Home   |   About Me   |   Older Posts   |   Contact   |   Links   |   Acknowledgements   |   Subscribe

01 January 2019

39. standardize/compromise

As we welcome the new year, fireworks are inevitably on my mind.  At the very least, my dogs make me aware of fireworks:  even distant explosions are enough to keep my dogs anxiously pacing the house.  (I can only imagine what it must be like for veterans with PTSD, hearing these explosions at too-close range well into the early hours.)  Moreover, beautiful as such displays may be, its hard for me not to feel that if youve seen one (good) one, youve pretty much seen them all.  I dont bother to stay up for them, and then Im cross when I am woken by worried canines.  On such occasions, I'm inclined to agree with Hamlets view of a similar noisy custom: 

More honoured in the breach than the observance (Act 1 Sc. 4).

SOURCE:  A view of the magnificent structure erected for the fireworks to be exhibited for the solemnization of the General Peace (uncredited, but apparently in the British Library), cropped from scan of the cover of Bärenreiter facsimile Georg Friedrich Händel:  The Musick for the Royal Fireworks / Feuerwerkmusik / British Library Manuscript R. M. 20.g.7 (2004).  (Christopher Hogwood's introduction to this volume is available here.)
Only because of this pyrotechnical connection, I thought it was time for me to comment on a few of my frustrations related to editions of Handels Musick for the Royal Fireworks (celebrating the 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle).  I grew up on a musical diet in which the largest food group consisted of Bach, Handel, Gilbert & Sullivan, and Mendelssohn.  I cant remember a time when I didnt know the Fireworks music, I think mostly from a 1972 recording by Neville Marriner and his Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields.  (It sounds very familiar to me now, and its exactly the sort of recording my father would have bought.)  But I remember, too, a recording of the suite orchestrated by Hamilton Harty, as well as hearing some of the early attempts at historically-informed reconstruction of the original all-winds and percussion scoring24 oboes, 12 bassoons, a contrabassoon (and, by rights, a serpentalthough Im not sure if that has yet been included on any of the recordings), nine each of trumpets and horns, plus timpani and side drum.  Those outrageous figures were already scaled back from the official plans.  A press blurb several months before the actual event listed 40 trumpets, 20 French horns, 16 hautboys, 16 bassoons, eight pair of kettle-drums, 12 side-drums, a proper number of flutes and fifes; with 100 cannon to go off singly at intervals, with the musick.

SOURCE:  detail of A Description of the Machine for the Fireworks... (London, 1749), p. 8, just for the heck of it; cropped scan from appendix in Bärenreiter facsimile, p. 92.

Then, as now, one must be skeptical of figures from those in power.  Just two years ago, the (then) White House press secretary Sean Spicer stepped in front of journalists to insist that This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, PERIOD, both in person and around the globe.  (My transcription hardly does him justice.  If you want to watch it again, here he is.)  Handel rehearsed the work inVauxhall Gardens, south of the Thames, on 21 April 1749 to what must have been a large audience, butas David Hunter has shownthe official figure quoted (an audience of above 12,000 persons (tickets 2s. 6d.)) is just not possible.  Taking physical, economic, social, and mathematical factors into account, Hunter reckons the realistic audience size charitably around 3500, allowing that it might have been a good bit smaller still [pp. 75–84].  Plus ça change plus cest la même chose.

I grant, however, that the music Handel wrote was extraordinary, at least in that it departed dramatically from any sort of ensemble he had used hitherto.  Handel was much more adventurous in his use of brass sonorities than was his contemporary J. S. Bach (although admittedly Bach called upon greater technical feats from his players).  The only Bach work I can think of that employs trumpets and horns simultaneously is BWV 205, the secular cantata Zerreißet, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft.  (If there are others, perhaps someone will let me know.)  Handel uses those instruments in combination more often, particularlyas in the Water Music and his sumptuous oratorio Solomonfor antiphonal or double-chorus effects, where the contrasting timbres have much more impact than when he pits two identical ensembles together. (In this regard these works have the advantage of his three Concerti a due cori).  The three distinct ensembles of the Fireworks music are very evident on the first page of Handels autograph:  trumpets/timpani (four staves), horns (three staves), woodwinds (five staves):

