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CLASSICAL  March 2000

CLASSICAL March 2000

Subject:

Re: Repeats

From:

Michael Cooper <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 7 Mar 2000 00:01:51 EST

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text/plain (32 lines)

I commented earlier how I haven't commented much about repeats because I'm
not all that knowledgeable about them.  I have since read in these posts
that Mozart often observed them or omitted them at will.  And, Beethoven
apparently felt strongly about his repeats.  I submit that that is the kind
of information a performer needs to research before making a decision about
repeats, all though it is still only part of it.

Jocelyn, I believe, compared omitting a repeat to presenting only half of
a painting at a museum, which I found thought-provoking.  I thought about
it and decided that while hanging a painting on a wall and interpreting a
musical composition for performance have many important differences that
render this analogy a poor one, a slightly more accurate one might be to
say that omitting a repeat is like disregarding a painter's direction than
an exact replica of his work must be presented alongside it.

Although there are still obvious objections to the details of my analogy,
if it is to be at least partially accepted for the basic point then I think
those who do accept it will agree that taking a repeat is not a sort of
performance direction that we should be so quick to lump in with musical
directions such as tempo and dynamics.  Even so, note that composers often
played their compositions quite differently than would be expected by
looking at the score.  Rachmaninoff of course is one such example, my
favorite example being an exciting fortissimo double trill in the final
bars of the Barcarolle, which AFAIK appears nowhere in any manuscript.

Hardly a convincing argument, perhaps because I think that this discussion
is hardly likely to convert many from one school of thought on repeats to
another.  The vast majority of arguments presented seem to preach to the
converted already.

Michael Cooper
[log in to unmask]

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