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Beethoven Sonata No.14 in C-sharp minor Op.27 No.2

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicrecovery, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member

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  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Kaila,
    I enjoyed watching your videos. Great job, as usual! :)
    Just wondering....how many takes did you do on the 3rd movement? I noticed a few teeny, tiny smudges, but they really don't diminish your performance. I'm thinking that the more attempts you do on a piece like this, the worse it would get basically just from fatigue.
    Anyway, the links to the files are here. I will update the main site within the next day or so.
     
  3. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Kaila,
    I've just listened your Presto: quite amazing ! I think your beethovenian inspiration is totally convincing. Old Ludwig should be happy if he has the chance to get YouTube. Nice piano too... Is it yours ?
    Regards,
     
  4. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member

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    Hi Monica,

    I'm glad you enjoyed this performance. I did not practice at all that day at home and saved
    everything for the studio. I agree with you that in most cases fatigue sets in, however on
    that day I played better with each take. We did three complete takes for the third movement.

    -Kaila
     
  5. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member

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    Hi Francois,

    Thank you for your kind comments. No, the piano does not belong to me. It belongs to the studio,
    Systems 2 in Brooklyn. Recording there is always a great experience.

    I do have some great news however. Recently I bought a C Bechstein upright piano, the "Elegance Model."
    It is truly an amazing instrument. Now for the upcoming year I want to relearn some Debussy. The action on my new piano opens
    up a color palette that is indescribable. I love it. I hope to make some videos on my new piano as well as at Systems 2.
     
  6. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Bechstein pianos are great, including uprights ! I wish you plenty of hours of pleasure and sound research with Debussy and others...
     
  7. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member

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    I especially liked the first mvmt and I'm glad I opted to listen to the MP3 so as to have no distractions. In the spectrum of interpretations of this piece I usually don't like the "calm" ones because the artists so rarely pull it off - it's so easy to fall to the temptation of emoting and letting the tempo increase.

    But you display the discipline to see this to the end and I really enjoyed it. One of the convincing examples of this as "moonlight". (Which, I suppose, may have been the way Beethoven played it since the label was stuck on the piece pretty early in its lifetime.)
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I watched the 3rd movement. Terrific drive and commitment, the bold and dramatic climax forcefully reminded me of the Emperor concerto. The couple of tiny slips did not at all distract. Great dynamic contrasts, but the softer passages do get a bit fluffy now and then. Maybe you are trying to play them too softly and drily, and therefore dropping notes. I noticed this most in in the beginning, especially in the LH. I think you could apply a bit more finger weight here, the contrast with your pulverizing sforzandi is still big enough. But it is a small gripe. Great Beethoven playing !
     
  9. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member

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    Hi Stu and Chris,

    I am glad you liked the tempo Stu. I listened to Walter Geseiking on my
    way to work for about a month. I think his idea of line and lyrcism is uncannily
    beautiful. His calmness surpasses anything I have ever heard in the first movement.
    His artistry is story like and perhaps listening influenced my play.

    Chris, I need to work more on my eye/hand coordination. It is hard for me at times to lower
    my eyes due to cervical spinal problems. Sometimes, I feel like my fingers are not coordinated
    enough.

    Thanks for your insights. It is very helpful to get your feedback.

    Much appreciation,
    Kaila
     
  10. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    Another set of accomplished recordings from you, Kaila!
    The first movement is lovely, has a dignified and graceful manner.
    The second is good although a bit dry for my taste -- I think more legato would have helped, and there's nothing wrong with a little color pedal on the staccatos either. There is more opportunity for humor in the middle section but I know not everyone likes to take that route.
    I'm torn about the third movement. On the one hand, there are so many moments that give me goose bumps, for example the sudden slide into quiet smoothness at 0:31. On the other hand, the broken chords in the RH and some of the scales are very uneven and do not line up well with the LH. You've obviously got a well-conceived and effective interpretation here. It just needs more slow practice on the broken chords and then it will be truly a pleasure to listen to.
    Oh, one other thing I loved about the third movement: Every time you use forte, you use it purposefully and keep the surrounding material quiet so that the forte stands out, which is very effective. Far too many pianists just forte the heck out of this piece, which gets tiring to listen to.
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    I have always thought the first movement of this sonata to be uncharacteristic of its time and that it sounds far too avant garde for the age in which it was written and, as one critic said, it is odd that the name "Moonlight" should have stuck to a piece that sounds more like a dead march.

    Our fellow Member Joe came up with a theory that the Adagio is normally played too slow and he recorded it to prove his point and this was viewed quite favourably by other members, of which I believe I was one, if my memory serves me right.

    Could it be somewhere between Beethoven and us it was made famous by being played wrong, rather like the Minute Waltz that only justifies it name by being played to fast?

    This is a piece I myself have played for maybe 20 years, but never really mastering, a task impossible on the honky-tonky I (fortunately) rent (last trial resulted in a finger being cut on the edge of the lid and another being jammed against the fingerboard - so, yes: playing bad pianos is unhealthy and dispiriting). Fortunately I have been able of late to use an upright at a nearby music school, which was pronounced by the director to be no great shakes, but which is the difference between stale tap water and Brunello di Montalcino from a good year and I am finally seeing this one almost in the bag, so it was instructive to see how you perform the other two movements and how you move your fingers, wrists and arms and to compare how (I wish to believe) i move mine. For example, the tremoli I have trained muyself to do with only a movement of the wrist, keeping both fingers absolutely still and it seems to me you move your thumb.

