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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000498.txt from 2003/06

From: "Brash, Alexander" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Period basset horns (was: Purchase of Orchestral parts)
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 13:04:00 -0400

Actually, there's no need to hunt through all those it =
is, I
think. Is this it Dan?

External Resources: =20
Ownership: Check the catalogs in your library.=20
Libraries worldwide that own item: 43
Author: Leeson, Daniel N.=20
Title: Mozart's deliberate use of incorrect key signatures for =
Source: Mozart-Jahrbuch 1998. p. 139-152. ISSN: 0077-1805
Language: German=20
Class: Theory, analysis, and composition: Tuning, temperament, scale
Abstract: [unedited] Mozart's key signatures for the clarinet and =
horn are analyzed in light of contemporaneous method books for these
instruments. The method books allow at most a B-flat in the key =
in many cases, Mozart uses additional accidentals, but he nevertheless
sticks to the official key signatures as prescribed by contemporaneous
theory.(Leibnitz, Thomas)=20
Document Type: ap -- Article in a periodical=20
Accession No: 99-23533-ap=20
Database: RILM_Music_Abstracts

Alexander Michael Brash
Education Dept, New York Philharmonic
10 Lincoln Center Plaza, 5th Floor
phone (212) 875 - 5735
cell (646) 284 - 0439

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Leeson []=20
Subject: Re: [kl] Period basset horns (was: Purchase of Orchestral =

Joseph Wakeling wrote:
> Dan Leeson wrote:
> << When Bob Levin and I published a paper on the clarinet and basset =
> writing of Mozart, we both came to the conclusion (and said so in =
> that S=FCssmayr did not know that a basset horn was a woodwind =
> may have thought that it was a member of the French horn family and =
had no
> idea of how to write for it. >>
> Remarkable. I remember a while back you pointed to S=FCssmayr's =
writing an
> major section for the basset horn as evidence of his lack of =
> This seems to me even more surprising if he thought that he was =
> a type of French horn, whose key restrictions were surely even =
> (A question for those experienced in period performance---how =
> that section on period bassets?)
> Dan, Is there an online version of your paper available anywhere (or =
> where was it published)?
> -- Joe

Published in the Mozart Jahrbuch. No online versions. The most recent=20
issue of that Journal is 2001. Our article is between 1995 and that=20
one. The title is "Mozart's deliberate writing for clarinets and =
horns in the wrong key" or something like that. You will have to go to =

a large library (such as a university library) and ask if they have the =

Mozart Jahrbuch. Then look in the index of each volume between 95 and=20
2001 until you find it. Most university libraries have it but it =
on where you live.

The conclusion that Levin and I came to about Sussmayr thinking that =
basset horn was a kind of French horn was due to how he wrote for the=20
instrument. The culture at that time in writing for French horns (and=20
to a large extent, still in use today) was to always write the part in=20
written C major and add the accidentals as needed. No other instrument =

in the orchestra was treated this way. Well that is exactly how=20
Sussmayr wrote for the basset horns in his manuscript of the Requiem.=20
And this forced us to the conclusion that he thought the instrument was =

written for as a French horn is written for. He didn't write for=20
clarinets that way, only basset horns. Therefore, ...

It is not that he was stupid, only that he had very limited experience=20
in orchestral writing and he had never before ever written for basset=20
horn (and never would again). The German word for the instrument is=20
"Bassethorn" which means "little bass horn" so he must have thought =
a basset horn was a bass French horn.

**Dan Leeson **
** **

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