Steve Schwartz <[log in to unmask]> replies to me:
>>What is dangerous is that we lose the "Jupiter" Symphony as Mozart wrote
>>it. The fact that the disregard of those repeats is far more common than
>>their observation leads to a routine destruction of a great work of art.
>This begs the question on several grounds. One, according to you, we
>don't have the symphony as Mozart wrote it. I contend we do in the form
>of the manuscript. When they stop publishing editions which reproduce
>the manuscript, you have cause for worry. As long as these exist, the
>possibility of a complete performance exists. At any rate, we haven't
>lost the Jupiter yet. I believe we won't lose it any time soon; you
Sorry, you can't have it both way: as you have truistically said before,
music does not exist on paper, but in the form of sound. Anyone with ears
and a brain would agree. If a player does not observe repeats, then for
that performance, he is taking the work in its original form away. When
this is done routinely, this destruction of the original becomes an
oft-repeated crime against musical art. We lose the original every time
The fact that the composer's score exists and the possibility exists for
some future complete performance is irrelevant to the fact that, for that
particular performance, the work was vandalized.
>Also, you assume that all conductors who fail to follow every repeat do
>it because they're mindless sheep following a predecessor. Some might
>actually have a musical reason, as might their predecessors.
I did not say 'all.' You automatically give the repeat-omitting conductors
the benefit of the doubt, saying they might have had a musical reason.
Talk about uncritical listening! As for musical reasons, there are none
that would warrant overruling the composer.
>The last phrase assumes that the experiment of taking all the repeats has
>been successful. Which performance was this? In other words, to claim a
>success, the event actually has to have occurred. What musical advantage
>- other than the fact that Mozart put it down - did it have over the
HELLO? Mozart was a better judge of whether his symphony should have
repeats than was Szell, or Walter, or anyone else. He is, after all,
the composer. Once again (sigh) element of repetition creates a musical
foundation and structural balance to the piece that does not exist when
they are not observed. This is why Mozart (and other composers) put them
there, and why they were not put there when they were not needed.
Culver Chamber Music Series
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