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Beethoven - Sonata Op.10 No.2

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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  2. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I know this sonata rather well as I used to play it. Running commentary as I listen: first movement bar 4, rh articulation; bar 9, trill is ropey; bars 19-35, not enough dynamic gradation; in paticular there isn't enough difference between the ff and p. As you do the repeat and bars 4 and 9 are much better second time round it wouldn't be hard to do a little edit using their second occurrence. Bar 71-74: good l.h. Bars 75-94, which can be tricky, is very nicely played. Bars 99 and 100 sound smudged; I'm not convinced by your pedal usage. Bars 126 and 141 the trills are crisp; makes me think that the error at bar 9 was a hands not warmed up or nervous and not really got into the piece yet type error: I remember when I played this piece on stage when I was much younger, I was so nervous about the first line and something going wrong with the articulation. Bar 143 your rubato is excessive even for my taste which must be quite something :wink: ditto the minor section from bar 153 which appears to be at a different tempo. Bar 178 is staccato, not tenuto. In the coda I don't know if how you are playing the acciaccature before the trills is correct or not. I played them as a lower auxiliary to the trill rather than how you play them, which appears to be as a separate entity, but in truth I have no idea which approach is correct. I'm being fussy with these comments and perhaps they sound a bit bitchy but in general your performance is fine, it could just be improved through a bit more dynamic variation and correcting these small issues. I'll comment on the other two movements in a little bit: in particular I'm looking forward to seeing how you handle the presto, which I think is extremely difficult.
     
  3. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    The second movement is really well played; the lilting three in the bar is maintained very well through out. There is a rh slip in bar 136 but other than that I can find precious little to criticise and much to commend.

    The third movement always reminds me of tightrope walking! I must say I think your tempo is much more sensible than mine! Small slips in bars 48 and 54, but bar 50, which I always found was inclined to go wrong, is very nice. You got through bars 87 to 106 with a minimum of garbling and it still made sense, so kudos for that (it's not quite as good second time round). First time round bars 116, 117 and 123,134 are a bit dodgy, second time 117 and 118 there is a slipup which disrupts the flow; I wouldn't have thought these would be difficult to fix with editing. With the end (note you have the same wrong r.h. chord both times in 143) why do you accel at 142 first time? If you're going to do it at all, I would do it second time. Well done on getting through the movement without anything major going wrong - that sounds patronising, but I really think it's a damn sight harder than a lot of Liszt, for example, and a lot nastier than it's generally given credit for being.

    The highlight of your recording is undoubtedly the middle movement, which is a thoroughly artistic performance. Thanks for the upload.
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for your details review Andrew - that is very useful. You've correctly spotted all the little flaws. Not sure why I did not correct the slip in the middle mvt which would otherwise have been note perfect. Maybe I should do some little editing here. I should really re-record the Presto but one thing or another is bound to go wrong every time, and it gets rather tiring after a while. Not sure why I sped up at the end but not in the repeat, I agree it sounds weird. I could maybe simply swap the last couple of bars around, but that feels a bit like cheating. My editing usually goes no further than cutting out the flubs.
    The one thing I didn't agree on are my little tempo liberties in the first mvt. I like them, and would even do a bit more next time around. I did not get what you meant with "bar 4, rh articulation". What was not right there ?
     
  5. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Bar 4 (first time) the r.h. is really uneven; the triplet semiquavers (in particular the second and third ones) appear only half-sounded and stumbled over. Compare bar 2 where they are fine and even. The tempo deviations from bar 143 through the F min section, to me at least, sound more typical of the romantic era; in early Beethoven I would opt more something more discreet, but I guess these things are a matter of taste. I agree about something being bound to go wrong in the Presto - and often where it will go wrong is completely unpredictable!
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ah I see.. You counted the upbeat as bar 1, I didn't and so was looking at the wrong bar. Yes the triplets are uneven. I think I'll need to record the outer movements, and at least correct that slip in the middle mvt. I hope you'll have a listen again when I post a new version. Thanks for now, that was very helpful.
     
  7. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,
    first I thought, I already had recorded this sonata for this site, too, but it was op. 2, no. 1 in f-minor, so the other well-known one of the earlier sonatas.
    Op. 10, 2 is also part of my repertoire, especially the first movement I´m playing here and there in school lessons. (I think, the Presto I can not play any more, at least not without practising it before.)
    For now I only found time to listen to the first movement, but I could listen to the second and third movement later, if you still want some more tips for your re-recording. Concerning the first movement I agree to most of the details Andrew had pointed out, so there is not too much to add for me. Except, that very often the second chord of the opening idea (staccato eight + staccato quarter) is too long. In my Henle Urtext edition also the second chord has always a staccato. And I think to have heard a wrong note at the beginning of the execution. I could have a closer look, if you like.
    In summary I like how you have captured the "storm and stress"-atmosphere this early sonata obviously has!
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Andreas. Any more suggestions are welcome before I redo this one. I've corrected the slip in the middle part already (I had multiple takes of that passage).
     
