Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Klarinet Archive - Posting 000700.txt from 2004/08

From: "David B. Niethamer" <>
Subj: [kl] [clarinet] Re: [kl] Debussy Rhapsodie
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 11:00:06 -0400

on 8/23/04 7:03 PM, Sean Osborn wrote:

>I'm sure many people on this list have researched this mistake (if it is
>one) in the past and can offer some insights into the correct pitch to play.

I have 1.) the Durand edition for clarinet & piano, 2.) the Durand
orchestral score, and 3.) a photocopy of the clarinet & piano manuscript.
All of these sources have the C natural accidental the first time, but
not the second. BTW, this also occurs an octave higher 2 measures after

Dennis Nygren published an article in two parts about the Rhapsodie. He
studied the autograph orchestral score and the autograph piano/clarinet
score, and says the following, under the heading "Logical textual
corrections in the Durand clarinet part":

"11 mm. before and 2 mm. after [7] (mm. 101 and 113); by comparing
mm. 170 and 174 to thee measures, it may be assumed that Debussy intended
C naturals (not C flats) as the final 16th notes of these measures. He
probably forgot the accidentals."

Several things trouble me about assertions like this.
"Logical...corrections" - by what logic? Are composers always consistent?
"It may be assumed that Debussy intended..." - on what basis may this be
assumed? "He probably forgot..." - probably? How can we know this?

Has anyone on the list actually examined the orchestral autograph. It's
in the Bibliotheque nationale - might it be available on line?

I'm curious to try the Cb's when I have a moment to practice. The fact
that Debussy omitted them twice in the same circumstance makes me wonder
whether it really is an accident.


David Niethamer

Klarinet is a service of Woodwind.Org, Inc.

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact