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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000489.txt from 2004/08

From: "Noel Taylor" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Re: K. 581 performance practice
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 07:16:05 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Roberts []=20
Sent: 16 August 2004 18:16
Subject: RE: [kl] Re: K. 581 performance practice

OK, now it's my turn to ask a na=EFve 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 =
we talking about inventing new melody and tossing in a chorus of "When =
Saints Go Marching In"? [1]

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

- Tim Roberts,
Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.


It seems a rather profound question to me - but I am surely far more =
than you when it comes to Mozart and a piece of music I've never played. =
didn't feel, nevertheless, that Dan quite addressed the essence of your
question, which I understood to be - do we pretend we live in the 18th
century and try and improvise as we imagine musicians of the day might, =
do we allow our modern sensibility to inflect the way we improvise at =
moments? In a way, both could produce risible results, but that's the =
delight of improvisation anyway - taking risks.=20

My own perspective is that if we were to be improvising 'cod' Mozart =
the performance might demand a sense of irony - a musical or perhaps =
distancing that signaled that: we live in different times, it's true, =
it's just a bit of fun.

Noel Taylor


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