SERIES A : 18th CENTURY MUSIC FROM MANUSCRIPTS
A CONCERT IN THE TEATRO ITALIA, VENICE - YEAR 1776
(Original instrumentation and performance location realized)
I SUONI ASSAGGIATI - Orchestra
& Sand Hollow Idaho Trio
RODERICK E. SIMPSON - Music Director - Musicologist - Conductor - Performer - Soloist
ROBERT M. VASSAR (1932-2004)-Confidant
W. A. Mozart: (Ringing of the theater bell), Marcia alla Francese in D major, July 1776, K251, 1. 2:53
G. C. Wagenseil: Concerto #4 in D major for Fortepiano & Orchestra, ca. Yr. 1750, 2. Allegro Molto 6:50,
3. Andante Moderato 7:54, 4. Allegro 6:07
G. C. Wagenseil: Concerto #5 in E flat major for Fortepiano & Orchestra, ca. Yr. 1750, 5. Allegro 6:57,
6. Andante Molto 6:35, 7. Allegro Assai 5:46
W. A. Mozart: Symphony in D major KV133 composed in Salzburg, July 1772, 8. Allegro 11:51, 9. Andante 9:24,
10. Menuetto & Trio 4:48 11. Allegro 6:30
TOTAL TIME: 75:35
Source materials: G.C. Wagenseil manuscripts: Concerto in D major, Concerto in E flat major - in the Initium collection of music and instruments; W. A. Mozart performance-interpretation utilizes most recent scholarship.
"OVERTURE" TO INITIUM CD - A009
"Subtleties are wasted on musicians." - Lucy in Peanuts and Bob Vassar in Sand Hollow
I was born in 1929 and from age 4 onward, while growing up on the family farm near Waynesfield in Ohio, I became aware of the world around me through the power of imagination. I would sit with my grandmother Cleo May on the front porch at dusk every night in the summer. We would swing in the porch swing and tell stories - not stories we had read or heard, but stories we made up on the spot. Each of us would tell a story in turn. Our imaginations ran wild with stories that seemed sad but turned out to be happy, with stories that made you laugh all the way through, with funny characters, with stories of Gypsies who actually passed through the area from time to time, with stories about far away lands, about animals, birds, people . that evening time was ours, just as Longfellow mentions "the children's' hour". The impression on me was so great that I can still remember details of some of the evenings.
Later in life as I went into music, I found my imagination running wild with the pieces I played. What must this have sounded like when first performed; how did Mozart sound at his performances? Mozart's music had a profound effect on me - one of floating on clouds. After I attended my first opera performance of his Marriage of Figaro when I was 13 (Lima, Ohio Theater, 1942, traveling troupe) and found that I seemed to know the score (although I had neither heard nor seen it before) I decided that I must eventually get to the center of serious music, Vienna.
When it came to being an orchestral musician, oboist, I could not stand the often lack luster unimaginative approach conductors often forced upon the music being performed. Combined with the dull acoustically designed performance halls, and the politics of musicians - I vowed that I would not remain an orchestral musician. Only one conductor besides Bruno Walter impressed me in my early youth: an 80-year-old lady conductor in a large Episcopal Church in Toledo, Ohio. Her name I forget but playing under her in 1951 was a real joy. I've never experienced a deeper felt performance of the J.S.Bach b-minor Mass - anywhere - even on recordings. Later, in 1955-57, the Bach performances in Frankfurt (Germany) were also wonderful. This is when I discovered Bach's talent for setting consonances - especially "S". The effect of rhythmically repeated "Ss" throughout the choir in an acoustically good setting (church) is overwhelmingly beautiful.
After military duty, I had my chance to study in Vienna. The city was going through the highest peak of music performance and understanding (the 1950s) and the concerts and opera were far beyond anything I had ever heard. Here my imagination came together with Viennese musician imagination. I was able to hear music performed, in original halls and opera houses, with a fresh approach as well as time-honored interpretations. The list of great talent was long: Schwarzkopf, Ludwig, Barry, Sciutti, Siepi, Badura-Skoda, Demus, Shetler (a very talented American pianist), Wobitsch, Boskowski, Böhm, Karajan, to name a few. All forms were represented: Solo Keyboard, Aria, Lieder; Operas, Concertos, Concert Music, Masses, etc. My listening plate was full with daily performances of one type or another. I was almost literally in the Vienna State Opera House in standing room (25 US cents) every night during its yearly season of ten months (1957-61). Now, when I have the possibility to do my own recordings, I hope I bring some of the feeling and spirit of these early good years to you, dear listeners.
This recording is set in front of and in the gothic Teatro Italia in Venice,
December 21, 1776.
In truth and reality, my connection to the Teatro Italia began in 1958 ..
......In my daily journal I wrote:
Venice, Friday, December 20, 1958 10:15 PM
"Here I am again in Venice .. for Christmas this time - what a magical thought . Today I spent most of the day in Saint Mark's [the Byzantine cathedral] looking at the mosaics and listening to the music .. went to my favorite restaurant for dinner - had a wonderful fish specialty as usual: Vitello di Mare [Pesce di Spada alla Veneziana - sword fish]. This poor student in Vienna hasn't the possibility to eat fish for months at a time (until I get to Italy) - here it is in abundance - what a blessing. Afterward, I walked the planks across Saint Mark's Piazza [in floods there are planks put on saw horse type structures so that people don't have to walk through the often two foot depth of water in Saint Mark's square]. The street Mercerie, where I have a room with a Venetian family, starts at Saint Mark's. It's a narrow street with no canal but is a favorite way to the Rialto Bridge. I started down the street when suddenly I saw a bell hanging outside a building - I stopped to investigate and a plaque on the wall mentioned that this is the 18th century opera house (theater), Teatro Italia. Sure enough, there was the name on the façade.
[During the 17th and 18th century there were, in Venice, besides Teatro Italia as many as 18 theaters at any one time, used for opera, stage works, ballet, dances, concerts. A few other popular ones were Teatro nobile di San Benedetto (San Benetto in Venetian dialect) replaced by La Fenice, San Samuele, San Giovanni Chrisostomo, San Giovanni, San Paolo, San Moisé, San Fantino, Teatro Malibrand, Teatro Goldoni, Teatro Pepoli nel Palazzo Cavalli a San Vitale etc.]. From my student classes in 17-18 century theater, I suspect I was near the center of town where the famous playwright, Goldoni, had his successes. The surroundings of the Teatro Italia were dark, about 8 PM; a door was ajar. I timidly peeked in . at once il portiere [doorman] appeared .. I asked if it was possible to view the theater - he said "Non ci son'lampade" (no light inside) - I pressed on for a glimpse - he obliged by letting me inside the theater. There I was in an 18th century theater not used for 150 years. I was very, very excited!!! I could barely see the approximate outline of the interior and noticed that the whole place seemed to be filled with bales of hay - why hay? Maybe to build walls against the flood waters - a very, very, very frequent occurrence in Venice. I forgot to ask the portiere. I snapped my fingers and sang as I do in all rooms in Europe [in order to hear the acoustics] and tried to judge the size of the theater - not counting the stage - I estimate 40 X 60 feet - enough to hold maybe 300 to 400 people. Sadly I couldn't see plaster work on the walls - I couldn't see any rings, it was so dark [rings are balconies, horseshoe like, around the walls of theaters where people are seated above the floor] - at most there probably could only have been one - the ceiling, I believe, is no more than two stories high. [This is supported by the picture of the façade in the booklet to this CD]. Having calmed myself down from excitement, I gave some coins to il portiere and have now come home. Along the way, footsteps were loud and clear on the street - on the cobbled street - with soft conversations coming through the mist - footsteps here are as emotional as conversations. Silence - mist - quiet - footsteps - food aromas - flowers and people moving quietly about - an amazing experience - I will never forget .. "
NOW, today in year 2006, in my imagination, I will try to prepare you for my
typical concert in Teatro Italia year 1776
In my imaginary daily journal:
Venice, Friday, December 20, 1776 19:00
On my way home tonight I found the water even higher over Piazza San Marco - about two feet now - here again it is flood time - at least now not so many rats will be left, good - not wanting to get all wet up to my knees I again walked the planks - went down Calle Mercerie past d'Italia [Teatro Italia] wanting to get home fast - but - I stopped to look at the playbill in front of it, my local theater. It read:
A GRAND CONCERT
In conjunction with I Suoni Assagiati, and the Sand Hollow Idaho Trio,
and Il Teatro Italia Corps de Ballet
there is scheduled a GRAND PUBLIC CONCERT at the Teatro Italia
in the evening of Saturday the 21st of the present month December 1776
no less than TWO Fortepiano concertos
by Signor [G.] C. WAGENSEIL Comp.te di Camera di S:M:C: (Austria)
to be performed on two DIFFERENTLY DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED
(a finale of one concerto will be danced)
as well as a NEW street March and a NEW Grand Symphony
by Signor [W.] A. MOZART "Il caro Sassone"
who became extremely popular during his recent visit to our city
Director and solo performer: RODERICK E. SIMPSON
Admission: 1 ducat
Performance begins 20:00
.. both Wagenseil AND oh yes, "Il caro Sassone"
[The dear Saxon] Mozart - I must attend
. I scampered on to my favorite
restaurant for Fegato alla Veneziana [Liver and Onions in the (delicious) Venetian
style] - wonderful meal. Footsteps on the cobblestones ended my evening out,
as I climbed the stairs to my warm, cozy room.
THE CONCERT ON THIS DISC #9
CD Band 1 - The ringing of bells hung outside Venetian theaters was customary in the 18th century to announce the beginning of a performance. In my performance, I also add a march: W. A. Mozart "Marcia alla Francese" in D major K.251 a part of the divertimento composed in Salzburg for Nannerl's (Mozart's sister) 25th names day July 21, 1776). [In 1776, Mozart (1756-1791) is 20 years old, Monn (1717-1750) is dead for 26 years, Wagenseil (1715-1777) is 61 years old, Mann (1726-1782) is 50 years old, Sarti (1729-1802) is 47 years old, J. Haydn (1732-1809) is 44 years old, Martin y Soler (1754-1806) is 22 years old]
My musical arrangement (arrangements were common in the 18th century if a composition was performed in a different setting) is performed on the street in front of the theater by 2 oboe, 2 oboe da caccia (English horn), 2 bassoons and kettledrums.
CD Bands 2-4 - G. C. Wagenseil Concerto #4 in D major for Fortepiano (Cembalo) and string orchestra with all Eingänge (entrances) and Cadenzas composed by R.E. Simpson © 2006 [This concerto was composed in Vienna ca. 1750. Wagenseil (1715-1777) is 35 years old, Monn (1717-1750) is 33 years old and dies this year, Mann (1726-1782) is 24 years old, Sarti (1729-1802) is 21 years old, J. Haydn (1732-1809) is 18 years old, Martin y Soler (1754-1806) this is 4 years before his birth, Mozart (1756-1791) this is 6 years before his birth]
The manuscript calls for Violin I, Violin II, Bassi and has a keyboard figured in the tutti sections. Here again the strings are muted in the first movement. The feeling of the writing is Hungarian. As usual for Wagenseil, there are no cadenzas included - the fermatas show where they can be played. From the very beginning, the concerto opens with a declamation that seems to be a separate unit from the solo keyboard sections. This led me to performing this concerto with two different instruments: a harpsichord for the Tutti and a Fortepiano for the Solo. Wagenseil is a Master at getting a full sound out of three sections of strings - without Violas. I do not double the bass line with violas - this would produce a muddy sound not intended. My orchestra consists of: 6 Violin I, 6 Violin II, 2 Celli, 4 Basses, 1 harpsichord, 1 Fortepiano (total of 20 players) and in this Teatro Italia the number of players is enough to fill the hall with sound.
Band 2 - Movement 1, Allegro Molto. One immediately notices the importance of the basses with the harpsichord. They play almost as competition to the Violins - an intriguing effect. When the solo Fortepiano enters, the third element of force is added to the ensemble and as the soloist weaves in and around the rest of the ensemble, one becomes fascinated with these mixed sounds as if three orchestras playing. Soon the violins become color combinations for the soloist to play with and against. A technique carried forward by Mozart. Figured Tutti finally become so complicated that the soloist could not have possibly played them along with his solo parts. I mention this, because it was sometimes customary for the soloist to chord the figured bass in the tutti sections. I use this technique in all my previous recordings of Wagenseil concertos (Initium CDs # 5 and 8). Because of overlay of musical lines, this would be hard to impossible to perform in this concerto in D.
Band 3 - Movement 2, Andante Moderato. From the very first ominous minor chords (d minor) one is immediately taken into a realm of fantasy - imagination in good taste. The second movements of Wagenseil contain some of the most emotional heart felt music ever written. Beethoven tried unsuccessfully to compose similarly. Series of trills present a disturbing unrest and when it comes to the first cadenza spot I use the batement (discussed in this section of my website: www.initiumcd.com ) to carry this feeling of unrest forward. My second cadenza, at the end of the movement was created to allow the movement to end in a much quieter, less turbulent mood.
Band 4 - Movement 3, Allegro. This Rondo type movement (alternating sections - with the possibility of repeating each as many times as necessary to accommodate dancing) and the spirit of the music, leads me to believe that this movement was danced as a ballet number in the original performance (not an unusual happening in the 18th century when music, words, and dance were all closely related and often performed together. (Wolfgang and Leopold Mozart both allude to and specifically talk about this). Perhaps this movement was even danced by the ballet performing children of Maria Theresa. A sort of home-style entertainment - created to show off the kids, naturally. In this case, both the harpsichord and Fortepiano are used to support the dancers.
CD Bands 5-7 - G. C. Wagenseil Concerto #5 in E flat major for Fortepiano (Cembalo) and string orchestra with all Eingänge (entrances in all the movements) and Cadenzas (in movements 2 and 3) composed by R.E. Simpson © 2006 [This concerto was composed in Vienna ca. 1750. Wagenseil (1715-1777) is 35 years old, Mozart (1756-1791) this is 6 years before his birth, Monn (1717-1750) is 33 years old and dies this year, Mann (1726-1782) is 24 years old, Sarti (1729-1802) is 21 years old, Martin y Soler (1754-1806) this is 4 years before his birth, J. Haydn (1732-1809) is 18 yrs old]
Even though I copied these concertos from manuscripts bound together in book form (customary for the 18th century) and this manuscript book, undated, was bound like and in the same script as the 50 Divertimenti I also copied from another bound volume dated 1750, I believe that all these compositions might well have been composed anytime between 1735 and 1750. They are perhaps a small sampling of Wagenseil's output in the first years of his hire with Maria Theresa. He was hired as Chamber Composer (and teacher) and in that capacity performed and created most of his music for the royal family. This was a very restrictive post and it was only through his great talents that he became famous throughout Europe. The great praise for him in his time was certainly justified as was Leopold Mozart's insistence that his children study and play the works of Wagenseil. Far too little emphasis has been placed on the intuitiveness of Leopold in all aspects of music - his judgment and taste were indeed great. Now that we can see and hear works by Monn and Wagenseil - men born just two years apart - we can see how advanced the south Germans and Austrians were in their compositional styles and depth of feeling in the second quarter of the 18th century. This was a perfect setting for the genius Mozart.
The manuscript calls for Violin I, Violin II, Bassi but has no figured bass. However I use the very same arrangement as in the previous concerto: in this case I figure the bass and use a harpsichord to play the Tutti. Here again the strings are muted in the first movement. The feeling of the music is German. The cadenzas are not included with the manuscript except for the first movement where Wagenseil writes the cadenza into the keyboard part! - a first example of this that I know. The cadenzas in the other two movements are composed by me and placed in their appropriate spots. I again perform this concerto with two different instruments: a harpsichord for the Tutti and a Fortepiano for the Solo. Wagenseil writes nothing for Violas and I do not double the bass line with violas - this would produce a muddy sound not intended. My orchestra consists of: 6 Violin I, 6 Violin II, 2 Celli, 4 Basses, 1 harpsichord, 1 Fortepiano (total of 20 players) and in this Teatro Italia the number of players is enough to fill the hall with sound. I create a darker voiced Fortepiano here to accommodate the feelings in the music.
Band 5 - Movement 1, Allegro. This concerto movement starts off in a more pensive mood than #4 and not only that but here we have a real German type composition. The Hungarian influence is not felt. Even though the bass is not figured, I figure it and assign the harpsichord to play it in the tutti. Toward the end of the smooth flowing movement, Wagenseil writes in his own cadenza.
Band 6 - Movement 2, Andante Molto. Perhaps the muses looked down and gave that spark of suspension of sound and emotion to Wagenseil just as they did later to Mozart. This art of sospir (sighing, breathing, gasping) was a true art with both Wagenseil and Mozart - not until Richard Strauss did anyone again approach such heights with this dramatic feeling. There is not enough praise for the deep feeling movement here. Even the harpsichord, as well as the soloist, is enveloped with the spirit. Again I figure the bass for the harpsichord.
Band 7 - Movement 3, Allegro Assai. A very perky, playful
movement is designed to carry the spirit to a delightful satisfying end.
CD Bands 8-11 W. A. Mozart Symphony in D major KV133 [This work was composed in Salzburg July 1772. Mozart (1756-1791) is 16 years old, Wagenseil (1715-1777) is 57 years old, Monn (1717-1750) is dead for 22 years, Mann (1726-1782) is 45 years old, Sarti (1729-1802) is 43 years old, Martin y Soler (1754-1806) is 18 years old, J. Haydn (1732-1809) is 40 years old]
The manuscript calls for: Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Bassi, Oboe I, II, (Flute in the second movement), Horn I, II, Clarino I, II. I use 2 oboes, (2 flutes in the second movement) 2 horns, 2 clarini, 6 violin I, 6 violin II, 4 violas, 3 cellos, and 5 bases. A total of 30 players.
This Mozart symphony represents his genius just before his third trip to Italy. He was an enormous success everywhere in that country. The immediacy of the Italians and the free, impish personality of Mozart melded together and rapidly created the giant of musical genius along with his clamoring public. In a few years both the public and the aristocracy supported his music. Here the young genius pushed music forward into romanticism - long before the 19th century. The Italians stimulated Mozart more than any other peoples. This resulted in his "great leap forward". The musical bickering in Vienna was behind him and only again returned when he moved there in 1781 where he struggled to become the first great music entrepreneur in history - working for himself with the support of the Viennese public as he founded HIS academies - public concert series with performances of his music.
Upon looking at the score, one sees that the work is not conceived as an Italian sinfonia or overture but is a fully developed German style symphony created to stand alone and not to be performed in connection with an opera, play or ballet. Not only that, but Mozart goes beyond all that came before him and threw caution to the wind while letting his imagination run wild. One does however see that he is acknowledging the Italian style and many of their mannerisms while pushing all of these stylish things to great extremes. Probably had he not been so clever as to lead the ear from known experiences into unknown sounds he would not have been as overwhelmingly successful in his undertaking. Comparing Sarti symphonies to Mozart's, gives one a great understanding of the musical art in the 18th century (hear Sarti symphonies Initium CDs - A005, A007).
With this symphony, at age 16, Mozart creates a battery of color with 2 oboe parts (flute (played by oboe(s) written in the second movement), 2 horn parts, and 2 clarini parts playing together as well as separately with and against the strings, weaving in and out, creating a pallet of contrasting beauty with a minimum of instruments. It's interesting to notice that he wrote no timpani part - and if one were to try to imagine one here, one can see how it would not work. Mozart is treating his battery of winds entirely differently than anyone before him and the horns and clarini are a solid part of that section. They are conceived as color - and function as solid color vis-à-vis the strings. This new concept was a perfect break with the older style of writing in the early part of the century. In one tonal brush stroke, Mozart produces sounds and character of a hundred years later. Not until Mendelssohn, Brahms and Schumann did the orchestra sound thusly. This technique is far beyond Beethoven but Haydn briefly delves into some of these colors thirty years later in his Der Schöpfung (1802). In the symphony each wind instrument has its own color to add to the orchestra - and is developed to its fullest. From the entrance of the horns in measure 7 (pure Schumann) onward to the end of the work Mozart colors with never ending combinations. Each color combination is explored. In addition, we find the violas and then strings offering their color in large sections of the work. Just three symphonies later Mozart starts dividing the Viola section for even more color. One might say the rank of importance in this symphony is winds (oboes, horns, clarini) most important, violas next in importance, violins next in importance (with the second violins often carrying more importance then the firsts), contra basses last in importance (with cellos having very little to offer except a slight cohesive bond between the violas and basses). Cellos were not important orchestral instruments until the next century. Mozart's string writing is definitely Italian in concept - but even more advanced than the Italians.
The Oboes of the first movement play Flute(s) in the second movement. This is standard fare for the 18th century. Oboists all played flute - an easy change over for the range and fingering are exactly the same on both instruments and going from a double reed instrument to a no reed instrument is easy for oboists. The reverse is not true; flute players usually cannot play oboe.
The third movement, a Viennese style minuet, was especially designed to show the Italians how the Austrian minuet was much faster and different in character than theirs. Mozart mentions several times in his letters about how slowly the Italian minuets are danced and how they have many more notes than the Austrian counterpart.
In the last movement Mozart can't help but expand the 3/8 or 6/8 meter characteristic of the last movements of the day. He writes 12/8 and not only that but carries it into more developed realms and even with polyphonic sections - more fun to amaze and startle his newly found audiences. This work has so many surprises and fun sections that one cannot possibly perceive them all at once - an effect Mozart obviously planned!
This symphony is truly a tour de force - another genius work rarely performed these days and never performed with original scoring. In the definitive printing of the manuscript in the Neue Mozart Ausgabe the publisher (academic board) specifies trombe instead of clarini. I noticed that the "trombe" writing in the score was in the style as Mozart perceived clarini, so I went to the Complete Köchel catalog - and found that yes indeed he wrote this symphony for clarini not for trombe. I use the instrumentation that Mozart specified - not the corrupt way it is performed these days. The effect again shows the brilliant colors used by Mozart - a sort of cleaning of the musical canvas where dark tone qualities are now heard as bright colors. My CD performances are based on my basic feelings, musical training as well as years of scholarship. I totally reject the style of playing one often hears these days: the "yuppie" style (I call it) without substance. A tragedy of pecking at notes, constant swelling and diminishing of violin notes (to a point where they sound like poorly played pump organs) and a lack of legato singing style of playing. These characteristics are not 18th century (nor even musical).
Band 8 Movement 1, Allegro. Three broken chords played by all, herald the beginning of the symphony. The strings then quietly trill and pulse away to measure 7 when the horns enter creating a mysterious effect worthy of Schumann. Shortly thereafter all the winds enter, the second violins take over and the fun begins. Throughout the whole movement there is surprise after surprise and enough variety to keep any ear excited. I can't help but think that this movement must have been followed with a great physical audience response - as Italian audiences are apt to do if they enjoy themselves.
Band 9 Movement 2, Andante. Flute now joins the color ensemble with the oboes being silent (they are playing flute). In this case, I have two flutes playing the flute part as it is not a solo part but is a color part in keeping with the spirit of the first movement. This also gives both oboe players something to do. Mozart bows to Italian style and conceives this movement in the style of a cantilena andante but changes the rhythm in measures 31-45 and back again and so on to the end of the piece. The last 4 measures skillfully emotionally conclude the dreamy quality of this movement. Mozart had great genius in successfully concluding compositions and sections whereas some other composers had problems with this i.e. Beethoven, Wagner.
Band 10 Movement 3, Menuetto - Trio. As suggested in the letters written from Italy soon after this symphony was written, Mozart planned on showing the Italians the faster, simpler style of the Austrian minuet. This example makes his point very clear. It is designed to be much faster with fewer notes than the Italian counterparts. The oboes are back at coloring again while the strings weave a complex polyphonic tapestry - an unusual technique for the minuet form. This must have "pulled" Italian ears.
Band 11 Movement 4, Allegro. In an unusual 12/8 meter,
this movement puts great emphasis on accents on the weak beats in the strings-
sort of like hiccups in the middle of a flowing line of music - while the winds
play it straight with their added colors. A shimmering section in the development
calls attention to the writings of Mendelssohn. The whole movement overall is
Mendelssohn in feeling - much earlier than he lived.
18th CENTURY INSTRUMENTS
Now dealing with instruments of this period: clarini are to trombe as piccolos are to flutes. Piccolos are shorter in length than flutes. They both play notes on the same staff but the notes sound in different registers (an octave apart) with piccolos sounding an octave higher than flutes. Not a complex concept, no? For those interested in more details, please go to my website www.initiumcd.com for a detailed explanation of acoustics, brasses, trills, misconceptions and missing manuscripts etc.
MODERN HISTORY OF THE CLARINO
After about 1820 this instrument was forgotten. A new short keyed trumpet, Piccolo Trumpet, never caught on for the composers were looking for darker orchestral sounds. In 1945 at the end of WWII, there was an enormous surge forward in the art of clarino playing with Americans experimenting in Jazz and at the same time with the revival of pre 19th century serious music in Germany and Austria. The Americans (USA) developed the highest art of improvisation along with high register trumpet playing. Sometimes called "screech trumpet" the art was often physically costly for the instruments used were basically still the larger B flat trumpet that required great pressure and control to play in the upper registers. Usually, for lack of personalized trumpet manufacturers in the USA, these trumpets had to be used. High notes were achieved, for the most part, with only the mouthpiece being smaller and shallower to produce the higher notes called for in this style of playing. Occasionally an American found a person with a lathe at home with which to reduce the bore diameter. The things European musicians could get done as a special factory job Americans for the most part had to create in their garages. I was often with trumpeter friends (I played jazz as well as "legitimate music" at the time) while they went through dozens of mouthpieces in a music store (just as trumpeters did at the manufacturers shop in the 18th century) to find "the one" to carry them to higher notes with ease - while still not ruining their lips or breaking interior bodily blood vessels because of the physical pressure (stress) involved. More than one trumpeter died of internal hemorrhaging in the USA. In Austria, Vienna, (and also Germany) old music (before 1800) was going through a great revival and with it clarino playing as well (a talented outstanding leader in this art was Helmut Wobitsch (late 1940s through the 1950s) - who also played the posthorn (straight horn 4 feet long), example, Mozart's Serenade #9 in D KV 320 for Orchestra (with flautino and posthorn). An LP phonograph recording of the work with Wobitsch playing, Haydn Society LP recording HSLP 1012 (recorded in January 1950 in the Mozartsaal of the Konzerthaus in Vienna) is in the Initium Collection of music and instruments. A later recording from Budapest (1987) has faulty information in the jacket notes and is a poor performance. Personalized trumpet manufacturers such as Alexander Brothers in Mainz, Germany led the way forward in brass creations by producing brass instruments to specifications when requested (just as many harpsichords in Germany were built to special requests in the days right after the war (WWII)). As both jazz and serious music died in the USA, the connection between jazz style of playing and serious music never developed (even though the famous company, Haydn Society, recording these early performances was headquartered in Boston, Mass). Symphony orchestra conductors would no more have thought of playing Bach or Mozart with jazz musician trumpeters than flying to the moon. Oddly enough, only the moon flying has ever been realized in the USA. The situation persists - now even worse - because there are no more jazz "clarino register" players and because serious musicians still don't understand - and because music creation and performance is in decline. Perhaps I should even say: imagination and understanding are in decline!
BRASSES IN THE 18th CENTURY
Mozart's score calls for clarini (plural of clarino). What are clarini? Clarini (hieroglyphics show them in ancient Egypt) were a standard part of the brass (wind) family from 1500 onward - a solid sound used at first in military bands from 1500-1700, and sometimes, at the same time players performed also as soloists, especially in north Germany during the period of J. S. Bach (1700-1750), and then they started performing as part of the south German brass (wind) orchestral battery from 1750-1810. In south Germany in the 18th century, both the clarini and horns are considered a part of the wind family - especially as developed by Mozart. When he uses trombe however the trombe and horns become a brass section with a different style of writing leading to a different effect. During all this time they were still playing in military bands of which there were many. There were many daily occasions in which to perform: trooping of the colors, changing of the guard, revelry, alarm, military drills, royal dinners, royal entrances, city gate locking at night and unlocking in the mornings, retreat and so on with many functions in the society. A battery of these brass instruments included: clarino, tromba, tromba lungha, serpent and added to the ensemble were kettledrums. With these instruments one could cover all of the military occasions and more.
A clarino is a trumpet - shorter than our present day trumpet known as "tromba(e)" in the 18th century. They both read the same notes on the same staff. Another trumpet, tromba lungha, occasionally had it's own clef and sounded lower. With the shorter length of the clarino comes a sound an octave higher than read, in south Germany and Austria, therefore they sound an octave higher than the regular trumpet (trombe). Mozart uses both clarini and trombe but not at the same time. In Una Cosa Rara, Martin y Soler uses both clarini and trombe in the same opera - also used in two different ways as Mozart does. The clarini appear first in the overture - (hear Initium CD - A005).
TRUMPET AND CLARINO TRAINING IN THE 17th AND 18th CENTURIES. In connection with the training of a trumpet player, his entrance into a trumpet guild and his examination: " . As soon as the fellowship - which has been invited to determine the apprentice's readiness for release - has gathered, the pupil is introduced and judged according to the investigation of his deportment, manners, and aptitude; then he must first play the five field pieces as the chief demonstration of his skill, and also show that he possesses capabilities in clarino playing. If the pupil is skilled on several instruments, as is considered necessary in many places, both the master and the pupil will have more glory and honor therefrom. .ON CLARINO PLAYING AND THE STYLE OF EXECUTION REQUIRED THEREBY.......In olden times the trumpet, of which we are speaking here, was called clario, claro, or clarusius in Latin on account of its high, clear tone, terms which the French translated as clairon and the Italians as clarino. It is properly a shorter trumpet, more closely wound than the usual instrument and is called clarion by the English. It is well known that the human voice is supposed to serve as the model for all instruments: thus should the clarino player try to imitate it as much as possible, and should seek to bring forth the so-called cantabile on his instrument. .. " Excerpts from Trumpeters' and Kettledrummers' Art - Ernst Altenburg (Halle 1795) trans. Tarr (in the Initium Collection of music and instruments).(continued on website: www.initiumcd.com )
Clarini sound in the very highest partials of the instrument from G on the treble staff - easily up to G (24th partial) an octave above the G on the space above the treble staff. The first two partials of trumpets are mostly impossible to play. A partial is a note in the harmonic series of a non-keyed (open) instrument calculated from low notes to high notes. These partials (harmonic series notes) are the only notes an "open" (valveless) trumpet can play naturally - the valveless trumpet existed until roughly 1800). Trombe (what have become known as modern day Trumpets) - played the partials sounding G below the treble staff to G on the space above the treble staff, and Trombe Lunghe - sounded from G bottom line bass clef to G second line treble staff, the Serpent, more versatile because of finger holes, is a bass trumpet going down to C or G below the bass staff and up to middle C. This register was taken over by the Tuba from 1850 onward. Think of the brass choir of 4 different instruments as Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass respectively. And, with Clarini and Trombe, think of them as Piccolos and Flutes - both are Flutes, one is shorter than the other so sounds an octave higher (register higher), but they both read music written in the same register on the same staff. Mozart, when writing for clarini, uses the horns as low horns (to create a full sound) and when writing for trombe, uses the horns as high horns (to create a full sound).
Because of the physical shortness, clarini could only easily play in but two keys - C and D and thereby most clarino parts are found in compositions in these keys. Trombe could play in all keys with the aid of crooks (additions of tubing to lengthen the air column). Trombe Lunghe could only easily play in but two keys - C and D. Because the Serpent was an open holed fingered instrument - it was more versatile - leading to its long career up to 1850 or so. Here we see that the Clarini and Trombe Lunghe could start to be used in orchestral playing, providing the keys were C and D and both instruments became used by at least Sarti (Initium CD - A007), Martin y Soler (Initium CD - A005), Mozart (Initium CDs - A005, A007), Wagenseil overture (Initium CD - A008, as well as Michael Haydn, Leopold Mozart and others. Why key restrictions? - Because brass instruments did not yet have pistons or keys. All the control was with the lip which allowed for easy playing of the overtone series but unless the instrument could use crooks, it was stuck as a non variable pitch instrument - in this case one tuning bit or shank used close to the mouthpiece could change the fundamental from D to C by lengthening the instrument. The relative size of these instruments: roughly 4 feet long for the Clarini, 8 feet long for the Trombe, 12 feet long for the Trombe Lunghe and nearly 8 feet long for the Serpent with a larger bore. What else governed the tonal registers and tone colors of these instruments? Several things. Firstly, the mouthpieces change tone color and range. A shallow mouthpiece can more easily play higher than a deep mouthpiece. Other variables are composition (type of metal), diameter of the bore, and the flare of the bell and bore. In order to produce trumpet quality sound from a pipe, the geometric shape must be of a cone (like an ice cream cone). But because of having to use various crooks (tube additions) with some of the instruments in order to play in different keys, the conical shape has to be modified to a certain extent. For example, the shape of the Tromba (trumpet) is roughly: ¾ of the tubing is cylindrical and the last ¼ is conical. The small amount of conical shape is enough to produce the conical sound - generally called Trumpet. Trombones are cylindrical - and therefore of another ilk (family) with a different tone quality. If you have ever looked at organ pipes, you will easily see these shapes represented in the pipes called "Trumpet" "Trombone" "Clarino" etc. By using a keyboard, the organ can reproduce these sounds in all keys - simply because each key has a pipe devoted to it. The organ was the first synthesizer invented (in general use starting around 1100 AD) - imitating all instruments as well as voices!
The tone quality (timbre) of each of these types of instruments is roughly: Clarini - sharp, brilliant, penetrating yet light in volume. This leads to easy blending and weaving in and out of the orchestra in combination with the other winds - a technique that Mozart developed and at which he excelled. Trombe (similar to present day trumpets) - darker in color, louder in volume. These sounds muddy the interior voices in scores of the 18th century unless they were especially written into the score - this is why Mozart uses a different style of writing for them as well as specifying the names trombe or clarini. They produce a thicker, darker sound, one which is favorably used by Mozart for certain effects - but these trombe can be a dulling effect when used in his scores calling for clarini. Trombe lunghe - dark in color but penetrating in sound characteristic of lower sounding blares of trumpets sort of like the air horn of a semi truck (listen to Sarti on Initium CD - A007). By using the Clarini when called for in 18th century music, we hear an entirely different effect from the orchestra. Clarini, trombe, trombe lunghe, and serpent correspond to SATB soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.
When the high brass were used alone in the military in the 17th and 18th centuries, the clarini were written in a minimum of three parts: Clarino I, Clarino II, Clarino Principal (the fundamental) and combined with kettledrums. If another voice were to be added it would have been the Clarino Concertato (soloist). Clarino players were very adept at their art and held high status in the aristocratic households. They formed Guilds and were paid great amounts of money if they became outstanding - such as an opera singer, or castrato singer. These Guilds became very influential in the musical establishment. The Emperor Josef II touted a very large Guild centered in Vienna until about 1810! Other parts of Europe also had their own Guilds for clarino players.
The confusion of Mozart manuscript publishers in the 19th century led them to drop the listing of "Clarino" in scores that contained the then vanished instruments, and substituted the word "Trombe" (Trumpets). So overnight, at his death, the Mozart sound (and sound of the 18th century) died along with him. Even more unfortunate, in WWII many of Mozart's manuscripts were destroyed or lost. These were the days before microfilm and now we have nothing left or have only a bad published copy of some of the works. Up to now there has been a somewhat half effort to try to reconstruct compositions but because scholars are often not adept at music and musicians are not adept at scholarship the job remains haphazard and incomplete.
