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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:40 pm 
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I had wanted to listen to a Schubert sonata for a pretty long time, though I had kept putting it off. Your recording is probably the first time I've listened to a major work from Schubert, so I have you to thank for that!

As for the playing, I enjoyed the first, third and fourth movements; especially the somewhat contemplative trio in the scherzo which you pulled off quite nicely. The second movement I have to agree with Chris that the rubato is too excessive, almost to the point of perpetual staggering at points, which was distracting. You also seem to speed through some of the parts where I expected you to linger (e.g 8:29 - 8:40 of the second movement). Lastly, I find the accelerando at the end of the rondo to be a nice touch, though it needs to be more subtle there.

Great job with the recording nonetheless. I'm quite impressed at the variety of the moods in the piece that you have mentioned, despite the seeming transparency of the themes and the musical language in general, almost free of long-term anxieties. Perhaps those times were simpler times.


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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:28 pm 
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Quote:
had wanted to listen to a Schubert sonata for a pretty long time, though I had kept putting it off. Your recording is probably the first time I've listened to a major work from Schubert, so I have you to thank for that!

As for the playing, I enjoyed the first, third and fourth movements; especially the somewhat contemplative trio in the scherzo which you pulled off quite nicely. The second movement I have to agree with Chris that the rubato is too excessive, almost to the point of perpetual staggering at points, which was distracting. You also seem to speed through some of the parts where I expected you to linger (e.g 8:29 - 8:40 of the second movement). Lastly, I find the accelerando at the end of the rondo to be a nice touch, though it needs to be more subtle there.

Great job with the recording nonetheless. I'm quite impressed at the variety of the moods in the piece that you have mentioned, despite the seeming transparency of the themes and the musical language in general, almost free of long-term anxieties. Perhaps those times were simpler times.


Thanks for listening, Affinity! Well I guess that settles it; the second movement was everyone's least favorite :D And it's my favorite of the four movements, so that won't do. Maybe that's why it didn't come out quite right; I was perhaps a bit too over-zealous in applying romanticism to it. I think I will have another go at this in another couple of weeks, focusing particularly on the rhythm in the second movement and taking the outer tempi just a hair slower.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:18 pm 
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jlr43 wrote:
:lol: Hmm, well, as one who works with words for a living, I might take issue with your usage there, or at least clarify... Wouldn't it be "Anything less than precise is imperfect?" There are degrees of precision, after all. Sloppy seems like a pretty low degree, but maybe that's what mine was. :)

As one who works with words, I'll let you have the last one :) Just as long as you admit they could - and should - be better. They're a bit, well er, flabby (a nice term you coined at my playing once).

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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:36 pm 
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As one who works with words, I'll let you have the last one Just as long as you admit they could - and should - be better. They're a bit, well er, flabby (a nice term you coined at my playing once).


Honest to God, Chris :roll: :P I was only kidding around. I'm not sure why you always have to turn something nasty or make it confrontational. Isn't it a bit contradictory to say that you're letting me have the last word and then have your own last word anyway? Anyway, this is my party, er, post, so it seems the originator generally does and should have the last word (as you generally do on yours). Be that as it may, I do think you sometimes need to read more carefully (reading seems a bit of a lost art these days). I was the first one to admit that they should be better. See my words above: "as tiring as the dotted rhythms in double notes in the third movement (which I didn't always get as pointed as I would have liked)" and in response to you: "some of them could be more precise, no question." Maybe you should try recording a piece this long and difficult in the standard repertory instead of this twiddling fluff few people have heard of, and work this hard on something, and then if you do better, I'd be the first to see it.

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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:35 am 
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Hehe, I was only kidding around too. Well, maybe a bit trying to get your heckles up - it's so boring when we agree all the time :P

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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Thanks for posting this. It is not a piece I am very familiar with but after hearing your interpretation it has been ringing in my head for some days. I am particularly impressed with the sheer energy and vitality of the first movement. Your approach reminds me of Schnabel (I don't know if he recorded this particular sonata though) in putting an overall conception and emotive output first. It means details are occasionally sacrificed but makes the music much more interesting - the danger of this piece is it can sound dull, but certainly not in your hands. A Bravo from me!

