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Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt (+Bach Inventions) (Read 4764 times)

Offline daniloperusina

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Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt (+Bach Inventions)
« on: May 08, 2006, 11:58:08 PM »
Opinions are most welcome!
For me, the ending is not very successful, supposed to be a diminuendo, but it just didn't materialize...: )

piano sheet music of Sonata 17 (The Tempest)


Offline el nino

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #1 on: May 09, 2006, 11:15:54 AM »
veeery nice,i like your playing very much in general

Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #2 on: May 09, 2006, 11:33:46 AM »
Thank you! That was nice to hear! I'm listening to your Ballade, and I'll comment soon. First impression, though, is very good...

Offline steveie986

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #3 on: May 10, 2006, 05:26:43 AM »
You play Beethoven with excellent precision and clarity. This is really beautiful music. Have you recorded any other Beethoven? What about Bach?

Offline bearzinthehood

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #4 on: May 10, 2006, 12:31:55 PM »
Very nice, I throughly enjoyed it!  Some things that stood out to me:

- In measures 13 and 52 you don't observe the staccato and rests in the left hand, was this intentional?  If so, why?
- In measures 119-120 you held the B natural and B flat in the left hand and you accented them.  Why?  It doesn't sound bad, but I envisioned those measures differently.
- In measures 199-204 what you did with the two note slurs in the right hand was FANTASTIC.

Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #5 on: May 10, 2006, 02:28:50 PM »
Thanks! Great comments!

bb 13&52: absolutely intentional! A rythmic idea: pa-pa-pa-pa-papaaaaa...
but to my embarassement, I have to admit I never tried beethoven's exact notation. I guess I immediately played it the way I thought he should have written it!:-)

bb 119&120: the following bars (121-133) are very dominant 7th, and I felt that accentuating the bass line B-Bb-A was in place, highlighting the fact that we reach a sort of conclusion to the development section. It wasn't altogether intellectually worked out, rather the music seemed to say so much to me.

In fact, I find Beethoven to be particularly fascinating in terms of notation! Apparently he was meticoulous about each notational detail, but I somehow don't think it's meant to be literal; rather, it's a question of real interpretation. You observe a marking, and invariably you go: "hm, what does he mean?". Bars 119-121, e.g., why is the B-Bb-A separated from the rest of the notes in the left hand? Is it to somehow mark that as a bass-line? Or pure notational aesthetics?

I read somewhere that some of Beethoven's staccato markings are really meant to be a sort of slight marcato, different from other sorts of marcato. I find this idea convincing! Bar 121, for example. Op14:1, 3rd mvt, bar 50 and on, right hand staccato marks out a melodic line, which, when played slightly marcato rather than staccato brings out that melody very nicely. Schnabel does that in his recording, and I'm sure that is based on the very same idea.

bb199-204: very flattering, thanks! I have to admit, though, that I'm lost as to what you are praising!:-) On close scrutiny, I find I'm inconsistent; they ought to be played exactly the same, no?

Offline bearzinthehood

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #6 on: May 10, 2006, 11:15:54 PM »
bb199-204: very flattering, thanks! I have to admit, though, that I'm lost as to what you are praising!:-) On close scrutiny, I find I'm inconsistent; they ought to be played exactly the same, no?

Exactly, the fact that they weren't played exactly the same was what made it so interesting.  :)

Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt (+Bach Inventions)
«Reply #7 on: May 10, 2006, 11:32:53 PM »
You play Beethoven with excellent precision and clarity. This is really beautiful music. Have you recorded any other Beethoven? What about Bach?

Thank you very much! I have recorded four two-part inventions; not terribly pleased with the result though. It was during a microphone shoot-out, and I just got this feeling that the ribbon mics would be wonderful for just that, so I spent a few hours learning and recording them. I have played them before, so it was possible to do that. Precision could have been better! Like the sound of ribbon microphones? -same piano and church as the other recordings.

Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #8 on: May 10, 2006, 11:55:23 PM »
Exactly, the fact that they weren't played exactly the same was what made it so interesting.  :)

Haha! A pure accident, has nothing to do with me, except that those are my fingers that slip...:)

Offline steveie986

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #9 on: May 11, 2006, 01:50:50 AM »
Thank you very much! I have recorded four two-part inventions; not terribly pleased with the result though. It was during a microphone shoot-out, and I just got this feeling that the ribbon mics would be wonderful for just that, so I spent a few hours learning and recording them. I have played them before, so it was possible to do that. Precision could have been better! Like the sound of ribbon microphones? -same piano and church as the other recordings.

