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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000369.txt from 2004/08

From: Andy Raibeck <>
Subj: [kl] K. 581 performance practice
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 21:49:00 -0400

My quintet group is preparing the Mozart clarinet quintet for an upcoming
performance, and one of the areas of controversy I am dealing with is whether
to repeat or not repeat.

A couple of members of the group feel that the piece is too long, and wish to
eliminate some of the repeats:

- Don't repeat the first section of the first movement. This is the section
from the beginning through 15 measures after letter C (I don't know how
consistent rehearsal letters are between editions, but I am using the Schirmer

(Loosely related question: there is a left repeat sign immedately following the
repeated first section, starting at 16 measures after letter C; but there is no
matching right repeat sign. I imagine that this means you play to the end, then
repeat, though I've never heard a performance that does this. Is this a repeat
that, by some common convention, is rarely if ever played?)

- (Not a repeat issue) Eliminate the first two thirds of the second movement,
and start from the point where the opening melody is restated (letter D). This
I've refused to do; we are playing the whole movement.

- Eliminate all repeats in the third movement. Thus far we've compromised, and
are currently playing all repeats with the following exceptions: The two
repeated sections that comprise Trio I, and the second repeated section in Trio
II (from letter C through the end of the trio, before the da capo).

- Eliminate all repeats in the fourth movement. For now, though, we are playing
all repeats.

The rationale for those proposing the cuts are that the music is too
repetitive, and the audience might grow bored with it. Yes, it is long (most
performances I've heard clock in at more than half an hour), but it is a
beautiful piece of music that I think the audience will enjoy.

What is "acceptable" in the performance of this piece regarding the elimination
of repeats? This is my first outing on this piece, so I have no personal
experience to draw from. The audience will be general (i.e. assume most of the
audience will, at most, have had a casual brush with classical music).

I should note that one recording I have, Gervase de Peyer's, eliminates some



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