A. Mozart: Concerto for the Bassoon [K.191(186e)]
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EXCERPTS | ^
Allegro | Andante
ma Adagio | Rondeau.
/ Tempo di Menuetto
etc. | ^
Michael Sweeney's cadenzas,
lead-ins, and embellishments are protected by copyright and will
be available through this link.
First recording of Mozart’s K.191 from Canada (Canadian
bassoon soloist George Zukerman recorded K.191 in 1965 with the
Württemburg Chamber Orchestra).
• Debut solo recording of Michael Sweeney.
• First commercial recording of The Via Salzburg Chamber Orchestra
(formerly; The Seiler Strings), Mayumi Seiler,
• Premiere recording of Michael Sweeney’s edition of
Mozart’s K.191. First recording of K.191 using flutes in place
of oboes in the Andante.
• Premiere recording of Mozetich’s Concerto for Bassoon
and Strings with Marimba.
• Premiere recording of Sharman’s At Dusk.
• Premiere recording of Welsh’s Serenade.
solo bassoon - 2 oboes, [2 flutes] - 2 horns - strings
Performance materials for
the Concerto are in preparation and will
be available through this site.
Personnel heard on the mozart
and well beyond CD
from the mozart and well beyond
Because no documentation concerning
the commission or composition of Mozart’s Concerto for
the Bassoon (K.191=186e) has survived, certain basic questions
will likely always remain unanswered. These include: for whom and
for what occasion was it written, and did the first player collaborate
with the compser to any extent? The little that is known about the
life of the work, from its commission until it was first published
and more widely disseminated, has had to be divined from a variety
of secondary sources, and from our broader knowledge of Mozart’s
habits and the customs of the musical community of his day.
Though not proven, it is generally
surmised that Mozart wrote K.191 for the bassoonists
in the court orchestra of Prince-Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg,
and that one of these players would have given the première,
possibly with the then eighteen-year-old composer leading, or at
least supervising, the performance (he had been appointed honorary
concertmaster at age sixteen). Though Mozart would later meet some
of the leading bassoon soloists
of his time, no evidence of any of them having performed K.191 survives.
Well after Mozart’s death,
his widow, Constanze, had an inventory prepared of the approximately
340 autograph manuscripts comprising his estate. The manuscript
of K.191 was listed as having already been sent to the publisher
J. A. André in Offenbach (Germany) for engraving. However,
before André began preparing K.191 for publication, the firm
acquired the bulk of the Mozart estate from Constanze and quickly
became distracted from their usual publishing activities by more
tantalizing challenges such as sorting out the authenticity of the
Requiem (K.626), and using handwriting analysis to chronologically
order the manuscripts, many of which were undated. By the time André
finally turned its attention to K.191, the manuscript had inexplicably
vanished, never to be recovered. Its only trace is a notation found
in an André internal catalogue reporting that the first page
bore the inscription “a Salisburgo li 4 di Giugno 1774.”
The loss of the manuscript would
have forced André to rely on a set of performing parts as
the principal source for their planned edition. Though André
probably had acquired a set of parts as part of the Mozart estate,
it is impossible now to determine how many generations removed from
the autograph manuscript these might have been, or whether any changes
or seeming corrections in them were authorized by Mozart or were
instead interpretive markings from later unsupervised performances.
The first edition of K.191 that André finally published in
1805, without their usual title page indication, “Edition
d’après le manuscrit original,” transmits
a great many errors either copied from the source material, or freshly
introduced by their engravers.
Nevertheless, this André
edition, as the earliest surviving source for the work, served as
the basis for two important scholarly editions published in the
late 19th century and late 20th century (from which all editions
performed and recorded today are derived). Perhaps because the provenance
of the André edition was so difficult to establish, the editors
of these two scholarly editions chose to correct only the most obvious
errors leaving unresolved many inconsistencies in articulation,
phrasing, the timing of dynamic markings (“loud” and
“soft” indications), and other important details of
My new edition of the orchestral
material of K.191 attempts to resolve these inconsistencies by comparing
André’s edition with the firm’s early editions
of other works
of Mozart for which the composer’s autograph manuscript has
survived. These manuscripts have made possible a general evaluation
of the fidelity of André’s engraving, which has revealed
certain patterns of error. I have examined André’s
edition of K.191 for evidence of these same kinds of engraving errors
and, using Mozart’s contemporary manuscripts as a guide, corrected
those that I found. The result is a new performing edition of Mozart’s
Concerto for the Bassoon that I hope is
closer at least in spirit to the now long-lost original autograph
Please follow these links for further
programme notes on instrumentation,
and the minuet. | Top of
Comments from the press
and broadcasters, and the profession
Michael Sweeney's edition of
Mozart's Concerto for the Bassoon (K.191=186e)
is registered as an arrangement with SOCAN.
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