This Dover publication offers a complete orchestral and vocal score of one of the most complex and difficult musical works ever written, one that is even now ahead of other contemporary operatic works in its total effectiveness and impact. It requires large orchestral and vocal contributions, and its score offers nearly as much music as Beethoven's 9 symphonies. The Dover edition is a thick 655 page volume in which there are as many as 24 separate instrumental lines for the 100 orchestral players, plus three or four for the singers. It is 655 pages long, 8.5 by 11 inches in extent, roughly the size of the Tampa Bay Metro (pop 3.3 million) phone book. Its size allows the type to be easily read and the music to be followed when listening to a recorded source, for example, and to be easily read and understood in almost any context, other than that of actually conducting a performance. It is obviously not intended for the local high school musical, though (and I am not just making this up) an amateur Tarpon Springs (pop.20,000) music group recently staged a complete performance of Wagner's four Ring Operas, with piano musical accompaniment this year! If you're determined to go this route with Tristan, you need this score, badly! I have found it useful in my role as record reviewer, in resolving certain difficult questions I have come up against here and there in this deep and difficult work. Indeed, it is fine for anyone who has any unresolved question about the music. It is sturdily paperbound, and it is well worth the modest asking price. Much of the text, however, is reprinted directly from German sources, so an elementary understanding of that language is helpful.
That is all I can think of on the downside, and in summary I found this work not only authoritative but also user-friendly.
There is one final matter to be noted. The source copy for this edition was originally the property of the well-known 19th century conductor Felix Mottl. Mottl made a comprehensive series of suggestions to enhance the effectiveness of presentation of the music in actual performances. These helpful suggestions are systematically identified by the letter B in this edition of the score. You can use them or not, your choice, but they are there, identified throughout by that letter B.