Hi, I have been asked to prepare the Mozart flute and harp concerto for a concert and was wondering which edition is best to use/easiest to read (clarity and page turn wise) and also which cadenzas are recommended. Also, are there any errata in the editions not actually noticed by the publishers?
I’ve always used the original version. Everyone knows the changes that are required to play it on the harp, as well as the trick fingerings. It’s an awkward piece for harp because Mozart of course was a pianist, and it fits piano better than harp.
I would suggest you find a good harpist or harp teacher who plays the original and get him/her to teach it to you. There may be edited versions out there that have those standard changes written out(the broken octaves in the left hand at the bottom of page 1 are played as straight octaves on the beat, as one example). Stay away from the Salzedo verson at all cost. That is about as close to the Mozart as the earth is to the sun.
As for the cadenzas, there are many many cadenzas available. The Reineke cadenzas are the oldest and really the best composed, even though they are very romantic. I find that many other cadenzas that try to stay closer to the style of Mozart just sound wooden and amateurish because they were written by well meaning people(harpists) who were not really composers. At least Reineke was a real composer.
I’d definitely recommend the Flothius as well.
The first time I played the Mozart we did Reineke for the first movement, Flothius on the second, then for the third we went back to Reinecke but started it about 2/3 of the way through where the flute starts to trill and the harp enters with harmonics.
I played it a couple other times and this particular flutist had already memorized the Reinecke, so that was fine.
The most recent time I performed it (with another flutist), we looked at Reinecke, Flothuis, Rota, Richter, Jongen, Previn, and John Thomas. They were all appealing but the Flothius was just short and sweet and seemed to fit the style of the work, so we used it for all three movements.
Julie in Atlanta
I think a student should study the piece and ask their teacher which edition and cadenzas they believe to be the best.
My flutist colleague is a distinguished professor and an international performer and he had strong opinions about Mozart, specifically this concerto. We listened to different recordings of very famous performers and compared them and discussed how we wanted our performance to be a little more in keeping with Mozart’s style and sensiblity especially in the cadenzas. I studied 5 different cadenzas and discussed them with my flutist before we agreed on what we would do. In studying these cadenzas I asked many of my professional harpist friends which cadenzas of these they preferred and why.
Their answers were interesting and I enjoyed reacquainting myself with all the cadenzas.
The other cadenzas I considered were the Pillney, the Houdy, Kathy Bundock Moore, and the Reinecke which I had already studied and performed before. My flutist gave me the Badura – Skoda cadenzas that he had found in Austria and he wanted to try them. We compared all of them until we came to an agreement of how we wanted this Mozart performance to speak…. with tasteful elegance and refinement and not a lot a lot of romantic fluff in the harp writing. Ultimately we chose the Badura-Skoda cadenzas for the first 2 movements and I chose the Flothuis for the third movement cadenza. Although I will say the Flothuis did give it a little bit of a romantic feel in the harmony, it was still tastefully done. By the way, the Salzedo edition worked beautifully and my colleagues only made a few minor tweaks here and there to make it more Mozartean. My colleagues were impressed with my powerful performance of the “Salzedo” edition and in fact our performance received a rave review from the critic and wild applause by the audience. We had 2 call backs and heard “Bravos” from the audience where there were a few highly esteemed performers and musicologists.
Carl – FYI Marius Flothuis was a Dutch composer and considered a Mozart specialist. His cadenzas are very popular and approriate in style and are a lovely balance between the two voices. I don’t know what cadenzas you like to use but Flothuis’ are a popular choice.
Hi all, Thanks for the replies so far.
I have a book that I bought at the 7th International Harp Symposium (Cardiff 2007) – ‘El Arpa En La Obra De Mozart’ by Maria Rosa Calo-Manzano. This covers the ‘hoot & flarp’ as well as other works. In it, she
I have yet to hear any cadenzas as effective as the Reinecke in the Salzedo edition. The second-movement cadenza literally caused the audience to gasp at its tonal beauty. It conveys the spirit of the Mozart so well, and fulfills the possibilities of the two instruments, really without leaving style. There is little he did that is not possible in classical style. Perhaps nothing. I have heard some so dull and lacking in any pizazz that they detracted from the performance. I have not heard them all. But the Reinecke have star quality. As for the Salzedo edition, he neatly trimmed and pruned Mozart’s lines so they are consistent, smooth and flowing. The things he removed I have rarely heard played well when left in.
One could certainly play it in “period style on a period instrument” but that would simply remove all the improvements made in music since then, and reduce it to salon proportions and little significance, in my thinking. The only thing I might do differently from Salzedo, and only because I have worked on my one-hand trill a great deal, is to play that bit as written, because I had trouble getting the orchestra to cooperate with his re-orchestration. If you have the markings, he has the first chair violins play the harp left hand pizzicato so we can do a two-handed trill which matches the flute better. He also cuts out some of the wind duos that always obliterate the harp solos in the third movement.
Interestingly, I was commissioned to create a version for flute and harp duo with orchestra that I think works quite well. But it’s really not much easier, just good for a professional duo to use.
Going by what has been suggested here and from others I think I will get the Breitkopf edition to play from. Cadenza wise – I’m going to have a look at the Reineke cadenzas and the Marius Flothuis cadenzas. It has also been suggested that I try the Nina Rota cadenza in the 1st movement and the John Thomas in the second. How do people feel about using different cadenzas for each of the movements? Is it perfectly acceptable to do that or would the different styles of writing be noticable?
Also, where could I find a copy of the Badura-Skoda cadenzas? This last question is mainly to yourself, Laura.
Thanks agin for the help,
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