SOURCE:  scanned from Bärenreiter facsimile, p. 59; also available at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=R.M.20.g.7 (see f. 16r).
When in about 1988 I learned of Dover’s reprints of public domain editions, their paperback comprising the Water and the Fireworks music (both reprinted from Friedrich Chysanders Händelgesellschaft volume of 1886) was on my very first order form.  As I had grown accustomed to that, which prints the score with the staves allocated more or less as in Handels autograph, I found myself disorientated when opening both the 1962 volume of the HHA and its 2007 HHA revision.  In these newer editions, the score has been radically redistributed according (almost) to modern ordering conventions:  woodwinds at the top of the page, then brass (horns first, trumpets next), then percussion, then strings.  (What strings?  Ill come back to that.)  The almost is that in both of these HHA volumes, the bassoons are at the bottom of the page among the strings.  There is a reason for this:  in practice, the HHA only gives a bassoon its own staff when Handel has written an independent part, not just doubling the bass line common to the strings.

SOURCE:  (l.) Händelgesellschaft edition, vol. 47 (1886),  p. 100 [available at IMSLP #24009]; (r.) revised HHA Ser. IV Bd. 13 (2004), p. 87.
I grant that a standard score order is a useful thing, especially for a standardized ensemble.  I dont object to seeing Mozart scores reorganized in this way, with the upper strings moved from the very top (where he habitually put them) to the bottom (just above the cello/contrabass line).  That said, I think we do miss something when we look at a page so differently laid out from what he wrote, and I appreciate those textsa good example is Simon P. Keefes Mozart in Vienna:  the Final Decadein which the musical examples restore his score order.  Whatever reordering the HHA might impose on Handel in general, I think the Fireworks music deserves to be treated as an exception:  even by Handel's terms, the ensemble is exceptional.  (Even the NMA abandons its use of modernized score order when dealing with works for a non-standard ensemble; see for example the wind serenades, which retain Mozarts placement of the horns above the bassoons.)  There are times when the modernized allotment of staves obscures what Handel is doing with his triple ensemble.  Compare the pages below.  The HHA gives me the impression of a dialogue between only two ensemblesbrass (in the middle of the score) and oboes/strings (at the top and bottom); placing the horns above the trumpets means that when any of the horns play with the trumpet ensemble they appears to lead the brass altogether, and the use of two consorts (three trumpets + horn, then three horns) becomes almost invisible, while it is very clear in the autograph.
SOURCE:  (l.) autograph, f. 22v (facsimile p. 72); (r.) revised HHA Ser. IV Bd. 13 (2004), p. 107.
(I note with some distaste that already in 1788 Samuel Arnold had put the horns above the trumpets in his edition.)

A further complaint:  both the original HHA volume and the revised version present a score including five staves of strings, realizing instructions for doubling that Handel added to his autograph score.  Doing so while also retaining the inflated wind numbers conflates two distinct versionsoutdoor and indoorinto a form Handel never heard:  massed winds + strings.  The conflation makes a striking effect, but it is not something that ever happened in his time.  If youd like to experience this version but cant muster 80+ period-instrument players, heres a 2012 BBC Proms performance by Le Concert Spirituel under Hervé Niquet that does it for you, even adding a drum interlude (at 01:43ff, corresponding with Handels later-cancelled instruction alla Bruit de guerre”) in lieu of discharging cannon:


Strings were not part of the outdoor performanceapparently vetoed by George II himself.  I have my doubts that the overture was composed with strings in mind, given the problematically high viola line (generally doubling Oboe III), and the confusing pair of bass lines, in which the contrabass seems to be on the wrong line.  In his revised HHA, Christopher Hogwood has modified the viola line;  I find his version just as dubious, often doubling the bass up an octave even when it seems to me to intrude in the texture.  Whatever one does seems unsatisfactory.  The string doublings were likely added with an eye to a performance at the Foundling Hospital several weeks after the fireworks display; for that concert, the doubled-and-redoubled winds must surely have been scaled back to normal size.

