Klarinet Archive - Posting 000397.txt from 1995/01
From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Mozart Concerto for viola
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 01:43:10 -0500
Michael asked what became of the very brief discussion about the Mozart
concerto originally being for viola? Answer: nothing. It really was
When I saw the statement alleged to have been made by Eddie Daniels I
simply rejected any assertion that suggested that a player of his
capability and general knowledge would have made such a claim. And
I don't dismiss the possibility of the claim for any reason other than
the absolute fact that there is not a single piece of documentation in
the whole Mozart research business that claims this thing.
I am perfectly willing to pursue any piece of music history, no matter
how far fetched if some piece of documentary evidence suggests that
the assertion could be true. But unless I missed the last 200 years of
Mozart research, there is nothing to support that statement. Thus it
has no more standing than a statement that suggested the Mozart originally
wrote the work for a bassoon or a cello or a trombone.
And it is such an absurd statement that I have to dismiss even the
possibility that an intelligent person like Daniels would have made it.
There are lots of fairy stories in music history that have no standing
but they are at least well known and the evidence works against their
being true. For example, there is a belief that Mozart wrote the Gran
Partitta for his wedding. 10 minutes worth of serious research and that
idea is blown to hell. But such is not the same case as the concerto
written for viola assertion. The fact is that there is no such suggestion
anywhere in the literature, by anyone. And despite the dislike of some
for hiding behind "the literature," it is that literature that forms the
body of our knowledge of what Mozart did, when he did it, and the
circumstances under which he did it.
New ideas arise all the time in the musicology business. One that arose
ca. 1948 resulted in the rejection of the Symphonie Concertante for winds
and orchestra being placed outside the body of Mozart's compositions.
Another that arose in 1938 changed the entire direction of the clarinet
for it showed the existence of an instrument that no one knew anything
about, the basset clarinet.
Maybe the K. 622 for viola is such a new idea, but I spend a lot of time
dealing with the Mozart research arena, and that is a new one to me.
Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California