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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000136.txt from 2004/12

From: "dnleeson" <dnleeson@-----.net>
Subj: [kl] Fred!! Leave the measure out.
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 14:01:03 -0500

When Fred Fennell decided to produce his own edition of the Gran
Partitta he gave me the great honor of calling me to discuss it.
There is a story behind that matter and it is my intent to bring
honor to Fred's memory by telling it.

In 1958 I went to the Eastman School of Music for a one week
course taught by Fred on wind music. It was there and with Fred
that I first played the Gran Partitta, though it was only one
movement, the first. And I have not been the same since.

Some years later when I finished the edition for the Neue Mozart
Ausgabe, it was my intention to do the first performance of the
work that would be faithful to the manuscript score. You have no
idea how badly printed editions available at that time had made
the work. So I set such a performance up and by wacky coincidence
found out that Fred was in the area of Northern New Jersey
conducting somewhere at the time of my Sunday morning reheasal
for the performance, a rehearsal that took place at my home in
Fair Lawn.

It was a problem but I finally contacted Fred through the
sponsors of his local concert, told him about the effort, and
invited him to come to the first rehearsal saying, "You will hear
a considerably different work. Almost 1000 changes in dynamics,
65 changed note, 20 changed rhythms, and countless changes to the
phrase shapes, articulation types and patterns, and other things
as well. Oh, and Fred, I've dropped a measure right out of the
piece."

Fred said, "What on earth are you leaving a measure out for?"

I said, "come to the rehearsal and see."

So Fred came and together (me conducting) we both heard the work
played for the first time since it was written with (it is hoped)
the correct notes, rhythms, dynamics, etc. Later, I went over
the rationale behind the dropped measure in the fifth movement
and Fred said, "I'll think about it. I'm not yet convinced."

I responded, "Good. It's worth you thinking about it."

About 10 years ago I was playing with the New Sousa Band and we
were in Florida. Fred showed up and Keith Brion asked him to
conduct one of the Sousa Marches. I think it was "George
Washington Bicentennial." Fred was great.

After the performance he told me that he had seen the Neue Mozart
Ausgabe of the Gran Parittta and that he wanted to do an edition
of his own liking. Would I work with him on it?

I was so proud that this man under whom I first heard the work
would ask me to be of help to him during his creation of his own
edition. It gave me a warm feeling all over.

But Fred didn't call for a while and I thought he had dropped the
matter. Later I was speaking at a conference of music educators
and Fred was there too. In the middle of my speech he came in
and I said, "FRED!! LEAVE THE MEASURE OUT."

He said, "I'm still thinking."

About a year later he called and we started working together. I
didn't do much, just allowed him to bounce his ideas off of me.
Over the space of about 6 months he must have called me 50 times.
What did I think of this and what did I think of that?

Fred's idea of an edition was different than mine. He wanted to
edit the work so that someone conducting from his score would
produce a performanc the way he wanted it to go. That was OK
with me. He had great instincts, and who was I to say that this
or that might not work?

When his edition came out, he made nice words in it about my
being of some small assistance to him.

And Fred left the measure OUT.

Requiem aerternam, Fred Fennell.

Dan Leeson
DNLeeson@-----.net

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