Intriguingly, Hogwood interprets the marginalia in the autograph manuscript as indicating that the work heard at the Foundling Hospital performance differed in another significant respect:  the suite was truncated with just a few movements, and for the finale Handel borrowed the last movement of a trumpet/horn due cori concerto, HWV 335aa work thematically linked to the Fireworks overture and preserved in a different fascicle of the same bound volume now.  (For Hogwood's argument, see his Cambridge Music Handbook [pp. 115 and 127] and the revised HHA volume [p. xxviii-xxix].)  Musically, I like this suggestion a lot:  to me, the two menuets that conclude Fireworks are an unconvincing conclusion to such a work, at least when not followed by fireworks.  Those menuets plod.  The finale of HWV 335a, however, is buoyant.  (Hear it here.)  A problem with this solution to the marginalia is the scoring:  although the scoring is similar, it is not identical:  two (not three) trumpets + two pairs of horns (the first pair consistently with oboes, the second pair consistently with strings).  In that the rest of that Foundling Hospital performance included music from Solomon (two trumpets + two horns), I began to wonder if they jettisoned Trumpet III (or, Principale, as he labels it, denoting its low register) altogetherbut what did they do about the extra horn part?  A further problem:  the only movement in the autograph of Fireworks to have a staff allotted to the violas is the final menuetwhich this theory would exclude from the strings version of the piece; granted, the staff is lightly crossed-out as it stands.  Is that significant?

SOURCE:  cropped scan of autograph, f. 28v (facsimile, p. 84)
This leads me to my third frustration:  my sense is that the indoor version of the Fireworks music (and Fireworks no longer seems the right name) really deserves to be published as its own distinct workand with its own catalogue number.  The revised HHA volume does right by the Water Music (and Ill come back to it sometime), but I fear an opportunity was missed to do justice to the Fireworks music.  The new volumes blue covers enclose both a triumphant flourish (the much-needed update of Water Music, since many important sources had come to light) and a damp squib.  Surely there will not be a second revised volume to give us distinct outdoor and indoor versions of Fireworks; we will have to wait for someone else to do itsomeone willing to defy standardization and its inevitable compromise.  Someone, that is, willing to honor the custom in the breach rather than the observance.


01 December 2018

38. Don't fix it

All of my prior December posts have been connected to holiday music in one way or another, so I  continue that tradition here.  The breadth of repertoire heard in Christmas concerts and services gives a surprising representation across Western music historyeven in performance contexts that make no attempt to be representative.  This was driven home to me in the 1990s when Andrew Parrott released a number of discs pioneering the application of historically-informed performance practice to a wide swath of holiday music.  (These were ancillaries, in a way, to his New Oxford Book of Carolsthe splendid NOBC to which I will refer below.)  If you havent heard these, several have been reissued in a box set that is currently going cheaply.
SOURCE:  some of Parrotts albums, ripped from their Amazon.com pages
A significant portion of Parrotts work has been the much-needed defamiliarizing of the familiar:  So you think you know X?  Well, listen to this!  I will focus here on a rare example of early music surviving more or less intact in a variety of modern hymnalsalthough of course it is the more or less that interests me most of all.

