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Beethoven Moonlight Sonata 1st and 2nd movement

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by echoyjeff222, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ahh! I know, the overplayed piece that everyone knows about! :)

    Yeah, I've been learning this piece for the last couple of months and recorded the first two movements today along with the Debussy I just posted. Currently working on the third movement (it's super fun, huh?).

    Thoughts welcome!! I know everyone here has probably played this before, hehe.
     
  2. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Anyone? I'd love to get some criticism so I can start working on specific things ... Thanks :)
     
  3. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    1st mvt:
    I like the choice of tempo.
    The balance of the triplets and bass at the beginning is good, but when the RH finger 5 melody comes in, the triplets are just too loud. That is the main challenge of the movement. And at this tempo (which I do like) you have to be careful that it doesn't start sounding like a jig or something. Particularly in the middle when the triplets are up in a higher register. It's a little too cute. Softer triplets with a gentler tone quality, maybe played with the pads of the fingers, would help.
    You have a really good sense of the phrasing, especially in the first half.
    Maybe a small amount of tasteful, period-appropriate rubato would be a good idea. It is a little too metronomic for my taste. Perhaps give the impression that some of the more poignant moments take some effort to reach.

    2nd mvt:
    Too serious. This movement needs more humor. It's the comic relief in between the first and third movements. You could do it lighter and insouciant, or you could be really clownish, depends on your approach, but don't settle for just making pretty sounds! If you just go for pretty, it comes off a little boring instead of being the breath of fresh air that it should be. Sounding like a jig IS ok in this movement :)
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I mostly agree with Heather. Basically this is very good playing, musical, steady and tasteful. It's just a bit bland. You need to put in more expression by means of dynamics and rhythmic flexibility. In the 1st mvt the RH melody should sing more above the triplets. IMO you should be more careful with the pedal, notwithstanding Beethoven's directions which are not to be followed literally on a modern instrument. There is no need for the Moonlight to sound quite so morose and nebulous - the
    very fact that there IS moonlight suggests there is clear sky. Lastly take care to give the dotted notes their due - many of them are treated rather badly.
    The middle movement needs to be more bouncy. More articulation, accents, etc. More fun, in a word.
    You seem to have a nice instrument - did I already ask what it is ? The sound quality is not too good though, rather cavernous with a lot of extraneous noise.
    All the same this is promising work.
     
  5. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Excellent, thanks for the comments. I'll print them out and start working on them!!
     
  6. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    although re techneut, I was listening to Schiff and apparently the first movement is based off of a death scene from Mozart, not "moonlight" (misnomer) ... so I was trying to make it morose and somber.
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Good point then. I remember now that some of these titles are not by Beethoven.
    In any case watch out for overpedaling.
     
  8. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re-recorded today with comments in mind. I found that just letting loose and playing more freely helped a lot, especially in the second movement.

    1st Movement: focused on bringing out RH melody and was more free with the rhythm.

    2nd Movement: tried to play lighter and more dynamic contrast
     

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