Mozart 3 note question

Edited: May 11, 2021, 10:32 PM · I was just practicing Mozart 3 (Auer edited edition published by Carl Fischer) and I had a question on the A in the measure below. Should there be an octave leap here? The Franko edition doesn't have that leap but I cannot seem to locate the manuscript on IMSLP to confirm what it shows (I believe the holographs were published).

I kind of like the leap; it adds a certain brilliance (the cadenza in this movement looks like a lot fun).


Replies (26)

May 11, 2021, 11:46 PM · As far as I know, there's no jump of an octave there. The A is repeated in the same octave and the notes through [E] are an octave below the way it's printed in your edition.

Edited: May 12, 2021, 3:48 AM · And - no accent on the minim or the trill note, no crescendo (usually unnatural at a cadence unless an interrupted cadence or you wish to make a particularly strong statement) and the down beat of E is certainly not ff.

In short, invest in a Barenreiter edition. These old editions are somewhat interesting as a snapshot of various performers and teachers of the time, but they do not often provide an immediate dialogue with the composer.

May 12, 2021, 8:48 AM · My edition (Barenreiter) does not have this octave leap.

Also noting that the "D" is mislabeled as an "E". (j/k)

May 12, 2021, 8:58 AM · James makes a good point, one that is applicable to everything that has a urtext edition basically
Edited: May 12, 2021, 9:04 AM · Yikes, no, please get Barenreiter or at the least a more modern edition, maybe Peters.

My Barenreiter copy came with a separate insert containing several different cadenzas.

Edited: May 12, 2021, 9:53 AM · The Auer edition is very interesting if you want to study how music of the 18th century was played in the 19th century. It can teach you to a degree about how 19th century music was played at the time as well- Auer is particularly associated with Tchaikovsky. However if you are studying the concerto for the first time and not after an 'academic' study into the 19th century, you need to use Barenreiter or a suitable Urtext as your source.

Just a thought, but I can actually imagine Mozart in performance actually playing that passage up the octave spontaneously for fun . I'm sure he wasn't so fixated on the score as we might like to think. However when we play this music we do need to know what is Mozart and what isn't. If we then choose to go off-piste, it needs to be a deliberate decision and not out of lack of understanding.
May 12, 2021, 10:07 AM · Good thought. That kind of thing would easily have been done by an opera singer, so why not a concerto soloist? (Especially if it was the composer, but that is a whole different problem.)
Edited: May 12, 2021, 12:37 PM · Mozart wrote it without the octave jump. Mozart is better than Auer. Do what he wrote. The accent is fine though - it’s forte, and should sound strong. I like some of Auer’s editions for the Romantic repertoire (Brahms, Bruch, Ernst, Glazunov, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky etc.). I think it’s misguided to say all of Auer’s editions were ‘historically incorrect.’ He did live in the 20th Century and taught a few of the greatest violinists of the 20th Century. Who edits the Henle and Barenreiter editions? Has anyone heard their editors play or heard students they’ve taught? How are we sure they know what the composer wanted? I think it’s impossible to know what is ‘definitive’ without talking to the composer personally.

By the way, those octaves Auer added at the end of Mendelssohn first movement are excellent in my opinion!

May 12, 2021, 1:13 PM · I disagree about the accent, unless by that you just mean a note with good energy. That bar is imitating rhythmically the very opening bar (of either the tutti or opening solo). Beat hierarchy means that the opening beat/first chord the solo plays is a stronger impulse than the second note, which is then a reaction from the first chord. (This is also why it is not ideal to start the piece on an up bow as it goes against the hierarchy of the bar).
Edited: May 12, 2021, 4:20 PM · An eye roll for the purists.

Do the leap. For one thing it's a relatively minor change, and pales in comparison to other accepted ways of playing Mozart. For example, in the 19th century, many of the best German violinists, such as Spohr, saw bouncing the bow as a corruption of good violin playing. Did player in Mozart's time bounce the bow? Or play in the higher positions on the lower strings? Or vibrate everything?

Instead of asking whether or not to jump to the high A, consider this: What's the alternative?

Naturally, it's staying on the same pitch. However, that in itself presents problems: no one is going trill in first position from an open E. The only realistic, none-dumb fingering is to play the trill in third position in order to resolve on the D. However, that trill combination in third position on the A is rather weak and lacking in brilliance in many violins. You can work your tail off, but it's still "meh." And this at a strong cadence before an orchestral interlude. You are unlikely to be heard over the orchestra (or piano) if you play the trill on the A string (unless you tell the conductor or pianists to play softly in what is obviously a climatic measure with a crescendo driving towards the D resolution).

So for the purpose of brilliance in the context of modern performance, I say go for the high A. Because the alternative is, musically and practically, a dud.

And in contrast to the opinion about whether or not to accent the downbeat E: I wouldn't put the downbeat on E at all. I would start the bar on an accented F# appoggiatura.

Edited: May 12, 2021, 6:29 PM · Greetings,
in my opinion I think it just depends on individual taste. That should be informed by any and all new ideas derived from research etc but that does not mean one is obliged to follow them as rule. Had Auer decided to alter something from the main body of the work (why not flick the third finger to a harmonic at the top of the e string on the first note of the second bar after the opening to add some panache?) I think there would be grounds for criticism but a cadenza is not a sacred cow and it is kind of ironic that this discussion is taking place within the context of Guzman’s terrific performance of a cadenza (?) independent masterpiece or whatever by Shcnittke in the middle of the Beethoven...
I also see some violinists being lauded to the sky’s for apparently new musical insights in the classics which come across as quite weird to me. (Apape for example)
If the performer carried off a heroic performance (Dylana Jensen word) of Mozart five and chose to add some romantic stuff by Auer I think I might just sit back and enjoy it before going off and enjoying Manze doing something else. Sort of pleasure in diversity I suppose.
Idle thoughts,
Edited: May 13, 2021, 9:35 AM · Thanks everyone for your helpful comments. This has been somewhat of a revelation for me. Looks like these fifths and thirds before the D major run aren't original either. I did find one recording on YouTube from Kreisler where he makes the octave leap and with a certain element of panache (he doesn't play these fifths/thirds).

