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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000280.txt from 2001/04

Subj: Re: [kl] Re: [Re: [kl] Re: [Re: [kl] C clarinet]]
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2001 09:02:43 -0400

At 07:13 PM 04/13/2001 +0200, you wrote:
>What I meant was that it would be a barbarism to change the music without
>comment. Publishing it transposed with only a comment that it was
>originally in another key is only bordering on barbarism.
>This isn't the only "barbarism" which is rampant in published music. The
>normality is adding markings for articulation, dynamics, tempo,etc,
>changing notes (apparent mistakes), adding or deleting repeats - all
>without comment! Each of these changes may or may not be helpful but the
>buyer of the music is deprived of making his own decision. I find that

Just a comment or two - in the form of comments and questions:

I am often very annoyed with musical "editions" by some of the excellent
clarinetist performers that students bring to their lessons. I am annoyed
because the markings are not consistent (often) with my ideas and other
possible ideas of what should or could be done in the music (phrases,
dynamics, articulations, sometimes notes, etc.). I do like some editions,
but I find I have to know each edition well to be able to distinguish what
I like to use with my students and what I don't like to use. One
Stravinsky edition of the Three Pieces that a student recently brought to a
lesson (and paid more for than the International edition - which appears to
be identical to the other editions out previously) had several mistakes in
it - one of them rhythmical.

My question:

If someone publishes a piece for clarinet that was written by Mozart or
Weber or Stravinsky, etc. and it is an "edition" of a work. Shouldn't the
person purchasing the edition understand at the outset that the piece has
been altered by the editor? Is it then "barbarism" when the person(s)
purchasing should be aware that the work is not as originally written?

In the case of key or instrument used, this happens frequently in band and
wind ensemble literature. For example, a recent work I finished editing,
the Adagio and Polonaise for Kenthorn (Keyed Bugle) and Obligato
(wind/percussional accompaniment) by B.H. Crusell. The original score
calls for Db piccolo, C clarinets, F clarinet (soprano), C clarinet, C
trumpets, alto trombone, tenor trombone, bass trombone, and serpent. The
horns are also for horns in a different key (I don't have it in front of
me, but it was D or C - something like that), and the Solo part for Keyed
Bugle was in C.

If I want to see the work performed at all, I have to either find places
that have all of those instruments and players who can play them (serpents
might be especially difficult...... as well as an original keyed bugle), or
I have the option of publishing the work with transposed parts as an
edition that clearly shows the changes. The publisher might consider two
separate versions, but probably not. It isn't always just about money -
it's also about getting the piece performed and making the music available
to the listener.

Given the similarities of an F clarinet with an Eb, and how performers
today (John Yeh for example) who work hard at making the Eb clarinet
maintain a consistent tonal color and texture with the Bb Clarinet, and the
A clarinet respectively, it seems that transposition for difficult to find
instruments is less barbarism than it is adaptation.

On the other hand - it is a pity we DON'T have the instruments and players
to play them as originally written. On the other hand, since Crusell wrote
for a military band - and one that used those instruments, it makes one
wonder if he would have written them for C Piccolo, Eb Clarinets, Bb
Clarinets, Bb Trumpets, F horns, standard Trombones, Euphonium and Tuba if
they had been available and he had heard what they sounded like. He wrote
for the band he was conducting - and the instruments available.

Either way - the discussion is intriguing and interesting. I am enjoying
this thread immensely.

Best wishes.
Roger Garrett

Roger Garrett
Clarinet Professor
Director, Symphonic Winds
Illinois Wesleyan University
School of Music
Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
Phone: (309) 556-3268
Fax: (309) 556-3121

"A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes
Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825)

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