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Helmut Breidenstein

Mozart's Tempo-System, page 1 - 12

A Handbook for Practice and Theory

1. Edition 2019, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-4291-5, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-7203-5, https://doi.org/10.5771/9783828872035-1

Tectum, Baden-Baden

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Te ct um Helmut Breidenstein MOZART'S TEMPO-SYSTEM A Handbook for Practice and Theory translated by Lionel Friend Helm ut Breidenstein MOZART'S TEMPO-SYSTEM Helmut Breidenstein MOZART'S TEMPO-SYSTEM A Handbook for Practice and Theory All the tempi designated by Mozart himself listed in 420 groups of movements w ith the same characteristics with detailed comments, 434 typical music examples and all relevant historical texts translated by Lionel Friend Tectum Verlag Helmut Breidenstein Mozart’s Tempo-System A Handbook for Practice and Theory © Tectum – Ein Verlag in der Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden 2019 E-Book: 978-3-8288-7203-5 (Dieser Titel ist zugleich als gedrucktes Werk unter der ISBN 978-3-8288-4291-5 im Tectum Verlag erschienen.) Umschlagabbildung: Mozart-Signatur, Wikimedia Commons, Nutzer: Connormah: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:W olfgang_ Amadeus_Mozart_Signature.svg Alle Rechte vorbehalten Informationen zum Verlagsprogramm finden Sie unter www.tectum-verlag.de Bibliografische Informationen der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation in der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Angaben sind im Internet über http://dnb.ddb.de abrufbar. Bibliographic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbiblio-grafie; detailed bibliographic data are available online at http:// dnb.ddb.de. Tempo-indication in the 18th Century 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements and notes from the authors Page 6 Preface 7 Introduction 8 About the translation 12 T e m p o I n d ic a t io n in t h e 1 8 th C e n t u r y 1)Textbooks 13 2) Metres and their „natural" tempo 13 a) Alla breve metre ($) 14 b) ,Large' four-four metre - tempo ordinario (C) 16 c) Uneven metres 1 7 3) The smallest relevant note values 19 4)Tem powords 20 5) „Church-", „theatre-", „chamber-style" 23 6) Manners of playing 24 7) Execution 26 T he T e m p o -S y s t e m o f M o z a r t I) MOZART'STEMPO WORDS a) surviving autographs 29 b) significance, sequence, reference to what? 29 II) M o zart 'smetres 33 A) C hurch m u s ic . The metres o f the stile antico 33 a) ,Large' alla breve $ (2/1 and 4/2) metre 34 b) ,Small' alla breve $ (2/2) metre 34 c) 3/2 metre 37 d) ,Large' C (4/4) metre 37 B) Secular MUSIC. The Classical Metres 47 1) THE EVEN METRES 47 a) Classical (,galant') $ (2/2) metre 47 Excursus: Co m p o u n d M etres - The Metrie of Groups of Bars (Periodic) 81 b) The classical 4/4 metre (2/4+2/4) 87 c) The ,short' 4/4 metre (2/4+2/4) 106 Excursus: V irtual C hances of M etre 115 d) Recitative-metre, melodramas 131 e) The compound 2/4 metre (2/8 + 2/8) 136 f) The ,simple',,true'(genuine) 2/4metre 153 Excursus: How d o even M etres relate to each o ther? 160 g) the ,simple' - or ,short' - 6/8 metre 164 h) 12/8 (6/8 + 6/8) metre 168 2) T he U neven M etres 169 a) The whole-bar„light' 3/4 metre 171 b) ,Heavy' 3/4 (2/8 + 2/8+2/8) metre 185 c) 3/8 metre 195 d) compound - or ,long' - 6/8 (3/8 + 3/8) metre 196 e) 3/8- and 6/8 (3/8 + 3/8) metres, considered together 197 C) M o z a r t 's C h u rc h M us ic in th e ,N ew S ty le ' 220 a) in classical 4/4 (2/4+2/4) metre 220 b) in classical 2/4 (2/8 + 2/8) metre 222 c) in classical ,heavy' 3/4 (2/8 + 2/8 + 2/8) metre 223 d) in classical ,light' 3/4 metre 227 e) in classical 3/8 metre 228 f) in classical 6/8 (3/8 + 3/8) metre 228 4 Tempo-indication in the 18th Century D) M inuets 229 a) The Salzburgminuets 232 b) The Viennese minuets 234 c) The minuet in Don Giovanni, the alleged prototype 238 d) Triosandrepetitions 240 e) Tempo di menuetto 241 f) From minuet to scherzo and waltz 243 E) Da n c e s a n d M arches 244 a) Contredances 244 b) German dances 248 