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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000068.txt from 1994/09

From: Martin Pergler <mpergler@-----.CA>
Subj: Re: the Andre quartets, was Re. Mozart Qt K317d
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 1994 20:52:44 -0400

On Fri, 9 Sep 1994, Dan Leeson: wrote:

> 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.
> The bottom line is that the arrangements published both by [Andres]
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. [...] 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.

Thank you for your extensive reply to my query, Dan. I don't think you're
being a wet blanket. Several points coming out of what we each wrote, as
well as Voxman's remarks in the arrangement.

1. It is very unlikely that the arrangements are by Mozart, for the
reasons you specify above. Voxman gives further analytical reasons.
2. Unless we have other information, it then seems reasonable to suppose
that perhaps Andre did the arrangements. This is exactly what Voxman says.
3. You call the arrangements "rather feeble". Compared to Mozart's
chamber music and in particular the you-know-what, undoubtedly. However,
IMO it is far from worthless drivel. Voxman calls them "remarkable",
though he would hardly call them horrible while publishing them. IMO at
least the first one fits the cl quite well.
4. Under the circumstances, perhaps it is sharp practice by Musica Rara
to inscribe the parts Quartet...W.A. Mozart rather than ...arr by (?) after
Mozart. Voxman is certainly quite candid about it in the notes.
5. IMO it is certainly laudable of Musica Rara to have published them.
Perhaps these qts. have at most a very parenthetical role in Mozart
scholarship, but the literature for is not extensive.

My original question I think still stands: since the M.Rara publication
in 1985, has any further information come to light to permit a more
defintive attribution? I would liken this to the case of some of the
harmonie arrangements of Mozart's operas that you mention, Dan. If I'm
not confusing several different pieces, it was realized sooner that the
arrangement were almost certainly not by Mozart, and only later were they
attributed to Triebensee (or someone else? I'm just going by memory here)

Thanks again, Martin

Martin Pergler
Graduate student, math, University of Chicago
Writing from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

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