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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000220.txt from 1996/04

From: Lisa Gartrell Yeo <ux403@-----.CA>
Subj: Re: Performance Lattitude
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 1996 22:43:18 -0400

>quarter=120 and we play it at quarter=80, then we are playing it
>incorrectly. We are playing a different piece. We are making up our own
>Now, on the other hand, if the composer writes quarter=120 and we vary the
>tempo between say 112 and 132 in various parts of the piece according to
>our interpretation of the phrase shape and direction, then this is
>interpretation. We are maintaining an average tempo of roughly 120 and we
>are shaping the phrases according to our interpretation of the music.
>Playing the piece 20, 30 or 40 percent slower or faster than what the
>composer has explicitly marked is not interpretation. It is
>Jonathan Cohler


While I largely agree with your comments, I am going to play devil's
advocate. In your recording of Moonflowers, Baby! you take signifiantly
faster tempos than indicated. In the CD notes, you indicate that
Kupferman (the composer) has given his approval for these choices. (They
sound great, by the way, but I sure can't play that fast!)
Is is always necessary to have the composer's permission to alter tempos
(or other indications)? It is a little difficult when they are dead.
Kupferman's acceptance of varying tempos from the score indicates that
there is more than one appropriate, convincing way to perform this work.
Can this priciple not be applied to other works by contemporary composers
and from earlier periods? Just a thought.

Lisa Gartrell Yeo

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