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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000383.txt from 2002/02

From: "Lacy, Edwin" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Spontaneity and other ephemera!
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 15:36:29 -0500

I'm still stuggling with some of the philosophies implied in this

From: Daniel Leeson

> In the first movement there is an alberti bass
> second clarinet part (which is what I was playing) and despite the B&H
> edition's directions to slur the passage, I tongued it because that is
> what Mozart wrote in the manuscript. The contractor (who was a
> brilliant first bassoonist and who had been playing that work at the
> time that my level of musicial sophistication included the Lustspiel
> overture for band) stopped us cold and said to me, "Please slur that
> passage." I should have shut up. Instead I responded, "but I am only
> playing what the manuscript requests," to which responded, "No, it
> sounds better my way." I should have killed him right then and there,
> but I said, "OK," and off we went.]

Think for a moment about an occasion on which Mozart would have heard his
own "Gran Partitta" performed. Is there any indication, despite the
marking, that Mozart would have objected to the passage being either
partially or completely slurred? I'm quite sure it is true that there are
numerous instances of pieces for winds by Mozart in which essentially no
articulations are indicated in the original score. Does that mean that he
wanted everything to be toungued? Should performers eschew articulation for
all time on the basis of that negative evidence? Is that position
consistent with the currently held position that the performer should bring
something of himself or herself to the performance? Should the performer
feel free to improvise by adding notes or ornaments, but on the other hand
be strictly bound to slavishly follow the articulation markings in whatever
is the oldest score that can be located for each composition?

Perhaps an earlier statement in your message would be applicable:

> I may not have known what he meant, but I sure as hell knew what he wrote.

And, on another perennial topic:

> (By the way, for those who object to my spelling of "Gran Partitta, get
> used to and don't make fun of it!)

When Mozart wrote "Partitta," in what language did he think he was writing?
How was Mozart's spelling in that language? There are letters from Mozart
in English which exhibit less than perfect spelling and grammer. Must
English-speaking people for eternity spell English words in the same
incorrect way that Mozart spelled them in his writing?

Ed Lacy


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