I mentioned when tweeting this post that:
This is not to say that I have all the answers, just that often don’t care for the answers I often receive from others, even those whom I generally respect. I don’t care for the ways people tend to approach rhythmic notation, ornaments, tempo markings, bowings, and articulations, to name only a few. Let’s just remember that he’s perhaps the most composer in history. Taking just the issue of staccato notation, we have great data on this, about which Neumann concludes in 1993:
“there seems to be little doubt that Mozart distinguished dots and strokes, and… distinguished the signs with deliber-ation where it did matter. By so doing he gave us price- less clues for a richer, more colourful, and sometimes more dramatic, range of expression than the score could suggest without the eloquence of the two signs.”
It’s unfortunate that not even the headline of these articles seems to get remembered, let alone Neumann’s 6 categories of differentiation. In short, I hope we can all get more serious about reading up on the composers we study and love instead of letting our 21st century sensibilities do all the decision-making for us.
Read more in Early Music:
Retrieved from JSTOR: Early Music, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Aug., 1993), pp. 429-435