  9. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    This is very well played, as we expect of you. Here are just a few niggles:

    The first thing that struck me about the 1st movement is how short you play the C and Bb first notes (without chords) of bars 2 and 4 in comparison to the C and Bb first notes (with chords) of bars 1 and 3 (counting the incomplete upbeat bar as bar 0). In my edition they are all crotchets with staccato, but you make a marked duration difference. Unless my edition is wrong, they should be the same, and I prefer your longer version to your short version, though it might be better somewhere inbetween. You give the same (to me unattractive) short treatment to the chordless C in bar 14, but for some reason not in bar 16 (except on the repeat).

    In bar 5 there is a rhythm discrepancy, perhaps editorial. My edition has the A and C as straight semiquavers here but you play them dotted (which is how my edition has them in the other two places they occur -- just after the key change to Dmaj and also 15 bars later after the change back to Fmaj). Could my edition have a mistake in bar 5?

    The trill in bar 9 sounds unsatisfactory, I think you are trying to squeeze too many notes into it. I feel this one should start on the note, not above it. Together with the Nachschlag, 5 notes are probably OK, more than 7 probably not. You are putting in so many that you are starting them well before bar 8 is finished.

    In the 4th bar after the repeated exposition (this is the bar with 7 semiquavers in the RH), you play D C# D C# D F D, I have D C# D E D F D, i.e. the note at the climax of the hairpin is different. Editorial?

    A few bars after that, where the anchor-less triplets start in the RH, there is a sense of you suddenly speeding up. I'm not sure that, objectively, you actually do, but it still feels like it all the same, I wonder if there is something you could do to diminish the impression of urgency here. 22 bars later, where the triplets revert back to the LH, one can feel the brakes being applied.

    In the middle of the short Dmaj section (counting the upbeat as bar 0) there is in bar 12 a crotchet chord followed by a crotchet rest, and bar 13 is a complete rest except for the quaver upbeat to bar 14. You are skipping a bar here, contracting the 5/8 rest to 1/8, and playing the upbeat at the end of 13 as though it were in bar 12.


    The second movement is lovely.

    I get the feeling that in the repeat of the first 8 bars you are anticipating the sfs which are printed in the second 8 bars, on the 3rd beat of each bar. Then when you you actually get to the 2nd 8 bars you play the sfs a bit too in-your-face for my taste (better on the repeat, though).

    Where it goes into the 5-flats trio section, many of the chords are printed with staccato dots but within a slur (so that they are, in a manner of speaking, semi-detached). For my taste you are detaching across the bar lines too much e.g. bar 1 into 2, and 2 into 3, etc, but not (and I like this better) bar 9 into 10 and 10 into 11.

    About halfway through the trio section there is a bit where the LH has sfs on the 2nd beats of various bars (first on Db for 3 bars, then 4 bars later on A and Bb , and I think these are too strong.


    The third movement seems to appeal to you, with its almost Bach-like opening. I suppose if you can't have a fugue, a canon will have to do. :)

    In the last 8 bars of the 1st repeated section the melody in the tenor is being overwhelmed a bit by the RH accompaniment.
     
  10. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris, I just listened to the first movement. Even though I don't know this sonata well, I could hear some spots that could be polished. But overall this is very freshly and lively interpreted!!! I liked this very much!
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks also for your detailed comments, Rainer.

    As it happens, when I read it I had just finished uploading new versions of mvts 1 and 3 (I did not change 2 except edit out the only slip it had). Though most if what you wrote I had already corrected, there were some important points, notable the two read mistakes and the speeding up in the first page of the second half. It seemed better to re-record the whole thing all over again, and so I did. Perfect it still isn't (I'm not a Barenboim, Schiff or Goode as yet....) but certainly a whole lot better thanks to all the valuable feedback. The Presto is still not as squeaky clean as I would wish but nonetheless respectable I hope. I will have to do.

    Beethoven - Sonata Op.10 No.2 - 1: Allegro (6:37)
    Beethoven - Sonata Op.10 No.2 - 2: Allegretto (3:50)
    Beethoven - Sonata Op.10 No.2 - 3: Presto (4:10)

    I think I will leave this sonata alone for a couple of years now :D
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Hye-Jin. Just uploaded a new version that is better. Of course one could go on polishing forever... and never submit anything :lol:
     
  13. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    The third movement is a definite improvement; nice work.