c) Ländler-like dances 249 d) Remaining dances: Chaconne, Passacaglia, Passepied, Gavotte, Allemande, Courante, Gigue, Siciliana, Polonaise 250 e) Marches 252 Resume 255 Epilocue 256 A p p e n d ix So u r c e T exts a b o u t Pe r f o r m a n c e Pr a c t ic e ( e x c e rp ts ) 1) W olfgang Amadeus and Leopold M ozart: Letters about perform ance practice 259 2).W .A. M ozart: ,Verzeichnüß aller m einer W erke' (List o f all m y w orks): 270 (A short Iist of his tem po indications 1 784-1791 that differ from the autograph scores) 3) Leopold M ozart: ,Versuch einer gründlichen V iolinschule' (Essay on a Fundam ental S choo l o fV io lin Playing) 271 4) Johann Philipp Kirnberger: ,D ie Kunst des reinen Satzes in der M usik ' (The Art o fS tr ic t M usical Com position) 274 Anleitung zu r S ingekom position ' (Guide to Vocal Com position) 282 - Musical articles in Georg Sulzer's ,General Theory o f the Fine A rts' 5) Johann Abraham Peter Schulz: musical articles in Georg Sulzer's ,General T h e o ry o fth e Fine A rts ' 283 6) Georg S u lzer/ Kirnberger/Schulz: ,A llgem eine Theorie der Schönen Künste' (General Theory o f the Fine Arts) 283 7) Joh. Friedrich Reichardt: ,U eber die Pflichten des Ripien-Violin isten' (On the Duties o f the Tutti Violinist) 295 ,Briefe eines aufmerksamen Reisenden, d ie M usik betreffend ' (Fetters o f an Attentive Traveller Concerning M usic 297 ,M usikalisches Kunstmagazin' (The Art o fM u s ic Magazine) 298 8) Daniel G ottlob Türk: ,Klavierschule' (Schoo l o fC la v ie r Playing) 299 9) Heinrich Christoph Koch: ,M usikalisches Fexikon ' (Musical D ictionary) 310 ,Versuch einer Anleitung zu r C om position ' (Essay as an Instruction M anual for Com position) 318 10) Joseph Riepel: ,Anfangsgründe zu r m usicalischen Setzkunst' (Basic Principles o f the Art o f M usical Com position) 320 1st chap. On Rhythm opoeia, o r On the M etrical System ; / 4th chap. 'Erläuterung der bezüglichen Tonordnung' (Deceptive Cadences Explained) 321 11) Charles Avison: An Essay on M usical Expression 321 12) Johann Joachim Quantz: Versuch einer Anweisung die Flute Traversiere zu spielen ('O n Playing the Flute') 322 13) Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Versuch über die wahre Art, das Clavier zu spielen ('Essay on the True Art o f Playing the Clavier') 328 14) Johann Adam H ille r: W öchentliche Nachrichten und Anm erkungen die M usik betreffend ('Week/y N ew s and Annotations concerning M usic ') 330 - Anweisung zum m usikalisch- r i c h t i g e n Gesänge ( 'Instruction for M usically-C o r r e c t Singing') 331 - Anweisung zum Violinspielen, für Schulen und zum Selbstunterrichte ( 'Instruction for playing the Violin, for Schools and for Self-Instruction, including a short dictionary o ffo re ign w ords and terms used in m usic ') 331 15) Friedrich W ilhe lm M arpurg: Kritische Briefe über die Tonkunst ('Critical Fetters about the A rt o f M usic ') 332 - Anleitung zu r M usik überhaupt und zur S ingkunst ('G uide to M usic in general and to the Art o f Singing') Johann Mattheson: D er Vollkom m ene Capellm eister ('The Perfect Capellm eister') 336 Das neu eröffnete O rchestre ('The N ew ly Revealed Orchestra ') 339 1 7) Johann Adolph Scheibe: Ueber die M usikalische Com position ('About M usical C om position ') 340 18) Jacob G ottfried W eber: Versuch einer geordneten Theorie der Tonsetzkunst zum Selbstunterricht ('Essay in a System atic Theory o f Com position for Self-Instruction') 343 19) G ottfried W ilhe lm Fink: Ü ber Takt, Taktarten, und ihr Charakteristisches ('About the Bar, M etres and their Characteristics') 345 - Ueber das Bedürfniss, M ozarts Hauptwerke unserer Zeit so m etronom isirt zu liefern, w ie der M eister selbst sie aufführen Hess ( 'On the N eed to H and dow n M etronom e Marks for M ozart's M ajor Works as the M aster h im se lf had them perform ed') 346 20) Simon Sechter: D ie Grundsätze der musikalischen Kom position ('The Principles o f M usical Com position ') 347 21) Ludwig van Beethoven: a selection o f his letters 348 Tempo-indication in the 18th Century 5 22) Adolf Bernhard M arx: A rtic le „C hronom etre" (from