Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Klarinet Archive - Posting 000499.txt from 2003/06

From: Dan Leeson <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Period basset horns (was: Purchase of Orchestral parts)
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 13:04:01 -0400

That is indeed the correct item, but it does not show that Bob Levin and
I are coauthors of the piece. And despite the fact that this abstract
states the article to be in German, it is in English.


Brash, Alexander wrote:
> Actually, there's no need to hunt through all those it is, I
> think. Is this it Dan?
> External Resources:
> Ownership: Check the catalogs in your library.
> Libraries worldwide that own item: 43
> Author: Leeson, Daniel N.
> Title: Mozart's deliberate use of incorrect key signatures for clarinets
> Source: Mozart-Jahrbuch 1998. p. 139-152. ISSN: 0077-1805
> Language: German
> Class: Theory, analysis, and composition: Tuning, temperament, scale
> structures
> Abstract: [unedited] Mozart's key signatures for the clarinet and basset
> horn are analyzed in light of contemporaneous method books for these
> instruments. The method books allow at most a B-flat in the key signature;
> in many cases, Mozart uses additional accidentals, but he nevertheless
> sticks to the official key signatures as prescribed by contemporaneous
> theory.(Leibnitz, Thomas)
> Document Type: ap -- Article in a periodical
> Accession No: 99-23533-ap
> 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
> email
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dan Leeson []
> Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 11:12 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [kl] Period basset horns (was: Purchase of Orchestral parts)
> Joseph Wakeling wrote:
>>Dan Leeson wrote:
>><< When Bob Levin and I published a paper on the clarinet and basset horn
>>writing of Mozart, we both came to the conclusion (and said so in print),
>>that Süssmayr did not know that a basset horn was a woodwind instrument.
> He
>>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 Süssmayr's writing an
> A
>>major section for the basset horn as evidence of his lack of knowledge.
>>This seems to me even more surprising if he thought that he was writing
> for
>>a type of French horn, whose key restrictions were surely even greater.
>>(A question for those experienced in period performance---how difficult
> *is*
>>that section on period bassets?)
>>Dan, Is there an online version of your paper available anywhere (or else,
>>where was it published)?
>> -- Joe
> Published in the Mozart Jahrbuch. No online versions. The most recent
> issue of that Journal is 2001. Our article is between 1995 and that
> one. The title is "Mozart's deliberate writing for clarinets and basset
> 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
> 2001 until you find it. Most university libraries have it but it depends
> on where you live.
> The conclusion that Levin and I came to about Sussmayr thinking that the
> basset horn was a kind of French horn was due to how he wrote for the
> instrument. The culture at that time in writing for French horns (and
> to a large extent, still in use today) was to always write the part in
> written C major and add the accidentals as needed. No other instrument
> in the orchestra was treated this way. Well that is exactly how
> Sussmayr wrote for the basset horns in his manuscript of the Requiem.
> 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
> clarinets that way, only basset horns. Therefore, ...
> It is not that he was stupid, only that he had very limited experience
> in orchestral writing and he had never before ever written for basset
> horn (and never would again). The German word for the instrument is
> "Bassethorn" which means "little bass horn" so he must have thought that
> a basset horn was a bass French horn.

**Dan Leeson **
** **

Klarinet is supported by Woodwind.Org,

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact