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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000152.txt from 1994/01

From: Cary Karp <nrm-karp@-----.SE>
Subj: Re: Mozart's works
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 1994 09:48:52 -0500

On Fri, 21 Jan 1994 Eric Sabinson wrote:

> I gave myself an interesting Christmas present this year, a recording of
> Mozart's update of Handel's Acis & Galatea. I suppose that if one doesn't
> know the opera, there is no shock involved in hearing the piece, but with
> some historical imagination there should be shock. Nearly sixty years had
> gone by between Handel's last revision of the piece and Mozart's
> adaptation, a long time by earthly standards. No matter how classic or
> baroque Acis _und_ Galatea sounds to our ears, it is a modernization of the
> kind that Stokowski might do to Bach, perhaps even more radical. Mozart
> not only redistributes oboe and recorder lines to other instruments,
> especially to the clarinets, he actually writes in voicing, . . .

However long sixty years may be in the flux of musical affairs, Handel
was stiil alive when Mozart was born. Mozart's dad, as well as any of his
other teachers, could easily have had first hand knowledge of what Handel
was up to. This says nothing about how radical Mozart's treatment of "Acis
and Galatea" was, but he sure as shooting started off with a better grasp
of the musical notions of Handel's day than Stokowski could possibly have
had of Bach's.

The clarinet was the musical and functional heir to the recorder and it
makes perfect musical sense to me for Mozart to have reallocated recorder
parts to the clarinets.

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