Encyclopedia o f all M usical Scientifics (1835)) 23) Schlesinger's M etronom e indications fo r M ozart's Operas against the ircu ltu ra l-h is to rica l background: Reports on perform ances o f ,D ie Zauberflö te ' in Paris 1802 by Reichardt, Spohr, Berlioz and the Am Z (Allgemeine m us. Zeitung) 24) Jacob G ottfried W eber: ,A doub t', Pendulum Indication in Rheinland inches fo r Pamina's Aria „A ch , ich füh l's") 25) Wenzel Tomaschek's „au then tic" tempos fo r D on Giovanni 349 349 352 352 Fin a l C o m m e n t 353 B lB L IO G R APH Y L it e r a t u r e be fo r e 1 9 0 0 356 AFTER 1 9 0 0 359 REGISTER A N D INDEX o f M o z a r t ' s a u t o c r a p h ic a l l y in d ic a t e d W o r k s 367 PROFILES o f A lfred B r e n d e l , Peter G ülke a n d H e l m u t B r e id e n s t e in 384 6 Tempo-indication in the 18th Century A cknow ledg em ents I owe most the heartfelt thanks for encouragement and support over many years especially to Alfred Brendel, Prof. Dr. Dr. hc. Peter Gülke, Prof. Dr. Manfred Hermann Schmid, Prof. Dr. Hartmut Möller, Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Bianconi, Dr. Faye Ferguson, Dr. Henning Bey, Dr. Elisabeth Fritz, and, most of all, to my most understanding translator and colleague, Lionel Friend. I am also obliged to my friends, the concertmasters Otfrid Nies and Roland Baldini and the conductors Dr. Ino Turturo, Rainer Berger and Friedemann Layer. They have given invaluable advice and have pointed out mistakes. By their singing and playing, the soloists, orchestras and choruses of my own Mozart performances helped to verify my ideas for a new understanding of his ,tempo'-indications. Yet before all others: w ithout the great patience, love and willingness of my family to make sacrifices this decades-long work could not have been achieved together with that of my profession as theatre and concert conductor. I am deeply indepted to them. Helmut Breidenstein Berlin, December2018 I thank the British Library Board and the Staatsbibliothek Berlin for permission to reproduce their digitalizations from the autograph manuscripts of the String Quartet in D minor, K 421 (Ex. 001) and Die Zauberflöte, K 620 (Ex. 099 and Ex. 355). Note from the author Since the main focus of Mozart's work was in opera, a book concerning his conception of „tempo" needed to be written by an experienced opera conductor. For the same reason the translation needed an experienced opera conductor as well. O f course this is a musicological work, it is a work about Mozart's unique musical language, which is, however, based on the common language of his period. Yet it also aims to be useful to practical, performing musicians who have to deal with a terminology that has changed very much since Mozart's time. This book was first published in German language in 2011 by Hans Schneider in Tutzing, the enlarged second edition in 2015 by Tectum-Verlag in Marburg. After several highly qualified translators had given up because of their lack of familiarity with musical practice it was great luck that I found in Lionel Friend an English conductor who had worked in Germany and whose lifelong experience with Mozart had made him sensitive to the musicological problems raised by this 250-year-old music. I am most grateful for his willingness to sacrifice his time and bring his own knowledge in a most agreeable Cooperation. Thanks to Lionel Friend my book can now reach beyond the limited circle of German readers. Helmut Breidenstein Berlin, December2018 A Note from the translator It has been a privilege as well as a pleasure to translate Helmut Breidenstein's major study of the system within which Mozart wrote. As a musical performer, I can also say that it has been an education. This work is, in my judgment, the most detailed, thorough and comprehensive study of a topic that is of concern to the majority of musicians. Lionel Friend, December2018 Tempo-indication in the 18th Century 7 PREFACE Alfred Brendel Helmut Breidenstein's astonishing opus about „Mozart's Tempo-System" is now completed - in so far as this can be said about a book that öfters itself as „an aid ... for the interpreter in his or her own indis pensable search." I regard it as one of those rare and important books in which music and musicology form a vital association; a lifelong study that makes one very much aware o f a field to which attention is rarely paid. It accomplishes this by bringing to bear an understanding that never loses sight of the musi cal foundation on which it is built, and by a discerning intelligence that does not shy away from raising debatable topics, although without ever claiming infallibility. One cannot be grateful enough to Helmut Breidenstein for his methodological accuracy which allows us Mozart Interpreters to orientate ourselves with ease and pleasure. The appendix assembles extracts from texts about performance practice with a completeness that I have rarely found accessible in other places. This section of the book alone reveals - if one did not already know it - that one cannot do justice to a topic as complex and varied in shape and form as the one Breidenstein deals with by using only a few rules of thumb. Breidenstein's book sharpens our perception, at the same time giving an overview and making us sensi tive to each individual case. Admiration and gratitude. London 2011 Peter Gülke This is a work one wants to urge every reader who gets seriously involved in Mozart's music to take to heart. The author is enough of a practical musician to avoid any fixation on metronome marks and bases his research mainly on the establishment of relations, cross-references etc. That doesn't make it easier to read - in spite of 434 added music examples - but does lead one nearer to the music; the numerous vivid characterizations substantiate it more. Breidenstein includes the theoretical background as a reference to Mozart's often ignored historicity. The reader finds assembled in quotations and a voluminous appendix everything important in this context. Where eise is one led so directly, and always on the basis of concrete cases, to the sources; where eise does a compendium exist that exemplifies all relevant questions to such a degree - all o f Mozart's tempos are included! - and where eise is information so competently given to the consistency of a cho sen tempo, to the differentiations and sensitivity of Mozart's tempo indications, or to odd ,holy cows' of tempo choice like mathematically „pure" proportions - „quarter notes of the introduction equal half notes of the Allegro of the main movement", etc.? We learn much - mostly in examples - about the ambivalence of characterization and tempo indication in one and the same term, about the difference between musical pulse and conductor's beat (Mozart's music was not prim a facie for conductors) and about a hierarchy of tempos that is no longer current. Similarly to the expanded second edition of Eva and Paul Badura-Skoda's book on Mozart1 the author offers an abundance o ffine observations and advice for the performance. As in that book, the clues to the fact that we take Mozart's accessibility as a matter of course and too easily forget his „remoteness" bring him closer. What seems to us natural is, as we all know, often established rather by habit and traditions. As much as we have the right to treat this now nearly 250-year-old music in our own way, and communicate it to our contemporaries, we should at first take the trouble to get exact knowledge of what we are communicating. In spite of some great interpretations and in spite o fthe astonishing results of historical performance practice, things are not looking too good for that. Breidenstein's work is here an invaluable help to put things right. Berlin, 14th February, 2011 1 Eva and Paul Badura-Skoda: Interpreting Mozart. The Performance o f His Piano Pieces and Other Compositions, New York - London 2008. 8 Tempo-indication in the 18th Century „O n dem andera peut-estre ici a quoy l'on peu t connoitre le veritable m ouvem ent d 'une Piece de M usique ; mais cette connoissance est au dessus de tous les discours que l'on pourro it faire su r ce su jet, c 'est la perfection de l'Art, ou l'on ne peu t arriver qu'a force de pratique & de genie p o u r la M usiq ue ." „Perhaps one w ill ask here how the true m ouvem ent o f a piece of music could be known? This knowledge, however, is higher than all discourses one could have about the subject; it is the perfection o f the art, which can on ly be arrived at by practical experience and through a genius fo r m usic." (Jean Rousseau) 2 INTRODUCTION This book does not claim to know „the only right tempos" for the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It would like to help the interpreter in his own indispensable search for „the true mouvement" for the work itself, but also for himself, his instrument, his ensemble, the venue, the audience and the character of the occasion. It assumes that there cannot be absolute „authentic" tempos for Mozart's works; and yet, on the other hand, that his tempo indications, since he chose them with the greatest meticulousness, should be taken as seriously as the other parameters of his famously precise notation. After 200 years of the most varied styles of Mozart interpretation - romantic, rigidly literal according to the „new objectivity", „historically" fast, or twice as slow - it is time to end the uncertainty (one could even say bewilderment) concerning his tempo indications, which began already when the music of Beethoven and the romantic composers lost its foundation in tradition after the overthrow of the social structures by the French Revolution. „ I t has become almost impossible to have any tem pi ordinari; because performers must now follow the ideas of liberated genius"3 What Mozart and his time had meant by indicating their pieces with tim e signature, smallest note values and - unfortunately very vague - tempo words was the „M ouvem ent" („movement"), an indication not for mere speed but for the inner movement of the music, i.e. the structure of the melody, the hierarchy of the metrical stresses, the density of the harmonic progressions, the heavy or light manner of playing, the configuration of rhythm, dynamics and articulation. A system of extremely fine grades, requiring „Ge schmack und Compositionswissenschaft" (taste and the Science of composition),- essential both for the „galant" and the classical Viennese style. As a highly sophisticated artistic means it equalled the technical refinement of the other courtly arts. The complex, artistically natural interdependencies of the „m ouvem ent" were to be overlaid by the more robust music of the bourgeois era with its more compact rhythm and fluctuating harmonies in heavy in strumentation. One wished now to measure the tempo of pieces of music with a standardised, rational, system equal to the way in which length, volume, weight, temperature and duration were measured. From 1816 the „metronome" of the court mechanist Mälzel appeared to be the ideal tool for this pur pose. But being exclusively based on the ,beat' it became the reason for the many blind alleys in which later discussions of Mozart's tempo indications got lost. Already Beethoven had difficulties with the me tronome, for the nature of classical tempo is in principle inconsistent w ith physical measuring. In spite of his initial enthusiasm and constant requests from musicians and publishers, he metronomised only about 6% of his works, after 1819 only the Ninth Symphony.- And we do not know how the already deaf com poser proceeded in practice using this mechanism.- M ozart, however, was w rit in g p r i o r to the industria l era, in a tim e w h ich was no t ye t focussed on tech nological Solutions. His tem p i m ust be found am ong the rules o f trad ition ; they are, as it were, „h a n d 2 Jean Rousseau, Methode claire, certaine et facile pour apprendre a chanter la musique, 1691, p. 87; - see: Johann Mattheson, Der vollkommene Capellmeister ('The Perfect Capellm eister'), 1739, p .1 7 3 ,§ 2 7 [app. p. 364]. 