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Clementi - Sonatina Op. 36 No. 6

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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  2. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,
    I know these piece very well, though I have not played them myself yet. But I have heard them very often during several recitals of piano students. You play them well in summary. I have only a few nitpicks (only to the first movement):
    1) there is no quarter-break between the first and the second part (bar 38)
    2) from bar 48 on you increase immensely the tempo, in bar 52 you are nearly back to your old tempo (is this intentional?)
    3) In bar 74 you make nearly a fermata of a quarter again, the upbeat comes in too late, and then from bar 75 you increase quite a lot the tempo (intention?)

    O.k., today seems to be the day of tempo-critique (see Chris remarks to my Bach-prelude). :roll:
    But nevertheless, I have enjoyed your performances very much.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I heard a tempo shift at 2:44. Not sure if that is the same Andreas meant - did not check with score.
    But don't worry, you always pass it off as rubato :p

    It is a sweet little piece indeed, I like both parts. Very well played although there were moments where the articulation could be a bit sharper and the passage work is a little stiff in places. The performance could benefit from a better staccato.
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh shoot, I didn't hear any of those tempo fluctuations when I was playing. Guess I'm not done recording like I thought I was. I'll have to re-record this one, but after some time spent working with my metronome! Thank you guys for pointing this out to me. In return, I'll share with you a quote I like that refers to tempo: :)

    "The same passions in man and woman nonetheless differ in tempo; hence man and woman do not cease misunderstanding one another” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    My view on this, as an IT person, is that men and women are basically incompatible. You can try on your own risk, but it's not guaranteed to work :wink:
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    And that's what makes life interesting. :)
     
  7. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Heh, heh, I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like these inter-section gaps.
    Yes, and similarly (but not quite as much) in bar 22. It feels as though, having lost time by inserting a gap after the 3rd chord of bar 74 or 22, you try to compensate by speeding up a little, but only until you've caught up with an imaginary metronome.

    There is another naughty gap before the 4th beat of bar 85, and although you don't actually make the same gap at the equivalent place earlier on (bar 33), somehow I almost sense you wanting to make it but are deliberately stopping yourself. Maybe I'm just imagining it.

    In bar 2 you play the 3rd beat A 8th note, and in bar 3 the 1st and 3rd beat Bs, exactly as printed, i.e. staccato, but I'm wondering whether this might be a transcription mistake, it just doesn't sound right with them that short. Perhaps they were originally staccato quarter notes (equivalent to 8th note plus 8th rest), then re-printed as 8ths with someone forgetting to take the dots out.

    Does your edition, like mine (Peters) have a difference between bars 4 and 60? :) Perhaps another editorial mistake; I don't really think they should be played differently (and indeed you don't).

    Second movement:

    I'm not sure but I suspect that the fermata which is printed on the double bar line at the Fine is part of the Fine marking, and is not meant to tell us to make a break the first time through.

    At the end, just before the D.C., I think the first chord of the 2nd last bar (BD) is too long, and the first chord of the last bar (DF#) is too short. Seems to be about two and a half 8th beats in both cases.
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for the detailed critique Rainer (and Andreas). I'm actually satisfied with the second movement here. I've been playing this piece for so long, that I doubt I could play it any differently and it would be just a waste of time trying to re-record it because I'm sure it would come out exactly the same.

    Regarding the first movement - I can be a little naughty at times, so it makes sense that my gaps are naughty too! :)
    Seriously, I will check all the points you make against my score. I plan on re-recording either tomorrow night or Wednesday night. Wish me luck!

    p.s. that 'other' issue you told me about - I'm very embarrassed, but I've fixed it now. Thank you :!:
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I made another attempt at this one today. Hopefully my last! My goal was to iron out the tempo fluctuations in my previous version (after spending some quality-time with my metronome :wink: ). I know everyone is a little tired of my Clementi - so am I - but I had to get this done with once and for all. :)

    Clementi - Sonatina Op.36 No.6 - 1: Allegro con spirito
     
  10. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Cute little sonatina and very competent playing!
     
  11. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    What gave you that idea? Was it something we said? Oh my Daaarling Clementeee!

    Certainly some of the fluctuations in tempo have been fixed, which is very good, and I think you've also slightly lengthened those phrase end notes in bars 2 and 3 for me, or am I imagining it?

    Unfortunately I also have some negative comments:

    A hesitation has crept in before the 4th beats of bars 16 and 17 (between the G# and the B). If you don't notice them by listening to the RH, they're more obvious when you listen to the LH. A similar hesitation exists between the F# and G in bar 6, and yet in bar 5, between the G and A all is well. These things are better on the repeat, though.

    There is hesitation also at the boundary between bar 31 and 32, and 35 and 36.

    I'm sorry to mention the following again, but to me it is an important issue. I'm disappointed that you seem to disagree with Andreas and me about not sticking in unwritten rests at the ends of sections. Every bar in this piece has 4 beats in it, and that goes for bar 38 too. This bar happens to have a "double bar" repeat sign in it, but not at the end of it, it is three quarters of the way through. You are not meant to pretend that the double bar symbol incorporates a bar line and to imagine that they forgot to print the 4th beat rest (even though, of course, often repeat signs do happen to coincide with bar lines). I do understand that you want to take a breath between sections, and also between phrases (such as for example in bars 22 and 74), and this is right and proper, but it is possible to, and you should, breathe in time. Don't make time, by splicing in silence, instead take time, by shortening existing notes if necessary. Often it isn't necessary even to take time, you can convey the feeling of a breath simply by phrasing off, i.e. by not going for a strong 3rd beat, but fading down the volume a little.

    A couple of things I should perhaps have mentioned last time: The first may just be editorial, but I have the last note (F#) of bar 8 (and 64) incorporated into the same phrase mark as covers the following two bars, implying, I think, that it should be slurred to the first note (G) of bar 9 (and 65), but you detach it. This is really just a variation or embellishment of how bar 4 leads into bar 5, and there the F# is also slurred to the G. The other thing is more a matter of personal preference. If you (as I think you should) phrase off bar 38 for breath, both when going back to bar 1 and on to bar 39, then you would also do so in bar 90 (the last bar of the piece), were you to take the repeat. But I think you should also phrase off at the very end, and not override the printed staccato on the final chord by holding it on for longer.
     
  12. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for taking time with this, Rainer. I've taking out a bit of the break between sections A and B via editing, but really I still like there to be a break between these sections and also the repeat. It's just the way feel the piece. :)

    Topic change: btw - the next Mompou pieces in my new books are really nice. :D
     
  13. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    This is a fundamental and foundational principle of musical expression and has every analogy to reading with proper inflection. If one considers how a wood-wind player phrases their individual part but stays precisely synchronized with the rest of the orchestra, one should get the picture. Additionally, to phrase musically is NOT the same as observing the slur lines in a score, though it sometimes (rarely) is the same. I could give countless examples of what would be nothing more than poor musical speech, stuttering and mid-"syllable"-stops, if one were to try to follow the slur lines of a score. In these two ideas mentioned, together with meter and rhythm (and for pianists voicing) are the pillars of musicality, and by such is one's musicality made plain. On repeat signs (as well as da signo, al coda, etc.), they are always nothing more than a time-saver for the composer. They may sometimes (even often) correspond to the seams of a work's form but not always. IMO one should think of the score prepared without any repeat signs when deciding how they wish to interpret the score. (One last item on form: repeats are acknowleged in formal analysis, but do not convey formal significance. That is to say a work that has the form: A, A, B, A, or even A, A', B A, are nonetheless ternary forms (ABA).)
     
  14. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Oh dear, I didn't like the sound of "a bit of", and I just knew before even listening to it again that I was going to hate it. And I did. This change has made it worse. I hope you still have the previous version to go back to. Sorry to be so uncompromising on this issue, but the continuation is either in time or it isn't. I obviously strongly prefer it to be in time, but if it isn't going to be, then the next best substitute is for it at least to stay in sync with the beats. I would rather have a whole beat added (as you had) than a fraction of one.
    I know, and I accept that you genuinely mean it, and aren't just using this mantra as the universal excuse for a multitude of sins which it can become. What I wanted was to persuade you that the way you feel it is wrong. :wink:

    Generally the way one feels a piece will lead one to take certain liberties, and if these liberties stay within reasonable boundaries of interpretation, that's fine. But stray outside those boundaries, and it becomes a mistake. Even if it's a deliberate mistake, it becomes indistinguishable by the listener from a genuine mistake. In my view you have strayed here, and I'm as sure as I can be that if you were to play this piece like this in an exam or in a c, in a co, in a c (no, I can't bring myself to say the C-word), then you would be marked down for these injected rests.