Michael Praetorius (1571–1621) is among the musicians I admire most, particularly for the fecundity of his imagination.  He was industrious in self-publishing, too.  (Reading through his treatise Syntagma Musicum I suspect he would have been a blogger if he were still with us today, maybe producing something like Sarah Berezas considerations of all manner of things related to church music.)  Indeed, because of his voluminous publications, it seems likely that the vast majority of his compositions survives.  The bulk of his work is devoted to settings of Lutheran chorales, but the array of settings is dizzying:  two parts, three parts, four parts, five parts, six parts, seven parts, eight parts, ... sixteen parts, ... 24 parts....  No matter what forces you have at your disposal, from the humblest to the cast-of-thousands polychoral spectacular, Praetorius has a setting for younot just scaled down or scaled up, but completely re-thought for what those forces can do best.  A three-part setting might be SSA, or SAT, or ATT or ATB....  The mind boggles.  By the way, I think this is the best of his title pages, choirs earthly and heavenly joining in praise, just an extension in coelo of what he was trying to do in terra:
SOURCE:  title page of Musarum Sionarum (1607), here from the Cantus part-book (IMSLP #85603); larger size here.
Despite the breadth of his activity, Praetorius is most commonly encountered these days because of a single harmonization:  the German folk carol Es ist ein Ros, which he harmonized in part VI of his collection Musae Sionae (1609).  His setting is simple but sublime; I have often used it in theory courses to illustrate the potency of a single chromatic note in an otherwise diatonic harmony (as we would say now, he tonicizes ii in the last phrase)a moment that almost always sends chills down my spine when I hear it.  (Granted, Praetorius uses one other chromatic note, but it is a much more run-of-the-mill tonicization of V.)  No other harmonization of this melody has been a serious contender .  Its dominance is (literally) underscored by Jan Sandströms 1990 double-choir setting, in which Praetoriuss harmonization is surrounded by a halo of harmonysometimes clashing, but to great effect.


In English-language hymnals, the tune is usually set to one of two nineteenth-century translations:  Theodore Bakers from the German (Lo! how a Rose, eer blooming); or John Mason Neales from an apt but unrelated Greek Christmas hymn of St. Germanus (A great and mighty wonder; actually Neales translation has one too many lines per stanza, but it works anyway, as explained in NOBC).  It was Bakers text I heard first, as a child in the rural Presbyterian church in which I grew up.  Praetoriuss setting was in our hymnal, but I do not remember the congregation once being asked to sing it.  The choir did it as an anthem every year, as the syncopations would have posed some significant challenges to the rest of us.
SOURCE:  scan of cantus part-book of Musae Sionae VI (1609) from IMSLP #29879

In fact, the complicated metrical structure is one of the textual issues that prompts this post.  Praetorius didnt use barlines [his first edition is at right], although he does indicate the meter with a barred-C.  What he meant by that is not altogether clear; it need not necessarily mean groupings of two, nor indeed even that the half-note (as we think of it now) gets the beat.  Granted, Praetorius knew how to indicate triple groupings when he wanted them (most often with the time signature C3).  Subsequent hymnbook editors have devised various strategies to make the meter more accessible to their intended users.  First, they almost always halve the note values, with the half-notes becoming quarter-notes.  Then they adopt one of the following courses:

  1. avoiding barlines altogether except for between phrases, essentially acknowledging this is music from an unfamiliar time and place”
  2. regularizing the meter as if a Bach chorale, all in common time, thus suggesting this is just like many other hymns”
  3. re-casting it as if in 3/2 (admittedly only to the first two phrases, to construct an antiphon)
  4. presenting it in a mixed meter switching between 2/2 and 3/2; this seems to be most common, although the mixing of the meters varies a bit from book to book.  The most unusualwith a bit of 3/4 thrown inapparently originates with The English Hymnal of 1906, but appearing in various other books even into this century.
Because of the halved note-values, options 2, 3, and 4 impose a hyper-metrical structure on the tune:  even if we allow Praetoriuss pairs of half-notes as forming basic metrical unit, these strategies group those units into a larger pattern of stressed and unstressed beats.

