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Beethoven Piano Sonata #14 Op. 27 Adagio Sostenuto

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by LVB1770, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. LVB1770

    LVB1770 New Member

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  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Craig,
    We no longer put videos up on the site. You may submit the mp3 of the file, and put a link to your video here on the thread.
    And don't forget to listen and comment on other members' recordings sometime.... :)
     
  3. LVB1770

    LVB1770 New Member

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  4. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Hey Craig,

    Great job of performing this piece. Overall, you have a nice tone and balance.

    Now, a couple of nit-picks (we have a tendency to do that here).

    My first thought was that the tempo was a little fast. It did seem a little more like an Andante than an Adagio. But as I listened again, I don't think that it is so much the speed, but rather the rather metronomic insistence of the eighth note triplets. For me, I would like a sense that they were a little more "laid back" (whatever that means ;-)).

    The other point is that a couple of times a melody note gets lost or is out of balance with the others around them:
    Meas. 8, the quarter F# on beat 3 doesn't flow from the G# half note with any ease.
    Meas. 28, The "G# A G#" melody, the first G# is lost and does not sound as part of that 3 note melody. Same thing in Meas. 30.

    Personally, I like to make a little more out of several of the dissonant tensions -- particularly the minor 9ths -- so that the resolution is so much sweeter. But that is just me.

    Overall a fine job and I look forward to hearing more from you.

    Scott
     
  5. LVB1770

    LVB1770 New Member

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    Thanks Scott for your nit-picks! They can help to rethink embedded ideas. The Andante tempo was
    intentional since Beethoven indicates cut time. As Czerny said, " The alla breve measure being indicated, the
    whole must be played in moderate Andante time." After much research I prefer the quicker tempo
    as it is played by some of Liszt's students. Check out Andras Schiff's master class at:

    http://audio.theguardian.tv/sys-audio/A ... arpMin.mp3

    I don't agree with Schiff's pedaling instructions on a modern grand but it is an interesting account anyway.

    I also like what Czerny says describing the piece. " It is a night scene in which the voice of a complaining
    spirit is heard in the distance."

    I will re-examnine to other things you mentioned. Thanks again.

    Craig(LVB1770)
    http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=599
    http://www.youtube.com/LVB1770
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    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/craigdukes
     
  6. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    Craig, I agree with your tempo. Adagio Sostenuto cannot be for the 8th note triplets, but rather the underlying structure of the beat to the 1/2 note. Otherwise, if you play this as an adagio in 4/4, then the structure of the melody is lost and there is no way to manage the decay of the sustained melody notes. I would have done a bit wider range of dynamics, and it is difficult to emphasize the melody too much. Again, in summary, I like your performance very much.
     
  7. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Craig,

    Thanx for sharing the Andreas Schiff Master Class. It was quite interesting and informative.

    I understand what he is saying concerning the tempo and now will re-think my approach. I had never really paid attention to the alla breve marking (bad boy, Scott). Of course, this is one that I learned at a rather young age when I was not paying attention to a lot of things and my teachers had the old traditions and baggage themselves concerning this piece. (I probably didn't listen to them either if they did try to correct me.)

    I am intrigued to try the pedal as he describes. I don't know that I can pull off that much blur, but with a partially depressed damper and some flutter pedaling, it might be possible to come closer to Beethoven's intent of "senza sordino". One thing that struck me as he played it with the pedal was that it seemed to anticipate the impressionists use of pedal coloration. (Was Beethoven really the first impressionist? Heck, most can't decide whether he is a classicist or a romanticist! :lol: )

    Just an aside. General concensus has often been that the "Sonata Form" movement does not occur until the final movement. In reality, the first movement is somewhat a "Slow Movement Sonata Form" which is sonata form without development. (This idea comes to me from Charles Rosen's books, "Sonata Forms" (yes plural), and his book on Beethoven's Sonatas).

    Again, thanx for the recording.

    Scott
     
  8. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Mr. Dukes,

    I listened to your recording and have good things to say about it. I liked the even tempo throughout, the spaced legato that you apply to the triplets that gives it (the piece) a lilting, pathos type attribute. If I could give you feedback, I would echo that the tempo could be slower, also more contrast in dynamics. This piece was likely written for a pianoforte and from what I understand there was little dynamic variation possible from the instrument. When you struck a key, it was always loud. Maybe I am mistaken. But is something I heard. Good performance of this fantastic piece.

