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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000561.txt from 2004/08

From: "dnleeson" <dnleeson@-----.net>
Subj: RE: [kl] The making of K. 581
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 13:30:48 -0400

There is a great deal to say on this matter David.

With respect to Marcellus assuming that the surface texture of
622 should be smooth, I remember hearing his performance and
thinking to myself, "What a magnificent player, but he playing
music from the 18th century in the style of late Brahms."

Music in Mozart's time (and even moreso in earlier periods) had a
very rough surface texture. Tonguing was much more prevalent.
Listen to Bach's fast trumpet music. Mozart's manuscripts show
lots and lots of tonguing. But they also show slurring too, so
one cannot presume that the absence of articulation is a mistake.

But by the time Brahms came around, it was important for surface
texture to be smooth, with no tongue to make the surface rough.
That is a characteristic of romantic music. SMOOTH. And that was
the style of music that Macellus was emulating. It was
beautifully done, but it was Mozart's music with Brahms surface
texture, which is just as inappropriate as Brahms music with
Mozart's surface texture. Marcellus what a magnificent
clarinetist but I never thought he knew very much about how music
from various epochs differed, one era from another.

Brahms himself had a problem because he was hired to edit the
Mozart Requiem for the edition of 1875, and it must have been
very painful for him to have extended passages of rapid
sixtheenth note (such as in the Kyrie fugue) with no tonguing.
He just could not accomodate that.

The other point I want to make is the B&H edition of 622 which
has gone effectively unchanged since ca. 1870. Whenever I would
visit Herb Blayman he always was working on 622 and he would hold
up that edition as if it was gold. And I told him that I thought
it was worthless. You know the edition: it has a baroque
mostrosity painted on the first page. There's a bear and a naked
lady and other kitch, all of which has been presumed to mean (1)
OLD , and (2) AUTHENTIC. But I don't think that that edition (or
effectively any edition) represents anything like what Mozart
wrote. Much of the dynamics, and certainly most of the phrase
shapes are romantic.

Dan Leeson
DNLeeson@-----.net

-----Original Message-----
From: Larisa Duffy and David Dow [mailto:duffyl@-----.ca]
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 9:55 AM
To: klarinet@-----.org
Subject: Re: [kl] The making of K. 581

----- I am defitely in accord with your thoughts on this
issue...one really
begins to wonder just what Breitkopf was up to..

they were of course simply trying to make a buck and much of the
edition
which comes from this source for the K622 is really troublesome.
.

I think Mozart would really have a good laugh at us and maybe be
slightly
amused that we are so laborously trying to piece together a
puzzle like
this.

Certainly on the point of leaving things out makes far greater
sense..why
spend a few pence extra to print or even put in some
ornamentation.
Printers can be pretty brutal..more so when the composer is dead
and buried.

As to performances this really does influence especially early
recording of
the clarinet concerto what we hear.

Marcellus really opts for a legato version in many ways because
the
Breitkopf he was using is so performance unsupportive.

I will not hesitate in adding that much of the slurring and
ornamentation
will never be known...however, I was recently very impressed with
David
Shifrin who seemed to tow a good balance between ornamentation
and also
articulation.

David Dow
Symphony NB

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