I think I had purchased this edition in the early 1990's as it was either a school district or state orchestra audition piece. Not sure why this edition was used except may have been more affordable at the time.


May 13, 2021, 10:58 AM · An inexpensive way to get a more authentic edition of this Mozart concerto, and many other concertos, is to just look at the cues in the piano part that came with it. Or what I do, get the inexpensive Dover reprint of the 19th century (usually B.&H.) full orchestra score. The print is smaller, but you want to memorize these someday anyway.
May 13, 2021, 4:46 PM · What I find most interesting is that an E is pencilled in beneath that top A. Presumably this is to illustrate that the 1st finger should shift first to the E, and then the 4th finger A is put down. However I think this is incorrect... the note should be a D or D# (depending on your hand size) because the fingerboard intervals are smaller the higher up you go. Also the natural friction of your 1st finger sliding from the A to the E will mean that the 1st finger will travel slower than the other fingers.

Maybe I'm wrong though, and that E means something completely different hah

May 13, 2021, 6:54 PM · Good catch! Yes, that's a shift note I have there. I think it's a bit easier for me to shift the harmonic and then place the 4th finger as opposed to shifting to the D and stretching a bit for the A. But then I have downshift on the other end, which risks having the D a bit sharp. Might be better to shift to the D and stay anchored there.
Edited: May 14, 2021, 2:05 AM · I'd rather anchor myself to the lower A with a 1, and then play on the E string an octave above. Either play the first A on the A string, or just aim for it when shifting. Extra benefits from it being a natural harmonic.
May 14, 2021, 2:40 AM · That corny cadence drives me nuts every time Mozart uses it
May 14, 2021, 9:49 AM · James - the problem with the Barenreiter editions is that they can frequently be Baren-wronger (to quote a fantastic violinist). The K. 218 edition has wrong notes in the first movement; the Paganini caprices have several errors (which have now made their way into a few recordings); and don't get me started on the Dvorak piano quartet or Kreutzer sonata...
May 14, 2021, 12:14 PM · I remember a YouTube with Perlman playing both the octave jump, and the double stops, so probably he just played the whole Auer edition.
May 14, 2021, 5:00 PM · No edition is perfect, sometimes things slip through the net. IMSLP is great from that point of view for access to autograph scores and early editions.
May 14, 2021, 8:12 PM · Might be nice if there was an edition that had a facsimile of the manuscript similar to the International edition of the Bach S+P. Might be helpful to look at the bowings in particular.
May 15, 2021, 12:02 AM · @Andrew Sords - Do you have any examples of where the Bärenreiter has wrong notes in the Paganini Caprices? Bärenreiter corrects the MS a lot of times, but as I recall it without checking, it is in the same places as Peters (1988) and Henle (1990) does it, just to name a few.
May 15, 2021, 8:55 AM · Matthias - check the 16th note passages (D vs. D#) in the 5th caprice...and the double stops (E-G vs. E-A) in the B section in the 15th caprice...among others.
May 15, 2021, 11:05 AM · Thanks Andre for the examples. In these 2 you mention I have to disagree.
The MS says D# in caprice no 5 and in caprice no 15 it can be read both ways in the MS, and most Urtexts agrees with Bärenreiter.

Here are all Urtext editions of the Caprices and their opinion.

Urtext Edition/Note in caprice no 5/notes in caprice 15
Peters (1988)/d/a-e
Ricordi (1988)/d#/a-e
Henle (1990)/d#/g-e
Carisch (1996)/d#/g-e
Doblinger (2012)/d#/a-e
Bärenreiter (2013)/d#/g-e
Hal Leonard/Keiser (2017)/d#/g-e

So out of the 7 urtext editions 6 writes D# in caprice 5, and 4 writes g-e in caprice 15.

If we compare with the MS we se that Paganini wrote D# in caprice 5 ("It was Paganini's habit not to repeat accidentals in front of pitches which appear in the same measure in a different register" Henle 1990 about this measure).
And in caprice 15 it looks in the MS as it can be read both ways. Henle (1990) writes about this passage "In meas. 24, the final sixteenth note is always rendered as a2/e3, even in the most recent editions. This sort of open fifth, however, occurs nowhere else in this Capriccio; moreover it is harmonically unsatisdactory.
A close scrutiny of this passage in the autograph reveals that Paganini originally wrote an a2, but then corrected it to g2 by enlarging the note from below (it thereby became much larger than all the other notes, as can be seen by comparing it with the a2 directly following it at the beginning of meas. 25. The g2 is also confirmed by the paralllel passage in meas. 32 (final sixteenth a2/f#3)."

in light of this, I tend to think that Bärenreiter might not be mistaken, at least not in these 2 examples.

May 15, 2021, 1:25 PM · Slightly going of topic here, but the best thing about the Barenreiter Paganini Caprices is the appendix at the back of the 24 Contradanze Inglesi. These turned up in the 1970s by chance, and are not even in the complete recordings of Paganini CDs so far. I believe I was the first to record them .
May 15, 2021, 1:45 PM · I love that Barenreiter Caprices edition, though I sadly cannot figure out where I placed it. The Contradanzes addition are indeed appreciated.

(No problems/arguments with those who dislike the edition.)

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