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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000984.txt from 2001/02

From: Rhea Jacobs <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Cosi fan tutte
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001 17:08:27 -0500

Somebody on opera-l also commented on the unusual ornamentation. I for one
was happy that at least the singers were ornamenting, and I was happy that
Paul Groves got another aria. I've been reading klarinet today so don't know
whether there's been more discussion on opera-l, but the list has an archive


which may have more discussion this week.

(By the way, I've been amazed during the couple months I've been on klarinet
to find that the list is nearly as active as opera-l and at times nearly as
acrimonious. There were almost simultaneous apostrophe wars going on both
lists a couple months ago!)

Rhea Jacobs

Daniel Leeson wrote:

> I am sitting here on Saturday afternoon listening to Cosi in the live
> Met broadcast and was fascinated by two things.
> First, in the second act, the very rarely performed aria "Ah lo veggio"
> was just performed by the tenor. This is the aria whose melody was
> originally planned as the last movement of K. 581 but, for whatever
> reason, Mozart changed his mind. There is a manuscript of the first
> dozen measures or so for clarinet in A and string quartet.
> Second, the singers are doing a great deal of ornamenting not found in
> the score. In effect, the impact of scholarship on the duties of the
> performer to become part of the creative process are now part and parcel
> of the Metropolitan Opera House's production. And that is remarkable,
> because only 10 years ago the very idea of a singer improvising on the
> tune or adding anything whatsoever to what was in the score would have
> been considered both unthinkable and a calamitous mistake.
> Unless you know the opera intimately, you would not know that there was
> considerable improvisation, which is the way it should be. If you
> recognize that it's happening and become distracted by it, then the
> performer is probably doing too much of it.
> Now when I hear the orchestral performers departing from the printed
> line, I'll realize that they have really taken a giant step forward.
> AS I listen to this remarkable opera, I become more and more convinced
> that it is Mozart's finest operatic contribution. It's a chamber opera.
> What is amazing is that it was never performed at the Met prior to
> around 1936. First the plot was considered scandalous (wife-swapping)
> and there were no BIG ensembles that you might find in Figaro and Don
> Giovanni.
> It is a bit of irony that the librettist for the opera is buried in
> Calvary Catholic cemetery in Queens, which is part of New York City. He
> can practically hear it from there.
> --
> ***************************
> ** Dan Leeson **
> ** **
> ***************************
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