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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000471.txt from 2004/08

From: Tim Roberts <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Re: K. 581 performance practice
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 13:17:28 -0400

On Sat, 14 Aug 2004 09:48:49 -0700, "dnleeson" <>

>Carbonare's playing is well-known to me, and his technique of
>playing the theme unornamented the first time round but changed
>and improvised upon the second time through is the most common
>approach to the problem of improvising. And it's not a bad one
>either because it gives the listener a chance to hear the music
>as written and then hear the music with additions created by the
>player. That is a perfectly acceotabke solution when you have
>music that is played once and then repeated once.

OK, now it's my turn to ask a naïve question that will expose the depths
of my ignorance and open me up to ridicule and calumny.

The word "improvisation" means many things today. When we talk about
"improvising" in K.581, are we talking basically about decorating the
transitions -- throwing in the occasional turn, mordent, and gliss -- or
are we talking about inventing new melody and tossing in a chorus of
"When the Saints Go Marching In"? [1]

I can imagine that an 18th Century performance of K.581 might actually
have been done by the equivalent of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and
included a lengthy bass solo, but wouldn't one be laughed off of the
stage today for straying very far from the printed music?
1. Note to the humor-impaired: that's hyperbole.

- Tim Roberts,
Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.

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