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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000090.txt from 2008/10

From: Tony Pay <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Karl Leister K.622
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2008 12:46:34 -0400

On 19 Oct, "Lelia Loban" <> wrote:

> Tony, could you please elaborate on that comment? There's not enough
> context for me to understand it, although I assume it's in response to the
> messages from Gary Van Cott, who asked:
> > > Is anyone familiar with an edition of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto
> > > edited by Karl Leister? A customer asked about it today. It isn't
> > > listed in Keith Koons article from 1998.
> and David Kumpf, who replied.
> > > > Gary, see the article by Keith in the June 2008 issue of The Clarinet
> > > > (pp 34-35, vol 35 no 3). There is an edition published by Edizioni
> > > > Musicali Euphonia, Pisogne Italy. This one is
> > > > edited by Leister.

Hi Lelia,

It was really replying to Gary's final statement, which I suppose merits
FIVE chevrons:-):

> > > > > As I suspected. Another obscure European publisher.

So I then wrote, rather coarsely,

> As I suspected. Another redundant attempt at transcribing a performer's
> personal preferences.
> And, in Keith Koon's case, another redundant attempt to make such an
> attempt meaningful.

Dan captured some of what I meant when he subsequently wrote:

> An editor's job is to state what the composer meant in his or her
> occasionally ambiguous or unclear notation. And to do that, the editor
> needs to have the source material for the work in question.
> In the case of 622, that is impossible. So what is done instead is to
> prepare an edition in the way that the editor likes to play the piece. And
> such editions are, in my opinion, not worth buying. It doesn't matter how
> fine the player, he or she has nothing but opinion to offer about the
> ambiguities in the composition. It takes no training at all to hold an
> opinion.

But I meant something further: it's not so much that people's opinions aren't
worth anything -- I mean, Karl Leister's opinion about something might be
worth looking at, who knows?

But not in an *edition of Mozart*, because what's true is that you *can't
write down* a way of playing the Mozart concerto that doesn't do damage to
the style.

Of course it's true that we don't have Mozart's autograph of the Clarinet
concerto. But ALL his music, even autographs of non-solo works, look to most
modern performers as though they could do with a few pencillings in -- which
they duly provide, without asking themselves why Mozart himself didn't do it
for them.

The fact is that different degrees of 'normal' bar-structure and 'normal'
phrase-structure -- plus the subtle counterplay between them -- that lie at
the heart of the classical style are *not capturable by our notations*.

So if people like Keith Koons didn't give credibility to all the failures in
understanding shown by the numerous editions of the piece, then students
would be less confused; and then THEY might start asking themselves why
Mozart didn't write in all those crescendos.


_________ Tony Pay
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