    Riley
     
  9. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    Unfortunately too many have made issue of sonata form by melody (Primary, subordinate, fragmentation, return of main theme, etc) and have missed that there is another equally characteristic (and even more fundamental) aspect to sonata form, and that is the pattern of tonal excursion:

    Section ---------------Tonal Features
    Exposition ------------Duality (Often: Tonic -> Dominant)
    Development ---------Plurality
    Recapitulation --------Unity

    I believe the 1st mouvement is not in sonata form, neither thematically nor tonally. In fact, in his book The Classical Style: Haydn Mozart Beethoven, (pg. 91) Charles Rosen descibes the Op.27, No.2, i: this way, "That some form of resolution of symmetrical resolution was felt as essential to the sonata (and to almost everything else) is unquestionable: in the rare cases where the material implied either a markedly asymmetrical resolution, or a form (like that of the Moonlight Sonata) that is relatively unarticulated, the result was a Fantasy."

    I am most impressed with A. Schiff's connection of this movement to the Mozart Don Giovani and funeral march features. This I will certainly take away for evermore!

    I would add that Rosen's seeming use above of symmetry as a sine qua non of Sonata Form, is easily refuted on two counts: 1. there is no form more pure and symmetrical than the ternary form (ABA), not Sonata form, 2. if "symmetrical resolution was felt as essential to the sonata (and to almost everything else)" is as ubiquitous as suggested, then it is not characterisitc in particular. (If the answer is the same for everything, then it answers nothing.)

    My 2 cents. Thanks to all for this interesting discussion.
     
  10. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    I am still listening so cannot yet comment on that.

    I will add for the nonce that I agree with Eddy there: I have never read any analysis of this sonata, but I came myself to the conclusion the sonata movement was the third. In the first movement there are no contrasting themes and no development, while the third movement has all the characteristics of the sonata form as enlarged by the composer, except that the secondary theme comes before the main one (lyrical-rhythmical, which is by no means unusual in sonata form). Beethoven called the whole work, "sonata almost a fantasy" for a reason.

    Now, if you take the adagio of Mozart's piano sonata in F K 332 you will find a sonata form where the developent is ommitted.

    I would add that the recapitulation is not necessarily a "unit" anymore than the exposition is, as very often we find the first theme now in the dominnat and the secondary one in the tonic, for example the third movement of the... Moonlight sonata!
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    At first I thought that it might have been a shade too fast, till the melody came in and then it all fell in place. Indeed, the naming of a movement (adagio or allegro) does not stem from the speed of the background but from the note values of the melody, hence it is perfectly possible to have a lento accompanied by very fast figuration, e.g. the right hand playing minims and the left hemidemisemiquavers.

    I shall try this speed when I come around to dusting this sonata.
     
  12. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    Sonata form? Really? It just looks like French squiggly stuff. :wink: I will look at this more carefully this evening to see what I find there
     
  13. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Oh Wow,

    I've stirred up a controversy. 8) Be back soon.

    Scott
     
  14. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    No Scott, not controversy, just discussion. :)
    Ok Richard, I've reviewed the 2nd movement of Mozart's piano sonata in F K 332 , and I see it very cleary as a binary form, specifically ABAB'.
    Including transitions and closing sections, the parts are:

    Section_____Bars_______Key
    A__________1-8________Bb
    B__________9-20_______F
    A_________21-28_______Bb
    B'_________29-40_______Bb
     
  15. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    It is two ways of looking at a thing and the two are equally valid. I can see why you call it a binary form, but binary form is not ABAB' but AB, AABB or even AA'BB'. if you call it modified sonata form without development, where is the bridge between A and B but if you go to Sonata K 333 3rd movement you find just this: there is no bridge passage between A and B in the recapitulation, unless you call one chord as a bridge.

    But then, all the rules of composition derive from these composer's work and not the other way round.
     
  16. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    I will give you this Richard, your way of seeing it conforms perfectly with the Tonal aspects that I listed above: An Exposition using two keys, and a Recapitulation using only 1. It is interesting to think about, but difficult to get around the ternary nature of sonata form.
     
  17. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Therefore I spoke about a sonata forn without development, that is, without a "B" section, which coresponds with the development!

    In the end what matters is, is it an attractive piece to listen to? If so, what matter? If not, the most perfect form will not improve it.
     
  18. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    Agreed! I only meant that if a triangle (sonata form) has three sides, its hard to think of one with only two. Probably a good thing to do would be to analyze the form of all the slow movements of his sonatas and see if any of them are in sonata form. I'm not up to that. After all is said and done, I hope folks will think of the tempo of the 1st movement as depending on the half-note (minum) not the quarter-note (crotchet). :)
     
  19. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    If you are referring to the Moonlight I agree: it was to me an eye-opener. I have tried playing at the same "fast" tempo and I must say, it makes much more sense and does not feel at all "fast".

    Maybe "sonata form without development" is a contradiction, rather like saying "binary form without a B section".
     
  20. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    Oops! Yes, I did change sonatas there didn't I? :oops:
     

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