    I think in a piece like this which for the most part is pretty well metronomic throughout, it is very difficult to argue convincingly that there is an implied fermata in bar 38 similar to the explicit one(s) in bar 56. Could it be that your feeling of how to continue after bar 38 (be it to bar 1 or 39) is overly influenced by bar 56?

    Anyway, enough of that before it all ends in tears.
    Now this is something I do like the sound of! I look forward to hearing them. I'm amazed you can find the time for this with everything else that's going on (thinking of the C-word again).
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Too long a pause, not enough pause.....I don't understand what you mean at all! Frankly, I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. I should have kept the other version because that break between sections was exactly how I like it. And jeez, nobody has ever said that they 'hate' one of my recordings before, at least to my face, so that's an unpleasant first :( . But I do not believe that this recording is as bad as you make it seem. However, we all are entitled to our own opinion, and that's what we want to encourage here in the forum, so thank you for your comments even if I don't agree with them. Also, yes, I did accidentally delete the original file but I do still have the raw file so I will have to work with that because I don't have time to make yet another recording.
     
  16. mwyman1

    mwyman1 New Member

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    Monica - I really liked your recordings! I really enjoy all of the Clementi Sonatinas, although it's been a long time since I've played them myself. Now you've made me want to dig up that book again. :lol:

    I especially like the second movement. I noticed a few slight losses of momentum I suppose, but nothing that bothered me badly.

    From an interpretive standpoint, your dynamics and phrasing made sense to me. I'm not an expert on the "proper" way to play these Sonatinas, but if it doesn't break any rules you may try a bit lighter touch from time to time as the dynamics allow. There are a few opportunities in both movements where I feel a delicate touch could work well. Just thinking out loud - if your interested for any reason, let me know and I can give my two cents on the bars where this could apply.

    I can see the purist points Rainer is trying to make, but for me I also don't see this break thing as that big a deal. Don't read too much into individual comments - 99% of the time folks have good intentions if perhaps not so good tact. :wink:

    Best Regards.
     
  17. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Matthew. For sure we all have own special way of playing and no matter how another person plays something, he/she will rarely please Everybody in all aspects. No need for you to go into any more detail on this one. After I fix and upload my 'other' version, I will be one with these sonatinas. They are fun to play, though!
     
  18. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Oh my goodness, that remark clearly did not come across the way it was intended, so let me begin by apologizing for overstepping the boundaries of tact.
    Let me be clear that I do not hate your recording, the H-word was just a figure of speech, and I'm sorry if it wasn't clear that it applied not to the recording but only to the edit in which you shortened one of the pauses.
    OK, perhaps I'm being too purist on this issue, perhaps it is a molehill. But if you think of it as being a molehill on an otherwise virtually unblemished lawn, then you can see why I'm pleading for its removal. :wink:
    You don't? Then I must have been unclear. I guess my previous criticism made you think I meant your pauses were too long. So when you agreed to compromise by shortening them (well, one of them), you were then understandably upset when I told you I wished you hadn't done that. You deserve a more in-depth explanation.

    I didn't just mean that the pauses were "too long" in the sense that they would benefit from shortening a little. The nature of the purist position here is that there should just be no pauses at all, that the A section should join to the B section (and also back to itself on the repeat) in a seamless manner with no rhythmic hiatus whatsoever. You need some punctuation, for sure, but it should be achieved by some other way than inserting extra time. The only shortening of these pauses which would satisfy me would reduce their length to zero.

    Basically I'm saying that any amount of pause here is bad. The transition ought to be playable without losing sync with a metronome. Putting in a pause lasting a whole beat (as you had before the edit), while still bad, at least has the slightly redeeming feature that you stay in sync with the metronome's beats (though of course you would get out with its bar-beats if you had a metronome which you can program to tick louder on the first beat of each bar). By shortening the pause to a fraction of a beat (you reduced it to about half a beat) you lose that redeeming feature and end up completely out of phase with the metronome. It was in this sense that I considered your edit to have made things worse.

    Although in performance there is no real metronome, the listener's subconscious metronome synchronises itself with the music it hears. It's generally quite a tolerant metronome and can easily adapt to gradual fluctuations in tempo, and indeed this internal metronome is what notices, and helps the listener enjoy, rubati where appropriate. But it doesn't like phase jumps.

    No doubt you still disagree with me, but I hope that at least clarifies what I mean.
     
  19. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I know what you mean now. And you're right, I don't agree. But that's okay.... :)
     

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