    I still have some reservations about the first movement. You've certainly corrected much of what was questionable (your second triplet semiquaver is still ropey), but there are some odd moments which I didn't think were there before: 26-30 sounds curiously stilted and there are a few other places where it also feels like the flow is being disrupted. I don't want to overemphasise these things as some of them are probably now in the realms of quibbling, and I could go through my recording and quote a double-figure number of things I don't like about it! I probably just think your tempo is on the slow side. The section around bar 150 which I complained about before seems more convincing now. The movement finishes with satisfying brio.
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,
    the first movement is clearer (correcter) and well-behaved, brave (in the sense of german "brav", not of "mutig") now, but for this is has lost the nice storm and stress-atmosphere of your first version, so I prefer you first version, though it had more "mistakes". The tempo is quite slow here.
    I have the following suggestions for improvement:
    first movement:
    0) the "sf" are always too silent
    1) in bar 9 the trill is a bit too long
    2) there still are too little dynamic contrasts, especially between ff and p in the bars 27-31f.
    3) in bar 53 the quarter is too short
    4) in bar 57 the two thirds in the bass are not clear enough
    5) the trills in bar 62 and 64 are a bit too "swimmy" for my taste
    6) the staccati in bar 59-61 are not audible, that means you don´t play them as such
    7) the little rit. in bar 67-68 is funny, was it meant as a joke to give the impression, that here the piece could be finished? If so, I like that idea!
    8) that you don´t play all staccati in the bass-voice in the execution for me it is right, but that´s a matter of interpretation and taste
    9) bar 119: the quarter is too long
    10) the chords in bars 123-126 have to be played all legato
    11) there is no cresc. and decresc. in bars 153, 154
    12) you don´t bring out the staccati in bar 164 f.
    13) I personally miss the staccati in bar 189 f., either you play them too soft or you just ignore them
    Summary: My main niggle is, that there aren´t enough dynamical contrasts and articulation as this is especially important in Beethoven-sonatas.

    second movement:
    0) pay attention on the rhythm in the bars 1-8. I had the impression you give a bit much accent on the third beat here are there (this idea only is from bar 9 f.)
    1) in bar 35, 36 you could bringt out the upper-line (g, a-flat, b-flat)
    2) again too little dynamical contrasts from bar 21-38, f.ex. the ff in bar 33 doesn´t come out, but from my view it´s very important
    3) the sforzati in the bars 59-65 and 79-85 are better (they also are easier to play, isn´t it?)
    The tempo is more on the fast side, but I like it, though I play this movement usually slower.

    third movement:
    1) too little dynamic contrasts, too few of sforzati, but apart from that splendid, bravo!
    2) bar 39-47: some passages are a bit too unproper (some tones are not clearly coming out), in the repeat it´s much better.
    3) I miss (so much) the sforzati in the bars 120-123 (in the repeat they come out a little little bit), because they really are the "pepper in the soup" here, which is to typical for Beethoven.

    In summary of your recordings I like the third movement most. (I think, I really would have a lot to practise to get it in that tempo again), because for me it captures most of Beethovens spirit. You have the luck (or should I say bad luck :lol: :wink: ), that this sonata is one of my standard works of Beethoven I play since I was a teenager ( and my first piano teacher - he was also the assistant organist of the Dome of Cologne - was very severe, but also very good. I think, what I have remarked here, he also would have remarked). So excuse me, if you find my critiques too hard.
    Fortunately with Smetanas music I´m not so nitpicking. :D Looking forward to wednesday! :!:
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for relistening Andrew, I appreciate it. I seem to take a quite relaxed view of this movement. You'll have to allow an old man his little indulgence :)
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Andreas, that is quite a list of issues you have compiled there. You're probably right in most or all of these (as usual :roll: ) but I have already decided to leave well enough alone and move on. One could polish any given piece for a lifetime and still not be able to please everybody. And I have no illusion to be able to play any piece perfectly.
     
  17. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist

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    A competent performance, in particular if put together in a short time, and nice to hear you play some Beethoven! I listened to the revised version.

    Like many other here I played this in my youth. Your take on the 1st mov is so different from mine that I am not certain what you want to project, but that may be because of my inability to adapt. Some of the things you do I find very unorthodox, eg the non legato of the melody in m19-22 - yes it means greater clarity but the line and phrasing is lost. And some of the rubatos breaks the pace. The part I liked best was the development, here I felt you really think this is important music - with Beethoven, if you lose that feeling all you are left with are scales and chords. Your 2nd mov is better in that respect, though to me it comes across as too harsh and aggressive, my view of this is much more tender and intimate, with sustained p and pp and strong attention to phrasing. In the very first phrase your accents on the 3rd beats sound a bit corny. The 3rd mov I liked best! Good job and nice energy throughout, with playfulness only a hair's breadth from getting serious and nasty! To hold that tempo is much harder than it looks. The few slips did not disturb me at all. My only gripe would be in place like m87 and 95 where the LH melody is drowned by the RH runs, you can get a very nice effect by highlighting how the melody jumps between registers - like children playing tag.
     
  18. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Not such a short time, all in all it took me the best part of two days with all the re-recording and postprocessing. And I had been practicing it for a while (actually, ever since Mark Budd posted a sonata we didn't have yet, and I realized there were some more to fill in).

    Yes... sigh... there will always be something to improve, unless one is a master pianist. And it's clear that everybody has their ideas about Beethoven. I take an instinctive approach like always, not too much bothered by how it should be played. At least it's deemed competent :)
     
  19. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist

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    There are always things to improve even for a master pianist! And Beethoven wouldn't be so great if he did not inspire us to think and take a stand, and the fact that we can take different stands is interesting! You are completely right not to bother too much about convention. Your take is an interesting contribution, far beyond "competent"! Sorry if I came across in the wrong way.
     
  20. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nope - I guess I just took it the wrong way, having convinced myself I was done with this sonata for the time being. Belated thanks for your reply BTW.
     

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