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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000464.txt from 2004/08

From: "emily worthington" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] K. 581 ornamentation
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 09:10:37 -0400

Earlier this year I did a performance of 581 on period instruments for a
performance practice assessment. In the process of preparing this I came to
the conclusion that, IMO, Mozart's grace notes (as they occur in the
Barenrieter 'urext' at least) should in general be realised in note-values
that correspond to their notated length.

Eg: mvt 2 bar 19 beat 3, cl part - a written-out dotted quaver-semiquaver
preceeded by a semiquaver grace note is realised with the rhythm
semiquaver-quaver-semiquaver, the grace note taking only one-third of the
value of the principle note rather than the conventional two-thirds.
reasons? Well, for starters the the clarinet is the only part with the fifth
of the chord and to delay it for a whole quaver seems to sit a little
uncomfortably with the harmony. Also (and this is no trivial issue) a
semiquaver requires a whole extra stroke of ink than a quaver. Why would
mozart (assuming the ornament is not editorial - though i believe the
argument holds true even if it is) go to the trouble of writing a semiquaver
if he meant the grace to be realised as a quaver?

The same arguement - for realising grace accoring to their notated value -
can be applied throughout the piece, though the first movement ornamentation
is a slightly thornier situation. However, I ran up against problems in trio
I. To realise the graces in violin I as 'scotch snaps' (semiquaver-dotted
quaver) is a rather radical suggestion (I've certainly never heard it done).
We tried it out in rehearsal and discarded the idea because the violinist
couldn't make it sound convincing (the accent always seemed to fall on the
principle note, making the whole gesture sound like a an accaciatura
excecuted rather late). However I'm still tempted to think that the
conventional quaver-quaver realisation of these appogiaturas is dubious.

Does anyone agree with me? is it possible to make a scoth-snap work here
without compromising the 'leaning' nature of the appogiaturas?

Emily x

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