3 Ludwig van Beethoven, letters (Briefwechsel, Complete Edition no. 2244, Dec. 1826) [app. p. 348]. - „He has taste and - more than that - the greatest knowledge of composition", Joseph Haydn about W.A. Mozart according to Leopold Mozart's letter of16.02.1 785 (no. 847, [app. p. 268] - „The metronomizations (to hell w ith all mechanism)." (Beethoven, letters, Complete Edition, no. 2187, concerning the String Quartet op. 131, which in fact he did not metronomize.) - In no single case did he realize the fo llow ing promise to Ignaz Franz Mosel: „I am glad to know that we share one opinion o f those indications used to describe the tempo, surviving from times of musical barbarism. [...] For myself, I have long thought o f giving up these senseless terms: Allegro, Andante, Adagio, Presto. Maelzel's metronome gives us the best opportunity to do so. I give you here my word, I shall no more make use o f them in all my future compositions" (Letters compl. ed. no. 1196 [app. p. 348] - Peter Stadien wrote in detail about this topic: „Beethoven and the Metronome", Music and Letters 48, London X/1967, p. 330-349; A Peter Stadien: "Beethoven und das Metronom" in: Beethoven-Kolloquium 1977, Kassel 1978, p. 57; A Herbert Seifert, Beethovens Metronomisierungen und die Praxis, loc. cit., p. 184. Tempo-indication in the 18th Century 9 made". Because of the exceptional nature of his genius, the generalising textbooks of the 18th Century provide only limited assistance; reports of contemporaries are often not reliablez, metronome indications of the 19th Century are quite useless. Finally there is no other choice but to question Mozart himself - and not only in individual categories of his oeuvre but by meticulously comparing all his indications in all his works. Max Rudolf called for this to be done already in 1976.- In his letters Mozart has only sporadically commented on his tempi, and not always clearly. In his works, however, he indicated them all the more precisely and with equal importance as the other parameters, sometimes correcting the first Version laboriously. How then did he define the Mouvement in his scores? First of all, by means o fw hat was at the time called the „natural tempo" ofthe different m e t r es ; he used 14o f them: - the ,large' $ (2/1 or 4/2), ,small" $ (2/2), ,large' C and 3/2 of the stile antico, - the classical $ (2/2), ,simple' 2/4, ,light' 3/4, 3/8, and ,simple' 6/8, - the compound metres 4/4 (2/4 + 2/4), 2/4 (2/8 + 2/8), 6/8 (3/8 + 3/8), -12/8 (6/8 + 6/8J, and the ,heavy' 3/4 (2/8+2/8+2/8). Secondly, he de term ined th e Mouvement by the s m a l l e s t „ p r e v a i l i n g n o t e v a l u e s " - (he used e igh t kinds). By thus setting a speed-lim it they com ple ted the „te m p o "-in fo rm a tio n o f the m etre in to w h a t was called „ t e m p o g i u s t o " . „Thus the t e m p o g i u s t o is de term ined by the m e t re a n d b y the longer a n d sh o rte r n o t e v a lu es o fa co m p o s itio n ."9 Although not all note values were possible as the smallest - or even sensible - (quarter notes in 3/8 and 6/8, sixty-fourth notes in the 3/2- and tf-metres of the stile antico), of the imaginable 126 combinations Mozart still used 49 variants of this tempo giusto (which was not at all the „moderate Stan dard tempo" that it is sometimes regarded as today.) The tem po w o r d s -which today are regarded as the so/e „tempo indications" (although an Alle gro (Ex. 197) can actually be slower than an Adagio (Ex. 276)!) - followed only in th ird place. Tempo words served only to modify the tempo giusto which was predefined by metre + smallest note values. The opinion that they were nothing more than indications for the character of the piece - based on confusion in the historical tradition - is untenable. In Mozart's autograph scores we find 19 verbal modifications o f Allegro, 18 of Andante, 6 otA llegretto, 5 of Adagio, 5 of Andantino, 3 of Presto, 4 of M inuet or Tempo di Minuetto-, moreover he uses Marcia, Moderato, Largo and Larghetto, plus Maestoso, Grazioso and Cantabile as self-contained indi cations. Not to forget some German terms for his „Lieder". Altogether asmany as 9 7 v e r b a l i n d i c a t i o n s ! Although he did not even use all the possible combinations within this system, he had a corpus of 420 models or m o d u l e s for the „m ouvem ent" consisting of metre+smallest note