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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000064.txt from 1994/09

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: the Andre quartets
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 1994 11:55:58 -0400

An inquiry was made about 3 quartets (of arrangements of Mozart's music)
as edited by Hymie Voxman and published by Musica Rara. The original
works are for violin and piano.

The source of the three quartets is from the publishing house of Johann
Anton Andre and, while nothing is known about the origin, the fact that
Andre published them does not speak well for their authenticity insofar
as the likelyhood of Mozart having arranged them in the first place.

Andre owned a music publishing house in Offenbach, Germany near Frankfurt.
When Mozart died he offered a handsome price to his widow to buy the
autograph scores of every single work that was not published elsewhere.
It was his intention to publish many of these works either in their original
form or else in an arrangement that his publishing house would both sanction
and commission. In 1798 he got close to 400 autographs including the
Gran Partitta, Don Giovanni, Magic Flute, Jupiter Symphony, etc., etc.
Hot stuff.

Over the next dozen or so years many of the chamber music works were released
in several forms. The quintet for horn and strings was released as a wind
sextet, the Gran Partitta was released as a wind octet, and many works were
released in their original form. The story about what happened to those
400 autographs from the time when Andre got them until what was left was
finally acquired by the Berlin library in the mid 1800s is a fascinating one
but too long for this forum.

The bottom line is that the arrangements published both by his house and
by Breitkopf & Hartel (to whom he sold publishing rights to other works)
have no direct tie back to Mozart's hand and are generally discounted
in the world of Mozart scholarship. They have further problems, too:
the arrangements are not particularly skillful and, furthermore, there are
not more than a half dozen works in the entire Mozart oeuvre that were done
by him in two forms. These include the wind sextet/octet K. 375, the
double fugue for strings or organ, the g minor symphony (with and without
clarinets) and the wind octet/string quintet in c minor. I really can't
think of any others though there may be one or two. That these violin
sonatas (3 of them) exist in two forms from Mozart's hand is possible
but unlikely.

It is not until one examines a really skillful arrangement by Mozart that
one appreciates how much of him went into making the arrangement. Then
by contrasting it with the rather feeble Musica Rara publications, one
can observe a distinct difference in instrumental technique. The same thing
is true in the Musica Rara publications of the Mozart operas for wind
octet. Several of them were orginally thought to have been done by Mozart
until a contrast was made between those feeble arrangements and the wind
octets from the opera Don Giovanni. Quite a difference.

Sorry to be a wet blanket but Hymie Voxman is quite correct in avoiding
any assignement of these works to Mozart on the basis of both arrangement
technique and the absence of any provinance. Hymie is a very conservative
scholar in a world where every arrangement for accordion is presumed to
have been done by Beethoven, personally. After all, is it better to
discover a long lost arrangement by Schnutz or by Mozart? Hymie avoids
that mistake.

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California
Any of the above three addresses may be used. Take your pick.

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