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CLASSICAL  March 2000

CLASSICAL March 2000

Subject:

Re: Repeats

From:

Jocelyn Wang <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 11 Mar 2000 20:04:18 -0800

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text/plain

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text/plain (81 lines)

Steve Schwartz <[log in to unmask]> writes:

>Dave Lampson replies to me:

>Oh, I know something about you.  I just don't know your intent.
>
>>I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree on this point.  I believe
>>the score can be a an excellent document of what the composer wanted, and
>>therefore we can say a great deal about the composer's intent.  You believe
>>differently.
>
>Not all that differently.  I agree that the score can be an excellent
>document of what the composer wanted.  I don't, however, see the need to
>have recourse to intent at all.

You are truly a master of self-contradiction.  Exactly how do we have no
"recourse to intent at all" if the score is "an excellent document of what
the composer wanted?" Did the composer intend something he did NOT want?

>The last statement is undoubtedly true.  But this is becoming an "all or
>nothing at all" argument.

Because one either plays the repeat or does not.  There is no middle
ground.

>Why does Mozart have to be an insensitive boor and mindless because he
>may have made a less-good choice at a particular point in the score?

There is absolutely no basis for concluding so because Mozart was the
foremost authority on what his intent was.  His genius was greater than
that of all such conductors combined.

>Again, this is all suppositional, because, as Jocelyn has pointed out,
>it's quite unusual to hear the last movement of the Jupiter with all the
>repeats.  I've probably never heard it that way.  And, rankling or not,
>it's really up to someone to show whether the performances of Szell,
>Walter, and just about everybody else have completely ruined Mozart's
>Jupiter Symphony for us.

That's not difficult.  All it requires is pointing out that they have
robbed us of however many minutes of the work by sisregarding the repeats.
Do we remove a column from a piece of architecture on the dubious rationale
that it has another one like it? I find it ironic that you find the
judgement of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, etc.  so questionable, but not
Szell's and Walter's as if they dwelt on a musical Olympus that rendered
them immune to having any of their recordings' flaws pointed out.

>>Now perhaps we're making progress.  See, I don't care about any of that.
>>I expect performers to communicate as much of what the composer musically
>>intended as possible.  This is what "realizing the score" means to me.
>
>Well, since I have no idea how they do that, short of channeling, I don't
>agree with that definition of "realizing."

No channelling is necessary.  The repeat is down there, on the score.
Thank goodness the composers did not rely on the supernatural.

>Obviously, you must allow some deviation from the written score, since the
>marks are not ever complete.

Again, the subject is not about something that is not there, but, rather,
something that is.

>Perhaps the composer would allow deviation as well, but his deviation
>may not be the performer's deviation and, in any case, how do you tell?

By examining the what the composer wrote or is known to have said about
said deviation.

>>Frankly, there are so many important things the performer brings to the
>>music that can never be captured in the score that when I see interpretive
>>emphasis on repeats it's a sign to me that the performer is in trouble,
>>perhaps failing to see deeper into the interpretation.  ...
>
>I agree wholeheartedly with these sentiments.

Finally...

-Jocelyn Wang
Culver Chamber Music Series
Come see our web page: www.bigfoot.com/~CulverMusic

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