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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000375.txt from 2002/06

From: "Michael Bryant" <michael@-----.uk>
Subj: Re: [kl] Schumann's 'Romances'
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 18:05:53 -0400

Op 94: I am sorry I seem to have lost the beginning of the thread
of this and have not located Schumann's correspondence where he
(possibly) "objects to the publisher's idea of an edition for oboe
or violin or clarinet and piano". Where can I find it? I have been
lazy in not combing the Sneezy archives.

Op 73: What most of us know and play was published
first by Brietkopf and Haertel and based on a manuscript
written by Clara Schumann. It was also dedicated to the 'cellist
Andreas Grabau. Robert Schumann's original manuscript entitled
Soireestuecke is in the Bibliotheque National in Paris.
There are some significant differences. Faber Music published
an edition of the Soireestucke based on the work of Richard
Platt and Alan Hacker in 1985.

The 'existing version' of the Sinfonia Concertante K 297b with clarinet
was found among the papers of Mozart's German biographer
Otto Jahn (1813-1869) after his death.
MB

Lelia wrote on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 4:30 PM
Subject: [kl] Schumann's 'Romances'

> Re. playing these Schumann oboe pieces on clarinet, Tony Pay wrote,
> >What about the 'modern' publisher -- is it OK for them to
> >publish the clarinet part and leave the decision as to whether
> >or not to play it up to you?
>
> Interesting question. I have mixed feelings about all of this. I think
it's
> wrong to misrepresent the music we play. If it's a transcription, we must
> say so. However, the clarinet repertory is so small, compared to the
> repertory available for the piano and the violin, that I'm not only
willing
> but *eager* to steal other people's music! In fact, on bass sax, I do
almost
> nothing *but* transcribe, from anything that can be made to sound remotely
> plausible on the old monster (Mozart's opera arias for bass; pedal lines
from
> Bach's organ music...). But then I'm not a professional and I don't have
to
> defend in public whatever I do.
>
> Recordings such as "The Criminal Trombone" (BIS-CD-328), with Christian
> Lindberg on trombone and Roland Pontinen on piano, don't bother me a bit.
> The back cover says, "STOLEN WORKS," in large capital letters. The liner
> notes explain clearly that the composers didn't write these pieces (which
> include Schumann's "Romances," by the way) for trombone. The presentation
is
> completely straightforward with no intent to mislead; and the playing is
> spectacular.
>
> With all the interest today in preserving historical authenticity, I see
> little danger of the transcriptions replacing the original compositions,
as
> sometimes happened with Baroque compositions in the late 19th and early
20th
> centuries. I wouldn't want to see Stokowski transcriptions *replace* real
> Bach again. However, I don't see how it damages the composer's reputation
or
> insults his memory in the least to take liberties with earlier work, as
long
> as performances of the pieces as originally composed remain available and
as
> long as some musicians maintain scrupulous efforts to preserve antique
> performances practices insofar as they're discoverable.
>
> But what about something like the "Mozart" CD issued by Dabringhaus und
Grimm
> in 2000 (MDG-301 1000-2)? Dieter Kloecker wrote the liner notes and
plays
> clarinet (modern, not basset), with Mi-Young Chon on oboe, Jan Schroeder
on
> horn, Karl-Otto Hartmann on bassoon and the Czech Philharmonic Chamber
> Orchestra with leader Pavel Prantl. On both front and back, the name
> Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart appears prominently, in large, bold lettering,
with
> no indication of any other hand in the composition except for the telltale
> opus numbering of the playlist on the back:
>
> Sinfonia Concertante KV C 14.01 = 297b
> Variations after KV 382
> Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra KV C 14.06
>
> In other words, everything on this CD is spurious!
>
> This jacket (probably the fault of the record company; it's unlikely that
the
> musicians had any control over the cover design) bothers me, because I
doubt
> that the average buyer would notice the minutiae of the opus numbering.
Most
> people would buy this record with every expectation that it contains music
by
> Mozart. Moreover, it's clear from the liner notes that the people who
> designed that cover didn't simply make an innocent mistake.
>
> Dieter Kloecker's liner notes explain matters, though not always in plain
> language; but of course, the purchaser can't read the liner notes without
> buying the album and opening it, thereby rendering it non-returnable.
Since
> I did notice the opus numbering, I expected more or less what I got and
felt
