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 Post subject: Beethoven Sonata Op.31 No.2 -- Largo-Allegro
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:58 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Atlanta, GA
Hello all. Here is my second of three installments of Beethoven's 'Tempest' Sonata No 17. :wink:

This is the 1st movement to go with the 3rd I posted a few weeks ago. I changed the reverb settings I was using based on some feedback, so if others seem to like the sound I'll likely re-post the 3rd movement with the new reverb to match the 1st movement.

Thank you in advance for your valuable thoughts and feedback - as always it is very much appreciated!

I really hoped to post the 2nd (Adagio) movement today as well. I recorded both yesterday, and re-recorded the Adagio this morning but am still not happy with how a few parts are coming across. :( So I'll spend this week making some adjustments and record again next weekend to [hopefully] complete out this sonata!

I've enjoyed working up the 1st movement, which as most of you know has a lot of emotion within it. I'm happy with this take, but must admit I struggled a bit achieving the dynamics on my digital piano. I tried to give it some real "kick" on the big sections, but never fully realized it the way I remember playing it on an acoustic grand some years back. I hope you will find the range I did achieve at least acceptably effective.

Regards,

_________________
Matthew Wyman
And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he, Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see. - Dr. Suess


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Op.31 No.2 -- Largo-Allegro
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Hi Matthew,
First off, this is a very credible performance, and very clean throughout. Congratulations! I have a few comments to offer that are mostly opinion regarding interpretation.

Bar 1: Note that the first sound is an arpeggiated chord (just save this for later). You play it like a strummed guitar (it even has six notes) and I like that!
Bar 6: I think that you play the Adagio slower than the Largo bar 1, therefore I think its too slow. Be sure you don't stop counting there just because it's slow; there is an expected rhythm to this ornament.
Bar 13: As you approached the pinnacle of the down beat of bar 13, I felt that you did so oblivious to the implied difficulty of scaling such a mountain. Sure it's not hard for the hand, but I think the music anticipating the crest should sound with a bit of struggle.
Bar 19: I don't think you played the dotted half-notes (sf).
Bar 20: you missed the first 1/4 note of the LH.
Much fine playing!
Bar 75-85: Note what Beethoven elected to indicate with slur lines in 75-76: the LH half-notes. This is answered by the RH 2 bars later, then repeated by the LH in syncopation, then this syncopation is repeated by the RH. If you can emphasize this inverted counterpoint, I think it would be better. The other 8th-note stuff is just repeated. (See also bars 205-ff)
Bar 87 - 2nd ending: why slow down so much?
Bar 93 (Largo after 2nd ending): Here you must decide intentionally how you want to handle this. There are only two ways: either this is the same as the 1st measure, i.e. an arpeggiated chord (so you play the small notes faster in order to get to the D half-note), or it's different and should be played as an arpeggio leading to the D melody note. To support the first view, you have the same basic skeleton and same tempo, though 3 more notes to play; to support the second, you have 3 more notes to play and a different notation. Do you think Beethoven means for something different than the first bar? I don't. So I play this and the following two (bars 95 and 97) as an arpeggiated chord (i.e., quicker).
Much more fine playing!
Bar 134: IMO, you lose way too much steam here. There is no indicated change of tempo. You don't slow down at the diminuendo indicated in bar 191, so why here? Yes, I expect some gradual yielding of the tempo, but IMO yours is too much.
Bar 152: See Bar 6.
Bar 153: Is it an arpeggiated chord, or an arpeggio?
Bar 153-158: Keep it simple "e semplice." Don't let the meter stop; keep it moving. Remember that Beethoven's piano wouldn't have had a very significant ability to sustain the tone, due to less mass.
Bar 159-170: This Allegro is really well played! In bar 169, however, you played a wrong note (by accident I hope): I think you cliped an F## (G) instead of the F on the penultimate note of the bar.
Bar 224: you dropped the last four 8th notes (i.e., the 2nd half of the bar)

As you can see, most of what I have to say regards interpretation and is subject to argument and difference.

Again, good job and keep 'em coming!

Regards,
Eddy

_________________
Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


Last edited by musical-md on Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Op.31 No.2 -- Largo-Allegro
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:58 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Atlanta, GA
Thanks Eddy for the detailed reply, and for the kind words! I'm traveling for work right now so don't have the score in front of me, but will look closer at your suggestions tomorrow night when I'm back home. A few quick comments...
Eddy wrote:
Bar 13: As you approached the pinnacle of the down beat of bar 13, I felt that you did so oblivious to the implied difficulty of scaling such a mountain. Sure it's not hard for the hand, but I think the music anticipating the crest should sound with a bit of struggle.
I really like this idea! I did have in mind the importance of this opening run "up the mountain" while preparing, realizing it sets the tone for the entire movement in many ways. I tried to apply a bit of an aggressive attack as the run crests, but I hadn't thought of it as a struggle. I'll experiment with this.
Eddy wrote:
Bar 20: you missed the first 1/4 note of the LH
I believe this first quarter note is tied to the previous measure in my edition, but will confirm.
Eddy wrote:
Bar 134: IMO, you lose way too much steam here. There is no indicated change of tempo. You don't slow down at the diminuendo indicated in bar 191, so why here? Yes, I expect some gradual yielding of the tempo, but IMO yours is too much
Yes, I noticed this too when I listened back - much more sudden slowdown than I wanted to do. I was trying to make this whole section a "climax" for the movement, and intentionally attempted to instill some drama and intensity all the way into the Largo section. That's my excuse, anyway! :roll: Let's just call it a sudden, extreme (unintentional) rubato. :wink:
Eddy wrote:
Bar 159-170: This Allegro is really well played! In bar 169, however, you played a wrong note (by accident I hope): I think you cliped an F## (G) instead of the F on the penultimate note of the bar.
Thanks! I could never get this section exactly as I wanted ideally, but as one of the more technically challenging places in the movement (for me) I'm happy with it. Regarding the wrong note, I just listened back to it and it sounds like an F to me. :mrgreen: But I'll certainly check it with my piano once I'm home.
Eddy wrote:
Bar 224: you dropped the last four 8th notes (i.e., the 2nd half of the bar)
Oh hell, you're probably right about this one. I have to watch myself on those repeating sections - I always want to play one too many or one too few! I'll check it out as well.

Thanks again Eddy!

_________________
Matthew Wyman
And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he, Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see. - Dr. Suess


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