Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2017.

Beethoven Pathétique Sonata

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Jan, May 19, 2016.

  1. Jan

    Jan Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    teacher
    Location:
    Germany
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Bertram
    First Name:
    Jan
    Youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMpJwDjUguCQGsAAJQSBhTw
    Hello!

    In pursuing my Beethoven-Sonata-project, here is my next step, recorded last year: The Pathétique-Sonata.

    The recording was made on a Steingraeber Concert Grand Piano in a Piano-atelier ( http://www.klavierwerkstatt.com ). The second movement has no (ore maybe one) cut, on the others, I spend some more effort…

    Comments welcome! If you'd like to support my project, the exact same recordings are also available as digital downloads on amazon or itunes (and elsewhere).
     

    Attached Files:

  2. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Wright
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Youtube:
    alkanliszt
    A very proficient account. The only thing I might take issue with is that, personally, I would give the slow movement a bit more space and time, but that, I feel, is a matter of taste.
     
  3. neural

    neural New Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    hospital doctor
    Location:
    London, UK
    Last Name:
    Knibb
    First Name:
    Jonathan
    Jan, I've just listened to all three movements from start to finish - I didn't intend to do so, but I was enjoying it too much! This is a sensitive account of the Pathetique and I cannot fault your technique. Any criticisms must be purely my own point of view.

    About the first movement I have no quibbles. In the second movement, I didn't find the tempo particularly offputting, although I agree with Andrew that it would certainly not hurt to give it a little more time, particularly in the triplet section. I do think though that, in the outer sections, the middle 'accompanying' voice needs a gentler touch, less powerful and less insistent, and I would have liked a more sonorous bass. The third movement has many touches of poetry and I envy you your control of rubato - might I simply suggest that it should be ... bigger? It feels too careful, too small; there are moments of real violence in this music which should shock.

    Thank you! I look forward to further instalments.
     
  4. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,028
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    Hi Jan,
    from my view that´s a very good recording with a deep understanding of Beethovens music.
    I have put it up and created a frame for the complete recording of this sonata. Since you already have a link to "Beethoven Sonatas" on your artist page it´s not necessary to update it.
     
  5. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    Researcher
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Larrard
    First Name:
    Francois de
    Hello Jan,
    I ended up listening your sonata in my car this afternoon, while I downloaded some days ago. Just before, I listened a radio broadcast about the great hungarian pianist Annie Fisher (that I've just discovered). I was stuned, among other things, by a rendition of Beethoven's opus 109 in concert: for sure the best version I've ever listened for this sonata. Then I remembered about your Pathetique. Of course the styles are very different, but it was a great pleasure to listen to you, even after a colossus as Annie Fisher. I found your style very distinguished, almost mozartian, with a beautiful piano sound. Perhaps a slight lack of pathos, but I prefer this rather than the opposite. Kind of diamond for an amateur's work (if you are an amateur ?). I really look forward to listen the next ones (I see there are only 3 on PianoSociety, but maybe you have some more in your cave waiting for a next upload ?). Congratulations, anyway !
     
  6. Jan

    Jan Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    teacher
    Location:
    Germany
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Bertram
    First Name:
    Jan
    Youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMpJwDjUguCQGsAAJQSBhTw
    Hello!

    Thanks for your kind remarks and comments! I am practising the F-sharp major Sonata right now, but this will take some time before I'll find myself ready to record it. Before that I will post op2/1, the recordings were done in November '15, and just yesterday I came to do the cutting.

    Greetings!
     
  7. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Technical Editor
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Last Name:
    Renouf
    First Name:
    Joe
    I suppose it's going to be tough to please everyone on this well-known sonata (which, along with the Moonlight, may well be Beethoven's most famous and frequently played), but this seems to me more like a practice session than a performance. The outer sections seem lacking in drive and quintessential Beethovenien energy, and the middle Adagio -- to my ears one of Beethoven's most lovely despite its warhorse status -- seems a bit of a prosaic muddle. A few specifics:

