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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000984.txt from 2000/07

From: Neil Leupold <>
Subj: [kl] RE: Mimicking players (was Learning practices)
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 07:59:48 -0400

--- "David B. Niethamer" <> wrote:

> the beginning, a student without much musical maturity can
> learn something by mimicking a teacher, or a recording.


> ...most of the good and truly "original" ideas have been presented by
> someone else at this point. And in some cases "originality" is overrated
> and inappropriate. Adapting ideas you like into your performances (or at
> least exploring how they work for you) is part of learning to make music,
> IMO.

When I first began working on the Mozart as a high school student, I listened
to the Neidich & Stoltzman & Leister, et. al. recordings, wincing at some things,
marvelling at other things. What I liked, I immediately adapted to my own inter-
pretation, and this current Klarinet thread has me wondering. Stoltzman, for ex-
ample, has "done" things to the Mozart that, at the time, sounded utterly delight-
ful ~ taking portions of passages down an octave to mimic the basset, writing long
and lyrical cadenzas where the tradition has always been a brief flourish and back
to the piece proper, things like that. Many other players have done similar things
in their own interpretations. In the cases where the alterations have been extens-
ive, i.e.; adding entirely new music to the original at the whim of the performer,
in the name of improvisatory tradition or personal expression or whatever, are these
alterations copyrighted? It may sound like a silly question (and we all know what
happens to people who ask silly questions on Klarinet), but I've wondered to myself
over the years: if I copied such an extension, like Stoltzman's lengthy cadenza in
the 2nd movement of the Mozart, or Manasse's addition to the closing of the slow
movement in Weber #2, would I be infringing on somebody's rights, particularly if
I performed those adaptations in public? Do you suppose Neidich wrote down that
little broken-chord fiddly-bit he added near the end of Mozart's Rondo and said,
"That's mine. If anybody wants to use it in a paid performance, they'll have to
forward me royalties"? Any other "well-listened" clarinetist in my audience would
immediately jump up during my performance and exclaim, "Hey! Shifrin did that on
his Delos CD!" and this wouldn't really bother me. Such innovations are often quite
exciting and enjoyable, and I sometimes can't resist putting them in my own renditions.
But would the originators balk and demand that I get their permission first? Is that


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