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 Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: John Kruse 
Date:   2009-12-21 09:09

Dear Board,

There is no doubt that Mozart wrote his concerto 622 for a basset clarinet, but what about the quintett 581? Is it also written for basset clarinet?
John Kruse

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2009-12-21 11:09

Dear John,

There are a few bits of evidence dotted around from 1790. These are articles that talk about the basset clarinet and its invention by Lotz and all point to November 1790 as the time when the fully chromatic basset clarinet was operational. Lotz died in 1792 and Stadler then claimed the instrument as his but there is no evidence to suggest that he was also an instrument maker.

The Quintet was written in September of 1789 so one can assume that Stadler would have had a working instrument of some kind if albeit diatonic.

I wasn't until the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe that was published in the 1950s that scholars began to show that there was evidence with in the piece that it was intended for basset clarinet. I believe the discovery of the Quintet fragment for Bb basset clarinet re-affirmed the idea as the solo part clearly uses the basset range. This was written also around 1789.

By studying the Quintet score and the way in which the solo part has been altered we can see that there are instances were basset notes would be more suited for the flow of the line and the overall contours of the particular passage, especially those of the first and last movements. It might be reasonable to suggest that the basset clarinet made use of the Eb, D and C like in various Lotz basset horns of the time. With the fully chromatic instrument coming early the following year.

I hope that helps you

Peter Cigleris
http://www.calarecords.com/acatalog/info_CACD77015.html
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/english-fantasy/id594011840

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-12-21 11:33

There are plenty of places in the 5tet where a basset clarinet is more feasable than a standard clarinet. I altered my copy of it to utilise the basset's range where some arpeggio patterns would ascend/descend more fluidly rather than being put up an 8ve to shoehorn the notes in on a standard instrument.

And there are plently of recordings around with it performed on basset - you'll have to decide for yourself which player you like best (though I won't say whose recording I definitely won't entertain).

Chris.

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2009-12-21 11:47

I should add that I always perform this on the basset clarinet.

Peter Cigleris
http://www.calarecords.com/acatalog/info_CACD77015.html
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/english-fantasy/id594011840

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: Simon Aldrich 
Date:   2009-12-22 01:03

Peter
I play the quintet on basset clarinet as well - a modern Steve Fox basset
extension, which works wonderfully.
If you perform the quintet on classical basset, which maker's
basset do you use and how do you like it?

Simon

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2009-12-22 02:55

Simon,

My modern basset clarinet is a Selmer that was extended by Brian Ackerman. You can hear it on my Myspace page with me playing the 2nd Movt of the Mozart Concerto.

I did do the Quintet on period instruments as a student but sadly couldn't get a basset of that performance.

I love playing the basset clarinet

Peter Cigleris
http://www.calarecords.com/acatalog/info_CACD77015.html
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/english-fantasy/id594011840

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: Chris Hill 
Date:   2009-12-22 03:21

I also play it on a modern bassett- the lines make so much more sense that way!
Chris Hill

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: Joarkh 
Date:   2009-12-22 11:31

What publisher supplies parts for the bassett clarinet for the Quintet? There is only a clarinet part in my Henle edition.

Joar Klæboe Henriksen
Master student of clarinet performance
University of Gothenburg

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2009-12-22 12:41

As far as I'm aware there are no published basset clarinet versions of this piece. When I first worked on it with basset clarinet I did some study of the score and worked out, with help from scholarship, where the most likely points are.

I'll did out my full score and re-post later this evening re. the basset notes and what bars etc.

Peter Cigleris
http://www.calarecords.com/acatalog/info_CACD77015.html
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/english-fantasy/id594011840

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2009-12-22 15:53

I don't own a basset clarinet but I agree that it makes sense that it could very well have been written for it. ESP http://eddiesclarinet.com

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-12-22 16:21

I wish I hung onto my basset clarinet (Selmer 10S) but I needed the money and sold it along with my other Selmer harmony clarinets as I wasn't playing them at the time.

Chris.

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2009-12-22 21:11

Here are the bar numbers of where I use the basset notes in the Quintet.

Movement 1

Bars 99-102, played down a 6th starting on basset C (C# 101)
Bar 103, first quaver is down the octave
Bar 105, first quaver is down the octave
Bar 107, first quaver is down the octave
Bar 185, first quaver basset C
Bar 187, first two quavers basset C and Eb respectively
Bar 196, semi quavers of beat one as C,E,G,E the rest is down the octave until the end.

