Klarinet Archive - Posting 000111.txt from 1994/09
From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: The Kegelstatt Issue
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 1994 12:48:19 -0400
Jay asks a question that in my opinion is stated incorrectly. He says:
"How should the figure be played so that it is both musical and
This implies that the figure is neither musical nor reproducable but can be
made to be these things by playing it in a certain way. Sorry, Jay.
Perhaps you did not mean this, but it is what you said. So let me
comment on the nature of the figure.
That it is what Mozart wrote is clear and unequivocal. That the things
that Mozart wrote are inherently musical and reproducable is, in my view,
a given. That we are expected to play what Mozart wrote and to play it
in as musical a fashion as we are able to do, is also a given. Finally,
that this particular figure is difficult to do is very true.
Let me also add that at least half the performances I hear of this work
mistake the 64ths for 32nds either accidentally (no one pointed out the
64ths as clearly as they need to be pointed out) or deliberately (because
the mechanics are easier for all three players though the results are
not what was requested). A recent recording by Neidich, Levin, and a violist
whose name escapes me is a happy exception.
I think there are two problems with this rhythm. First, one must come to
an agreement with one's colleagues on what this rhythm says and one must do
this (1) before the first notes are heard, and (2) in a very diplomatic
manner. Your violist and pianist will not be happy if the first words out
of your mouth are "Let me tell you how this opening goes," particularly since
the clarinet does not participate in the opening.
Second, it requires very refined playing to make it come out right. This is
made difficult by the fact that the clarinet has the worst of it by having to
play it over the break on several occasions and that damn B-flat is the thing
that will slow one down every time.
Bottom line. The music is what it is. We have to figure out how to do it
in a musical fashion.
By the way, there are problems with the last movement of this work depending
on which edition one uses. Stay away from the old Schirmer edition. The
triplet figures (ascending) are broken at the wrong places.
Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California
Any of the above three addresses may be used. Take your pick.