are similar, though in the last scale, where Feuermann's pattern is 1340 1240 124 124 123 (including the first note of m.32), Schiff instead chooses 1340 1240 124 13 123 3, avoiding an extension and creating an extra shift. The logic behind the choice is not immediately clear, unless Schiff desires a glissando into the down-beat of m.30, which seems unlikely. Feuermann's use of 3-1 for the G#-F in the third beat of m.33 contrasts the less extended 4-1 fingering of Rose and Schiff, and Feuermann appears to be alone in his use of the open A string for the final note of this section in m.34.

The second section begins with the transition into the second movement and continues to the end of the movement (mm. 282-319). (Scores on pp.118-120)

Feuermann chooses to shift 2-2 on the half step from the third to the fourth beat of m.283, while Stutschewsky and Rose shift 1-1 on the larger whole step interval between the second and third beats, and Schiff shifts 2-1 between the third and fourth beats, making an altogether different effect. Rose also makes a more complicated 2-3 shift between the third and fourth beats of m.282, while the others shift 3-3 between the second and third beats. Feuermann's choice to begin m.289 on the D string, where Stutschewsky and Rose begin on the A (Schiff is unclear) allows Feuermann to have the crescendo which is marked in the measure made somewhat automatically by the switch from the D string to the louder A string. The reverse is seen in m.293, however. Here Feuermann remains on the A string and does not avoid playing an open string on the down-beat, while the other cellists all play on the D string. Also notable is Feuermann's use of the fourth finger for the third beat of m.290, where Schiff uses 2 (Stutschewsky and Rose chose to play this note on the D string using 3). We see, again, that Feuermann does not shy from using the fourth finger in highly stressed or important melodic notes, where most cellists would.



The major difference in bowings in the opening measures of this section are Rose's bow changes on the rhythmically weak fourth beat of m.283 and second note of the quarter note triplets in m.284. Feuermann, in contrast, changes on the third beat of m.283, while the others slur all five notes. Only Schiff's bowing differs from that of the others in the following measures (mm.288-292). In m.292 he rejoins the pattern of the others, after breaking the slur between the first two notes of the measure. In his notes, he suggests concealing this break with a small portamento glissando. The reason for Schiff's unusual bowing pattern in these measures is not immediately clear, though it is interesting to note the difference in emphasis that it creates, particularly in his choice to break m.289 into a group of three followed by five, where the others divide into five and then three, allowing them to make the crescendo on one bow and the diminuendo on the other.

Feuermann's choice of fingering in m.296 allows him to play the entire measure using only very small, 'extension' type shifts, whereas Rose and Stutschewsky make more substantial 4-4 and 4-2 shifts, respectively. Schiff contrasts the others in m.298 by making the shift on the last 16th of the second beat, while the others change on the third beat. In m.299 Feuermann slides 3-1 and the replaces 1 with 2 on the following note, though the others simply slide 3-2 and then remain on 2. Feuermann's choice of this fingering may have stemmed from his desire to make the descending slide on 3-1, which would allow him to make his typical 'rocking motion' shift with the left hand and the typical small descending glissando, descending on 3 and only switching to 1 at the last moment. He might also have desired the slight emphasis on the down-beat of m.300 that the shift from 1 to 2 would provide. In m.302, Feuermann chooses a fingering using an open string and a harmonic, allowing him to play the passage with no perceptible shifts, whereas the others make at least two perceptible shifts in the measure. In mm.303-308, Feuermann (and Rose) use 4 and 2 for the high double stops while Stutschewsky and Schiff use 3 and 1 and 3 and 2, respectively. Here, again, we see that Feuermann does not avoid using the fourth finger on exposed notes requiring strong melodic emphasis to the extent that other cellists do.

