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Appassionata - Tempo? (Read 5527 times)

Offline steve jones

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Appassionata - Tempo?
« on: August 30, 2005, 03:41:50 AM »

Hi all,

Please forgive my noobiness, Im far from an experienced pianist!

I was wondering why the great range of tempo used by various performers with this piece? I have a recording of Gould, and its really quite slow. Yet others literally ripp through those cascading runs at the end.

Are there any standards when playing pieces like this, or is just down to the individual? The reason I ask is that Iv noticed Beethoven comment that his tempos should be adhered to strictly in some of his directions.

Thanks,

Steve J

piano sheet music of Sonata 23 (Appassionata)


Offline thierry13

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #1 on: August 30, 2005, 04:44:34 AM »
Don't take could as an example. Very bad idea. He is the most excentric pianist ever. If you REALLY need an example(you shouldn't it must come from you), then everyone, BUT Gould.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #2 on: August 30, 2005, 05:12:24 AM »
I have several versions of this - no Gould - I can't remember what I clocked on the 1st movement, but they all - universally - held a steady 138 on the moto perpetuo part of the second.   I have:  Rubenstein, Perhaia, and Ian Hobson if that helps. The first movement is more variable.  I personally prefer the slower versions just because they are a bit cleaner sounding, and the "driving" rhythm comes out more.
So much music, so little time........

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #3 on: August 30, 2005, 05:13:33 AM »
Oh.  and in case it matters, I played the moto perpetuo at 126 or so, and my teacher thought that was a fine tempo.
So much music, so little time........

Offline brewtality

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #4 on: August 30, 2005, 06:12:36 AM »
Don't take could as an example. Very bad idea. He is the most excentric pianist ever. If you REALLY need an example(you shouldn't it must come from you), then everyone, BUT Gould.

I agree. Gould is not a reliable guide for tempi. You should listen to various recordings and decide which you think works best. Also you have to factor in your own technical abilities. For the third movement I think its best played in around  4'30" or quicker (without the repeat) but most pianists play it slower. You should try to keep good clarity and eveness.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #5 on: August 30, 2005, 06:20:23 AM »
This brings up a question. Doesn't the Appassionata only have 2 movements?  It looks to me like the second movement is:  Andante con moto - Allegro ma non troppo.  There is no final bar line at the end of the andante in the Henle edition of the music.  Although some of my cd's split the bands  into 3 separate movements.  Hm.
So much music, so little time........

Offline jehangircama

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #6 on: August 30, 2005, 09:57:44 AM »
I have an Ashkenazy , a Barenboim and I think a Kempf recording. it sounds much better when played fast. kempf plays it a bit slowly, i feel.
You either do or do not. There is no try- Yoda

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Offline steve jones

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #7 on: August 30, 2005, 01:03:01 PM »

I agree, I like the sound of this piece played quicker. The Gould recording seems somewhat 'delayed' if that makes sense... as if he is holding it back. I have other records which flow much more naturally at a faster pace.

Btw, its unlikely I'll be playing this piece for a good while yet!

Offline jehangircama

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #8 on: August 30, 2005, 04:43:14 PM »
don't worry i started it i think about 5 years ago and have been working on it in fits and starts. still nowhere NEAR completion :(
You either do or do not. There is no try- Yoda

Life is like a piano, what you get out of it depends on how you play it

Offline steve jones

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #9 on: August 31, 2005, 12:33:31 AM »

Yep, lol, its a fair old piece of music.

Im really not up to starting it yet. When my technique is up to playing those fast cascading runs, then I'll give it blast. Until I think continue dreaming!

Offline m

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #10 on: August 31, 2005, 06:44:34 AM »
Don't take could as an example. Very bad idea. He is the most excentric pianist ever.

In fact, for that reason it would be really a good idea to take him as an example.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #11 on: September 01, 2005, 02:17:25 AM »
Beethoven is very clear about the tempo. Allegro Assai, Andante con moto, Allegro ma non troppo.

I personally find people play the third movement way too fast. Beethoven is very precise when stating MA NON TROPPO which means "but not too much". The first movement shouldn't be too slow since ASSAI states much. Con Moto "with motion" for the second movement warns against taking it too slowly but also not too fast maintaining a slightly faster andante tempo but not over doing it. Tempo markings should be something to meditate upon and always considered while you develop a piece, find evidence in the piece which gives meaning to the tempo.

Again I think there is always room for creativity and variation in the tempo. For instance in the first movement measure 17, some people may play it slower, broadening the chords where some take it very fast and rapid. The decision making behind it has to be well understood, perhaps those who play it very rapidly want to present the audience with a greater contrast in sounds, produce the ff chords with face and fury and then the immediate p section following excessively calm. This would be a good idea since a lot of Beethovens compositions do aim to present contrast in sounds, the reason the pianoforte was built.
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Offline maxy

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #12 on: September 01, 2005, 03:14:58 AM »
This topic proves why this particular piece is a risky choice for competitions and exams...
No one agrees on how it should be played, and so far, we are just talking about tempi.


Offline Souza

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Re: Appassionata - Tempo?
«Reply #13 on: September 01, 2005, 07:33:43 AM »
Beethoven - Sonata per pianoforte op 57 (Apassionata)  - Edizione Tecnico-Interpretativa  di Artur Schnabel -Edizioni Curci - Milano -

Metronomic marks First movement - Allegro assai:
 

Allegro assai -dotted quarter note - around 120 circa

bar 24 - dotted quarter note (crotchet) = 126
bar 34 = 120
bar 35 = 112
bar 47 = 116
bar 65 = 112
bar 67 = 120
bar 78 = 138 (fourth beat)
bar 94 = 126
bar 104 = 120 (third beat)
bar 107 = 132 (third beat)
bar 109 = 126
bar 113 = 132 (fourth beat)
bar 117 = 138 (foruth beat)
bar 125 = 144
bar 130 = 132
bar 134 = 126
bar 135 = 120 (third beat)
bar 147 = 116 (fourth beat)
bar 148 = 120 (fourth beat)
bar 163 = 126
bar 173 = 120
bar 174 = 112
bar 186 = 116
bar 208 = 120
bar 209 = 126
bar 210 = 138
bar 214 = 144 (fourth beat)
bar 224 = 152
bar 227 = 144
bar 238 = eighth note (quaver) = 80
bar 239 =  dotted quarter note = 160
bar 260 = 152
bar 261 = 144


Last Movement - Allegro ma non troppo - quarter note = around 152 - changing throughout  sections.
Presto - minim = 104 changing along sections.
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Urtext Henle Verlag - no metronomic marks.

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Urtext edition - Schott/Universal Edition (red cover) -  has a "suggested relative tempi " (notes on interpretation) -

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Royal Schools of Music  - Craxton (Phrasing and fingering)  -  Donald Francis Tovey (Commentaries) - no metronomik marks,  comments about the last movement Allegro ma non troppo - "This movement is often taken too fast. Beethoven is rather sparing of the warning *ma non troppo*, and it occurs oftener in later than in earlier works.  It is therefore not a warning that should be neglected.

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Bulow/Lebert - Schirmer edition -  Allegro assai - dotted quarter note = 126 at beginning, changing along the sections.
Last movement - Allegro ma non troppo - quarter note = 132 - 138;  Presto - minim (half note) = 92 - 96

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{}s Pedro