The other main alteration to the Praetorius setting made by subsequent editors is much more substantial.  At the end of the fifth line, Praetorius has the alto line cross the cantus (= soprano), introducing the third of the triad above the melody.  Here it is as it appears in the Gesamtausgabe der musikalischen Werke von Michael Praetorius (this volume ed. Fritz Reusch in 1928):
SOURCE:  detail of p. 36 (with my mark-up) of a scan available on the IMSLP (#389072)--as indeed is the whole of the Praetorius edition!
Almost half of the hymnals I examined (21 out of 45) changed thismost often by moving the alto line to the bass, with many of these also adding a parallel ascending figure in the tenor:
SOURCE:  detail of Christian Worship (1993), p. 207 from hymnary.org
Others eliminate it entirely (moving the third to the tenor, as moving the third to the tenor makes the melodic motion superfluous):
SOURCE:  detail of Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New (2000), p. 4 from hymnary.org
I am also quite certain that I have somewhere seen it given to the soprano, altering the melody so that the soprano always has the top note.  I have not found this in any hymnbook, but I have an idea where I have seen it.  I have played enough Christmas services at enough churches to be pretty sure it was in a mass-produced cantater (as I perhaps too cruelly refer to that genre) that I accompanied at some point.  The alteration is left etched in my memory, even if I have forgotten its source.

(By the way, in the commentary on the tune in the hymnal handbook Songs of Praise Discussed, Archibold Jacob remarks that On analysis it will be found that much of the charm of the tune lies, inexplicably, in the curious little intercalary passage; it has rather the effect of an intimate aside [p. 46].  Perhaps so; I had to look up intercalary, but surely he is referring to this phrase.  (And I respect any commentator who will admit something is inexplicable.))

As I have been reviewing so many iterations of Praetoriuss setting, I have been surprised to see the number of English-language Roman Catholic hymnals that use Bakers translation of the text as bowdlerized by Praetorius:  the last couplet of the second stanza was originally (or at least was transmitted to Praetorius as)

hat sie ein Kind geboren
bleibend ein reine Magd
[gave birth to a child
yet remains a virgin]

The ever-virgin Mary didnt square with Lutheran theology, so Praetorius just used the last line of the stanza one (when half-spent was the night, in Bakers now-familiar translation); indeed, in the 1609 edition of Musae Sionae VI [illustrated above], it looks as if he merely omitted the text at the end of the second stanza, and the only words left to the singer are wol zu der halben Nacht, even though that yields a dodgy rhyme (Raht/Nacht).

Praetorius didnt mind making alterations to suit himself and his context, so perhaps I shouldnt make a big deal of those I discuss here.  But even though I resist the notion of any musical text being definitive, I am inclined to agree with the cleric and hymnologist G. R. Woodward:  The four part setting... by Michael Praetorius, 1609, cannot possibly be improved [p. 79].

Like the man said, If it aint broke, dont fix it.

01 November 2018

37. Corroborative detail

I will begin with what was intended to be a digression, but has ended up taking over the post:

There is a charming detail of orchestration in the trio Three Little Maids from School in (Gilbert &) Sullivans The Mikado (1885).  Just as Yum-Yum, Pitti-Sing, and Peep-Bo are finishing up the refrain, they pause:
Three little maids who, all unwary,
Come from a ladies seminary,
Freed from its genius tutelary

And in that moment, with the whole orchestra falling silent, a bassoon bubbles into life.


That bassoon idea was an afterthought.  A glance at the composers manuscript shows not just a blank bar at this point, but that originally he had notated a rest (in ink).  The bassoon effect has been pencilled-in later:
SOURCE:  cropped scan of the 1968 facsimile of the autograph score of The Mikado, p. 143 (bb. 4046a)
And there does not seem to be any document to establish with certainty when it was added.  By the 1880s, Sullivans practice was to sketch the musical numbers (and here is such a sketch for Three Little Maids), and then transfer the vocal lines onto the pages of what would later become the full scoreruling in the bars as necessary, but writing in only enough to give a copyist a means of preparing a sort of rudimentary vocal score for rehearsal.  The numbers would not be done in the order of the show:  the choruses and ensembles generally came first, with the solos later.  Only after the whole of the opera was framed would Sullivan turn to the orchestration, filling in the blank staves.  When the full score of a number was complete, the orchestral parts could be prepared and the keyboard reduction for the published vocal score finalized.

