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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000360.txt from 2001/04

From: Daniel Leeson <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Questions for former Marcellus students
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 21:47:56 -0400

Joe, let me suggest that, except for extreme cases, there are no tempi
for K. 622 that are poor tempi. In the case of the Marcellus/Szell
recording it was that I found the tempi to be without energy. I did use
the words "annoyingly slow" but since you asked, I went and put the
recording on and listened to segments of it. My opinion, and that is
all it is, just an opinion, is that it was a performance without any
internal energy, and this aggrevated whatever tempi Szell decided to
take. I always loved Szell's Mozart. It thought him to be one of the
finest Mozart conductors of the 20th century. But in that recording and
on that day and with that player, the performance did not work for me.

I do not want to get into a dispute about the recording. My objective
was simply to state that the Marcellus recording does not hold the
universally positive opinion from all clarinetists that I thought you
were suggesting.

I do not put myself up as an authority on Marcellus' playing. On the
contrary, I found him a marvellous performer. It was simply that single
recording for which I waited for years that was so disappointing to me.
And while no other person has voiced a view on that performance on this
list as part of this discussion, from the last time round on this, I
believe that others may still hold similar opinions.

joe redr wrote:
> --- Daniel Leeson <> wrote:
> > > that was Szell's fault because the tempi were
> > annoyingly slow, but my
> > disappointment was palpable. >
> Mr. Leeson,
> Which tempi do you speak of? His tempo in the slow
> movement was maybe a bit slower than I've heard
> before, but the others movements were standard tempi -
> at least compared to the ten or so recordings I've
> heard. What are the correct tempi for the movements?
> I won't argue your opinions on his interpretation,
> since those are personal. However... his playing may
> not have been as "exciting" or correct in style as say
> Neidich or Shifrin, but from a pure clarinet phrasing,
> legato, sound, and control standpoint, it was great.
> I've heard more exciting performances of that piece
> too. I learned a lot from listening to his Mozart
> about the above mentioned issues. There are many bad
> recordings/performances of 622 utilizing period and
> modern instruments I've heard where the performer knew
> the style, ornaments, etc. Maybe what I'm trying to
> say is that his clarinet playing - not style so much -
> was superb.
> Joe
> Do You Yahoo!?
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** Dan Leeson **
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