Friday, July 25, 2008

Franklin Taylor

I have an edition of Mozart’s sonatas edited by Franklin Taylor – edited in 1906, in fact, though my copy isn’t that old.
It’s curious that Mr Taylor tells us that Mozart seldom wrote anything more than f (forte) or p (piano) in terms of expression marks, and yet he then litters the music with Franklin Taylor interpretations, most of which are odd, to say the least. Fps, (fortepianos) which are quite inconsistent with the music; louds and softs where we don’t need them. It’s as if he felt he had to contribute something to the edition, or thought the pages looked bare without expression marks everywhere.
I appreciate his laying out of the trills and appoggiaturas, because those aren’t always easy to work out on the spot, but we could have done without his attempts to interpret the way the music should be played. Mozart, it seems to me, like Bach, is perfectly interpretable on the basis of just playing the music – at least once you’ve had a few years’ worth of playing behind you.

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