    I would have played the middle movement a wee bit faster, but that is my preference, and I agree with Heather about the joke part, but maybe that is down to personal choice. The last movement is just as stortmy as it ought to be.

    This is a sonata that leaves one exhausted after listening to it, as if a great deed had taken place and of which we were participants.
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sorry to hear that ! And yet your jumps (there are many risky ones in this finale) are very assured. I'd have expected more problems there, as you really need to look at your hands then, than in the opening bars which one could play with closed eyes. I still believe this would be a matter of a bit more finger weight. But I could be wrong. Anyway, still
    a refreshing and convincing interpretation.
     
  13. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    Hi Richard,
    That theory would be interesting to hear. I do not know which tempo is the more "historical" but I do know that it is much more difficult to play the first movement well when playing it slowly. Playing any slow-moving melody on the piano is more difficult slowly, and then with this piece you've got the added difficulty that many people get distracted by the triplets and make too much of those, either losing the melody entirely or having to thump loudly to get the melody. Here, Kaila has offered a performance in which the triplets are absolutely steady but very quiet, like a slow-moving quiet river, with a beautifully phrased melody on top. I think it very effective when played this way, and I acknowledge how difficult that is to accomplish.
     
  14. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Hello, Heather,

    I was trying to find Joe's recording on the site, but I do not know where he posted it. Hopefully he will come along and attach it for you. I had it on the piano, but, thanks to the computer medicine man, I no longer have it.

    I tried playing at that speed and I rather liked the result, but then my honly-tonky has no sustaining power (just dowload one of my recordings and look at the sounwaves with an editing programme) and that might explain my preference. Maybe I need to try it at the music school.

    I agree with you about the difficulty of slow movements and of this one in particular, when played slowly. I was always taught that it is easier to go through the Revolutionary Etude at 240 mph than to takle this adagio. After all, as long as one does not stop no one will notice a wrong note or a muddled passage, now, miss one of those triplets in the Beethoven!

    So, let me agee with you about the way Kaila plays!
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I can't remember that he did. Over time, attachments are either deleted or put on the site. I guess the first happened as there is no Mondschein by Joe on the site. I wasn't able to locate the specific post to see why.

    He cleans up the piano too ? Cool ! All for the same price ? :p
     
  16. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    If you are talking about the same Joe, I can verify that I have never posted the Mondschein or discussed it on PS. I would agree, however, with the notion that it is sometimes unduly mooned over.
     
  17. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Funny that, I was sure it was you, Joe (as you do post Beethoven now and then). Oh, well, sorry I confused you with someone else, but with these user names that are different from the real ones I at times have difficulty knowing who is who and that user Joe999, for example, is not you, but a pianist called John Doe and, if the user does not refer from the forum to his page, one needs to be alert to know who is who.

    Chris, mental shortcut: I had the recording of this piano piece on the computer, but the computer medicine man... My brains abbreviate with little thought that not everyone (lucky everyone else!) has my brains!
     
  18. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist

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    The third movement is much impressive to me !!!

    The Mondshein name was given by the poet Ludwig Rellstab (the author of the poems of the first seven songs in Schubert's Schwannengesang) in 1832, 5 years after Beethoven's death.

    I like also a slow tempo for the first movement but here it is too slow for me, although I do not care much about the fact that according to alla breve sign at the beginning of the score, the exact tempo should be much faster : it is adagio (56-76) when counting the half notes (not the quarter notes).

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, congratulations to you, Kaila !
     
  19. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member

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    Hi Richard,

    I really did not think that consciously about the tempo in the first movement. I just wanted to be sure the melody line came out.
    I've heard it played faster and have played it faster, but for some reason, when I recorded it I played it very slowly. Perhaps
    it was the beauty of the piano that prompted the tempo. I wanted the sound to linger more.

    As far as the second movement goes, I just like it like that. It feels like a song with lyrics like "The sun is out, today, today". Perhaps
    this is as unscholarly as it gets, but this is how I played it in my classroom while glancing out the window.
    It is very pastoral to me and very nature like and I did not feel like rushing through it. The whole sonata seems like three
    panels of nature. The first is the night with the moonlight, the second is a nature scene on a mountain and the third is a terrible storm.

    That is how I simplify the sonata.

    -Kaila

    Hi Didier,

    For me, it is about the balance between the left and right hands and the lyricism. It is an interesting argument you present for a faster tempo.
    You may be absolutely correct about this, but I have no real definite opinion about the tempo of the first movement.

    -Kaila
     
  20. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member

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    Hi Heather,

    Thank you for the suggestion of slow practice, I agree with you. Hopefully when summer school ends I will be able to practice with more concentration.

    -Kaila

    Hi Chris,

    You are spot on about finger weight. That is the missing synapse feeling. I do need to feel the weight in my fingers more.

    -Kaila
     

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