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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000535.txt from 2004/08

From: Tony Pay <tony.p@-----.org>
Subj: [kl] Internal evidence
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 16:48:56 -0400

On 18 Aug, Audrey Travis <vsofan@-----.ca> wrote:

> Would you please explain what you mean by "internal evidence' and give
> examples?

By 'internal evidence' I mean, evidence that doesn't derive from things l=
ike,
do we have a manuscript that says it, did the first performer say he did =
it,
and so on.

Internal evidence for or against a particular interpretation, or for or
against a particular textual variation, involves considering whether the
particular interpretation or variation is consistent with, or collides wi=
th,
other important structures that are perceivable within the piece.

For example, to take a very simple example, it is possible to articulate =
the
Ab dominant 7th arpeggio semiquavers in the clarinet concerto in bar 83 b=
y
what is commonly called, 'slur two and tongue two'. I don't know whether=

there is an edition that does this, but imagine that there is -- even an
edition that some teacher told a student was the best edition, and includ=
ed
the best way to think of that bar, because Slagbert Rheinschule had taugh=
t
her so, and he came in a direct line of descent from Stadler.=20

The 'internal evidence' argument against that is, that it has the effect =
of
dividing the bar into four, because we have four similar articulation
structures. And if you look at the context, you see that bar 81 is clear=
ly
in 4 in the orchestra, bar 82 in two in the orchestra, and bar 83 in one =
in
the orchestra. So it's more natural to adopt the theory that Mozart in t=
his
case would have wanted the soloist to do the same, and play the final bar=
83
in one, stretching the same sort of 'downward/upward' pattern that appear=
s
twice in bar 82 over one octave, to one occurrence of 'downward/upward' o=
ver
two octaves in bar 83.

'Slur two and tongue two', while it *can* be played so as not to contradi=
ct
that bar 83 is in one, unnecessarily complicates the issue. Therefore, t=
he
'internal evidence' suggests that we play bar 83 all slurred, (or
alternatively all tongued, though that complicates the idea that the musi=
c
'relaxes' over these three bars, preparing the beautiful passage that beg=
ins
at bar 86.)

My whole life consists of constructing such chains of 'internal evidence'=
.=20
They have to fit with what is given by unequivocal scores -- but in this
case, Mozart's handwriting allows me to make that decision. He didn't wa=
nt,
at any rate initially in his Winterthur sketch, to break up the bar into =
4.=20
How do I know he didn't change his mind? Well, because.

It's worth noticing that Mozart very often, in his other works, sets up
sequences of 'period halving'. What's more, an example occurs at the ver=
y
opening of K581. Here's what I wrote about that in 'Phrasing in Contenti=
on':

> The beginning of Mozart=91s Clarinet Quintet (Ex.1) shows a rhythmic ph=
rase
> structure in which the phrases consistently halve their period as the m=
usic
> proceeds. It consists of an initial two-bar phrase, two one-bar phrase=
s
> and then two half-bar phrases, after which the accompaniment becomes ev=
en
> more choppy and the first violin melody yields to the clarinet after a
> cadential trill. The effect is one of precisely increasing division an=
d
> fragmentation, the texture becoming always lighter, phrase by phrase,
> ending with the clarinet, which applies the same formula (of phrase-len=
gth
> division by two) to an arpeggio figure, which also incidentally doubles=
the
> speed of its constituent notes as it descends and the phrase length hal=
ves.
>=20
> In fact, we do have a choice here: we can think of bar 7 in the clarine=
t
> part as containing either two phrases or =90objects=91, or as containin=
g one
> phrase only =99 namely, the sounding A major arpeggio. Later in the
> development section, however, we see that this arpeggio is divided at t=
he
> half-bar, so most likely it is correct to decide that there are two
> objects. By analogy with the string passage also, it seems more natura=
l to
> have the clarinet phrase-length halve rather than divide by four betwee=
n
> bars 7 and 8. In either case, I suggest that the object or objects wer=
e
> intended to be played legato, as were the four groups of semiquavers in=
the
> subsequent bar, following both beaming and grouping.
>=20
> Bar 5 also contains an example of phrasing as correction: Mozart could =
have
> written two slurs in the first violin part, but the division into two i=
s
> already sufficiently established both by the shape of the melody and th=
e
> nature of the fragmented accompaniment. Further slurs would exaggerate=
the
> effect.
>=20
> After the double bar the rhythmic process is reversed: the initial four=

> repeated crotchets of the two violins are accompanied and sewn together=
by
> the two half-bar phrases of the clarinet, become a one-bar phrase suppo=
rted
> by a semibreve chord, and return to the two-bar phrase of the opening,
> which then begins its return journey once more (Ex 2). Both effects re=
ly
> upon similarity of phrase shape, which is determined by the shape of th=
e
> shortest phrase, and is thus clearly beginning-oriented. There is no s=
lur
> over the first three clarinet quavers, but again I suggest that it is m=
ore
> natural to play them legato. (The rhythmic viewpoint suggests that the=

> reason that Mozart bothers to write the slur over the second half is th=
at
> he intends to prevent our reading the phrasing of the clarinet part as =
4
> quavers followed by three, as might be indicated by the change from
> arpeggio to chromatic scale over the final three quavers of the bar.)
>=20
> Notice that there are no dots on the violin crotchets in the second bar=
of
> the example. We do not have the autograph of this piece, but the
> discussion of the difference between dots and dashes predicts that the
> original of the first bar would be likely to contain dashes! Their pur=
pose
> would be to insist on the four equal strokes that begin the period-doub=
ling
> return.
>=20
> Mozart helps the beginning orientation of the first phrase of the movem=
ent
> by his scoring: the layout of the first two chords is striking enough =
to
> cause severe difficulty to any string quartet attempting to float in an=
d
> crescendo. The =90fighting=91 of each pair of distantly spaced thirds =
in the
> first and second chords; their contraction inwards; the descent of the
> leading voice and the opening out of the spacing of the inner parts as =
they
> reach the interrupted cadence at the end of the second bar, all combine=
to
> create a phrase that relaxes away from its beginning without need of
> particular guidance on the part of the performers. However, they can r=
uin
> it by trying to =90go somewhere=91, or by using vibrato to minimise the=

> character of the part writing. If they avoid doing this, little more i=
s
> required of them than to play each phrase legato and to allow the phras=
es
> to develop and lighten faster as they shorten. The whole music lighten=
s
> naturally.
>=20
> Such a description is of course far from capturing the magic of this
> opening. However it makes explicit an aspect of the music that is often=

> obscured in performance. Of course, the degree to which the phrasing i=
s
> shown =99 how =90flat=91 the leaf-shape is, in the =90leaf=91 analogy =99=
is an
> important decision that will determine the nature of the subsequent
> interpretation. There is also the possibility that the shapes of the
> leaves may change as the passage progresses, becoming perhaps less flat=
and
> more energetic; and how the phrases are joined is an important issue to=
o.=20
> Clearly there is also a =90long line=91 to be represented, so how much =
we show
> =90waves=91 relative to =90sea=91 will make a difference.
>=20
> It is easy to spot the rhythmic intention in this particular case, beca=
use
> the phrasing in each part contributes to the one synchronous rhythmic
> progression. Usually Mozart has several different rhythms operating
> simultaneously in any one passage.

Of course, all this is just my opinion, and clearly a waste of effort on =
a
score that 'almost certainly' was quite different.

Enough for now.

Tony =20
--=20
_________ Tony Pay =20
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd tony.p@-----.org
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE http://classicalplus.gmn.com/artist=
s
tel/fax 01865 553339
=20
... Earth is full. Go home.

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