Mike Leighs 1999 film Topsy-Turvy, which dramatizes the months preceding The Mikados premiere, missed the chance to realize this moment.  Although there is a scene in which Sullivan has an exchange with the bassoonist, we do not see him have a flash of inspiration in the pit, handing down last-minute instructions to gurgle away.  Fun as that might have been, it is probably just as well that no such scene occurs, as we do not know that this episode occurred in the rehearsals for the first production.  Then again, the bubbling bassoon figure is played in performance in the movie, when by rights it should not have been.  It does not appear in vocal scores until the twentieth century; but admittedly, Sullivan took nowhere near as much care with the published scores as Gilbert did with the published libretti.  The absence of the bassoon whinny in the vocal scores (and the distinct piano-only score, which derives from the vocal score) is not strong evidence of anything beyondas we know alreadythat it was not originally there.

Is it even the composers amendment at all?  I believe it is.  That the idea was an inspiration in the pitas characterized aboveis suggested by the notation in the manuscript:  the contour of the figure is there, but it is unclear what the pitches should be and one would certainly not guess from this scribble that the first note is d'.  This emendation his was not notated here for the eyes of a copyist; it appears to me to be nothing more than a hastily-added aide-mémoire to the composer of this addition.  Indeed, the strongest bits of evidence that this pencilled addition is indeed by the composer are 1) it is in the autograph, which in performances would have almost immediately been supplanted by a copyists conducting score of some sort; and 2) the bassoon is so imprecisely notated.  I would expect anyone else making such an interpolation to make it as neat as possible.  (In any case, the bassoon part needs the actual pitches much more than the full score does.)

For this to be Sullivan's own interpolation would require an occasion when the composer and his autograph score (not a company copy) were both together back in the pit to conduct a rehearsal, since this change could not realistically have been added during a performance.  As Sullivan generally did not often conduct after the opening night of an initial production, the possibilities for such an occasion after March 1885 are slim indeed.  He did, however, conduct the opening night of a revival at the Savoy Theatre on 6 November 1895, and he may well have rehearsed the company before that performance.  (Not having his diaries at handalthough they are extantI cannot answer that question definitively at the moment.)

Two tidbits suggest that this 1895 production (rather than the original) was the occasion for the change.  One is the account of Thomas Dunhill, in his Sullivan’s Comic Operas:  A Critical Appreciation (1928):
[C]ould anything show more witchery than the use of the silent bar, just before the end of two of the verses?  Was Sullivan afraid that it could never be silent enough when, on the occasion of rehearsing one of the revivals, he broke this silence by pencilling a little curling phrase into the bassoon players part?  This stroke is amongst the most delicious of after-thoughts, but it is not in the original score.  One would gladly hear the passage both ways, on different occasions.  [pp. 131f.] 
The second tidbit is that the 1893 full score of The Mikado published by Bosworth (a German firm  heavily backed by Sullivan) has the original gran pausa here:  the autograph seems to have been the source for the Bosworth edition, so if the amendment had been made by 1893, the lithographist preparing the new edition apparently didnt take it seriously:
SOURCE:  cropped page-scan of Kalmus reprint of Bosworth full score, p. 139, from IMSLP #30034 (bb. 4043)
(I was a little surprised to find the bubbling bassoon absent from the 1907 recording as well, but in that instance the music had been heavily rescored to be audible with pre-electric technology, and I wouldnt be surprised if the orchestration was done from the published vocal score, if not the Bosworth scoreboth of which lacked the figure in question.)

I have no doubt thatas Dunhill assertsthe idea is Sullivans own, but the case is not airtight.

As I say, all of this was supposed to have been a tangential point; I was going to introduce it because it seemed like an example of an musical detail conceived later than the rest of its context, perhaps suggesting itself to the composer because of the different activityconducting a rehearsal with orchestra rather than composing in silence at his desk.  There are many examples one might use to illustrate such second thoughts, but I had thought this would be a fun one because some years ago I noticed that on 12 March 1885,  two nights before conducting the premiere of The Mikado, Sullivan had conducted Beethoven's Symphony no. 4 at the Philharmonic Concerts.  What if (I had thought) the giggling bassoon line was suggested to him by a celebrated bassoon solo in Beethovens finale?  (Granted, Sullivan's line resembles better the figures in the finale of Mozarts Symphony no. 39, but never mind.)  Wouldnt that be loverly?  Only as I came to look at it more closely did I see that there was not enough evidence to connect it to the Beethoven, so then I might as well use any example I liked.  I just got stuck on this one.

