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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000161.txt from 1999/06

From: "Dan Leeson:>
Subj: [kl] Re: Tony Pay's comments on Ravinia
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 18:14:55 -0400

Tony mentioned that Hogwood's comments, made during a lecture on
performance matters at Ravinia, generated some negative reaction.
Tony did not say "hostile" but I suspect that they approached
that emotion.

I too notice that whenever I speak about performance practice
issues of the classic period to almost any audience, there is
invariably an undercurrent of anger. Most people are simply too
polite to show it, but others are quite up front and their challenges
to one's hypotheses can be hostile.

I would think that nowhere would this be more the case than with
a group that included several Marcellus students. I invariably
found Marcellus unwilling to give very much credibility to almost
any idea that differed from his with respect to performance of
the classic era's music. He had spent a very productive life
creating how he thought and felt about this music and gave me the
appearance of being hostile to ideas that departed from this view.

As a teacher of many, many excellent players, it is not surprising
that his students would carry his views on this sort of thing. I
would be amazed if they did not. Many of us carry the thoughts of
our teachers in an uncritical fashion, and often a long time has
to pass before our own ideas become crystallized. Further there is
a natural tendency to prevent ideas that are antithetical to those
of our teachers to reach fruition; i.e., we keep slapping them
down subconsciously precisely because they may be in conflict with
the views of our teachers.

Once a young man came to me and asked me to listen to his performance
of K. 622. He was going to a Marcellus master class. I knew
about Marcellus' attitude towards some of the practices that I
favored so I told this young man that he should be very cautious
in his attitude and approach. When asked about improvising, I
was very conservative and suggested that he not do any during his
time in the box. But I did suggest some issues with the three
eingange of the work, particularly the one in the 2nd movement.

I am afraid that the young man did not follow my advice about being
conservative and, as he later described it to me, Marcellus was
all over him when he departed from the traditional text. I was
very saddened at the treatment to which he said he was subjected
as a result of his departure from tradition.

People feel very strongly about the music of this era, and some
can be very difficult when different ideas clash with theirs.

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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