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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000125.txt from 2002/02

From: Daniel Leeson <>
Subj: [kl] Mozart slow movement, grace note
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2002 11:59:52 -0500

Notestaff wrote:

I haven't been lazy: I have checked many sources. In David Etheridge's
book "Mozart's Clarinet Concerto" he tells us that Stanley Hasty,
Marcellus, Anthony Gigliotti and Harold Wright all play it on the beat
though they differ in the lengths. Michele Incenzo does it before the
beat. I found no direct help in C.P.E. Bach's "Essay on the True Art of
Playing Keyboard Instruments", nor in Colin Lawson's "Mozart Clarinet
Concerto". I got out my recordings. Goodman, Klöcker and Taillard (my
favorite recording) do it on the beat, Deinzer, Hoeprich (my second
favorite recording) and Leister all before the beat whereas, believe it
or not, the Berlin Phil. under Kubelik do it very definitely on the
after Leister just did it otherwise. Even though they are at the top of
the pecking order, I still find it unacceptable! (I hope my
conductor/orchestra do better!)

I would like to do it on the beat ... but if I am proved wrong, I am
willing to accept it. Can anyone help??

So tell me, who is going to "prove" you to be wrong? And how will this
alleged "proof" be presented? Certainly David Etheridge's book is not a
source for or against the issue. It is simply the opinions of several
excellent clarinet players, and says nothing more than how they like to
play it. And Fritz Neuman's book (and I knew Fritz) will do essentially
the same thing, though he is about as objective as one can get in this
vague, imprecise area.

Keep in mind that we are speaking about a performance practice for which
there is only very limited information about how it was done in the era
under discussion. I could just as well argue that the grace note had to
preceded by a Pater Noster in order to be performance-authentic, and if
you don't do that, then your performance is technically incorrect and
you are an artistic, aesthetic, and historic turd.

Your entire approach assumes that someone knows how to do it, and that
person will be in the audience when you play. I promise you that such a
person will not be there. There may be a lot of people who think they
are that person, but that's another story.

What are you afraid of? Do you really expect a bunch of people in the
audience to stand up at the instant of execution of the grace note and
say, "Unclean, unclean!!"?

Tell you what I'll do. I'll come to the performance and write a
non-review that says, "The execution of the grace notes in the slow
movement was thoughtful. It may or may not have been correct. It is
clear that the performer has studied the problem with great care, and
his performance duplicated that of 71.36% of all recorded version, but
only 63.89% of all live events. He may have missed the one played last
week in northern Minnesota. In the final analysis, one cannot argue
that the soloist's performance was totally authentic, but one could not
argue the contrary either. It is my professional opinion that he should
not be shot. On the other hand, I will not make a suggestion as to how
long it should be before he should be shot."

You are evidencing the personality of the "everybody but me knows how it
should be done" neurotic performer. Some such people wind up paranoid.
Keep in mind that everyone may really be out to get you, but screw them.
Play it the way you feel it should played having considered all the
evidence that you can get. And NOBODY will prove you wrong. They may
hate it, but that's a story for another day.

** Dan Leeson **
** **


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