values+tempo word. They were remarkably finely graded and precise, though flexible enough in practice to define the execution of a particular piece in a comprehensive way. - „Is it right to transmit the performance habits o f the time - even if one could gain a complete idea o f them - onto works that in form and content are so far from what was common at their time?" (Stephan Kunze, „Musikwissenschaft und musikalische Praxis. Zur Geschichte eines Mißverständnisses", in: Alte Musik. Praxis und Reflexion, special edition of the series „Basler Jahrbuch für HistorischeMusikpraxis",1983, p. 121). - „A comprehensive research into the tempos in Mozart's works doesn't yet exist. What is missing is a description o f Mozart's tempo indications on a broad basis, i. e. one that considers his complete works and uses a comparative method; in other words, an attempt to regard Mozart's indications as categories o f time, and to document these by spans of speed." (Max Rudolf, "Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Temponahme bei Mozart, in: Mozart jahrbuch 1976/77, p. 223). A The only such attempt until now, Jean-Pierre Marty's comprehensive book, „The Tempo Indications o f Mozart" (1988), started out from the arbitrarily chosen tempo for „Andante" o f either M M = 6 0 on the one hand or M M = 4 4 on the other, which seems to me an inappropriate approach for the premetronome time of Mozart. 9 Johann Philipp Kirnberger / Johann Abraham Peter Schulz, Die Kunst des reinen Satzes in der Musik (‘The Art o f Strict Musical Composition'), trans. Beach/Thym, p. 377, vol. II, 1 776, p. 107 [app. p. 275] 10 Tempo-indication in the 18th Century H o w th e B o o k is a r r a n g e d Conceived as a reference book of practical interpretation for musicians, this book offers, after a general explanation of how tempos were determined in the 18th Century: a compendium of all the 1,576 movements designated by Mozart himself in 420 lists of pieces of the same characteristics (works marked with an asterisk are discussed in the subsequent commentary) which, by overlapping modules, enable the player to compare slower with quicker pieces, illustrated by a ränge of 434 typical music examples, and, in an Appendix, acollection of all relevant historical texts. Beginning with the METRES, the movements with autograph tempo indications are grouped in lists of m o v e m e n t s w i t h t he same m o d u l e : a s c e n d i n g from the slowest to the fastest TEMPO WORD (except on p. 1 0 6 -1 1 4 ); then from the smallest to larger CLASSES OF NOTE VALUES (thus again from slow to fast regarding metre and tempo word), and finally d e s c e n d i n g from late to early works according to the Köchel-catalogue—. In this way - identical metre, identical dass o f note values and identical tempo word - pieces which can explain each other are grouped together within a module (* = additional com mentary); and there is often among them one which „drives forcefully into its natural m otion." As it was not practicable to show three different lists according to 1) metre, 2) class of note values, 3) tempo word, the reader should take care when comparing pieces from different modules to see that in each case at least two of the three parameters are the same: for instance, not to compare an Andante 4/4 with 16th-notes to an Andante $ with 8th-notes. Especially in the eye-catching music examples differences can be too easily overlooked. - If the tempo word and metre o f two pieces are identical (e.g. Andante Q, the d a s s o f n o t e va lues (,with 32nd notes', ,with 16th notes' etc.) defines the difference between slower and faster; - if metre and smallest note values are identical (e.g. 4/4 ,with 16th notes'), the t e m p o w o r d de fines the difference. Reasons for the numerous overlappings of tempo indications are articulation, manner of playing, metrical Organisation and character: For example, in spite of its faster indication (Allegro assai 4/4) „Der Hölle Rache kocht in mei nem Herzen" (Die Zauberflöte, no. 14, aria Q ueen o f th e n igh t, Ex. 140) is, because of its 16th-notes, physically s l o w e r than