I'm very impressed by your Bach. I don't think many people on this forum have the technique to play Bach like that (too many Chopin- and Liszt-obsessed youngsters). Do you play any other Bach, like the Suites or WTC or the Goldberg Variations?

Offline piano121

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #10 on: May 11, 2006, 01:40:06 PM »
Im glad that you started relatively late, and yet got very respectable results. You are on the right track for pro recording!

BTW very nice inventions too. You are very talented.

Offline crazy for ivan moravec

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #11 on: May 13, 2006, 03:56:00 PM »

In fact, I find Beethoven to be particularly fascinating in terms of notation! Apparently he was meticoulous about each notational detail, but I somehow don't think it's meant to be literal; rather, it's a question of real interpretation. You observe a marking, and invariably you go: "hm, what does he mean?". Bars 119-121, e.g., why is the B-Bb-A separated from the rest of the notes in the left hand? Is it to somehow mark that as a bass-line? Or pure notational aesthetics?


your playing is great! i admire you for this beethoven. beethoven is so difficult to play because of the fact that we have to follow everything that he said, and probably meant.

but on the matter of notation, i think that beethoven's notation is what he really meant, no more no less. i believe this is so because it actually took him lots of "scratch" notes before coming up with a composition. he always had with him a sketch book of all his ideas. and he carefully studied, reviewed and edited things out. and he even had fights with his publisher because some of his notations cannot be followed due to technological problems in printing, or so..

i think our part as interpreters, if we are striving to really follow him, is to first follow everything on the score. if we'd have to read "between the lines", it is only for the reason that we are probably considering the kind of instrument that he had.. for ex.: we cannot follow his pedalling on the moonlight sonata first movement because his piano didn't have a powerful damper pedal as with what we have now. his all-throughout pedalling in that movement was for his piano whose pedal could only sustain that much, not blurring any of the harmonies. and with the tempo of that movement, it was probably perfect to hold down the pedal from the first till the last note. (it is also with this evidence that we can say that he generally wanted a sonorous sound from the piano most of the time)

on the other hand, it is with chopin that i believe that the kind of thinking i quoted from you above is very applicable. there are a lot of things which chopin wrote and we can't take them too literally. a staccato with chopin can mean differently depending on the character, or performance practice, or sometimes depending on its role in the whole picture of a piece. a staccato almost always means a certain "touch" rather than a certain articulation for chopin, because he was a composer who thought so much about colors for his music. an accent in his mazurkas can be interpreted as an agogic accent rather than accenting it literally as in making it louder... stuff like that... he was rather indecisive with his notations and had so many versions of his works that scholars are actually having a hard time as to which is the "best" one.


as with the bass: B-Bb-A in the Tempest, i think you made a good choice (IMO) of going for the reason that it is a BASS LINE rather than just a mere "notational aesthetics". i don't think notational aesthetics ever existed with beethoven because with his kind of thinking, he would have probably opted to connect the beams if the bass line wasn't really that important. and yes, he ends a pretty unstable develpment, so why not emphasize/bring out what he wrote? (but if i were to do it, maybe not so much)

basically, there's not much to read between the lines with beethoven. we just have to know his instrument, and his intentions are clear. but i think that's even more difficult to do than reading between the lines... and i just don't know why.

off topic: it's funny how his works are symphonically written but once we hear them, they're simply pianistic!
Well, keep going.<br />- Martha Argerich

Offline crazy for ivan moravec

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #12 on: May 13, 2006, 04:07:18 PM »
BTW, it's great playing!!! really high level! my hat off to you.

i just don't agree with measures 51 (pick up is emphasized) going to 52.
same thing with measure 68, the one with ff marking where you prolong it a bit... i think the ff will be more effective if you don't hold that part any longer than written.
 ;D ;D ;D ;D
 but it's your interpretation.  ;)

BRAVO!
Well, keep going.<br />- Martha Argerich

Offline crazy for ivan moravec

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #13 on: May 13, 2006, 04:08:22 PM »
how old did you start to play piano?
Well, keep going.<br />- Martha Argerich

Offline electrafingers

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #14 on: May 14, 2006, 08:39:04 AM »
Generally I thought you did very well with this movement.
A few notes:

1. In bar 6 I would think much more crescendo is needed. I hear only the sf but not the crescendo. I think the sound should grow in this place significantly, as if the brass section has joined the strings in the orchestra (left hand).
2. Same thing for bars 9-12: this cresendo is more gradual and should be even more significant, especially in the left hand's chords.
3. bar 16: you have a mistake. You enter with your left hand one note too early :) just pay attention to this, it's not a big deal.
4. between bars 19-20 you take a breath. I understnad what you're trying to do but in bar 20 not only a new section begins, the whole previous section also flows to that point. You may make a small allargando but the way you did it it sounded like you only wanted to seperate the two sections.
5. bars 41-54: First I would advise to pay more attention to the slurs in the right hand. The last beat of bar 49 and the first of 50 for instance sound like they are under one slur.
Also try to accent the 3rd beats of the left hand a little bit (the f's), I find it helpful in creating a more rhythmic and urgent feeling, but you might not like it.
Again, your crescendo isn't enough IMO.
6. In bar 74 I think the first B in the right hand should be tied and not played.
7. bars 75-87: try to move a little forward here. not in tempo, just in feeling. It sounds a little bit like more and more of the same. between bars 86-87 you make a really weird and unexplained stop, IMO.
8. bars 99-118: I like it when the first beats of the left hand (in bars 100, 104, 108 etc.) are actually short, in contrast to the exposition. I don't know why you play them so long (a whole measure) but it's your choice :)
9. bars 121-133: bigger sound, please!
10. bars 159-170: I never understand why so many pianists play this section so much slower than the original allegro. I really think it should be exactly the same tempo.

That's it :) But I really thought it was generally a good performance.
Ishay
"The laws of morality are also those of art" - Robert Schumann

Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #15 on: May 16, 2006, 11:22:59 AM »
Crazy, thank you very much for your comments!
About Chopin, just recently my eyes opened up to his pedal marks. I'm reading Charles Rosen's 'Romantic Generation', where he points out the revolutionary way with which Chopin uses the pedal, clearly marked in the scores, and very different from the 'modern' way of using the pedal; i.e. to lift it up at the point where the harmony changes and quickly put it down again; our way of establishing clear textures as well as a continuous legato.

Have you noticed it? Chopin can 'blur' harmonies, as well as lift the pedal in the middle of a phrase, quite contrary to what we are accustomed to. I'm currently trying to incorporate his pedal markings in some mazurkas, and it feels odd! Could be interesting to post here.

Otherwise, what you write is very true! I think it is also a wonderful argument against the idea of 'the composer's final will'; there is no 'final version' with Chopin! If another publisher wanted to publish his music, he made changes; if a student of his played one of his pieces, he made changes in the student's score. To me, this indicates that Chopin's manuscripts and various editions in which he was involved, are rather like snapshots of spontaneous ideas.

Beehoven too was not exactly literal concerning his own music. Perhaps you've heard of witnesses stating that when he played his own pieces, he wasn't at all concerned about following his own markings. As you say, he sketched, scrapped, changed until a piece acquired it's final form, quite often a shocking metamorphosis from the original few bars of an idea. You probably know the story of the hammerklavier sonata; just before printing, Beethoven suddenly sent an addition: the two notes which presently start the slow movement. And what a change!! We are thus very close to having had a op106 where the adagio would have started directly with the f#minor chord.

What it all amounts to, in my opinion, is that both Beethoven and Chopin were scrupulous about their notation, but could just as easily suddenly change their minds. A 'correct' edition represents a sort of finished version by the composer. This doesn't imply that one can disregard any of it, quite the contrary.

All in all, I still can't view Beethoven literally. I have to go one step further; to try to understand what prompted him to notate the way he did. Also, ambiguity can not be excluded. I'm leaving open the possibility that Beethoven saw several ways of executing a given passage, at times at least. I think his instructions are a blend of the practical and the poetical.

I started piano from scratch at twenty, with periods of furious practice:)

Offline crazy for ivan moravec

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #16 on: May 16, 2006, 12:18:08 PM »
Beehoven too was not exactly literal concerning his own music. Perhaps you've heard of witnesses stating that when he played his own pieces, he wasn't at all concerned about following his own markings. As you say, he sketched, scrapped, changed until a piece acquired it's final form, quite often a shocking metamorphosis from the original few bars of an idea. You probably know the story of the hammerklavier sonata; just before printing, Beethoven suddenly sent an addition: the two notes which presently start the slow movement. And what a change!! We are thus very close to having had a op106 where the adagio would have started directly with the f#minor chord.

yes, i believe in Beethoven's great intuition during performance! with the kind of personality and temper he had, no doubt he could be the most disobedient interpreter of even his own works! human being he was.