Feuermann's bowings diverge from the other editors in mm.302-307, where Feuermann goes out of his way, by breaking the slur in the last half of m.302, to begin the double stop passage in m.303 on a down-bow, where the others begin with an up-bow. Clearly, Feuermann felt here that the first slurred group of double stops required the stronger down-bow accent, and that the following group was more a consequent to the first. This pattern is also repeated with the next two groups of double stops in mm.305-306. In contrast, the reverse bowings of the other cellists places the emphasis more on the second and fourth groupings of double stops. Feuermann makes an extra bow change in the second half of m.306, however, so that the C/A double stop in the second half of m.307 can again begin on a down-bow, as it did in m.305 and m.303 . Rose and Stutschewsky also begin the second half of m.307 on a down-bow this time, unlike the first two times, while Schiff plays the second C/A double stop (in m.305) on a down-bow, but the first and third (in mm.303 and 307) on up-bows.

In m.310, Feuermann again chooses a less complex fingering, remaining in half position for the last three beats and the down-beat of m.311, while the others all begin in first position and then shift into half position in the course of the passage. Mm. 311-319 follow very closely the pattern of the opening mm.286-293, which contain almost the identical musical material, with the following exceptions: in the second half of m.311, Feuermann again makes a 3-1 slide and then switches from 1 to 2 for the following note, as he did in m.299, but not in the first version, in m.286, where he makes a 3-2 slide like the others (though Stutschewsky, in the first occurrence in m.286 only, actually makes the first slide 2-2). In m.316 Feuermann now fingers the down-beat with 4, on the D string, but in the earlier corresponding m.291, Feuermann had used a 2, presumably on the A string. Schiff changes the second half of m.315 to now play third beat F on the D string (as opposed to m.290 where he used 2, presumably on the A string) meaning that in m.315, only Feuermann plays the F on the A string. Feuermann does not mark the glissando to the open A in m.315 that he marks in the earlier statement, however.

In comparison with Feuermann and Stutschewsky, Rose makes one additional bow change during mm.308-310 and plays 309-310 with the reverse bowing. Schiff makes two extra bow changes and breaks the slur over the last three beat of m.310, but then, in contrast to the others, slurs in the down-beat of m.311. Mm. 311-318 are bowed similarly to their earlier versions in mm.286-293 by all the cellists, until the different musical material in the second half of m.318. Whereas the other cellists slur the final dotted quarter and eighth in the second half of m.318, Feuermann separates them, as he also separated similar dotted quarter/eighth note patterns in mm. 302 and 306. In this case it could only be either that he wanted a separates articulation for the eighth note or that he preferred to play the final note of the movement, on the down-beat of m.319, on an up-bow with it's correspondingly lighter emphasis, whereas the other cellists all preferred down-bow for the final note.

The final section is in the last movement, beginning just before letter T and continuing to letter U (mm.630-668). (Scores on pp.124-127)

The first difference seen in Feuermann's choice of fingering is in the latter half of m.632, where Feuermann chooses the extension fingering 1-2-4 , but Stutschewsky and Rose make the 1-1 4 shift (Schiff does not indicate which way it is to be played). On the down-beat of m.633, and also on the last 16th of m.637, Feuermann uses the fourth finger,

whereas Schiff uses 3 for m.633 and Schiff and Rose both use 2 for the last 16th of m.637. Here we again see Schiff and Rose making larger shifts to avoid playing the fourth finger, while Feuermann prefers to play the fourth finger and make the smaller shift. In mm.644-646, Feuermann uses a basic first position fingering with extensions (as does Stutschewsky) while Rose and Schiff use a third position fingering requiring less extension.

Only the Rose bowings differ significantly in mm.630-647, with Rose making four consecutive down-bows in mm.638-642 and hooking the dotted eighth/sixteenth note figures in mm.635 and 642-647. Aside from this, and Schiff's non-slurring of the first two 16ths on the first and third beats of m.665, all the editors bowings are similar. In fact, apart from these small exceptions, the editors bowings agree throughout this entire excerpt, which may speak more to the limited practical bowing options that are available for this rapid repetitive passage work than to the editors' uniformity in bowing philosophy.