> intrigued rather than hookwinked and furious. I suspect Mr. Kloecker of a
> sense of humor, since each work is spurious in a different way. But I do
> have qualms about marketing something in this tricky manner.
>
> The authorship of the so-called Clarinet Concerto is disputed. The
Schmidt
> company turned up a manuscript of this piece in Europe, attributed it to
> Mozart and published it, as an oboe concerto, in 1899, with revisions by
E.
> Naumann. It's unclear to me from Kloecker's liner notes whether or not
> Naumann's revision explicitly suggested that the work was playable on
> clarinet as well, or whether this was Kloecker's idea or someone else's.
> Kloecker presents arguments by various musical scholars that this is a
19th
> century work, not by Mozart.
>
> The Variations are clarinetist Simeon Bellison's "St. Petersburg" clarinet
> transcription of a genuine Mozart piece . . . for the piano.
>
> The klarinet list already had a long discussion about the Sinfonia
> Concertante. Dan Leeson argued convincingly that Mozart did not compose
this
> work. Find the discussion in the klarinet archives by using two different
> spellings, "Sinfonia Concertante" and Dan's preferred "Sinfonie
Concertante."
> Most of the klarinet discussion took place in 1996. (I was not yet on
the
> list then and this recording had not yet been made.)
>
> Regarding attribution, Kloecker begins straightforwardly enough that the
> piece "presents some problems, not only as far as its authenticity is
> concerned but also with respect to its instrumentation." But then his
> wording becomes ambiguous enough to confuse the issue. (Although I'm not
> qualified as a translator of German or French, it seems to me that the
> ambiguity in this English translation by Susan Marie Praeder is also
present
> in the French translation by Sylvie Gomez and in Kloecker's original
German.)
> Kloecker writes that at age 20, Mozart sent to his father a description
of a
> Sinfonia Concertante for flute, oboe, horn and bassoon. Young Mozart sold
> the work to the publisher LeGros but failed to keep a copy for himself.
Le
> Gros didn't publish this version. No copy of it has turned up. Kloecker
> continues, "Mozart had some difficulties with this piece in Paris. As he
> stated, he gave the work to LeGros to have it copied, but nothing
happened.
> Nothing came of the planned performance, either, even though the musicians
> were very much taken by this piece. On the other hand, Mozart also wrote
> that he continued to have the work in his thoughts and that the musicians
> would be surprised when he wrote it out again in Vienna. Most probably,
he
> did indeed write it out again in Vienna, this time with clarinet, which in
> the meantime had become more popular than the instruments still of baroque
> orientation. And so, for me as a wind instrumentalist, Mozart's
concertante
> numbers among the most beautiful compositional creations that have come
down
> to us from the classical period."
>
> Hmm. Exactly what is he saying here? Note the "most probably." I think
> that, for all the talk about Mozart, Kloecker is really saying that the
> composer of this arrangement of the Sinfonia without a flute and with a
> clarinet is unknown--and on close reading, he's not really claiming that
> Mozart wrote any earlier version, either. Mozart wrote something and had
> trouble with it in Paris, but we have no way of knowing whether it was
*this*
> something.
>
> So the problem with that great big "Mozart" on the cover isn't all the
fault
> of the jacket designer, alas. Kloecker himself contributes to the
> puzzlement. Nonetheless, despite my disagreement with the way Kloecker
and
> DG represent this CD, I think it's an excellent recording of music that
> deserves to be heard. The audio quality is first-rate and the playing
> likewise, though Kloecker doesn't sound quite as impeccable to me on this
CD
> as he did in the Cartellieri recordings. This time, in the highest notes,
I
> hear some shrill (even quacking) tone quality and a few intonation
whoopsies.
> As for the compositions, I don't think any of them rise to the level of
K.
> 622, but I enjoy listening to them and I think they belong in the
repertory.
> If I'd had to take a wild guess about the composer of the Concerto, I
would
> have guessed a mid-19th C. reconstruction of earlier work: Mozart in the
> first movement (which begins with a passage reminiscent of his opera
> overtures) and Weber in the third movement, which is a Rondo Allegretto
with
> some phrases strikingly similar to passages in Weber's clarinet quintet.
I
> hope that future performers will make clear the questionable parentage of
> these pieces and credit them to good old Mr. Anonymous or at most as
> "attributed to Mozart," with an explanation.
>
> My 2 cents.
> Lelia
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>

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