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Haydn Sonata in E Major, Hob. XVI/31

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by jlr43, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. jlr43

    jlr43 Member

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    A new Haydn sonata. It is a personal favorite of mine, especially the first movement with its contrasts and modulatory middle section. The middle movement is quasi-Baroque, almost Bach-like, and has an attaca into the third movement, which is in the structure of a theme and variations with minore.

    Thanks for listening,

    Joe

    Haydn - Sonata in E Major, Hob. XVI/31, I: Moderato (4:48)
    Haydn - Sonata in E Major, Hob. XVI/31, II: Allegretto (2:44)
    Haydn - Sonata in E Major, Hob. XVI/31, III: Presto (2:37)
     
  2. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Very nice. I wish to comment only on the first movement.

    At the very beginning, the first two bars make a statement, and the next two bars answer it by using identical material an octave lower, differing only in the last two chords of bar 4. You play these two chords subito f. I'll let you off if your edition specifically marks them so, but I really don't like them that way. I feel they perhaps deserve a slight leaning to draw attention to the difference relative to 2 bars earlier, but any more than that seems out of character to me. This isn't intended, I don't think, to be a wake-up call in the Surprise Symphony style, and it is sufficient to go to f at the beginning of bar 5.

    Something jumped out at me in the 16th bar from the end (at approx 3'57" in the recording), namely the execution of the turn. A similar problem occurs two bars later (but was less obvious, I nearly failed to notice it). It sounds as though the fourth note of each turn is missing. I think this is just finger-trouble (note failing to sound) rather than a matter of interpretation (if it were interpretation, I would disagree with it). You do play all four notes at the corresponding places in bars 9 and 11.
     
  3. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Joe, this is my first exposure to this beautiful sonata and I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you for posting! :D
     
  4. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    Hi Joe,
    Listening to the 1st movement now and with all due respect to rainer -- whose comments are always most helpful -- I find the loud chords he objects to very Haydnesque and wouldn't be surprised to find them indicated in my score as such when I get home from work. Tell us what you have (edition, markings, etc.). Otherwise, again very well played.

    Also, the key of this post title (E Maj) and the key that shows with the player from your tag (C Maj) are not the same.
     
  5. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Joe,

    I enjoyed listening to your Haydn Sonata in E. I'm not an expert in the Viennese Classics, and that's an understatement! But there are certain fundamentals characterizing this music that I always listen for. Haydn's works were most often declamatory in nature, requiring what I'd call "clean articulation"--i.e., careful differentiation of touch such as legato/nonlegato, two-note slurs, accents, ornaments, dynamic changes, etc. The pianist respects the formality of it all. Another key is "clean pedaling". Haydn seldom indicated pedal markings and even if he had, they would have been suitable for fortepiano only. Our modern day grand pianos with their greater power call for a lighter, more judicious pedal (more like half-pedaling) to keep the lines and passage work free of blurs. The pedaling is not Bach, nor Brahms either.

    I believe that you take ALL of these considerations (and more) into account when you play these Haydn sonatas. IMHO, excellent playing!

    David
     
  6. jlr43

    jlr43 Member

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    Hi, rainer, and thanks for the comments as always.

    You're correct, and my score (the Alfred for Volume 2) has it that way too, though I must confess I deliberately played it that way. It seemed to me as though those chords should be played a bit more assertively, as more of a surprise as you say, since they are indeed a bit unexpected in the reprise of the first figure. You're certainly right that I could experiment with doing it a bit less obtrusively. One overall thing to keep in mind, perhaps, is that I'm not sure the urtext of this particular sonata (I have been playing with a different edition recently since the second volume of my old Universal urtext needs mending) has any actual dynamic markings (if I'm remembering correctly), which may allow for greater artistic liberties to be taken.

    Quite possible. Listening back, I'm not sure I hear a missing note, but that part does sound a bit weaker to me than the parallel figure in the exposition (most likely because of the greater leap in the left hand)

    Joe
     
  7. jlr43

    jlr43 Member

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    Hi Hye-Jin,

    Thanks for listening. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece and my playing.

