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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000017.txt from 1995/03

From: Neil Leupold <Neil_Leupold@-----.COM>
Subj: RE>Weber 2nd
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 1995 19:48:47 -0500

Reply to: RE>Weber 2nd

As with any issue involving personal bias and interpretation, there's a wide
range of what's considered acceptable performance practice relative to the
tempi of concerto movements. I've heard recordings of the Mozart with tempi
ranging from a leisurely 108 all the way up to a sizzling 126! Depending on
which recordings you have, certain players tend to take EVERYTHING fast. If
you've heard Charles Neidich's recording, you begin to wonder what he had in
mind. Not only does he play that Weber 3rd movement at something like 120, but
he plays every single note of the sextuplets, in the final bravura section,
STACCATO! He's triple-tonguing, which is an amazing feat, but whether or not
it's artistically worthy is another question.

A tempo of 100 for the 3rd movement of Weber's 2nd concerto is how fast I've
performed it in the past, maybe speeding it up just a LITTLE bit in the final
section to finish it off with some extra "zing". A judging panel for a
competition will be far less impressed with speed than they will with good
technical precision and evident musicianship. They're probably not expecting
you to burn their socks off. You don't even have to take it up to 100.
Although he's controversial, I've developed an appreciation for Richard
Stoltzman's bent for taking certain pieces SLOWER than marked, milking them for
all of their musical content without worrying about pyrotechnics so much. I
saw him perform the Weber "live" many years ago in Marin, and he kept his tempi
moderate, while concentrating heavily on phrasing and overall presentation. I
felt it worked wonderfully.

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