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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000263.txt from 1999/04

From: "Craig Hill / Karen Hutchinson" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Harpsichord in k.622?
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 13:10:39 -0400

I know the recording you refer to and find that the harpsichord does not
really match at all.

The practice of keyboard realisation of a bass part (continuo) is well
established into the 19th century. (including some Beethoven) But not for
all repertoire. Hogwood's Haydn symphony cycle omits continuo altogether on
the basis that Haydn probably led from the violin. For Mozart's keyboard
concertos it is known that the piano played in the tuttis as well. For the
clarinet concerto the use of a keyboard is not established - the fact that
there is nothing in the Dover or any other score doesn't mean a thing. (Nor
does the presence or absence of figuring on the score for that matter.) But
of course the inclusion of a keyboard would depend on the size of the
orchestra and type of accoustic - not to mention what else is on the
program! For instance when performing with a very small orchestra (as
Stadler undoubtedly did in Prague) the keyboard may well give the ensemble a
greater fullness of sound.

In his excellent handbook to the concerto (Cambridge Music Handbooks,1996)
Lawson writes:

"A more controversial issue remains the continued participation of a
keyboard player in Viennese instrumental repertoire of the period. (A
footnote notes that the use of a keyborad was gradually being restricted to
vocal music.) ... the concerto offers little suggestion that a *fortepiano*
might contribute usefully to the texture."

Which does make the use of a *harpsichord* in his recording inexplicable -
but we don't live in an ideal world - there are quite possibly non- musical
reasons for its inclusion.

Personally, I find the balance of a period clarinet & fortepiano one of the
great musical joys in life - so why not let them play in the concerto?
(perhaps basically confined to the tuttis?) How reassuring for the soloist
that there is someone there whose sole job it is to make sure the
performance goes smoothly- if the soloist has difficulty - in jumps the
keyboard with a little prompting to get him/her back on track. Now a
conductor can't do that!

Harpsicord/ period clarinet- not convinced, athough doubtless a historical

-----Original Message-----
From: Yitzchok Gurevitz <>
Date: Sunday, 4 April 1999 12:21
Subject: [kl] Harpsichord in k.622?

>I've been listening to Colin Lawson's recording of k.622 with Roy Goodman
>and the Hanover Band, and I'm pretty sure that there is a harpsichord
>playing little bits here and there. I have not heared this in any modern
>insturment recordings, and there is no harspichord in the Dover score I
>have (but it also calls for a clarinet in A, so that's not saying much).
>Anybody have any info/comments on this?
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