Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) Idomeneo K. 366
Harmoniemusik arranged by Johann Nepomuk Wendt edited by Eric James [windNonet]
2ob – 2clar – 2hn – 2bsn – dble bsn
Although the source – a set of parts preserved at the Florence Conservatory – does not expressly mention Wendt as the arranger, the manuscript's location and handwriting make it absolutely clear that this is a genuine Wendt.
Have a look into MR 2249.
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Johann Nepomuk Wendt was an oboist at the Vienna Burgtheater, where he seems to have been a very assiduous arranger of Mozart operas for wind ensembles. Since "Così fan tutte" (MR 1876/77), "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" (MR 1826) and "Le nozze di Figaro" (MR 1825 a/b) have been available as MUSICA RARA editions for quite a while now, it seemed logical to add "Idomeneo" to the collection.
Although the source – a set of parts preserved at the Florence Conservatory – does not expressly mention Wendt as the arranger, the manuscript's location and handwriting make it absolutely clear that this is a genuine Wendt. The various numbers are concentrated, and the vocal parts are supplied with ornaments that are idiomatic to the instruments – typical stylistic characteristics of Mozart's day. Wendt's arrangements thus provide a fascinating insight into the ornamental practice of the late 18th century.
This edition of W. A. Mozart’s Idomeneo, rè di Creta, K. 366 as arranged for wind instruments comes from a set of parts housed in the library of the Conservatorio Statale di Musica “Luigi Cherubini” in Florence. No information is given on the parts other than “Idomeneo – Mozart” on the “oboe primo” part. Some circumstantial evidence, however, possibly points to Johann Nepomuk Wendt (1745–1801) as the arranger.
Wendt was an oboist in the Burgtheater orchestra in Vienna from 1777 and it is quite possible that he played in the concert performance of Idomeneo in Vienna in 1786. He arranged three other Mozart operas for similar forces: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Musica Rara 1826), Le Nozze di Figaro (MR 1825a, MR 1825b), and Così fan tutte (MR 1876, MR 1877). Copies of the first two of these arrangements can be found in the same library in Florence, as well as other Wendt transcriptions in the same handwriting. It may even be that this arrangement is the work of Wendt’s son, Wilhelm, who is known to have worked as an arranger for his father.
The arrangement has been taken from the 1781 Munich version of Idomeneo. Typical of operatic arrangements of the time, many of the numbers have been condensed. Vocal lines have been greatly embellished, thereby giving us fascinating insight into the practice of ornamentation of the day.
The handwritten parts are, on the whole, clear and quite free from error as they stand, although there are many discrepancies in dynamic and articulation markings. These have all been made consistent for this edition. In the few places where there was real doubt, the text of Mozart’s score (Neue Mozart-Ausgabe, II: 5/xi) was used as the final arbiter.
The new score maintains the original transpositions for clarinets and horns. There are no “alto” or “basso” indications in the manuscript for horns in C and Bb. Although the arranger has specified a contrabassoon as the sixteenfoot bass instrument, it would be entirely in keeping with late eighteenth-century performance practice to substitute a string bass instead.
Toronto, Spring 2004