Mogenson wrote:I am learning Mertz's Op. 1 and noticed some repeated high 12th fret E's with dots under them in the Adagio Patetico. Are they to be played staccato? I feel this passage sounds better smooth and not staccato so maybe these dots mean something else... I know that sometimes in 19th century music a scale has dots to indicate that it's plucked not slurred, but this is different since it's a series of repeated notes. Also later in this set of pieces there are lots of sideways V accent signs. I'm wondering if anyone knows the correct way to play these for a period performance of Mertz's music. Thanks.
The odd thing, and I have never seen this, is that in the version of this piece from the Boije online is that there is the staccato marks and also a slur across these notes. So, I'm not sure exactly what he is getting at. I'm sure others know. But, I just thought I would make you aware that there is another version out there that isn't just staccato.
If I was going to guess, I would say he meant to play the notes with slight separation, but maybe just very brief and with a flowing feel. That is my guess. I have listened to a version of it I have from Graziano Salvoni and he doesn't seem to give the notes too much separation. He definitely doesn't make it staccato in any significant way. But, if you just leave your finger down and pluck, maybe Mertz wanted more of a distinction in the notes rather just running together too much.
Just my speculations! Play it how it sounds good to you. It's likely a particular interpretational thing of Mertz.