In the second movement I am enchanted by the way you keep the melody singing above the nicely voiced chords - in particular if this is a single take it shows an extraordinary concentration to sustain it so long. At the same time I had a strange feeling that the small phrases did not always connect and that the longer lines were not kept together. Somehow this impedes the flow. Reading the discussion I think rainer put the finger on it: you hold the chords of the phrase endings too long. I do understand that you want to create a contrast with the outer movements and for the first minutes it did not really bother me, but doing this throughout some overall coherence is lost. Whether that is an acceptable tradeoff in order to get a more dreamy quality is a matter of taste. Certainly this is a valid experiment. If you go against normal performance practice of a well-known piece you should expect some criticism - but if you are convinced this is what you want it to sound like that's what you should do!


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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:47 pm 
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Thanks for listening, Joachim, and for your interesting comments.

Quote:
I am particularly impressed with the sheer energy and vitality of the first movement. Your approach reminds me of Schnabel (I don't know if he recorded this particular sonata though) in putting an overall conception and emotive output first.


Thanks for the flattering comparison. :) Yes, Schnabel did record this sonata (I believe it's on Youtube), and he does many wonderfully creative things with sound on it. Overall, perhaps, his Schubert is not my favorite, though, since sometimes it seems lacking in rhythmic tightness (a lot of overall tempo vacillation). I suppose if I had any model for this music, it would be Richter. I love his performance of this piece, though my overall conception of it is quite different. In any event, I think you've hit the nail on the head by citing an old pianist like Schnabel (who I guess was one of the first to set Schubert sonatas to disc), because when I listen to modern people (e.g., Uchida, Schiff, Lupu, Andsnes) play this music, I don't hear an interpretation at all. I hear, as Horowitz once said, them practicing it for the 100th time.

Quote:
It means details are occasionally sacrificed but makes the music much more interesting


Yes, there are so many details here, it can drive one crazy. :) Not that every detail isn't important, too; those things tend to be easier to improve when one has lived with the music longer, as I probably need to do with this one.

Quote:
At the same time I had a strange feeling that the small phrases did not always connect and that the longer lines were not kept together. Somehow this impedes the flow. Reading the discussion I think rainer put the finger on it: you hold the chords of the phrase endings too long. I do understand that you want to create a contrast with the outer movements and for the first minutes it did not really bother me, but doing this throughout some overall coherence is lost. Whether that is an acceptable tradeoff in order to get a more dreamy quality is a matter of taste. Certainly this is a valid experiment. If you go against normal performance practice of a well-known piece you should expect some criticism - but if you are convinced this is what you want it to sound like that's what you should do!


Interesting observation, and I agree with you completely. While I do think Chris and rainer had valid points here, I was indeed trying to elicit a dreamier atmosphere from this one (to contrast against the power and steel of the first movement in particular). But I also acknowledge that it was probably too much and believe that your comment about the lines makes very good sense. I think it's often better to experiment, as you say, and then rein in later, rather than the other way around.

Thanks again for your comments,

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:25 pm 
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I've listened to it in its entirety, but I'll restrict comments to the outer movements which I used to play. Firstly, to get through all this at this level of accuracy with just one edit is quite something! Especially taking the first movement at that pace. There are a few odd points in the passagework which are a little untidy but nothing that jumps out as objectionably so. The only real problem I have with the first movement is that I think you are not making enough of dynamic contrasts in the first movement and thus missing the p/f dialogue aspect, in particular on the first couple of pages. Other than that, it is really very good.

The last movement starts with a very nice sense of caprice. Overall it was welcome (a passing thought went through my head that the movement was in the wrong place in the sonata!) because throughout the sonata I do slightly incline to Chris's comments about angry young man and impetuosity - a question of taste of course. That being said, the passage from bar 144 is very beautifully and intimately played.

Congratulations on a fine performance which must have taken a lot of work.


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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:01 pm 
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Quote:
I've listened to it in its entirety, but I'll restrict comments to the outer movements which I used to play. Firstly, to get through all this at this level of accuracy with just one edit is quite something! Especially taking the first movement at that pace. There are a few odd points in the passagework which are a little untidy but nothing that jumps out as objectionably so. The only real problem I have with the first movement is that I think you are not making enough of dynamic contrasts in the first movement and thus missing the p/f dialogue aspect, in particular on the first couple of pages. Other than that, it is really very good.

