Slightly larger than A4 size, so this isn't like those miniature scores that are beloved of (or hated by) students studying set works for exams. This is easier on the eye.
The binding (which calls itself a "Lay Flat Sewn-Binding") has so far proved reliably strong.
One slight criticism is that the density of black ink on some pages of my copy is not as good as I would like, it's still perfectly readable so I can't remove a star from the rating on this issue, but I'd prefer the notation to stand out in greater contrast to the white pages.
There's a useful section at the front with translation of text and also with a translation of the French terms in the score.
I have no idea whether this is close to Faure's original concept of a chamber-feeling piece rather than having the orchestral extras that I understand were shoved in later to perhaps over-drive that side of things, BUT I don't have other versions to compare to be absolutely certain about it. This is a copy of what's termed an "authoritative French edition" of 1900 (the Requiem was first performed in 1888). It does have lots of woodwind and strings that may not be in the original: "original" does not necessarily mean "best" - bear in mind that the 1888 performance did NOT include the Offertory or Libera Me movements - but Faure himself added these later, and the Libera Me had already been written as a stand-alone piece in 1877 so he simply imported it, while the Offertory was freshly-written. Frankly, I think the whole is better for having all 7 movements, Faure obviously thought so and you have to bear in mind that even a composer cannot necessarily know how the creative part of his/her brain sometimes sets off a thought which then later develops - therefore the "importation" of the Libera Me may simply have been of a lurking spark that was waiting for the rest of it, who knows! It certainly does not seem out of place.
We may now see this whole work as deep and meaningful - for instance I perceive some really dark swirling string work as genuine doubt about eternal life, while also seeing some of the other parts as spritually uplifting and positive, however Faure never was as consciously in-depth as this, I'm sure he was once quoted as saying it was just "fun".
He continued to work on bits of the whole piece even after its original 1888 performance, but there is some evidence that he didn't like the massive orchestral versions that were performed which lost the balance and intimate feel that the piece needs.
Maybe someone more informed than me will, in the interests of clarity and pursuit of knowledge, be able to add some notes to what I've written here. It'd be interesting to hear from someone who has scoured Faure's thoughts on the subject.
In the end we all hear the same sounds but we interpret them differently when we process them in our brain. On a basic level this score just helps us to keep track of the mechanics while we listen to whichever of the available recordings best suits us. It's an inspired and masterful piece in almost any version!
Steve Riches, Northampton UK.