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 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?
Author: mrn 
Date:   2008-10-07 05:43

Great quote, Nielsen57!

My two cents on interpretation vs. notation: What I try to do is to find a "big picture" understanding of the music that gives the most meaning to the indicated notation. Two people can both follow all the markings in the score, yet still have differing interpretations, because in any given piece there is much that is either not notated or impossible to express in notation. The trick is to find underlying musical ideas that make the notation meaningful. Finding the music from the score in this way is, in a sense, reasoning from first principles.

For example, take bars 107-109 of Copland. This is where there's a series of staccato 8th notes alternating between a high clarion C (on the downbeats) and altissimo E, F#, and A. In every recording I've ever heard (dating back to Goodman), it's the altissimo notes that seem to get the emphasis in bar 107, yet there are no accent marks over the altissimo notes. If you imagine it played on a piano as written and with a steady beat (where the high notes don't necessarily pop out like they do on clarinet), it seems as if the real emphasis ought to be placed on the clarion C's, because they are the downbeats. Now, all of a sudden, the whole passage makes more sense because you can see that bars 107-109 are simply a variation on the same rhythmic motive that appears in the immediately preceding bars--it's a slightly augmented/ornamented/subdivided form of the same little syncopated rhythm, which also shows up in a slightly different context in the third section of the concerto. This rhythm is one of the great unifying concepts of this piece, because it shows up all over the place in different contexts. That's an example of what I mean by a "big picture idea" that makes the notation make more sense.

The trick is that in order to get to this interpretation, you have to go back to first principles as contained in the printed music. You wouldn't get this from simply listening to the Goodman recording or the Stoltzman recording, both of which let the altissimo notes get the emphasis, because that's the natural thing for the clarinet to do.

Are Goodman and Stoltzman "violating" the notation by playing it their way? Absolutely not--what they do doesn't contradict the notation. Nonetheless, it's different from the way I envision this passage.

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 Topics Author  Date
 Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
orchestr 2008-10-04 02:15 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Tony Pay 2008-10-04 10:25 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Tony Pay 2008-10-04 11:36 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
EEBaum 2008-10-04 15:38 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
EEBaum 2008-10-04 15:48 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
NorbertTheParrot 2008-10-04 16:17 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Ed Palanker 2008-10-04 16:19 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
NorbertTheParrot 2008-10-04 16:54 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Ed Palanker 2008-10-04 17:38 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Tony Pay 2008-10-06 01:09 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
orchestr 2008-10-06 02:08 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Ed Palanker 2008-10-06 14:36 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
William 2008-10-06 14:37 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
davyd 2008-10-06 17:04 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
mrn 2008-10-06 18:27 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
EEBaum 2008-10-06 21:06 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
nielsen57 2008-10-06 22:08 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Ed Palanker 2008-10-07 01:10 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Tony Pay 2008-10-07 05:45 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
mrn 2008-10-07 05:43 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
clarnibass 2008-10-07 10:15 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Tony Pay 2008-10-07 13:30 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
clarnibass 2008-10-07 14:27 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Tony Pay 2008-10-07 19:27 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
orchestr 2008-10-07 19:27 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Ed Palanker 2008-10-07 19:34 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
mrn 2008-10-07 22:44 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Ed Palanker 2008-10-07 22:54 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
mrn 2008-10-09 04:32 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Lelia Loban 2008-10-09 18:26 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Ed Palanker 2008-10-09 21:46 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
EEBaum 2008-10-09 22:12 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
mrn 2008-10-10 00:52 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
EEBaum 2008-10-10 05:01 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
mrn 2008-10-10 15:28 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
clarnibass 2008-10-11 16:44 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
Tony Pay 2008-10-14 03:04 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
orchestr 2008-10-13 22:05 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
mrn 2008-10-14 01:50 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
clarnibass 2008-10-14 08:53 
 Re: Copland Cadenza Interpretation?  new
EEBaum 2008-10-14 17:21 


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