    Joe
     
  8. jlr43

    jlr43 Member

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    Thanks, Eddy. Rainer's actually right per the score, but it was a deliberate decision on my part. On a general note, I'm a moderate when it comes to faithfulness to the score. I think it's important to consider every marking in the score when one is learning a work, but then has some artistic license when it comes to things like dynamics, touches, etc. provided that one has a logical justification for it. In this case, my justification is that it seems unexpected to have such a bright, spiky chordal couplet after the rather legato catlike opening, so I reflected that in a subito. I also think I remember that the urtext of this one has few or no dynamic markings anyway (I know many of the markings in mine are editorial). Anyway, I'm glad you found the gesture Haydnesque.

    Oops, that's probably an error from my copy-paste of the other sonata name; I must have forgotten to change that detail. Oh well, I was fully expecting I'd get something wrong on my inaugural ID tagging :p
     
  9. jlr43

    jlr43 Member

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    Hi David,

    Thanks for your detailed comments and compliments. Indeed, I think that is one of the principal difficulties of the classical style -- to differentiate the various touches and slurs. Actually, I find that aspect even more difficult in Mozart; Haydn, being earlier, sometimes has fewer markings or perhaps less specific intentions given the capacities of his instruments. However, I do find the rhythms in Haydn are more intricate and difficult to parse than those of Mozart. Regarding pedalling, I tend to use the pedal sparsely, in dabs when I need it. Of course, there are differing opinions on that. Certainly, in the slower movements, a lusher sound often is called for.

    Joe
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've next to no experience with Haydn sonatas but this one sounds very well played to me. The one thing I had wished for is a little more dynamic contrasts.
    They're probably there, but could perhaps be a little exaggerated for the recording (something one needs to do, I think, to make them come across).
    They are on the site.
     
  11. jlr43

    jlr43 Member

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    Good point, I agree. Thanks for putting these up, Chris.
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Forgot to mention. Next time in your ID3 tags, please include (apart from the correct key signature :p ) the Album tag (http://pianosociety.com) and use only the last name of the composer (not sure why we do that but it's the standard).
     
  13. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Actually, I am not sure I agree. I think the music stands pretty well by its own without much of dynamic contrasts or exaggerated playing. I like it very much as it is already in this recording, very tempo steady and even. So again, hats off for another brilliant recording! (you got another tweet)
     
  14. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member

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    Hi Joe,

    I do not know this piece, so I'm commenting from a first impression standpoint.

    The first movement

    Meticulously executed embellishments, they are so crisp. The introductory measures in the repeat of the theme are so tender in a way. The repetition of part A of movement one seems more relaxed, as though you are more comfortable with the piano. It is really beautiful in tone and in presentation of musical ideas. There is a great sense of communication of feelings and sudden shifts of mood. The playing is very interesting.

    2nd movement

    The balance between the right and left hands truly gives the correct amount of importance proportionately to each. The pedaling seems perfect and allows for the classical style to reveal itself. It is a pleasure to hear such beautiful playing.

    3rd movement
    As I said before, I do not know this piece. My impression is that perhaps the third movement could be just a bit more joyful in the beginning. It seems to have more spirit after the opening. You bring out the drama.

    Congratulations on a beautiful performance.

    -Kaila
     
  15. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I don't know this piece at all, but this sounds very impressive. Lots of beautifully clear articulation. The third movement fairly bounces along effervescently - really well-handled, as it is all too easy for things like that to become untidy.
     
  16. jlr43

    jlr43 Member

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    Kaila,

    Thanks very much for your detailed listening and compliments. Very much appreciated.

    I agree. There are many trillos there, so it's difficult to get them all out on the modern piano while making it sound natural.


    Joe
     
  17. jlr43

    jlr43 Member

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    Thanks, Andrew. The third movement is one my favorites among the Haydn sonatas -- although a presto, it also seems particularly rustic and dancelike.
     
  18. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Joe,
    Magnificent sonata, beautifully played ! I have difficulties to make any remark not done by the others, I can only join the choir and say bravo ! Regardin the dynamics, it seems to me that you certainly provided a good dose of it, but maybe your microphone is compressing slightly your recording, doesn't it ? Otherwise, rather professional recording... Congratulations !
     
  19. jlr43

    jlr43 Member

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    Hello Francois,

    Thanks much for listening and for your compliments. I'm always trying to experiment more with miking (just been using the mics on the little Zoom H4N for these Haydn sonatas), though of course I don't like to blame the mics for anything -- the dynamics can always use more preparation as well.

    Joe
     

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