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The Consort

John Collins

Volume 67, Summer 2011

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Andante Variato after String Quintet
in E flat major K614
Edition HH, @Mozart Series,
HH274.SOL, Bicester 2010
(pbk, £5.95)
ISMN 979 0 708092 26 1

Edition HH has already published two volumes of short pieces by Mozart, arranged for keyboard from various genres, and subsequently published after his death. In this volume, Christopher Hogwood has presented and edited a far more substantial work of some 160 bars, including repeats. Originally issued in 1793 by Artaria in Vienna, it was re-issued ten years later along with the other movements from the quintet as a 'Grande Sonate… par l'Abbé Gelinek'. No arranger's name is mentioned in the 1793 publication and it remains uncertain whether Gelinek was responsible for this earlier version, or was simply utilising already available material.

The harmonic language is fully galant, with some nice chromatic touches. Much of the piece is not overly difficult, but there are several passages which will require careful practice to negotiate, for instance, the repeated single quavers (bars 17-19), quaver chords (bars 21-23), overlapping hands (bars 37-43), close position triadic semiquaver runs in sixths (bars 61 and 76) as well as runs in thirds, to mention a few. The small-note ornaments include turns, and appoggiaturas to semiquavers. Other challenges include the carefully marked phrasing and dynamics, with the added inconsistency in the original between dots and dashes for varying application of staccato (apparently a not unusual feature with Viennese publishers).

Facsimiles of the first two pages are reproduced, along with the title page of Gelinek's 1803 publication; the inconsistency and confusion between dots and dashes, as well as dynamics, will be evident on close study. The succinct introduction offers helpful comments from contemporary sources and reviews, which will assist in clarifying this problem, and the edition is completed by a short critical commentary.

The multiplicity of dynamic markings can best be realised on the clavichord or forte piano, but harpsichordists should not neglect this lovely addition to the late 18th century repertoire. Whoever was ultimately responsible for the arrangement has been successful in the transference from strings to keyboard, creating a piece that offers much recreation and not a few challenges, which would make a most felicitous addition to a concert. Edition HH deserves our thanks for presenting this work to enrich our knowledge of the art of arrangement at the time, and it would be most welcome if Christopher Hogwood were able to publish Gelinek's arrangement of the remaining movements in a future edition.

We are grateful to theThe Consort for permission to reproduce this review.
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