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Beethoven op. 14

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Jan, May 21, 2010.

  1. Jan

    Jan Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello everybody!

    I'm sorry I didn't show up such a long time, as I was busy becoming a school teacher - now I have two weeks school holidays.
    I said some time ago that I still have some Beethoven recordings uncut, so here they are now.

    These recordings were made in 2009, in the Musikhochschule München - I did them all by myself, with my wife listening.

    Sonate in E-major, opus 14 Nr. 1
    I. Allegro
    II. Allegretto
    III. Rondo - Allegro comodo

    Sonate in G-major, opus 14 Nr. 2
    I. Allegro
    II. Andante
    III. Scherzo - Allegro assai

    I also put them on my new homepage, http://www.opus111.de

    I hope you like these recordings, and please don't mention the mistakes - there's one or two left...

    Greetings

    Jan


    Beethoven - Sonata Op. 14, No. 1 in E Major, I: Allegro
    Beethoven - Sonata Op. 14, No. 2 in E Major, II: Allegretto
    Beethoven - Sonata Op. 14, No. 1 in E Major, III: Rondo

    Beethoven - Sonata Op. 14, No. 2 in G Major, I: Allegro
    Beethoven - Sonata Op. 14, No. 2 in G Major, II: Andante
    Beethoven - Sonata Op. 14, No. 2 in G Major, III: Scherzo-Allegro assai
     
  2. MarkB

    MarkB Member Piano Society Artist

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    Jan,

    Very nice playing.

    I enjoyed your performance. Your playing is very clean and precise.

    The only comments that I have are that overall I would have liked to hear more dynamic contrast between the fs, mfs and ps and also that the performance of the Opus 14 no.1 Rondo and Opus 14 no.2 Scherzo would benefit from being played faster.

    Thank you again. I enjoyed it.

    Regards
    Mark
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Finally found the time to listen to these.

    If I can find anything to criticize at all, it is that this is not the most trailblazing Beethoven I have heard. Overall there could be some more ebullience, fun, sense of danger, etc... Maybe accents and dynamic contrasts (good as they are !) could be sharper yet, and some tempi (though they seem right to me) could certainly be a tad brisker.

    All the same I like this a lot as it is. I think you consciously strive to project Beethoven as a wise and humane master of his trade, rather than as an ass-kicking 'angry young man', and that seems a valid choice to me. One can easlily overdo the 'revolutionary' aspects of this music, a trap you are never falling into. God beware of the fortepiano revisionists :lol:
    Both the sound and playing are of exemplary quality, that helps.

    IMHO this is a great start for your Beethoven project. Keep up that good work ! Are these studio recordings ? What is the instrument ? Have you got any role models in this repertoire ?

    BTW - Thes are all up on the site. please check if everything is ok.
     
  4. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Dear Jan,
    Great achievements (at least for the No. 1, that I've just recorded). Beautiful pianism and sound, excellent taste in the choice of the tempi ! It is a wise and quite Beethoven, but I think it is a feature of this sonata. I usually expect more drama and intensity in Beethoven's overall music, and I am looking forward to listening the following of your Beethoven's project. I guess you will eventually play the op. 111, according to the name of your website ? Unfortunately, I cannot read German, so I'd be curious about what is more precisely this project. Anyway, as Chris said, it is a very good start. Best wishes for the rest of this great journey !
     
  5. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've listened to your op. 14 no. 1, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I remember this being one of the first Beethoven sonatas I studied with a proper teacher, and I also remember being driven to distraction by the broken thirds on the second line, so I'm happy to say your playing is very clear and distinct (and, I might add, a lot better than mine was of it.) Generally speaking, I think you are right to not over-dramatise the sonata; I think it is easily one of Beethoven's more lyrical sonatas. There were a few places where perhaps you underplayed it (for example the cresc. at bar 108 in the rondo starts not p enough and loses its effectiveness), but overall I think you have produced a fine performance.
     
  6. Jan

    Jan Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you very much for your comments! They show me that my intentions as well as my worries about these recordings are well transported in them. How "classical" do we have to play Beethoven, and how much dramatical exaggeration is allowed?

    As I am becoming a music-teacher right now and therefore will not have too much time to practice, I wanted to set a long-dated goal in order to keep me working on music. The idea of my "Beethoven-Projekt" is to record all Beethoven Sonatas, to practice one each year and to record two every two years, i.e. that in about thirty years, it should be done... err
    This year I practiced op.2/1 (and already played it in concert), next year I'm heading for the Waldstein-Sonata, but I'm not yet sure about this choice.

    For the recording-session I had very luxury conditions this time. As I was student at the Music-University in Munich, I could borrow the concert-hall (with Steinway D) for one day. Except for two microphones which I borrowed, the recording equipment is mine, and only my wife helped by listening and reading the score. I have attached some pictures, in case you are interested. The queer-looking microphone in the middle is a Neumann MM3, actually built for measurement in the 60s (it's not in the mix - if anyone is interested in how that sounds, please contact me or post).
    Where I'll make the future recordings, I don't know yet - ideas are welcome. Maybe I'll ask a Bavarian piano-manufacturer, or I'll organize a concert here in Munich and do the recordings afterwards.

    Thanks again for your listening and feedback!

    Greetings

    Jan
     
  7. Jan

    Jan Member Piano Society Artist

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    And thank you, Chris, for putting them up. I checked the links, everything worked fine.
    Due to the variable-bit-rate-mp3-files, the times are not correct. If it's possible to correct them (and if you find the time for this not so important work), the correct times would be:

    op. 14/1 I - 6:59
    op. 14/1 II - 3:21
    op. 14/1 III - 3:44

    op. 14/2 I - 7:08
    op. 14/2 II - 5:09
    op. 14/2 III - 3:57

    Thank you also for maintaining the site - if I can be of any help, please let me know.

    Greetings
    Jan
     
  8. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Jan, I enjoyed your performance a lot! Also the beautiful sound! Hopefully you will have the good recording conditions throughout your ambicious project :)
    I didn't played these sonatas myself, so I cannot comment your recording in detail. But I often listen to them on CD of Paul Lewis and your lyrical approach resembles to his.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ok, I've corrected them. You see why it is important to use constant bit rate :D
     
  10. Jan

    Jan Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Hye-Jin, for your comment, and thank you, Chris, for correcting the times... in future I'll only use variable bit rate when I don't want anybody to compare my times to the playing of other people... :wink:

    Greetings

    Jan
     

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