The last movement starts with a very nice sense of caprice. Overall it was welcome (a passing thought went through my head that the movement was in the wrong place in the sonata!) because throughout the sonata I do slightly incline to Chris's comments about angry young man and impetuosity - a question of taste of course. That being said, the passage from bar 144 is very beautifully and intimately played.

Congratulations on a fine performance which must have taken a lot of work.


Thanks for the comments, Andrew! I agree with all the points about the details you have brought up. Indeed, the last movement does seem rather out of place in this sonata, it being more of a lilting Viennese dance set compared with the firestorming, heroic first movement and barging scherzo. I would still argue that the first and third movements call for a bit of devil-may-care impetuosity, but bringing out more of the dynamics as you mentioned may help bring the heroic stuff into greater focus as well.

Thanks again!

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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:40 am 
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Hi Joe,

You sound very professional.  The energy and spirit of the first movement, the romanticism of the second, the interesting accented rhythmic motif of the third with the slightly dramatic surrounding story unfolding are effective. I think the third movment has greater lyricism in the playing than the first two IMHO. You bring out enchantment in the fourth movement. The tone in the fourth movement reveals a deeper relaxation in the playing and the focus of sound is very luminous at times with a very enjoyable lyricism. Frankly, the fourth movement has the best tonal quality of all the movements in this performance in my view. It is gem like. I would just recommend being a tad stricter in keeping the tempo in the last movement.

Thank you for sharing this amazing piece.

Kaila Rochelle

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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:17 am 
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Quote:
Hi Joe,

You sound very professional. The energy and spirit of the first movement, the romanticism of the second, the interesting accented rhythmic motif of the third with the slightly dramatic surrounding story unfolding are effective. I think the third movment has greater lyricism in the playing than the first two IMHO. You bring out enchantment in the fourth movement. The tone in the fourth movement reveals a deeper relaxation in the playing and the focus of sound is very luminous at times with a very enjoyable lyricism. Frankly, the fourth movement has the best tonal quality of all the movements in this performance in my view. It is gem like. I would just recommend being a tad stricter in keeping the tempo in the last movement.

Thank you for sharing this amazing piece.

Kaila Rochelle


Thanks very much, Kaila! Totally agreed about the tempo in the last movement; the accelerando toward the end was an experiment that went slightly awry :P

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:19 am 
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Hello again,

Sorry to be a PITA, but could you replace the version on the site with these files (I already warned Chris it was coming :P )? I had originally thought I might do a re-recording of this, but that's not really logistically possible now, so I decided to do a bit of editing to round off the disc I am making and try to make this as good as it can be for now. For those who might consider listening again, here's a brief summary of what's different:

Movement 1: Edit to replace from the beginning of the recap to the end.

Movement 2: Edit together from two takes for musical reasons, where I think I did more what I wanted to do musically with the first 2/3 of a different take.

Movement 3: This is a completely different take, and essentially a complete one, except for the last 20 seconds or so to take out a small flub at the end. The dotted rhythms still certainly aren't perfect in this one, but I think they many of them came off better (I probably should have ended the session with this take rather than do another one, which was the one I originally used).

Movement 4: Mostly the same, except for two minor approximately five-second edits to take out a dropped note and flub.

Anyway, sorry for the inconvenience and my foolishness not to reflect more on this when I originally did it. Also, thanks again to everyone for their helpful feedback on this piece, which I will consider as I further prepare it (for an upcoming recital for some friends).

Joe

Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 - I: Allegro Vivace (8:04)
Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 - II: Con Moto (12:03)
Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 - III: Scherzo - Allegro Vivace (8:24)
Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 - IV: Rondo - Allegro Moderato (8:28)

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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:07 am 
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It is replaced.

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 Post subject: Re: Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:33 am 
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Hi Joe,
Finally listened to this great effort (and accomplishment) of yours. I hope you know what I mean when I say that I could just turn it on and enjoy listening to it. I felt like I was well entertained at a recital. Sometimes your management of time at formal bounderies (large and small) or your use of rhetoric is not what I might do -- but that's why we have different names. :wink: Your performace was very satisfying, and I salute you for the fine result of all your hard work. As I listened I couldn't help appreciating some of this work's kinship with Beethoven. For me I heard in the passage work strains of the Op.53 1st movement. If you've played this, what do you think?

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