    • First movement: I know Grave has come to mean "very slow" in musical terms, but this seems painfully so -- to the point where the core rhythms at the beginning seem imperceptible and the dotted rhythms have no crispness. I might recommend seeing the tempo indication just a bit more in terms of the other, and more literal, part of the meaning of Grave (i.e., "serious"). The Allegro con brio also seems under tempo (though not drastically so), and too fussy and overly articulated so that I miss the passionate and stormy sweep of the left-hand squalls. in the right hand, the staccatos seem too clipped and prissy.
    • Second movement: I'd pay a bit more attention to the "cantabile" portion of the tempo marking. The right hand needs to sing more and fails to phrase this gorgeously sculpted, sensual melody. This problem becomes especially obvious in the emergence of the triplet variation on the accompanimental figures, most of which seem much too loud and obtrusive to my ears. Some additional details that jumped out at me are that there seems an odd hesitation around bar 16 (before the sixteenth rest and the repeated C's), the turns in bars 20 and 21 sound a bit awkward, and the triplets in the middle "C" theme in the bass seem much too quiet and not delineated enough (if you're using soft pedal here, that could be a hindrance).
    • Third movement: Seems to lack a consistent tempo throughout, which makes the structure of the piece fall apart a bit from my perspective. Actually, your tempo at the end seems a bit more like it, but currently seems a bit out of place since I don't think that outrageous an accelerando is called for regardless of the tempo you choose (or so it seems to me). Many of the triplets, in particular, sag and make me lose a feeling of the overall pulse. This is evident in say mm. 34-41 or the left-hand unevenness around mm. 53-55.
    Regarding the recording, the piano sounds very nice but the overall sound seems a little bit tubby and overloaded. I think your dynamics in places are on the right track but it could be I'm missing a lot of them for this reason. I'm wondering whether there may be too much reverb. This became noticeable to me in the chords that end the first movement, where, for comfort, the sound seems to take far too long to die away.
     
  8. Jan

    Jan Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    teacher
    Location:
    Germany
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Bertram
    First Name:
    Jan
    Youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMpJwDjUguCQGsAAJQSBhTw
    Dear Joe,

    please don't comment on my recordings any more.

    To call this performance a practice session is insulting. I believe you have a specific notion of how Beethoven should be played; your wisenheimer-remarks show that you are thoroughly informed about a certain Beethoven-cliché; that's not what I am aiming at. Nothing against halfway-objective observations and practicing-advice, but I miss the open ear and the intention to understand an approach that's not your own.

    With best wishes, have a nice life

    Jan
     
  9. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Technical Editor
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Last Name:
    Renouf
    First Name:
    Joe
    "I believe you have a specific notion of how Beethoven should be played..."

    Yep, and so do you. The difference is that, a couple of testy remarks aside, I would never tell someone to "not comment on my recordings any more" because he or she didn't tell me what I wanted to hear.

    "...but I miss the open ear and the intention to understand an approach that's not your own."

    Oh, I make every possible attempt and am actually quite easy to convince when the playing is good.

    Have a nice life yourself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
  10. jasonlim9090

    jasonlim9090 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Last Name:
    Lim
    First Name:
    Jason
    Hi,

    I really love this piece and I personally thought that you've played it clean and clear. Well done. I just signed up for this today and will be listening to more!

    Cheers,
    Jason
    Singapore Piano Hub
     
  11. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    4
    Occupation:
    Special Ed/Music Teacher NYC (Retired)
    Location:
    New York City
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Rochelle
    First Name:
    Kaila
    Hi Jan,

    Thank you for posting the Pathetique.

    First movement
    There are many good things about your interpretation - the timing,
    the balance between the hands, the clarity of the embellishments,
    and the evenness. There seems to be more drive and emotion as things
    progress in the first movement. I think there is a very classical
    feel to your interpretation and that you could consider delving into a bit
    more of an extroverted, less inhibited state at times. The playing is very distinct
    and clean which is good. Perhaps some of the crescendos could be more
    dramatic. There is a lot of beautiful phrasing where the hands cross.

    Second movement

    I think the second movement has a nice sense of melody. There is a true
    sense of song. I would consider playing it a bit slower to bring out your
    beautiful balance of hands and to increase the realization of the song like
    qualities. The middle section is really played beautifully, but again, it needs to be slower to be truly poetic.


    Third movement

    The third movement tempo for me is perfect. The melody is brought out in
    an interesting fashion although perhaps a little too introspective for my thinking.
    The third movement is very well articulated and the middle section and the harmonies
    throughout the entire movement are realized in an elegant way with clarity.

    Thank you for posting. I look forward to hearing more of your recordings. There is some fine
    scholarship in your interpretation.

    Kaila Rochelle
     

Share This Page