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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000697.txt from 1999/04

From: "Dan Leeson:>
Subj: [kl] Classical music TV show 4/14/99
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 14:19:37 -0400

Last evening on public television was the first show of several to
be broadcast on specific musicians. It was on Mozart for the
first hour and Beethoven for the second.

For those who watched it, I am sure that the very controversial
aspect of improvisation in Mozart performance became better defined
that our discussions of that subject in the past.

It happens that the A major piano concerto, K. 484, was the
centerpiece of that discussion and it was interesting to see
the two fundamental arguments and how they were pursued.

On one hand Bob Levin, the pianist and professor of music at
Harvard, said (paraphrased) "Here is the evidence that
improvisation was expected to occur." On the other hand, a
conductor as knowledgeable as Sir Colin Davis said (paraphrased)
"It should not be done because I don't think it is right to do it."

That is an excessive oversimplification, of course, but those were
the rock bottom positions. And Sir Colin's view is one, which
as you all know from my postings, that I do not support. In
effect, almost everyone who speaks against the practice says,
"I don't like it [or I can't do it] and therefore Mozart didn't
want it done and neither should you." And those who do agree
with the practice say, "Look at the evidence."

We live in very exciting times.

Of course, all of this argument directly affects how you will
play Mozart's solo clarinet music for the rest of your lives.

When that show was over, I had to be pried from the TV set
so exciting was it. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to
discuss the breadth and depth of Mozart's music in one hour.
But even so it was a great show.

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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