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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001039.txt from 1997/09

From: "Nichelle A. Crocker" <>
Subj: Re: Transposition, Schuller, etc.
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 00:41:01 -0400

I am probably over my head here, but let me give it a shot. I think there
are a few categories of authenticity problems that we're faced with- those
we have control over, and those we don't. The fact that I can't overcome the
problem of the general trend of rising pitch doesn't mean I should play a
part marked for A clarinet on the Bb.

The truth is, I haven't figured out a solution to the 'authenticity'
problem. No matter what we do, the audience drove to the concert in their
cars, somebody's pager went off during the second movement, and our modern
experiences make it impossible for us to hear a piece of music the way an
audience in, say, Mozart's era would have heard it. Things which would have
shocked a classical-period audience might not shock us because we've heard
some pretty weird stuff that they couldn't have dreamed of.

That doesn't mean that the same piece of music can't have meaning to an
audience in 1997, and that doesn't mean we should chuck the composer's
directions out the window.

>#1: Brahms wrote often about his preference for the natural horn over the
>valved variety. Virtually all of his horn writing, including the trio, were
>written to be playable on natural instruments. Outside of specialty groups,
>this is never done, not even by Mr. Schuller, a former horn player.

Is this just because nobody plays the natural horn, or for some other reason?

Nichelle Crocker

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