but imo, not as a composer... not during the process of writing music because his reasoning was always at work. he always thought that he needed to write our his "ideal" picture of the music in his head. even in the late sonatas, one can see how he wanted them to sound displaced, lost or his rubatos IMO are actually written out. i do consider this matter wherein we are caught in a dilemma between his intentions as a composer and his intuitions as a performer.
and so, i tend to remain extremely close to the score because i wouldn't really know how his intuition worked.

with chopin, i tend to believe that there is much more "freedom" with as to how we interpret, say, a staccato marking because he was one teacher who encouraged his students to use intuition. but this is not to say that we can CHANGE his intentions as written (i hope i'm expressing it well).
as with the pedal markings, well, he was just probably one pianist obsessed with the pedal because his way of piano writing (as we all consider it- the most poetic) is one style that calls for a different kind pedalling. his writing cannot be thought of in any other instrument other than the piano (ok ok, as well as voice).

but surely of course, both beethoven and chopin have distinct notational styles. actually, i believe each composer has a personal "notational language" (that's why i disagree with change of notational system as one member of the forum here belongs to a society of modern notation). it's just that i believe beethoven's intentions to be clearly indicated except for very minor considerations, while chopin's is quite ambiguous (ambiguous in execution but means one intention only, if you know what i mean)
Well, keep going.<br />- Martha Argerich

Offline crazy for ivan moravec

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #17 on: May 16, 2006, 12:32:15 PM »
wow, quite a technique you have there for starting at 20!

no doubt that the way you think (which i admire) is a product of starting at that age. i started at 14... but i can't beat you for starting at 20, hehe.
Well, keep going.<br />- Martha Argerich

Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #18 on: May 16, 2006, 12:53:35 PM »
You express the dilemma very well!
We know that the composers disobeyed themselves, also that they could become furious if someone else disobeyed them!:-) As when Liszt performed an etude for Chopin, which annoyed him greatly because of the liberties Liszt took regarding the score...

At the end of the day, I think there is no excuse for not studying a score very carefully, considering each detail. Also, of course, to know the composer, his time, his instruments etc, very well.
However, I've taken the decision to alter an indication if I fail to understand the original one. In concert, I feel the need to have a sort of coherent idea about the piece, down to the last detail. If I occasionally have to go against the composer, I still prefer that to not understanding. The alternative would be to not play the piece!:-)

What's your viewpoint on that?

Offline crazy for ivan moravec

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #19 on: May 16, 2006, 01:20:38 PM »
ok, so you got me there. ;D

for the sake of a coherent idea of an interpreter (which i agree is far more important in this context), i think we can do away with some indications, but if and only if the understanding of it is an issue here. otherwise, no... and as a musician, we must always strive to know every detail of the score coz the reason we have the score is for us to be guided by it.
anyway, we can always improve and change it later on once we acquire the knowledge to understand something better.
:)
Well, keep going.<br />- Martha Argerich

Offline pianistimo

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #20 on: May 16, 2006, 04:49:45 PM »
i think the initial excitement of playing the tempest is tamed after you play it awhile.  so, on the one hand you have a lot of fire - but then, over time, you give it the more mystery (as you so excellently did in the little recap) and also, less bang bang of the bass in the single note seventh chords coming up.  you have really good dexterity - but i'd like to see more and more control of your dynamics (so that you can repeatedly play a pp, mp, p, f, mf, f, ff the same way EACH time).   

you're really off to a good start.  the two chords at the end need more of an 'a - men' feel, imo.  just a little slower to compensate for the same type of beginning.

i'd like to see you relax just a bit more and let your hands naturally handle the speed instead of forcing it.  don't push into the piano, or force anything.  you naturally have some good tone in the bass - but you know you're pushing it if you hear a bzzz in any bass note (just learned that last year!).  listen for each tone and esp. the overdoing of bass notes.  it won't sound good on recording if it's beyond the bzz point.


Offline pianistimo

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Re: Beethoven Tempest 1st mvt
«Reply #21 on: May 16, 2006, 05:02:29 PM »
one other thing.  i used to think of the tempest as a storm that immediately appeared after the first opening chords.  now, i think of it more as a slow build up (after the first part).  the storm doesn't hit 'boom' - but gives you an 'inkling' of what's coming.  i'd say that maybe you could work this out and give less 'climax' points and more build up.  keep the speed - but maybe make your dynamics more consistent. 

work on pp, mp, p, f, mf, ff making them all the same EACH time you play.  the gradual build up will lead to an explosion.  makes me think of hurricanes for some strange reason.  you first get cloudy weather, then a little rain and starting of winds, and the winds grow, the waters become wavier and stormier, and then, you have the howling start and the raging.