Well, you might say (as an excuse), "The clarino isn't manufactured anymore, so just substitute the modern trumpet." This is what is being done. But what a shame all the musicians who think they are doing such great things for music by bringing back the 18th century violin bow and old style oboes etc. don't understand that they are playing around with small "fish" - not very necessary for the 18th century sound. Restoration of original horns and clarini would be FAR MORE worthwhile. Even using appropriate places for performances are more worthwhile. These need not be (and often should not be) new halls for music. There are many existing buildings in every town that offer far better acoustics than new concert halls. This spirit is in keeping with the 18th century. Surprise? My advice is to save big bucks at the new building end and spend it on revitalizing music itself.
TRILLS IN THE 18th CENTURY.
The trill, especially in the 18th century and later with Richard Strauss, became a mood setter, a form of drama, and a technique capable of engendering fun, impishness, sorrow, and deep feeling when used by great composers. The performer played each trill in a different controlled way and each performer had to excel at trills if they were to become famous. What is a trill? A trill is a sounding in succession of two neighboring pitches. Some are fast, some slow, some vary from fast to slow, some from slow to fast, some are measured (exactly played in the beat), others squish more or fewer notes into a beat (4,5,6,7,8,10,12), some have preparation notes and or tails. Ones imagination can run wild. In the 18th century all instrumentalists and singers practiced trills over and over to be able to create the desired effects within a composition. Sadly, that discipline no longer exists or exists only in a small way. For the keyboard, a 4-3 (or 3-4) trill became the most used (alternating 4th and 3rd fingers) with the 3-2 (or 2-3) trill being next used then the 2-1 (or 1-2) trill. There were two types of trills: German-French and Italian. The German trills always start on the note right above the note written in the score and go down to the note written, ex. a c trill would sound d,c,d,c,d,c,d,c. While Italian trills start on the note written and go up to the next note, ex. a c trill would sound c,d,c,d,c,d,c. How did these styles evolve? In Italy, in the 18th century, opera was the basis for writing music. In the opera house, with a singer, the harpsichordist, playing secco recitatives or instrumentalists accompanying the singers with trill sections, had to make sure the singer was not thrown off pitch. Singers usually start trills on the note written and trill thus: c,d,c,d,c,d,c. If the harpsichordist was playing a trill going the German direction: d,c,d,c,d,c one sees that a sung c is being heard roughly at the same time as a played d, and that the singer sings seven notes, while the harpsichord plays 6 or 8 notes. This would sound a mess if this were to take place - therefore the creation of the Italian trill - used almost exclusively in opera houses. From 1800 to now the Italian trill has taken over with many musicians - and trills have become more wobble than trill, as performers rarely have the discipline of practice to be able to be flexible. In listening to many performances, one wonders if the soloist is even going to be able to make it through a trill let alone bring any beauty to it. All trills have turned into the same wobble - loosing their effect and sparkle in the musical composition. One more trill I want to mention: the batement. This trill starts below the main note and beats up to the main note ex. a batement on the note c would be, b,c,b,c,b,c,b,c. While effective, it must be used sparingly to achieve the surprise. Mozart writes his out in notation. I use batement in my cadenza to Wagenseil Concerto #4, second movement (on this disc) - beginning measure 72.
In the 18th century, trills were used also for the variation of sounds and mood in a repeat of a section. One can play, lets say a slow measured trill at a certain point in the score, while in the repeat one might play a fast trill, or a short trill, etc. thereby bringing variety to the ear of the listener. The practice of variation on repeat is often misunderstood, being assumed as license for changing the melodic line. However things varied were small and most items altered were trills, dynamics, rubato. Any over doing of this improvisation concept can be tragic for the musical piece. Recently, I heard a new recording by a famous pianist playing a Mozart piano concerto. Mozart had created a breathtakingly beautiful calm section - writing only a few scant piano notes creating a suspension of mood. This pianist proceeds to add notes and doodle through this section of the concerto - the result is tragic at the very least!
MOZART FAMILY FORTEPIANO (FLÜGEL)
At age 11, Mozart wrote his first four keyboard concertos K.37, K.39, K.40, K.41 for harpsichord in 1767 in Salzburg. The concertos "Pastici" are based on other composers' works. Already Leopold saw the arriving popularity of the Fortepiano and thereby adjusted a few spots in the concertos to be more in style with Fortepiano playing. These few sections have often been assessed as corrections to Wolfgang's creations. I do not believe that to be true, for upon close scrutiny one sees that Leopold is reshaping a few sections more in keeping with Fortepiano style of writing - not correcting them. However Wolfgang is writing in the harpsichord style. Therefore in my harpsichord recording of K.37 (hear Initium CD - A008) I use Wolfgang's original notation.
At home the Mozarts had a clavichord and a harpsichord (Mozart's sister Nannerl gave lessons on both of these instruments).
In 1770, while in Mantua, Italy 11 January, Leopold writes to Mama Mozart: " . Post the enclosed letter to Herr Friederici at Gera, [Germany] so that it may be forwarded quickly. It is an order for a "Flügels"". [It seems almost certain by "Flügels" Leopold meant Fortepiano as they already had a harpsichord at home - why buy another harpsichord especially when it was rapidly going out of style? The harpsichord was listed in Leopolds death estate of 1787 as a two manual one. The family portrait by Johann Nepomuk Della Croce 1780 shows Nannerl and Wolfgang seated at a Fortepiano - one manual. This might have been the Friederici instrument. The clavishord and Fortepaiano were probably taken by Nannerl to St. Gilgen when she married in 1784.] *Christian Ernst Friederici (1712-1779) was a well-known manufacturer of keyboard instruments and the first to make upright instruments. Equally famous was his son Christian Gottlieb Friederici (1750-1805).