Two points to make about this movement is bar 41. Some players continue the scale downwards to low C, I don't. I prefer to play what is written. Bar 147. This could potenially be a G7 (written sounding E7) arpeggio descending to low B. The notes could be B,G,F,D,B,D,F,D basset B.

Movement 2

I play this as written, though scholarship suggests that a basset C might replace the written E in bars 18 and 68.

Movement 3

Minuet as written.
Trio II

Bar 116, replace the triplet figure with basset D and F quavers. This is in line with the following quaver patterns between bars 118-121.

Movement 4

Bar 19, second and third quavers, C and then basset C.
Bar 23, second quaver basset C.
Bar 29, second quaver basset C.
Bar 30, second quaver basset D.
Bar 40, third beat, basset C.
Bar 48, third beat, basset C.
Bar 56, second, third and forth beats down the octave.
Bar 64, second, third and forth beats down the octave.
Bar 65, first beat (i.e. semi quavers) down the octave.
Bar 68, first semi quaver as written the next seven semi quavers down the octave, beats three and four as written.
Bar 77, first beat (i.e. semi quavers) down the octave.
Bar 80, last semi quaver of beat two a G, beats three and four down the octave.
Bar 141, down the octave.

I hope that gives people a clear idea on the use of the basset notes in Mozart's Quintet.

Peter Cigleris
http://www.calarecords.com/acatalog/info_CACD77015.html
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/english-fantasy/id594011840

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: Bob Phillips 
Date:   2009-12-23 16:09

Thank you, Peter, for sharing your work on the 5tet.

Bob Phillips

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: Alphie 
Date:   2009-12-23 19:28

In the second movement I once tried to play the first three accending scales before the eingang an octave lower. The forth starts on a Bb so I played it as written, but anyway I thaught the result was satisfying. However, I have doubts about this version because of the inconsistancy with the fourth scale. Thaughts?

Alphie

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2009-12-23 21:40

Alphie wrote:

>> In the second movement I once tried to play the first three ascending scales before the eingang an octave lower.>>

That never occurred to me, because I've always been too busy being entranced by the way those scales seem to be magically completed by the first violin notes in the subsequent bars in that passage. Playing it down the octave would lose that, of course.

Indeed, I've gone so far as to wonder how Mozart came upon the idea of the scales in the first place. In the earlier analogous 4 bars 34-37, the dovetailing isn't present -- but then, the scale ends early on an oscillation in each of those bars.

So the mystery for me is that what seems to be the fullest and most natural expression of the idea occurs only on its second appearance.

Tony



 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2009-12-23 23:09

Alphie,

I wouldn't consider playing those scales down the octave. Firstly because the eingang would be down the octave and would then need to be altered so that you can start the recapitulation on the right note. One could argue however that the eingang could then be "improvised" in the true manner of a cadenza.

I personally play it was it is because as Tony rightly points out you would lose some of the magic that is created here with the suspensions in the harmony. I also feel that playing these down the octave would take away the interest which for me is in the cello.

Tony,

Do you not think the violin dovetails with the cello in those four bars? It seems to me that perhaps the violin and cello dovetail here. I reason being that if we forget the oscillation and just take the first note of each of those groups of demi-semi quavers the cello always has the next note in the downward sequence in a kind of harmonic dovetailing. Perhaps the oscillation is a written out trill.

Peter Cigleris
http://www.calarecords.com/acatalog/info_CACD77015.html
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/english-fantasy/id594011840

 
 Re: Mozart quintett for basset clarinet
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2009-12-24 09:14

I wrote:

>> ...the way those scales seem to be magically completed by the first violin notes in the subsequent bars in that passage.>>

Perhaps I should have been more explicit. The violin note at the end of the first clarinet scale is what would have been the 'next note up' in the scale; and when this handover is made clear to the ear by careful matching of tone-colour and dynamic between clarinet and violin, the violin notes at the end of the following two scales are heard similarly as completions of the clarinet line, with the scale in these cases seeming to 'turn around' at the top.

When done perfectly, indeed, it doesn't sound like a handover -- rather, the clarinet seems to BECOME a violin on the barline.

Tony



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