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 Post subject: Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob 26
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:04 pm 
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Location: New Jersey, USA
Finally got my piano tuned. Decided to not put reverb in this, just sounded more "classical" and/or "early piano" without it. This is the first Haydn that I've ever learned, so I hope the relative tempos of the Minuet and Trio are ok; the last time I checked we did not yet have a recording of this.
BTW: If you think the 2nd movement is worthless, join the crowd. It's one of those "games": The second line is the first line reversed, and the fourth line is the third line reversed.
If anyone wants to look at a score, here's the IMSLP:
http://imslp.org/wiki/Keyboard_Sonata_in_A_major,_Hob.XVI:26_(Haydn,_Joseph)

Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob. XVI No. 26, I: Allegro moderato

Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob. XVI No. 26, II: Menuetto al Rovescio

Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob. XVI No. 26, III: Presto

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob 26
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 4:19 am 
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Well done, Stu! This was very nicely played!! I changed the tags a little and have put it up onto the site.

I think the 3rd movement is the shortest movement I've ever heard. Also, I couldn't help thinking that Haydn sure liked to play around with rhythm, didn't he?
Your decision not to add reverb is interesting. I'm thinking that I should not have added any to my recording. Oh well...I'm learning...that's why I like the forum.
Another thing....I'm not sure you have heard this already or not (it was recently in the news), but here is a link to a site in which you can hear the earliest grand piano. Maybe Haydn played it....? :)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22507415

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob 26
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 1:37 pm 
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Thanks, Monica.
I could not believe the third movement when I first played it. It's pleasant enough, but so short ...

Thanks for the link. So they had a true "una corda", which is where the term originates. I had never heard that before, and the man was right - it's very different from our modern "due corda". I hope the BBC leaves it up for a while - I added it to my favorites.

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob 26
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 7:12 pm 
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Very well played!

An especially nice mix of extroversion and refinement in the first movement. The melodic line is energetic and well-supported, balancing nicely with the accompaniment.
I disagree with melody-delaying in music of this period (see 0:40-0:50) but yours is neither extreme nor frequent.
5:00-5:15 could have been a little calmer/steadier -- or if anything, a little relaxation in the tempo, rather than pushing ahead -- it sounds a bit too urgent for what's happening in the music.

The second movement could do with quite a bit more shaping and dynamic variation in the line in the slower-moving parts. It seems as if you are somewhat bored with this section and waiting to get on to the brighter section. That brighter section (0:58-) is really good, nice and light and playful.

Third movement: The passagework is great here. You really have a sense for a Haydn allegro!


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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob 26
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:11 pm 
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Heather - melody-delaying. I know what you mean. The habit of at least trying to play something the way I would sing it is pretty engrained. I'm going to try recording more late baroque / early classical so I suppose I'll have to give style more thought.

Thanks for the comment about 5:00-5:15. I tried to relax in ways other than tempo but did not have the courage to relax that as well. Feedback like that helps me rationalize taking a little more freedom.

Sorry about the 2nd movement. I tried really hard to disguise how much I hate it but it didn't work. It just seemed like something Haydn in so he could have 3 movements. :?

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob 26
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 1:42 am 
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Melody-delaying: I don't know if that's a technical term or not, but what I mean is playing the accompaniment on time and the melody note slightly later, as if the accompaniment and melody are a rolled chord. It's typical of some pianists in Romantic repertoire especially. Not everyone does it.


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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob 26
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 9:19 pm 
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I'm disappointed, Stu, that you dislike the "al Rovescio" movement so much. This is Haydn's humour coming to the fore, or maybe just him trying to look clever. As a matter of fact he used the same trick earlier in the 3rd movement of his symphony Hob-I-47, but being lazy, he didn't just apply the same technique, but re-used the same actual tune, albeit in a different key (the symphony is in G major).

Mozart too used this trick, notably in the C minor serenade K388 for wind octet (which also exists as K406 in various arrangements for strings). But he wrote only the Trio section al Rovescio, the main part of the Minuet being in canon instead.

I guess in your desperation to make this movement sound more interesting than you thought it was, you tried to spice it up by adding contrast, such as playing the minuet more legato and more slowly than the trio. That doesn't work for me with this particular piece; my preference here is for the minuet to be just as sprightly and crisp as the trio, and not even to change the tempo for the trio. The general trend seems to be to take trios slower than their minuets, so that on the da capo you return to a happier mood.

That said, overall you did a splendid job, especially for not having played any Haydn before.


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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob 26
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:40 am 
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Hi Stu,

Nice performance. If I am not mistaken, you use little to no pedal. A very interesting idea.
Your playing is amazingly even. The third movement was well interpreted.

Thanks for sharing,
Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob 26
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Excellent playing, some of the best I have heard from you. Nice articulation, dynamics and voicing. A bit dry to my taste, it could do with some very light pedal touches or else some discreet reverb (just my opinion here of course). I find the middle part a bit limp, and you play it not as crisp as the outer movements. There even seems to be some pedal usage here ? Which at some point created a bit of a blur. I could be mistaken.

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob 26
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:51 pm 
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Thanks all. I currently have web access only through an iPad and find replies awkward. I'll get back to this later this week or early next week.

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in A Major, Hob 26
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:02 pm 
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Kaila,
I found it easier to not use the pedal in the first movement than to use it, since there are so many notes and chord changes. I have the excuse of "It's early piano / early classical" to fall back on! I'm moving to Clementi now, and occasionally have to pedal to disguise my uncertainty of when to end the trills, so there will be more pedal in the future.

Rainer,
Come on - at least I'm being honest! I was pulling those tempi out of thin air, and the minuet came out a little slower because I was thinking "Hmmm, this is a dance form, so I don't want to kill the dancers". Then played the trio faster to prevent the audience from falling asleep. I honestly think Haydn had a lot of ideas he wanted to use for that first movement, and then felt obligated to tack on the other two.

Chris,
I did what I could do with the middle movement. I was so tempted to leave it out, but duty called ...

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