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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000124.txt from 2010/12

From: "Dan Leeson" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] The Stadler quintet nbeeds some rethinking
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2010 16:17:17 -0500

Levin did his completion of the K. 516c for B-flat clarinet and string
quartet when he was 17 or 18, and it is instructive to note that the
manuscript of that quintet is complete in every respect up to the point that
the manuscript breaks off. What this suggests is that there was more to
that quintet (and probably on an unconnected bifolium of paper) but which
was separated from the composition and became lost. Levin's completion of
the quintet contains a modulation so exquisite that can melt iron bars.

Alan Tyson told me that he had seen the missing pages, but before I could
get more information from him, he stopped writing and swiftly became
dysfunctional, remembering little. It was a great tragedy for a fine
researcher (though we often disagreed on many points). One problem Alan had
was that he was not a serious performer and believed musical issues in the
absence of evidence. For example, he was convinced that the flute quartet,
K. 285b (which contains a reworking of the variations movement of K. 361)
was genuinely made by Mozart in the face of serious evidence that it was

I am also grateful to Sarah Elbaz for telling me that Sabine has changed her
mind about which instrument to play one.
As for the K. 580b that was played (in part) on the YouTube recording is, if
memory serves me correctly, for C clarinet and basset horn in F, and I think
she was playing her part on a B-flat instrument, though I am not certain. I
played the work about 35-40 years ago and have not seen it or heard it
since, but also broken off in the middle somewhere. Bill Shadel, at that
time principal with the NJ symphony played clarinet and I played basset

Dan Leeson

----- Original Message -----
From: "sarah elbaz" <>
To: "The Klarinet Mailing List" <>
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 12:43 PM
Subject: Re: [kl] The Stadler quintet nbeeds some rethinking

The youtube link that Dan posted wasn't played recently. I have a good
reason to think that Sabine changed her mind since, and now plays the
quintet with the basset clarinet and uses the low register.
as you can see here:

I also heard her students playing the Stadler quintet on the basset

Two weeks ago Wolfgang Meyer was in Israel and he gave me a copy of a new CD
he recorded with the Eisler Quartet.
They took the fragment of the Allegro for clarinet and strings from 1787 (KV
ahn./suppl. 91 (516c), and asked two people to complete the movement and
recorded both versions- one was completed by Frantz Beyer and one by Robert
D. Levin.

Very interesting.
The Cd includes the Weber quintet and Arthur Bliss clarinet quintet as


> -------Original Message-------
> From: Dan Leeson <>
> To: Klarinet <>
> Subject: [kl] The Stadler quintet nbeeds some rethinking
> Sent: 21 Dec '10 15:31
> This link will take you to a charming performance of the Mozart clarinet
> quintet, with the splendid Sabine Meyer on a basset clarinet (and with a
> great string quartet, too). But strangely -- I listened to all four
> movements and you can, too -- she plays no basset notes.
> On one hand this is commendable because what she is saying is that she
> has not been convinced by any suggested alterations to the text so as to
> accommodate basset notes. Unlike, K. 622, the fact is that there has been
> only limited investigation of the text of K. 581 to propose the use of
> basset notes.
> On the other hand, why then does she use a basset clarinet in A? Since
> the low notes (and if she played them I missed them) were not used, why
> not use a traditional clarinet in A? It may be that the greater length of
> her basset horn enables a timbre that she prefers even when not using that
> extra length to get basset notes. I always found that my B-flat and A
> clarinets (both of which had the low E-flat) produced a sound character
> that I found more interesting than my other clarinets that did not have
> the extension, so I can understand if that is her view.
> The only suggestion that I would offer her -- as if she needs it -- is
> that she appears almost never to depart from the traditional text; i.e.,
> she does not improvise, which means that she does not participate in the
> creative process, as an improvising performer would do. For example, in
> the minuet (which has four presentations of the main theme -- first time
> with repeats = 2 presentations, plus 2 da capos for another 2 times) the
> main theme is heard he same way every time. (And it can be argued that
> even in the da capos the main subject should be repeated, which means four
> additional presentations of the main subject for a total of 8 times. Did I
> count that correctly?) And in the slow movement -- which is an A-B-A
> form -- the final presentation of the A theme is unchanged.
> While she is an exciting player, to be sure, she could really do that
> piece up flaming red if her presentation of the text were not so literal
> every time.
> Dan Leeson
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