Feuermann plays mm.647-648 in a single thumb position without shifting, switching to the D string for most of m.648, while the others choose to remain in more traditional positions on the A string, shifting as necessary. In m.650, Feuermann (and Stutschewsky) take a fairly simple fingering, making only one shift on the fourth beat. Rose makes a shift on the second sixteenth of the third beat, and then requires another shift to the down-beat of m.651. Schiff plays an open D instead of fourth finger on the second 16th, and then moves from the open D to 1st finger on the C#. While this somewhat larger shift is simplified by moving from the open string, it does seem to again represent a certain preference of Schiff's to make larger shifts in order to play notes with the first or second finger rather than the third or fourth. In m.652, Feuermann makes three small shifts on each of the first three beats while the others make two somewhat larger shifts on the weak halves of the first and third beat. In m.656, Rose (and also Schiff apparently) remain in the same position. While this alleviates the need for a shift in this measure, it creates a very large shift from thumb to 2 on the down-beat of the next measure. Stutschewsky avoids the thumb position altogether, making two shifts and then playing the down-beat of m.657 on the G string. Feuermann, however, avoids Stutschewsky's first shift by using the thumb, and then shifts on the fourth beat so that he can also play the following down-beat in the same position on the G string. Furthermore, he simplifies the execution of this slide by playing a harmonic on the preceding note. Feuermann thus avoids the large and potentially difficult shift of the Rose and Schiff editions, but also avoids the extra shift of Stutschewsky's fingering.

While Feuermann's fingering indication in m.659 is clearly different from that of the other editors, it is not sufficiently marked to allow certainty as to which fingering is implied. The similarity between the editions in the next several measures is quite striking, though we again can not be certain of Feuermann's fingerings for the octaves without an indication. Only in m.667 do they editions diverge. Here the Feuermann and Stutschewsky editions have a different note on the second 16th note -E instead of F#. This necessitates a different fingering, naturally, and in the subsequent notes, Feuermann and Schiff then choose the extension fingering 1-4 for the fourth and fifth 16th notes of the measure, while Rose and Stutschewsky shift into half position.


From this analysis many intriguing differences can be seen. Feuermann seems to tend to use smaller shifts and extensions where the others might make a larger shift. He tends to make fewer shifts and seems to prefer shifting on smaller intervals, particularly half steps. Feuermann also, to a somewhat greater extent than the others, creates opportunities to simplify shifts by shifting from an open string. In addition he often uses harmonics to simplify the shifting process.

Feuermann seems to take care to avoid shifting on notes where the accent created would be disruptive to the phrase, such as notes falling on the weak halves of beats or passing tones with small rhythmic values. Schiff and Rose often choose larger shifts in order to play exposed melodic notes with the first or second finger, whereas Feuermann (and to an extent Stutschewsky) are much less hesitant to play these notes with the third or fourth finger. Feuermann also does not avoid playing the open strings, particularly the A string, in exposed melodic situations to the same extent as the other editors. It also seems that Feuermann tends to stick with 'pattern' fingering in scale passages, i.e. 124 124 124 where another might finger 124 12 123 etc...

Feuermann seems to prefer to use slides which move from one half of the hand to the other, i.e. from 1 or 2 to 3 or 4, or vice versa. In particular, he often uses 3-1 for a descending slide (which is also associated with his typical small descending glissando.) The 1-4 ascending shift is another example of this favored type of shift. In general, of the possible shifting combinations, his preferences seem to run towards 1-3, 1-4, 2-1, 4-1 and 4-3 ascending and 1-2, 1-4, 3-1 and 3-2 descending. The 'rocking' motion of the left hand used to produce these shifts is similar (though reversed) between some of the favored ascending and descending shifts. For example, 1-3 ascending is in many ways essentially the mirror image of 3-1 descending, and many of his favored ascending and descending shifts are linked in this symmetry. Feuermann rarely makes ascending shifts into 2nd finger and also rarely into fourth finger, except 1-4 , which is fairly common.

