Peter Varley wrote:
>In the specific case of Schubert's D960, surely [the repeat] is very
>important? There's music in the lead-back from the end of the exposition
>to the start which doesn't appear anywhere else in the movement. If
>the exposition repeat isn't played, that passage is never heard.
>To my mind, that's reasonable evidence that Schubert not only wanted the
>exposition repeat to be played but expected that in practice it would be.
Yes, OK. The counter-argument would be that the repeat was there first
and Schubert had to think of a lead-in as a way of getting back to the
beginning. He may desperately have wanted the lead-in passage to be heard,
or it may have been an expedient measure to satisfy the (for him) a priori
requirement of a repeat! Look, I admit speculating like this is rather
unproductive. In all honesty, what it boils down to in the end is my own
listener's perspective, which for the moment tells me that there are more
factors in that movement speaking against the necessity of the repeat than
for it. It all depends on how you see the character of the movement.
You may conclude that the lead-in is vital because it adds a new, darker
perspective to the entire movement. Alfred Brendel reached the opposite
conclusion: for him, the lead-in to the repeat was completely at odds with
the character of the rest of the movement - far too agitated and stormy.
He thought it amounted to a psychological misjudgment on Schubert's part.
For him, taking the repeat was not only unnecessary but detrimental to
the overall design. Does the interpreter have a right to make that sort
of Judgment? That depends on your interpretative philosophy. Jocelyn
seems to prefer a 'warts-and-all' representation of the score that leaves
the listener to come to his own conclusion, whereas I tend to think the
interpreter has the duty to take an active stand in relation to the work,
to try to make some sense of it for the listener and show it to its best
advantage. That means digging as deeply as possible into all aspects of
the score and its genesis, but also having the courage to go against the
letter of the score if that deep digging suggests it. That may be a
risk-filled approach, but it is a thoughtful and engaged approach, one
which keeps the work alive for both performer and audience.
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