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Question about Haydn

Discussion in 'Technique' started by pianolady, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I heard some Haydn sonatas on the radio the other day which appealed to me and figured I should go ahead and learn one of them, especially since I've never seriously practiced any before. My question is about pedaling - is it acceptable to use any? Or is it like Bach and those traditionalists who say you can't use pedal because it wasn't invented yet?
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Hi Monica,
    Haydn actually indicated the use of pedal (ohne dampfer) in his "Great" C Major sonata, No.50 in Hoboken's catalogue (but no. 60 in the Christa Landon catalogue/edition), and he did so for a special dissonant effect. I have performed that sonata and use pedal as I would in any Mozart or Beethoven.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh, that's interesting information. Thank you, Eddy! :) Ok, now I feel like I can add pedal if I want to.
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I would think judicious pedal usage is ok. People forget that pianos had pedals surprisingly early on, just the first ones didn't have the pedals where we would expect to find them! My teacher made a documentary on this and I quote re the early Viennese piano (from a book he co-authored): "Its compass in 1770 was only five octaves, from the F two and a half octaves below middle C to the F two and a half octaves above it. It did not expand to five and a half octaves until the time of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto. At first it had no foot pedals - the una corda and the dampers were activated by knee-levers built on the underside of the case: Mozart was one of the first to insist on foot pedals for his Walter in 1784. From then on the pedals proliferated and later Viennese pianos had as many as five for various extra effects, such as little bells, drums and a row of parchment which lay across the bass strings to make what was called a 'bassoon' effect."
     
  5. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    That's intersting Andrew. What is the book's title and what is the name of this [former?] professor of yours?
     
  6. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Andrew. That is also interesting information. Wouldn't it be fun if we had the chance to play around with some of these early pianos with all the levers, and contraptions, and whatever enhancements? At my favorite local piano store, there are a couple pianos with four pedals. I've sat down at those pianos but have not had time to really experiment with the different sounds one can produce with that fourth pedal. I wouldn't mind if I one day got accidentally locked in the store at night and had nothing to do but play ALL the pianos all night long. :)
     

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