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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000092.txt from 2008/10

From: Tony Pay <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Karl Leister K.622
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2008 15:34:18 -0400

On 19 Oct, I <> wrote:

> 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*.

I should put that better.

Of a classical piece, an individual performance that is 'stylish' -- in the
sense that it respects the norms of the classical style -- will differ from
another equally stylish performance in ways that cannot be captured by our
notation system.

That is because the difference between those performances lies in how each
individual performer manages the different degrees of bar-modulation and
phrase-modulation, in order to create dramatic and affective results.

Mozart's notation indicates bars and phrases explicitly. But he leaves it
to the individual performer to decide *how much* to show them. So it is
possible to play any particular passage more or less cantabile (or,
equivalently, more or less 'spoken') and then to combine the resultant
passages into a coherent view of the work.

If you want a cruder way of putting it, you could say that the changing
settings of the 'bounce' knob -- the knob that determines how much the
subsequent passage 'bounces' -- are left by Mozart to the performer.

Why? Well, because there is no way to spell out these different ways of
playing in the language of dynamic, crescendo and diminuendo.

So -- unsurprisingly -- Mozart didn't try.

Of course, in his time, every good player understood this without thinking.
It was just the way things were. But nowadays -- because the context is
completely different -- if you don't think deeply enough about these things,
then you inevitably promote an erroneous view of Mozart's work.

That's what ALL the thoughtless (and sometimes avaricious) editors of this
concerto have done.


_________ Tony Pay
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