With descending shifts, shifting into second finger is common, while shifts into fourth finger most often originate from the first finger. Descending shifts into the first finger are often done from third or fourth finger, and descending shifts into third finger are more rare, except when shifting 3-3 on the same finger. Feuermann also uses other same finger shifts, and uses the 1-1 ascending shift frequently, though rarely descending, and uses the 4-4 shift descending, though rarely ascending. The 2-2 shift is occasionally used, and the 3-3 is somewhat more common, both ascending and descending.

The other cellists often have similar preferences, but there are some differences. All three make more use of the 1-2 ascending shift than Feuermann, often for smaller, 'extension' type shifts, and they make less use of the ascending 1-4 shift. Stutschewsky is also notable for his heavy usage of the 2-2 ascending shift, which the others use much less. Stutschewsky and Schiff also make common use of the 2-2 descending shift, which Rose and Feuermann tend to avoid. All the cellists use the 3-1 descending shift often, but Stutschewsky also makes heavy use of 3-2 descending, which Feuermann an Schiff use more moderately and Rose uses very rarely. Schiff makes use of 3-4 descending shifts more often than the others, and tends to avoid the 4-4 descending shift that the others employ.

With respect to bowings, it is somewhat more difficult generalize about what distinguishes Feuermann's bowings from those of the other editors. Most importantly, Feuermann avoids bow changes on notes where the resulting accentuation would disturb the phrase, such as rhythmically weak or melodically inconsequential notes. He also seems to have had much less hesitation to play a heavily accented or climactic note on an up-bow and, along the same lines, felt less compulsion to always begin or end phrases with a down-bow. If one were to calculate the total number of bow changes in a section of these four editions, Stutschewsky would be seen to make the fewest and Rose the most, with Schiff closer to Stutschewsky and Feuermann closer to Rose, but this does not really yield a clear picture of the nature of these bowings. The details must truly be examined section by section, case by case, to be understood.

In the excerpts presented here it is probably Stutschewsky's choice of slurring that is closest to Feuermann's, though interestingly he sometimes played these identical slurrings with the reversed bowing (i.e. up-bow instead of down-bow) and he sometimes made longer slurs than Feuermann. The Rose edition generally seems to opt for more frequent breaks in the slurring in comparison to the Feuermann edition, while the Schiff edition seemed to be this most radically different in terms of general bowing and slurring preferences, but there is also much which the four editions have in common.

Overall the distinguishing characteristics of Feuermann's editions seem to be a somewhat simpler approach with regard to fingering, opting for more extensions and small shifts and fewer larger shifts, and an overall concern that shifts and bow changes not disturb a phrase by placing accentuations on notes which are rhythmically weak or otherwise lesser emphasized within the phrase. The simplicity and care to avoid disturbing the phrase which Feuermann shows in his performing editions are characteristics that are also very evident in his playing.


1 Robert Schumann, Concerto in A minor for ‘cello. Op. 129, ed. E. Feuermann (New York: Carl Fischer, 1939)
2 Luigi Boccherini, “Adagio and Allegro” from the Sonata No. 6 in A major, ed. E. Feuermann (New York: Carl Fischer, 1938)
3 W.A. Mozart, Concerto in D major, K.285d (formerly 314), trans. By G. Szell, ed. E. Feuermann (New York: G. Schirmer, 1941)
4 Robert Schumann, Concerto in A minor for ‘cello. Op. 129, ed. J. Stutschewsky (New York: International Music Company, c. 1940)
Robert Schumann, Concerto in A minor for ‘cello. Op. 129, ed. L. Rose (New York: International Music Company, 1960)
Robert Schumann, Concerto in A minor for ‘cello. Op. 129, ed. J. Draheim, solo part ed. H. Schiff (Leipzig: Breitkoph & Hartel, 1995)
5 Dates for this edition have not been located. 1940 represents a best guess, based on dates of other Stutschewsky editions.
6 Mosa Havivi remembers Feuermann playing this scale in a single bow in performance (p.133)