Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today began with a Mozart upbeat. If you were taught, as I was, that upbeats are followed by downbeats you probably miss the wit of Mozart's masterful upbeats. They often lead in the wrong direction, pointing down when up would be more appropriate. Or the other way around.

This is why a good edition is so important: For much of the 19th and 20th centuries phrasing entailed an up / down inevitabiliy--the equivalent of the marching iambs of high school poetry class: I WANdered LONEly AS a CLOUD. Dealing with the original articulations yields the constant possibility of suspense, of deception, of unresolved endings -- in short, of much greater playfulness.