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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000496.txt from 2004/08

From: "dnleeson" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] The making of K. 581
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 12:42:27 -0400

I do not dispute you one iota when it comes to the matter of
ornamental interpretations. If you get two players, you will
have three opinions on how to play a trill or a mordent or an
anything. Ornamentation is a distinct problem in that there is
no clear concensus. And I was not suggesting in my discussion of
ornamentation vs. invention that one was a solved problem while
the other was not.

I was simply trying to make two slots for discussion, one being
ornamentation as the complete province of the composer (he puts
the symbols in and we bust our chops trying to interpret what
those symbols mean, if any one thing) and the other being
invention which is entirely the province of the performer (the
performer creates and we try to decide if what he has created out
of whole cloth and instantaneously, is good, bad, or out in left
field). But when invention works (as it does very often in the
playing of the piano concerti of Mozart by Robert D. Levin), a
whole new world is opened up.

AS for conductors and their editions, don't start me on that. I
showed up for a performance of the Gran Partitta, first making
certain that the edition to be used was the Bärenreiter which I
know well because I edited the edition for the Neuem Mozart
Ausgabe (along with Neal Zaslaw of Cornell), and the schmuck of a
conductor showed up with the 1927 Eulenberg edition (in pocket
score) and then started to lecture me on why it was a far
superior edition than the Bärenreiter because the grace note
interpretation was all written out rather than left in ornamented
form. Quelle putz!

Dan Leeson

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 8:58 AM
Subject: Re: [kl] The making of K. 581

Dear Dan:

From David Dow

I enjoyed a great deal a number of comments that you have put
forward and
agree with you on most of the points. What I have discovered as
of late
with the current period practice trend is a somewhat softening on
positions in terms of the way trills and some mordents and turns
are being
done. For numerous reasons many groups took the sixteenth entry
and used it
more like a 32cd note etc...however, I have seen a few groups in
concert go
back to the more literal 16th without the crushed
feeling....Handel for one
has suffered a good deal from so called perfromance practice in
concerning lead -ins with 16th notes...

Although I am maybe a bit obtuse there is some reason to always
consider an
Authoritive performance as somewhat suspicious...the idea that we
totally replicate what Mozart heard in his day does not mean that
is what he
may have wished....there is a logical reason for this. I am
quite sure it
is very possible that Mozart was sometimes very unhappy with what
was done
to his "Music" by various ensembles.

And hence, we get into the concept of what is a definitive
really feel Editors must be much clearer in giving what is a and
is not in
the original manuscript...I dislike the idea of having to re-do
reassemble an interpretation because of the nature of the
Edition. Many
players who run into the Kalmus scores of various orchestral
works begin to
wonder if the Conductor is working on the same idea of phrases
and even

For example...very recently we did Prokofiev Peter and the
Wolf...well we
had a jackass come in with a totally different edition in terms
of the
notes! I was using the Chapell Warner and he walks in with the
Kalmus...this is when one begins to suspect Conductors do not
give one iota
about what the heck is going on....! This is an example of
simply not
thinking before perfromance...and yes such things occur world

As to the Mozart I am quite sure that taking some liberty with
phrasing and
even slurring is more permissable then say 20 years ago...a
interpretion of the Quintet is the Boeykens version recently...he
steer a straightforward course.

As always I enjoy the comments...

David Dow
Symphony NB

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