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Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 ("Gasteiner")

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by jlr43, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for posting this. It is not a piece I am very familiar with but after hearing your interpretation it has been ringing in my head for some days. I am particularly impressed with the sheer energy and vitality of the first movement. Your approach reminds me of Schnabel (I don't know if he recorded this particular sonata though) in putting an overall conception and emotive output first. It means details are occasionally sacrificed but makes the music much more interesting - the danger of this piece is it can sound dull, but certainly not in your hands. A Bravo from me!

    In the second movement I am enchanted by the way you keep the melody singing above the nicely voiced chords - in particular if this is a single take it shows an extraordinary concentration to sustain it so long. At the same time I had a strange feeling that the small phrases did not always connect and that the longer lines were not kept together. Somehow this impedes the flow. Reading the discussion I think rainer put the finger on it: you hold the chords of the phrase endings too long. I do understand that you want to create a contrast with the outer movements and for the first minutes it did not really bother me, but doing this throughout some overall coherence is lost. Whether that is an acceptable tradeoff in order to get a more dreamy quality is a matter of taste. Certainly this is a valid experiment. If you go against normal performance practice of a well-known piece you should expect some criticism - but if you are convinced this is what you want it to sound like that's what you should do!
     
  2. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for listening, Joachim, and for your interesting comments.

    Thanks for the flattering comparison. :) Yes, Schnabel did record this sonata (I believe it's on Youtube), and he does many wonderfully creative things with sound on it. Overall, perhaps, his Schubert is not my favorite, though, since sometimes it seems lacking in rhythmic tightness (a lot of overall tempo vacillation). I suppose if I had any model for this music, it would be Richter. I love his performance of this piece, though my overall conception of it is quite different. In any event, I think you've hit the nail on the head by citing an old pianist like Schnabel (who I guess was one of the first to set Schubert sonatas to disc), because when I listen to modern people (e.g., Uchida, Schiff, Lupu, Andsnes) play this music, I don't hear an interpretation at all. I hear, as Horowitz once said, them practicing it for the 100th time.

    Yes, there are so many details here, it can drive one crazy. :) Not that every detail isn't important, too; those things tend to be easier to improve when one has lived with the music longer, as I probably need to do with this one.

    Interesting observation, and I agree with you completely. While I do think Chris and rainer had valid points here, I was indeed trying to elicit a dreamier atmosphere from this one (to contrast against the power and steel of the first movement in particular). But I also acknowledge that it was probably too much and believe that your comment about the lines makes very good sense. I think it's often better to experiment, as you say, and then rein in later, rather than the other way around.

    Thanks again for your comments,

    Joe
     
  3. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've listened to it in its entirety, but I'll restrict comments to the outer movements which I used to play. Firstly, to get through all this at this level of accuracy with just one edit is quite something! Especially taking the first movement at that pace. There are a few odd points in the passagework which are a little untidy but nothing that jumps out as objectionably so. The only real problem I have with the first movement is that I think you are not making enough of dynamic contrasts in the first movement and thus missing the p/f dialogue aspect, in particular on the first couple of pages. Other than that, it is really very good.

    The last movement starts with a very nice sense of caprice. Overall it was welcome (a passing thought went through my head that the movement was in the wrong place in the sonata!) because throughout the sonata I do slightly incline to Chris's comments about angry young man and impetuosity - a question of taste of course. That being said, the passage from bar 144 is very beautifully and intimately played.

    Congratulations on a fine performance which must have taken a lot of work.
     
  4. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for the comments, Andrew! I agree with all the points about the details you have brought up. Indeed, the last movement does seem rather out of place in this sonata, it being more of a lilting Viennese dance set compared with the firestorming, heroic first movement and barging scherzo. I would still argue that the first and third movements call for a bit of devil-may-care impetuosity, but bringing out more of the dynamics as you mentioned may help bring the heroic stuff into greater focus as well.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Joe,

    You sound very professional.  The energy and spirit of the first movement, the romanticism of the second, the interesting accented rhythmic motif of the third with the slightly dramatic surrounding story unfolding are effective. I think the third movment has greater lyricism in the playing than the first two IMHO. You bring out enchantment in the fourth movement. The tone in the fourth movement reveals a deeper relaxation in the playing and the focus of sound is very luminous at times with a very enjoyable lyricism. Frankly, the fourth movement has the best tonal quality of all the movements in this performance in my view. It is gem like. I would just recommend being a tad stricter in keeping the tempo in the last movement.

    Thank you for sharing this amazing piece.

    Kaila Rochelle
     
  6. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks very much, Kaila! Totally agreed about the tempo in the last movement; the accelerando toward the end was an experiment that went slightly awry :p

    Joe
     
  7. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hello again,

    Sorry to be a PITA, but could you replace the version on the site with these files (I already warned Chris it was coming :p )? I had originally thought I might do a re-recording of this, but that's not really logistically possible now, so I decided to do a bit of editing to round off the disc I am making and try to make this as good as it can be for now. For those who might consider listening again, here's a brief summary of what's different:

    Movement 1: Edit to replace from the beginning of the recap to the end.

    Movement 2: Edit together from two takes for musical reasons, where I think I did more what I wanted to do musically with the first 2/3 of a different take.

    Movement 3: This is a completely different take, and essentially a complete one, except for the last 20 seconds or so to take out a small flub at the end. The dotted rhythms still certainly aren't perfect in this one, but I think they many of them came off better (I probably should have ended the session with this take rather than do another one, which was the one I originally used).

    Movement 4: Mostly the same, except for two minor approximately five-second edits to take out a dropped note and flub.

    Anyway, sorry for the inconvenience and my foolishness not to reflect more on this when I originally did it. Also, thanks again to everyone for their helpful feedback on this piece, which I will consider as I further prepare it (for an upcoming recital for some friends).

    Joe

    Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 - I: Allegro Vivace (8:04)
    Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 - II: Con Moto (12:03)
    Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 - III: Scherzo - Allegro Vivace (8:24)
    Schubert - Sonata in D Major, D. 850 - IV: Rondo - Allegro Moderato (8:28)
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It is replaced.
     
  9. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Joe,
    Finally listened to this great effort (and accomplishment) of yours. I hope you know what I mean when I say that I could just turn it on and enjoy listening to it. I felt like I was well entertained at a recital. Sometimes your management of time at formal bounderies (large and small) or your use of rhetoric is not what I might do -- but that's why we have different names. :wink: Your performace was very satisfying, and I salute you for the fine result of all your hard work. As I listened I couldn't help appreciating some of this work's kinship with Beethoven. For me I heard in the passage work strains of the Op.53 1st movement. If you've played this, what do you think?
     

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