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Beethoven's "Appassionata" (Read 2877 times)

Offline MzrtMusic

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Beethoven's "Appassionata"
« on: August 13, 2002, 03:43:02 AM »
Well, I'm starting work on this sonata, and I was just wondering if anyone had any tips. I really don't want to butcher this piece... As someone said, pieces should be executed, not murdered :P Anyway. I'm having a little bit of trouble with some of the voicing, but I really haven't gotten into it that much. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!!

Love,

Sarah
My heart is full of many things...there are moments when I feel that speech is nothing after all.
-- Ludwig Van Beethoven

piano sheet music of Sonata 23 (Appassionata)


Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #1 on: August 25, 2002, 02:26:32 AM »
Let's keep touch on this one!  I have sort of dabbled with it lately, but promised myself I wouldn't officially dig into it till I have 3 other pieces down, so sometime in the next month or so I'll be attacking this one.  From what I can tell the whole thing is hard.  There's probably not a measure in it where you can just play the notes - as we say in computer systems, the devil is in the details, and there's a lot of that going on in the Appassionata.  But it's such a cool piece it will be worth putting together.  Let me know how it goes.  I tend to hack through the whole thing a couple of times to identify the nastiest bits, then go after those first and work my way back out.  How are you going after it?
So much music, so little time........

Offline MzrtMusic

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #2 on: August 25, 2002, 08:05:23 AM »
Well!!! A partner in crime! I guess that I'm taking a little bit at a time. I'm mostly working on the first movement, and I've really been concentrating on the first four pages in my edition. That's up till the key change. I'm trying to get that part with very very basic elements of phrasing, voicing and tone before I move on. I know that if I don't start with those things, it will be hard to add them in later. I'm also listening to tons of recordings, trying to figure out what I like, and what I want to avoid. I have Gieseking, Rubinstein, Badura-Skodas, and Kempff. My teacher thinks that he has Ashkenazy, so we'll have to see. I think that my favorite recording is Gieseking. Who do you like?

Love,

Sarah
My heart is full of many things...there are moments when I feel that speech is nothing after all.
-- Ludwig Van Beethoven

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #3 on: August 25, 2002, 08:12:42 AM »
Wow.  You have quite a collection.  I only have 2 - Ian Hobson and Alfred Brendel.  Brendel is more  flowing and he accentuates "hidden" melodies, but I like Ian's version - it's more the way I picture Beethoven playing it himself, and is more true to the way he wrote it on paper.  Do you  have a favorite version?  I'll go get it.

I am working on parts of all the movements at this point, but ver-r-y-y-  slowly.  I usually work out fingerings of nasty parts, then work each hand slowluy till I get the notes solid.  After that I work on the "music".  

Mindy
So much music, so little time........

Offline MzrtMusic

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #4 on: August 25, 2002, 04:06:53 PM »
Well, I'll have to get back to you on which recording I like the best. I'm working on analyzing them, and that takes a little time. I think that the most good things come with the Geiseking, but there are a couple of times when he just gets to loud, and he really doesn't do a lot with some of the dynamic details (sFz, sFp etc.) But on the whole, he's pretty good. I just started last night, but when I get home from church, I'm going to try and finish it up. Which movement is your favorite?

Love,

Sarah
My heart is full of many things...there are moments when I feel that speech is nothing after all.
-- Ludwig Van Beethoven

Offline MikeThePianist

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #5 on: August 25, 2002, 04:31:09 PM »
Richard Goode's complete Beethoven sonata collection is also supposed to be excellent.  I own all of Brendel's Beethoven sonata recordings and really love them.  I have heard Goode's from time to time and they are really quite good(e).   ;)

Mike
Michael Fauver is pursuing his bachelors degree in piano performance at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #6 on: August 26, 2002, 12:55:29 AM »
I love them all, but the second movement is my fav.  For some reason I just like the way Beethoven does his "slow" movements.  I never play Mozart sonatas, because I jsut can't sit through hhis slow movements. Long, dull.  Beethoven's slow movements have so much color.  I dunno.  What do you guys think?
So much music, so little time........

Offline MzrtMusic

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #7 on: August 26, 2002, 12:59:56 AM »
I really love all of the movements, I couldn't pick my favorite! I must say thought that I ADORE Mozart second movements. Mozart is different then Beethoven, so you really can't compare them, but I love them both. Mozart has a stately grace, and there is definitely a double meaning to his music. There was so much sorrow in his life. I just love them both!

Love,

Sarah
My heart is full of many things...there are moments when I feel that speech is nothing after all.
-- Ludwig Van Beethoven

Offline MzrtMusic

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #8 on: August 26, 2002, 05:35:25 AM »
Well, I've been driving my family crazy with all the recordings I've been listening to ;D and I've really only had time to analyze two, but here are my findings for the Gieseking, and the Rubinstein...

Walter Gieseking- Sonata Op. 57 "appassionata"

Good elements:

Mvmt. 1

There was a general lack of abrasivness.
A very warm tone
There was good voicing most of the time
There was generally good dynamic contrast
Excellent phrasing
smooth, even passage work
nice touch with the pedal

Mvmt. 2

Great sensitivity
excellent voicing
nice Mozartean passage work.
good tone

Mvmt. 3

Nice phrasing
Nice voicing
good pedal
GREAT tempo!!! His fingers just fly!!! And it's even faster on the repeat!
Despite that, he never lost his control of the piece.

Bad elements

Mvmt. 1

Just a little to loud at times
there weren't many of the little things. Most noticably, the sFz, and sFp's were missing.

