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Topic: autograph scores of Mozart  (Read 1875 times)

Offline pianonut

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autograph scores of Mozart
on: April 01, 2005, 11:53:35 AM
in looking at an autograph of the K491 (comparing it to modern edition) i find that the violins were placed above the woodwinds.  was this standard back then?  or, was Mozart in a hurry?  also, i think viola was added.  i don't know much about instrumentation.  when were violas invented? 

another quick question.  when were timpani invented?  was it around this time that mozart started using them - leading to beethoven's fine use in the 9th symphony? 

what is the difference in instrumental scoring when one uses the term 'cembalo?'
can anyone tell me anything else to look for in comparing autographs with printed editions?
do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.

Offline pianonut

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Re: autograph scores of Mozart
Reply #1 on: April 01, 2005, 12:04:13 PM
in exchange for an answer to some of my questions, here's some info gleaned from my class on orchestras of Mozart's time:

a flexible approach to instrumentation was customary and inevitable...the indications tutti and solo in some of Mozart's concertos relate to the composition of the ensemble.  solo designating a reduction of the orchestra to the 'first desks of the strings' and simply a one player per part wind setting. 

sometimes directors would beat time visually with their hands, with a roll of paper or parchment ?, or with a stick.  is this where 'beat it with a stick' comes from?
do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.

Offline pianonut

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Re: autograph scores of Mozart
Reply #2 on: April 01, 2005, 05:05:12 PM
ok.  i forgot i had a report outline from one of the other people in my class.  here's some more info. if you are one to study autographs to see if you are correctly playing something.  here's the first thing to remember:

it's not a real autograph if you can't prove it is.  paper making companies used watermarks to identify their paper.  if the 'autograph' doesn't fit the area, time, or common purchase of the composer, it's probably not the real thing. 

someone tell me more about ten staves vs. twelve staves (i thought it would be eleven with middle C)???

if you are really into autographs you will know what 'schriftchronologie' is.  that is specific handwriting features of the composer studied.   quill sharpness can enter the picture (thick note heads, thin note heads, whether something is a sketch or not, etc.)

to save time,  mozart dabbed his thumb and wiped out (smeared) wrong notes.  so, if you see a few smears, they are near the correct note (which is not smeared).

because the composer, copyist, and printer were the only people to see the full score (most of the time - except for some performers) there are idiosyncracies with opinion and interpretation.  also, music history enters the picture, if you want an accurate reproduction of a piece with it's 'authentic' flavor (or close to it).

from what i understand (which is still limited right now), an autograph is supposed to help you understand better the composers thoughts and processes, and less with actual performance (since the notes are hard to read). imagine trying to play a piece off the autograph. you would go blind within the first couple of pages (no matter how large you reproduced it). 

ARE THERE ANY AUTOGRAPH studiers that routinely study autographs before playing their piano pieces?  Why do you do it?  Is it for understanding and getting a feel for the music--or does it help you in other ways to perform a piece better?  Have you ever copied a piece of music from an autograph to compare to an edition? 
do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.

Offline pianonut

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Re: autograph scores of Mozart
Reply #3 on: April 03, 2005, 03:12:59 AM
here's a bit about 'cembalo' markings in autographs (from my teacher's handout)

Eva Badura-Skoda says, "the documentary evidence based on the term 'cembalo' is misleading in this question, since today we connect the word 'cembalo' or 'flugel' with a kielflugel instrument or harpsichord with quills.  however:  pianos or 'hammer-harpsichords' of the 18th century belonged to the family of harpsichords with quills.  thus, the terms 'cembalo,' 'clavecin,' or 'harpsichord' were generic terms; especially in Italy wing-shaped pianos were considered also to be cembali and were called that way well into the 19th century.  mozart, whenever he used italian words in his scores wrote 'cembalo' although he meant 'pianoforte.'  if you find the word 'cembalo' on the first page of his autographs, for example of the two concerti in minor keys (K466 K491) are you really thinking that they were meant to be played on a harpsichord with quills?  even beethoven wrote in his sonata op.101 the instructions 'una chorda, due corde,' and then 'tutto il cembalo.'  why did he say it that way? 

(this is a pleasant 'argument' between badura-skoda and richard maunder - even though mozart probably played on both - whatever he was able obtain to play on.  maunder tried to say that mozart probably played more on harpsichords and clavichords until the Vienna period - where he wrote the viennese concertos K 413 K414 and K415.  K449 for his pupil Barbara Ployer, and K 450 for Mozart himself. 

I am studying the score of K 491.  Does anyone have more detail?  Have they played it?  What do you think mozart tries to get across in this particular concerto? K450 was definately for mozart's new piano.
do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.
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