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 Poulenc Sonata : mistakes?
Author: BP (F) 
Date:   2002-09-15 15:33

I have heard recently that there are some mistakes in Poulenc Sonata (score by Chester, all issues) :

First mvt :

ends of phrases

1 bar before n2 : E instead of F
3 bars after n2 : E instead of C
3 bars after n3 : C# instead of A

Third mvt :

1 bar before n4 : E "natural" instead of Gb

In some recordings I have, these corrections are implemented (Portal, Van Spaendonck...). In others, they are not (Sharon Kam, Di Donato...).

Has anybody heard the same?
Do you know the exact story?

BP, french clarinetist

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 RE: Poulenc Sonata : mistakes?
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   2002-09-15 16:47

Ckec in the Klarinet archives for

Poulenc Carbonara Pay

According to Allesandro, there are some mistakes in current editions based upon what he's found. According to Antony Pay, this has been pretty-well known for some time and that Poulenc made innumerable revisions to the score over time, some going back to what it was in the previous edition of score; there is no real "definitive" Poulenc. The Chester Edition is the last one "approved" by Poulenc. Of couse that doesn't mean there are no mistakes.

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 RE: Poulenc Sonata : mistakes?
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2002-09-15 16:58

This was discussed on the Klarinet list some time ago. Here are a couple of postings from Antony Pay that may shed some light:



If you search the Klarinet archives for "Poulenc sonata error" or "Poulenc sonata correction," you will turn up some additional messages. I didn't read all of them. Some may have further useful information.

Best regards,

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 RE: Poulenc Sonata : mistakes?
Author: GBK 
Date:   2002-09-15 21:58

In 1990, I had this very discussion with the late Jerry Pierce (past President ICA, columnist: "Pierce's Potpourri", noted clarinet historian, etc...) and he wrote me a long letter (which I treasure) on April 17, 1990 with his thoughts on the different Poulenc editions.

According to Pierce, the story goes something like this:

A number of years ago, Georgina Dobree of London was researching the Poulenc and came across the various drafts that he had made for the work. Anyway, she decided that some of the notes were "wrong" and convinced Chester to reprint the work with the changes.

Chester followed through with what Georgina claimed were the final wishes in the final drafts of Poulenc. The changes are really quite minor (a few different notes in the first and third movements), but Chester probably saw an opportunity to gain a few more sales in a later (different) edition.

Whichever edition you play, it really doesn't matter. As Jerry said: "it is all Poulenc - at one time or another".

Since Poulenc is not here to tell us which he would prefer, it is to the performer's discetion as to which sounds more pleasing. Both are well within the scope of the original artist.

My preference? I think whichever edition you learn first (it's only a difference of a few notes) is the one that "sticks in your ear" and the one that sounds more correct to you. Isn't it funny how the mind works?

Oh, by the way, I learned the 1963 version first...GBK

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 RE: Poulenc Sonata : mistakes?
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2002-09-16 02:13

I always play the old version because I like the sound of it better and learned it that way. When you hear any of the older recordings that's what you will hear. When I teach it, At Peabody, I now teach the new version because I gave up in trying to explain why I felt that way when everyone else was now playing it the new way. Who really knows who's right, it's only their opionion. I do explain that there are two versions though, old and new. Just like the Debussy Rhapsodie. Bye! ESP

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 RE: Poulenc Sonata : mistakes?
Author: Andy 
Date:   2002-09-16 03:46

If you are in France, then all you have to do is speak to Philipe Cuper. He actually discussed the very topic with Poulenc and has many of his personal corrections. He came to Australia earlier in the year and was very helpful.

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 RE: Poulenc Sonata : mistakes?
Author: d dow 
Date:   2002-09-16 14:42

A former professor of mine guy Guy Desplus was also a student of Boutard, the clarinet player who premiered the piece. He could be looked upon as a possible source in this area.

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 RE: Poulenc Sonata : mistakes?
Author: Tony Pay 
Date:   2002-09-18 22:59

The 1963 edition corresponds to Poulenc's final thoughts on the matter.

You can see his corrections on the manuscript, of which I have a photocopy.

Some French players were privy to an earlier version, and felt they were justified in complaining about the changes, which Poulenc didn't tell them about, as he died before the piece was published.

They were sufficiently influential to get Chester to revert to 'their' version. (How they did this is a mystery to me -- perhaps they invoked the authority of Boutard, who played the piece before the 'official' premiere.)

Then of course everyone 'else' complained, and Georgina Dobree and Thea King sorted the matter out at Chester's request, and the publication returned to the original 1963 version, following Poulenc's corrections.

(The official premiere was in New York, by Benny Goodman and, guess who, Leonard Bernstein.)

That there is still controversy about the matter surprises me. Alessandro Carbonare perhaps characterised the level of the discussion when he wrote to me: "Well, they are French, and so surely they should understand how their own music goes."

Tony Pay

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 RE: Poulenc Sonata : mistakes?
Author: JLR 
Date:   2002-09-25 14:27

send me a mail
je vous expliquerai

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 RE: Poulenc Sonata : mistakes?
Author: Tony Pay 
Date:   2002-09-26 10:59

Why not give all of us the benefit of what you have to say?


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