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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000487.txt from 2004/08

From: Tony Pay <tony.p@-----.org>
Subj: RE: [kl] Source for K. 581 (was K. 581 performance practice)
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 00:48:29 -0400

I wrote, in reply to Dan Leeson:

> > My suspicion is that what we have is probably fiarly close to what Mozart
> > wrote. Judging from past experience that means about 20 wrong notes,
> > 100-200 wrong dynamics, 5 incorrect rhythms, and no one knows how many
> > incorrect phrase shapes.
>
> I think your suspicion in the case of K581 is pretty wide of the mark. The
> first edition of K581 is *very* unadorned, both with regard to dynamics and
> with regard to phrasing. And we know that very many Mozart *manuscripts*
> have this character.
>
> Clearly, in assessing the extent of editorial interference, you have to
> take into account the *sort* of editing you're dealing with. Unless, that
> is, you think there is a sort of 'anti-editor' who takes things out of the
> manuscript rather than putting things in -- which I for one find
> psychologically implausible.
>
> If there are a lot of markings, then I agree the situation becomes more
> difficult, as in the case of K361.

Dan replied, inserting his reply after my *first* paragraph, as below:

> > I think your suspicion in the case of K581 is pretty wide of the mark.
> > The first edition of K581 is *very* unadorned, both with regard to
> > dynamics and with regard to phrasing. And we know that very many Mozart
> > *manuscripts* have this character.
>
> Every complete Mozart manuscript that I have ever seen, either in the
> original or facsimile form, had dynamics and phrase shapes in abundance, or
> I should say as many as he wanted in the music. Insofar as clarinet music,
> the manuscripts of 375, 388, 452, Kegelstat trio, etc. are all available
> for corroboration.

Well, obviously, I have no quarrel with the assertion that Mozart had "as
many dynamics and phrase shapes as he wanted" in his original manuscripts:-)

Dan goes on:

> While I do not disagree that the first edition of 581 is unadorned, there
> is no reason to believe that those lack of adornments are as such because
> they are absent in the manuscript.

But I say that there *is* reason to believe that a relatively 'unadorned'
manuscript is likely to be closer to the original than an 'adorned' one.

That's because of what editors *do* -- namely, add stuff to the music that
they think it *needs* -- which process both Dan and myself are firmly
against. This argument is contained in my next paragraph (quote level
adjusted):

> > Clearly, in assessing the extent of editorial interference, you have to
> > take into account the *sort* of editing you're dealing with. Unless,
> > that is, you think there is a sort of 'anti-editor' who takes things out
> > of the manuscript rather than putting things in -- which I for one find
> > psychologically implausible.

The point I'm making is that there are only two sorts of editor: those who
put stuff in, and those who leave the original as it stands. I say there
never ever has been an editor who simply *took out* of the music the
dynamics, slurs and so on that were already there.

Therefore, if there isn't much of that sort of thing present -- no slurs over
passages that would most plausibly be intended to be legato, for example, as
in K581 -- chances are that the editor was the sort who left the original
alone. And we do know that some editors are like that.

If on the contrary, there *is* a lot of that sort of thing present, then we
can't deduce anything, as I said.

Dan finishes:

> Besides, the editor did not work from the manuscript but, instead, from a
> set of manuscript performance parts, which compounds the problem.

That's the story, of course. Though actually, as in the case of the Mozart
concerto, we don't really know what the editor worked from. (If the AMZ
reviewer said he had a score of the concerto in front of him, how do we know
the editor didn't?)

But anyway, the argument above is untouched by whether or not the editor had
a score. If he was forced to use a set even of used parts, then in my
experience performers use pencils, not correcting fluid, so 'unadorned' still
means 'probably close to the original'.

Tony
--
_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd tony.p@-----.org
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE http://classicalplus.gmn.com/artists
tel/fax 01865 553339

... The reason Santa is so jolly: he knows where all the bad girls live.

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