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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000394.txt from 2004/08

From: "dnleeson" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Juon & Thieriot
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 13:41:24 -0400

This is a very remarkable posting. While I am pleased to see
Thieriot's piano/wind quintet making an appearance, something
else in Marc Cerri's catalog caused my heart to leap. There
towards the bottom, another piano/wind quintet, this one by Fritz
Volbach, is given. And on the matter of Fritz Volbach, there is
a story to tell. If you deleted Cerri's note, it's attached on
the bottom of this one.

You know I am always bitching that the subtitle of K. 361 should
be "Gran Paritta" and not "Gran Partita." Well, who do you think
stuck the work with the latter title?

Fritz Volbach, that's who. I knew nothing about him, but Cerri's
catalog has some biographical information about the guy. The
entire story of his screwing up the subtitle of K. 361 is below.
I use it whenever I get a letter from someone telling me that I
have a typo in my book, because there is it spelled "Gran


The Subtitle of K. 361/370a: Gran Partitta or Gran Partita?

It is uncomfortable to stand up while everyone else is sitting
down, but the subtitle of the Serenade in B-flat for 13
instruments (not 13 wind instruments), K. 361/370a is, or should
be, spelled "Gran Partitta," though a detailed explanation is
required to support that position.

Until the publication in 1912 of a technical article about K. 361
by Fritz Volbach in the "Neue Musikzeitung," no subtitle of any
kind had been used for K. 361/370a; i.e., it had never been
referred to as the "Gran Partita" in any literature up to that
time. The work was occasionally spoken of as Mozart's "Great
Serenade for wind instruments" but such action was casual.
Volbach's paper was published following his examination, in 1911,
of the manuscript, then in the possession of Princess Marie von
Erbach Schonberg, Princess of Battenberg, and it was also the
first-ever technical examination of the holograph, which went
underground in 1803.

The manuscript for K. 361/370a was purchased from Mozart's widow
by Johann Anton Andre in 1798/99 and was given away by him as a
gift in 1803 to the Archduke Ludwig I of Hessen-Darmstadt. There
is no evidence that anyone except the six people who owned it
during the 108 year period saw it until Volbach's examination in
1911. During this hiatus, no one knew that there was a specific
subtitle written on the top center of the first page. Volbach's
decision to print the first page as part of his article resulted
in a technical problem for the photography because the subtitle
was written in red crayon and had to be retouched to make it
readable. So in Volbach's article, that subtitle appears to read
"Gran Partita." However, that is not what is written on the
manuscript. Instead the exact text is "Gran Partitta."

That subtitle is not in Mozart's hand, and, as can be established
by its physical placement on the page, its presence can be
documented to a date between 1798/99 and the date when the
manuscript was bound, something that is believed to have taken
place immediately prior to its being given away by Andre in 1803.
At the time of that binding, the edges of the paper were cut and
gilded, as much for protection as for adornment. There, at the
very edge of the top of the page, a place that would have been a
poor choice to write anything after the paper was edged, are the
word's "Gran Partitta."

There is no question that the word should have been "Partita" and
that whoever wrote it between 1798/99 and 1803 simply did not
know how to spell it. But this is a secondary consideration. It
is an unarguable fact that it reads as stated.

The subtitle has nothing to do with Mozart and is only used
because of its presence, in retouched form, in the 1909 Volbach
article. If then the conceit for using it depends entirely on
its presence on the first page of the manuscript, it should be
spelled exactly as it appears on the manuscript, misspelling

Actually, there is a far better solution than presenting this
subtitle at all. Don't use one. But since the editorial board
of the Neue Mozart Ausgabe decided to continue the use of this
totally irrelevant subtitle, then it should be spelled the way it
appears on the holograph.

Dan Leeson

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 10:12 AM
Subject: [kl] Juon & Thieriot

Fellow Wind Players,

For those who expressed an interest, my newly minted editions of
Divertimento for Piano & Wind Quintet, Op. 51 by Paul Juon
(1872-1940) and Ferdinand
Thieriot's (1838-1919) Quintet for Piano & Winds, Op. 80 are now
available at
my website:

Many more pieces will be added monthly, so please check back

Happy playing,

Marc Cerri

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