C. E. Friederici may have been instrumental in the rapid popularity of the Fortepiano in Austria from, I believe, 1740 onward. He would have been 28 years old in that year and probably building all styles of keyboard instruments. This early date could explain the Fortepiano style of composition in the Wagenseil concertos and also some of the Monn concertos. Who would have had a new style of instrument first in the society: the composers and performers hired into the richest and most influential families or the Catholic church and also families with direct connections to Italy where the new instrument was invented by Cristofori at Padua in 1711 - a town just a few miles away from the Mozarts in Mantua. [How many Fortepianos were in the Mantua area at the time of their visit in 1770? And was C. F. Friederici known there?] In 1740 both the church and the crown employed Monn and Wagenseil age 23 and 25 respectively. All three men above, Friederici, Monn, and Wagenseil are in the same generation.
The Mozart itinerary: Verona 27 Dec. '69 to 10 Jan. '70, Wolfgang composes an Allegro for keyboard K.72a (fragment)(forFriederici Fortepiano?). Mantua 10 Jan. '70 (arrived evening, went to opera at 6PM), 11 Jan. '70 Leopold sent letter off for a "Flugel", Wolfgang performed in concert on same day. Bologna 21 July-18 Oct. '70 Wolfgang composes Fugue for keyboard K. 73w. March 28, '71 return home from Italy, the "Flugel" was probably delivered soon thereafter (delivery would be scheduled for when the men were home). Did this addition of an instrument create a space problem at home? Yes, they moved to a larger eight room apartment in a little over a year. Wolfgang composed: Salzburg 28 March-16 Aug. '71 - 3 Concertos for keyboard K.107 with orchestra of Violin I, Violin II, Bassi - Wagenseil style orchestra! Salzburg Jan. '72 - 4 Hand Sonata Fortepiano style K.123a. Vienna Fall '73, 6 Variations Fortepiano style - theme by Salieri K.173c. Salzburg '73, Concerto for Fortepiano K.175 (from scratch).
Again as emphasis: the delivery of the new Flügel (Fortepiano) to the Mozart home was probably after March 1771. It is noteworthy that in 1771 Mozart wrote three keyboard concertos K.107 (with a Wagenseil style orchestra - no Violas!) based on three sonatas by J. C. Bach. These should be numbered Concerto #5, 6, and 7 but they haven't been, perhaps because of obscurity and because Köchel placed them all under the same catalog number. Here we see Mozart developing his Fortepiano style shortly before his first totally original Fortepiano concerto K.175 composed from scratch in year 1773. This work falsely numbered as 5 should be number 8. It is in Fortepiano style of composition and was played by him many times after his move to Vienna in 1781.
Roderick Simpson's varied musical background has given him a good foundation for his musical career as performer, composer, teacher and musicologist specializing in the 18th century. Born in 1929, he began keyboard study at the age of five (near Waynesfield, Ohio). He later studied clarinet and oboe and received a B.S. degree from Bowling Green State University. His masters studies were in music theory at Indiana University, and doctoral studies were in musicology at the University of Vienna. In addition, he has played oboe professionally with the Lima Symphony Orchestra (1946-1948) under Domenico Traverelli, Toledo Symphony Orchestra (1948-1952) conducted by Wolfgang Stresseman, Curaçao Symphony (1967-1968) under H. Gorsira.
Mr. Simpson was impresario and conductor of the first known American production
(in the old historic Liberty Grange Hall near Eagle, Idaho) of the 1786 Viennese
opera "Una Cosa Rara" by Martin y Soler and Lorenzo DaPonte. In addition
he has notated the sung Yoruba language at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
He is a composer and music teacher. Mr. Simpson has been a pupil of: Erich Schenk
(Musicology), Paul Nettl (Musicology), Willi Apel (Musicology), Bernhard Heiden
(Composition), Othmar Wessely (Ancient Notation), Ernst Hoffmann (Conducting)
and Roy Will (Theory).
While studying in Vienna in the 1950s and 1960s, he also learned much about style and interpretation from Viennese performers and performances. His work with 18th Century manuscripts began in the 1950s and has included many works by Mann, Monn, Wagenseil, Martin y Soler, and Sarti. Mr. Simpson is now devoting his time to seeing that performances of unknown 18th Century music in manuscript form are recorded on CDs.
C.P.E. Bach "Versuch Über die wahre Art das Klavier zu spielen" 1753; J.J. Quantz "Versuch einer Anweisung die Flute Traversiere zu spielen" 1752; Leopold Mozart "Gründliche Violinschule" 1756; Paul Badura-Skoda "Mozart - Interpretation" 1957; Adolf Beyschlag "Die Ornamentik der Musik" 1953; G.M. Telemann "Unterricht im Generalbaß spielen" 1773; G.P. Telemann "Singe Spiel und Generalbaß Übungen" 1733, Marpurg "Kritische Einleitung in . Musik" 1759; Marpurg "Anleitung zur Musik . " 1763; Marpurg "Anfangsgründe der Theoretischen Musik" 1757; Marpurg "Anleitung zum Clavierspielen" 1765; Heinichen "Der General Baß in der composition . " 1728; Gugl "Fundamenta Partiturae in Compendio Data" 1777; Gasparini "L'Armonico Pratico al Cembalo" 1708; Frotscher "Geschichte des Orgelspiels", 2 vols. 1959, all publications by Dr. Charles Burney 1726-1814, Paul Nettl "Mozart", Erich Schenk "Mozart and His Times", "Mozart Briefe und Aufzeichnungen" - 4 Vols. 1962, "Mozart and His Circle" - Clive 1998, " Mozart" - Davenport 1954, "Mozart" - Deutsch 1965, "Papageno"- Honolka 1984, "The Letters of Mozart and His Family" - Anderson 1938, 1966, "Mozart in Italia" - Barblan, Della Corte 1956
This CD #9 is dedicated to Stephen Phillips, whose computer talent and good humor have kept me going. Thank you Stephen!
Thanks to Paul Shoemaker for his help with the picture of the Teatro Italia on P. 24 of the booklet in the CD case.
® 2006 R.E.Simpson, © 2006 R. E.Simpson
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