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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000701.txt from 1995/03

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: Poulenc Gloria
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 1995 11:37:37 -0500

I sent a private note to Andrea rather than clutter up the list,
but now I think, juding from some of the inquiries, that I'll
make my comments public.

Though nothing in the part says so, nor is the tradition of 20th
century music in support of or in contradiction to the following,
I believe that, simultaneous with the transposition to treble clef
in all movements of the Gloria where they occur, one absolutely
must play the music up one octave above the normal b.c. to t.c.

I derive this from the voicing of the two or three clarinets playing
at those points. This is particularly true and noticeable in the
opening measures of "Laudamus te" in which the first and bass clarinets
play the melody solo. If the b.c. does NOT play up an octave, the
voicing of the two instruments is a full two octaves apart and out
of character with the surrounding music.

It is not a question of like or dislike, or even of performance practice
(since there is no agreed to performance practice for this issue
for either Poulenc or any 20th century French music), but rather
the instrumental voicing suggested (but not described) by the composer.

In effect, Poulenc left us in the lurch on this piece, and we have to
figure out what he meant within the context of the music. This is,
of course, a terrible way to have to do it, but that is the way I
came out of it after countless performances of the piece every Xmas
for the last umpteen years.

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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