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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000332.txt from 2004/08

From: Tony Pay <>
Subj: Re: [kl] K622 Etheridge book
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 18:56:57 -0400

On 10 Aug, "John Gibson" <> wrote:

> > I have to say that [the non-availability of Etheridge's book] is no great
> > loss. I don't own the book, but was once shown it 'as a joke' by a
> > professional colleague.
> >
> > I can't think of a more redundant and misleading idea than to write
> > a description of how this or that player plays K622 on a recording.
> Tony: Let me get this straight. You were "shown" the book but have not
> read it?

Well, you're right that I didn't read all of it. (I said I didn't *own* it.)
But I read enough to get the picture.

I don't know that I want to make the effort to satisfy your criticism that I
didn't read everything that the author writes.

> Well, I read it. It may not be the most exciting writing, but the
> information is interesting and not available just from listening to the
> recordings.

The thing is, I *don't* think the information is interesting. Who cares?
Unless you have an undue regard for all these supposedly legendary beings,
how this or that famous or infamous player effectively 'writes in'
crescendos, diminuendos or whatever to Mozart's score, and indeed what they
have to say about their doing that, just doesn't contribute to your job of
finding how to play the piece.

What you have to do is to understand the basics of the style, and then
enquire of yourself how the piece 'wants to live'. Information about how you
can go about that process might be interesting, but isn't to be found in
Etheridge's book.

That Hasty/Marcellus/Prufrock/Genius/Dickhead/Stoltzman/Whoever are described
as doing it the way they did it certainly interests me not in the slightest.
And what's more, I maintain it isn't useful to a student.

> The author thanks his contributors for the time each took with him
> personally looking at their approach to the piece. You are right that
> listening and forming your own opinions is better, but this book is a good
> way to augment that process.

No, I don't think so. For me, the fact that they took that time diminishes
my respect for them. It shows that they're too interested in themselves.
(*I* wouldn't have done it, even though quite clearly, I'm interested in

Did you know that Leister has just issued 'his' edition of the Mozart
Concerto, by the way? I'm informed it took several years of effort, and much
to-ing and fro-ing, to get it 'just right'. But now we all know 'how he
thinks it should be played'.

> I appreciated your recording of K622 and used it as one of my reference
> recordings for an audition.

Did you win it?

> Of course, I *could* have said that I saw a recording of yours once and
> thought the music was grouchy and unkind.

If you'd said that, then you'd have been a fool, wouldn't you?

_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE
tel/fax 01865 553339

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