Mvmt. 2

To loud
lack of phrasing
Use of Rubato
overall dynamics


Mvmt. 3

beginning and ending chords slightly abrasive
lack of Sfz and sFp
pedal hung over into the rests... No silence
the staccato parts were just a bit heavy
parts of the prest were to loud

Now, I really do like Gieseking the best of all of them... I've only gotten one other recording, the Rubinstein, and, as you will see, I really don't like that one.

Artur Rubinstein- Sonata Op. 57 "appassionata"

Good elemnts:

Mvmt. 1

voicing was good about half of the time
even trills
nice dynamics on the scale work

Mvmt. 2

Very nice legato
The tempo was pretty decent at the start, but he might have slowed down a bit.

Mvmt. 3

Voicing was good

Bad elements:

Mvmt. 1

there wasn't enough time given to the rests... the pedal held over
dynamics were to loud on the p sections, and to soft on the f sections...
heavy pedaling
lack of sFp, sFz
tempo slow
repeated notes were rough
tone wasn't mellow, and thing in the treble
use of rubato
unwanted (to me) accents
Phrasing had no shape and was very abrupt
it was very sectionalized
dolce triplets didn't sing enough, and were loud.
there wasn't good staccato

Mvmt. 2

to loud
abrasive opening chords
no dynamic phrasing, just wrist phrasing
to much pedal
sectionalized. The transition between the repeats were rough.
It was very heavy.

Mvmt. 3

To loud
to slow
to soft
lack of fire and passion
presto was to slow
the tone wasn't even.

Well, that's my basic opinion on them. I really think that Rubinstein plays Beethoven to much like Chopin for my liking, but there it is. If there is an interest expressed, I will work on posting the others as I get them done...

Love,

Sarah



My heart is full of many things...there are moments when I feel that speech is nothing after all.
-- Ludwig Van Beethoven

Offline SteveK

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #9 on: September 03, 2002, 09:24:56 PM »
Hi there!

I play Beethoven's "Appassionata" too!!  I heard Daniel Barenboim play that piece and it was excellent!!  But I play it differently!!  In the first movement, the first tempo goes very fast; but the last tempo goes up to 160 in quarter half notes!!!!! :o
I performed this piece already, but I still want to increase my speed!! :)
"And you probably thought I'd play badly?" - Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Offline MzrtMusic

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #10 on: September 04, 2002, 12:14:12 AM »
Yeah, parts of that sonata are REALLY fast! i think that I heard Barenboim play the sonata on the radio, and I wasn't to impressed with it because of the tempo. I just caught part of the second movement, and the last, and especially the presto needed to go a little bit faster... If he recorded it a different time, and it's a faster tempo, LMK, because it would be great to listen to that!

Love,

Sarah
My heart is full of many things...there are moments when I feel that speech is nothing after all.
-- Ludwig Van Beethoven

Offline ned

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #11 on: September 11, 2002, 08:17:35 PM »
Hi! Can I jump in? What a piece! For me the Appassionata can be convincing at any tempo - slow or fast. I prefer slower because I feel a deep mystery and tragedy in the piece. The last movement has such a cumulative effect that even at a moderated tempo it will be cataclysmic.

Absolutely synchronizing the hands in the last movement passage work is a necessary and difficult task. The second movement requires great thought and care: voicing of chords, fingerwork, tempo relations, etc., etc.

I heard Richter do it in recital in Boston in 1960. Very, very fast. When he got to the chords at the end he snapped his huge bald head back and forth so vehemently we thought it was going to fly off!  The overall effect was disturbing and not very satisfying.  In person,  Rubinstein was absolutely magnificent – sonorous and noble. He didn’t follow the score, but so what.  I really like the Horowitz Appassionata recording. It’s lean, muscular, brilliant and not fast. You hear the details – all of them, which is a good reminder when learning this piece!  You should also listen to Schnabel, Backhaus, Kempf and Serkin, each highly influential as a Beethoven  interpreter in his day and very different from Ashkenazy, Brendel and Barenboim.

But the great thing about the Appassionata is that you will develop your OWN ideas and that will become your favorite interpretation!
Cheers, Ned

Offline juliuskrause

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #12 on: January 10, 2005, 08:05:31 PM »
as rubinstein always does, i like his sight on interpratating chopin, too
i got some chopin (preludes, and marche funebre sonata) played by argerich, it's very expressive, fast, energetic but for my tast too much pedal, it's a less noble playing, in comparison with rubinstein

he plays very clear, and with a delightful delicatessness

>excuse my english, i hope i'll be better in the next, days weeks months

----
to the appassionata, i only know the versions of jando and ashkenazy, ashkenazy is very quiet to at the beginning of the head-movement - and i believe that the other interpretations (i'm excited to listen to gieseking's) would give me more pleasure -

claas

Offline maxy

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #13 on: January 12, 2005, 04:29:22 PM »
tips?

climax of first mvt should be played with one hand only.  no cheating!  8)


Offline Pianoquake

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Re: Beethoven's "Appassionata"
«Reply #14 on: January 18, 2005, 06:54:14 PM »
I have recordings by Serkin and Gulda and both are recommended. Serkin is particularly good at generating that "door slamming" mood of Beethoven.
However, my favourite -- and I dare say, my favourtite recording of anything -- is by EMIL GILELS on DG. He really gets the piece, and has wonderful tone, technique, sonority, and control.  You should be able to find it on DG Klassikon or Universal for under $10.

I have also  heard Pollini's latest, which is superb, Schnabel's which is sloppy, Barenboim's latest live (heavy and rusty), and Kuerti's (very good).