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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000335.txt from 2000/07

From: Dan Leeson <>
Subj: Re: [kl] von Weber Concertos 1 & 2 -Reply
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 17:56:44 -0400

The purpose of repeats is not to make a piece longer (though they do serve that
purpose when the occasion warrants it). There are several purposes for repeats,
but I'll speak to the ones found in minuets and trios. They are there to show the
imagination of the performer who, by his improvisations on the basic material, is
supposed to delight the audience with just how imaginative s/he really is. Not
how fast that person can play, but how imaginatively that person and take thematic
material and develop it, with zero preparation.

If you want to hear what such improvisations should not be doing, find a
performance of the Carnival of Venice variations. There, the written out
improvisations are for the sole purpose of showing the technical excellence of the
performer. A role reversal has taken place with the music being the servant of
the player rather than the other way round.

Simply improvising on inadequate material is not going to improve it very much
(such as the Carnival of Venice theme itself) and that is one of the reasons why
improvisatory practice fell away. There are not many compositions such as K. 581
that give a player meat on which to eat for the improvisatory repeats.

But who, besides a hack, would simply put in repeats to make a performance longer? wrote:

> In a message dated 7/7/00 4:15:37 AM, writes:
> << For minuets with trios, all da capos (except where he explicitly notates
> the
> manuscript "da capo senza repliche" are expected to be played with all repeats
> every t ime and it is during those additional repeats that improvisation is
> expected. >>
> This is absolutely fascinating. I can't believe no one has ever told me this!
> On the other hand, I have had my own theory about the Minuets in the Gran
> Partitta. It seems to me if a composer needs a longer piece for outdoor or
> occasional music, the easiest way to add length is to write something with a
> lot of repeats. And even without those extra repeats Dan writes about, those
> minutes in the GP are really long. I hope Mozart, being a professional and
> somtimes practical guy, would understand leaving the Da Capo repeats out, in
> order to save the players (and, perhaps, the audience) Certainly, it would
> not have been uncommon to leave out entire movements if the time were not
> needed? What do you think, Dan?
> David Hattner, NYC
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