Having let the tail wag the dog for so many paragraphs, I will let the dog bark briefly here.  A few evenings ago I played the first movement of Alexandre Guilmants first organ sonata in a recital of Scary Organ Music.  It is a piece I first came to know as his Premiére Symphonie pour Orgue et Orchestre, op. 42 (1879)hearing it (as mentioned in a previous post) in a splendid recording conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier; only later did I learn that the work started as a work for organ alone, the Premiére Sonate pour Orgue, also Op. 42 (1874).  The piece works so well for organ and orchestra together that it is hard to fathom that it was not originally conceived that way.

Below is a stemma of sources for these two versions that I have been reviewing in recent months.  The shaded boxes are sources I have not examined; the red text/lines trace the transmission of the orchestral version, while the black follows the organ solo version.  It will be seen that there is a complex interrelationship between the two versions, as ideas that crept into the orchestration gradually make their way into the text of the solo versiona few in the second edition, a few more in the third.   (Double lines indicate reprints of the same text.)

By far the bulk of these changes are rhythmic articulations where the original (in so far as I can determine it) had only sustained chords.  Thus, at the conclusion of the first movement (here copied from the 1876 Schirmer edition, but the Bärenreiter critical commentary testifies to the same reading in the autograph), Guilmant wrote:
SOURCE:  cropped screenshot of Schirmer edition (IMSLP #290298), p. 13, showing I/353359.
In the second edition this passage already has some substantial changes (marked in red below).
SOURCE:  cropped scan of Leupold reprint of 2nd edition, p. 45, showing I/353359 (my hightlights added)
All of these, in fact, have their origins in the orchestration, the chords at bb. 355–56 rearticulated with an antiphonal effect between organ and orchestra, and the brass introducing the new figure at the final cadence (with consequently shorter note-values for those penultimate chords):
SOURCE:  cropped screen-shot from the first edition full score (IMSLP #245332), p. 43, showing I/354359.
Rather than belaboring this point (as I had originally intended to), I will confine myself to one additional examplea change which does not make it into the sonata until the 1898 third edition, although clearly comes from the 1878 orchestration.  Here is the opening of the first movement as in the Schirmer edition (and the reading is identical (save for French-language registration markings) in the second edition):
SOURCE:  cropped screenshot of Schirmer edition (IMSLP #290298), p. 1, showing I/13.
Now here is the opening of the first movement as in the third edition:
SOURCE:  cropped scan of Leupold reprint of 3rd edition, p. 1, showing I/12.
(And don't get me started about all those slurs.)  Again, the dramatic rhythmic punctuationwhich he has very cleverly accomplished by the engaging of a manual coupler to a chord already being sustainedhas its origins in the orchestration:
SOURCE:  cropped screen-shot from the first edition full score (IMSLP #245332), p. 1, showing I/12.
Clearly Guilmant liked the effects he had devised for the Symphonie, and he found ways of folding them into the Sonate.  This evokes The Mikadonot just the added bassoon in Three Little Maids, but also one of Gilberts lines of dialogue.   In Act II Pooh-Bah justifies his graphic embellishments to Ko-kos (entirely fabricated) account of executing the emperor's son thus:
Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.
(Actually, this takes us back even to Topsy-Turvy.  If the film missed the opportunity of highlighting a textual change of the score, it does in fact depict Gilbert making a textual change to the libretto during a rehearsal, adding the word otherwise to this line.  I am not aware of any evidence to support that, but it is a nice moment.)

If we take Pooh-Bahcorroborative detail to be ameliorations made after the fact to an original that was already sufficient in itself, then these details manifest that sort of corroboration.  Neither Three Little Maids or Guilmants organ sonata is bald and unconvincing in its original version, but I think the addition of a little corroborative detail paid off in both cases.