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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000181.txt from 1994/01

From: "Dr. Ronald P. Monsen" <RPMONS00@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: Final comments to Karen Noel-Bentley and Charles Hillen
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 1994 08:45:48 -0500

I am a 20th century performer--playing a program of music from the late
18th and early mid 19th century. The program is entitled The Clarinetist
as Composer. It will include a duet by Anton Stadler, trio by Michel Yost,
two sonatas for clarinet and bass by Jean Xavier Lefevre and the Das Muhlrad
of Conradin Kruetzer for soprano, clarinet and piano.

The Lefevre works (ca. 1795) were composed in two voices--the upper being
the clarinet part the lower an unfigured bass line. The instructions to the
performer by Lefevre state that if the solo (upper) line is to be performed
on the clarinet in Bb then the bass line should go down a step to leave the

clarinet part as written. The bass line is unfigured. Contemporary editions
of these works do have complete keyboard parts. It is my feeling that many
of these keyboard realizations have way too much of the mid 19th century
harmonic flavoring for these very demanding sonatas. What has that got to do
with the clarinet? Nothing--it has to do with the music. So my sonata partner
and I have done our own realization.

As to the clarinet--the part has several stac dots on various notes and also
some with wedges over them. Many times the same rhythmic pattern will have
varying and contradictory markings. Also an adagio movement in 2/4 has the

wedge (modern use very very short) over half-notes. Super stac half-notes
in an adagio?? And bear in mind that JXLefevre played with the reed on the
upper lip--making very little if any contact with the reed--and what do you
have? So for me I have had to do some research into the marking of the period
as well as use a good deal of common sense. Will my performance be correct?
If one plays by the "eye" here in the late 20th century and not the "ear" and
the brain (let alone musical sense or taste?) we will have a mess. But this is
not a clarinet problem. I am sure every wind player faces this.

Given the difference in instrument, approach to the ebony agony-tube (reed
uppermost, etc) and the use of a modern keyboard do I have any right even
playing JXL's sonatas?

Arundo Donax AKA Ron Monsen

PS: Because I own a C clarinet should I use my Bb? JXL was not set in his
ways--but obviously a lot of C clarinets were out there at the end of the
18th century.

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