Leporello's „Madamina"-aria (Don Ciovanni no. 4, Ex. 153) with its u n m o d i f i e d [non-increased] Allegro 4/4, since the latter has only 8th-notes. Nevertheless the high-tension aria of the Queen a pp ea rs to be faster: one senses it metrically in fast quarter notes, whereas the coldhearted mocking aria of Leporello seems to pulse slowly in half-notes; Sarastro's Adag io 3/4 „O Isis und Osiris, schenket" (Die Zauberflöte, no. 10), which has essentially only quarter-notes (Ex. 276), is physically faster than the A n d a n te 3/4 with 32nd-notes of the 2nd mo vement o f the Piano Sonata in F, K 533 (Ex. 318), - but it is heavier; because of its 32nd-notes the 1st movement of the Piano Sonata in B-flat, K 281 (Ex. 197 and Ex. 230), is, in spite of the indication A l l e g r o 2/4, slower than the An da n te -2 /4 o f Papageno's bird catcher song, which has only 16th-notes (Die Zauberflöte, no. 2, Ex. 198, Ex. 235, Ex. 268) - metrically, harmonically and structurally, however, it is richer. The complex variety and the interrelationship o fthe modules become apparent: why did Mozart write the Three Boys' „Bald prangt, den Morgen zu verkünden" (Die Zauberflöte no. 21 ) as Andante is in 4 /4 metre an eighth; in 4 /8 , i.e. 2 /4 metre, it would be a quarter; in 3 /4 metre a sixth; in 3 /8 metre a third; in 12 /8 a twelfth [...] Since this, however, would make it very complicated not only for beginners to learn the metre [measure], but would generally cause frequent confusion among all musicians, the basic names that come from 4 /4 metre, as the main metre, have been adhered to, so that one can always represent one and the same note-value by one and the same name." (Anleitung zur praktischen Musik, Leipzig 21 7 8 2 , p. 14 3 ) . American English Italian French 0 whole note semibreve semibreve / intero ronde J half note m inim m inim a / meta blanche J quarter note crotchet sem im in im a /qu a rto noire ^ eighth note quaver crom a / ottavo croche ^ sixteenth note semiquaver sem icrom a/ sedicesimo double croche ^ th irty-second note demisemiquaver biscroma / trentaduesim o trip le croche J) sixty-fourth note hemidemisemiquaver semibiscroma / sessantaquattresimo quadruple croche

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Abstract

A reference book for the musician’s practical work of interpretation, this volume, after a general presentation of 18th century principles for determining a tempo, offers a compendium of all Mozart’s autograph tempo markings in 420 lists of pieces of similar character. Thus, a comparison of slower and quicker movements is made possible by 434 music examples, and there follows a wide-ranging collection of relevant texts taken from historical sources.

The book does not claim to know “the single correct tempo” for the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It hopes to be of assistance in the unavoidable search by every interpreter for the “true mouvement” of each work—for the work itself, for the performer, the instrument or instruments, the room, the public, the nature of the event. It follows that there can be no absolutely “authentic” tempo for Mozart’s works. And yet his tempo markings, since he chose them so meticulously, should be taken equally seriously with the other parameters of his famously precise notation.

Alfred Brendel writes: “an astonishing opus … one of those rare and important books in which music and musicology form a vital association; a lifelong study that makes one very much aware of a field to which attention is rarely paid. It accomplishes this by bringing to bear an understanding that never loses sight of the musical foundation on which it is built, and by a discerning intelligence that does not shy away from raising debatable topics, although without ever claiming infallibility … One cannot be grateful enough to Helmut Breidenstein for his methodological accuracy which allows us Mozart interpreters to orientate ourselves with ease and pleasure … His book sharpens our perception, at the same time giving an overview and making us sensitive to each individual case. Admiration and gratitude.”