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Recital - Appassionata, Ballade No. 1 and 4 and La campanella (Youtube) (Read 3867 times)

Offline hummel

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Hi everybody!

I recently gave a recital where I played Beethoven Appassionata Mov. 1, Chopin Ballade No. 1 and No. 4 and Liszt La campanella as an encore. I put the first half on youtube (the second half is coming later):

Appassionata - Part 1:

Appassionata - Part 2:

Ballade No. 1:


I'm curious what you think about it. Oh, and please forgive me for the occasional mistakes!

Piano Street's Digital Sheet Music Library

Beethoven: Sonata 23 (Appassionata), opus 57
piano sheet music of Sonata 23 (Appassionata)


Piano Street's Digital Sheet Music Library

Chopin: Ballade 1, opus 23
piano sheet music of Ballade 1


Offline hummel

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Re: Recital - Appassionata, Ballade No. 1 and 4 and La campanella
«Reply #1 on: March 15, 2007, 10:51:05 AM »
As promised, the second part of my recital:

Chopin Ballade No. 4 Part 1:

Chopin Ballade No. 4 Part 2:

Liszt La Campanella:

Offline molto-marcato

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Concerning Beethoven: What i noticed was that you vary tempo quite often quite a lot. Especially in the coda you start slow and then accelerate very much. Personally i would like it more if the tempo varies much more subtle or even not at all (except where the score tells you to).

Good job btw.

Offline pianistimo

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agreed with molto-marcato - although i tend to think your personality and playing is much like mine and classically oriented in your playing of beethoven so any correction of tempo change will be minor to fix.

all that aside - i do ascribe to beethoven the romantic trills from the main note.

i really enjoy your playing!  and, great piano!!!!!  good sound you get from it.  and intensity.  and of course, it's pretty much in tune excepting that repeated C at measure 144 and beyond.  need to get that one tuned slightly sharper -but not much. 

ps i was listening again - and somehow it seems that i wouldn't go by EXACT perfect (slightly rushed) length of rest between the phrases at measure 4.  i would make it like a mysterious opening passage with a slight 1/8th beat of delay.  and at measure 3 on the appogiatura - i'd make that ON the beat with no apologies - going directly into the trill after consideration of it's eighth beat without as much attention drawn specifically to it. 

what does your teacher say about this area?  i am curious because as i count out measure three in the rh - i hear this: C - beat 123/ C- tie 45 / D-natural -6/ C - 7/ D-nat and Eb -8 / D-nat and E-flat - 9 / D-nat and E-flat - 10 / D-nat and C - 11/ E-nat and D-nat -12

am i wrong about the E-flat.  i thought that even if a natural was presented in the lh (bass clef) that it would not affect the naturalization of the note in the rh so the E would remain flatted?!  thus, having to write in the E-natural on beat 12 of rh in measure 3.

one LAST question:  if you are always making the trill from the main note - WHY should students change this trend for measure 11?  i realize the 'classical' rule about a previous note being the same note - but beethoven was breaking the rules, imo - therefore it seems more 'consistent' to play from the main note (even though henle marks the fingering 42 - from the top).  i like to hear it from the main note 100% better.  it's like you just take a little breath there and play it as you would any other place.

Offline pianistimo

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somehow i don't like the chopin as much because it is played more forte than i'm used to in a lot of places.  i think it would be much better with dynamics dramatically graded down two degrees.  and, more rubato in some places and less in others.  it's almost like some accelerandos are started too early and don't have time to 'develop.'  the rubatos sometimes are distracting.  molto-marcato is right on the money with developing that 'romantic' artistic sense that gives you the edge to your obvious finesse of the classical side. 

you probably don't take drugs or drink.  i don't either and am not suggesting it.  perhaps a rollercoaster will do you some good.  take the music along and pretend the rubatos and accelerados will be incrementally just like that.

Offline pianistimo

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that is definately a classical version of la campanella.  ok.  here's what you do:  first of all - you are VERY tall.  you look actually uncomfortable with your knees exactly at the height of the underside of the keyboard.  ask next time for them to leave the wheels - and adjust the bench down so your back doesn't hurt.  i think you will play 10 degrees more comfortable - and thus a sustainable energy level.  this piece is definately a dive into the 'wild side' of piano repertoire.  much like deciding to take a canyon leap with a dirt bike.  some places don't have any rhyme or reason or forethought.  i always hear the forethought with yours.  more sustained forward momentum *which i've been working on, too, with the chopin etude op 10 #4, btw.

Offline zheer

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 A real heavy weight recital, well i was intrested in hearing the appassionata, i thought you did well and am sure you know which part to improve.
   You dont play in the grand romantic style, but on a very intellectual level, with Beethoven that is very important so long as it's not too intellectual.
" Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends" - Tom Cruise -

Offline hummel

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First of all, many thanks for your remarks!

@pianistimo
You seem to have very profound understanding of piano playing in general, are you a teacher and/or professional player? I don't know people on pianostreet very well, as I'm only an occasional visitor of this forum.

Appassionata:
I agree with molto-marcato concerning the tempo changes which are a bit excessive, especially in the coda. This was mainly due to the fact that I usually tend to exagerate things in life 'concerts'. In contrast to when I play or practise all alone, I know that the audience (mainly consisting of laymen) is fond of such things ;-)
I think the issue was that at the beginning of my performance I wanted to avoid overly fluctuating tempi, so I really counted the pulse when playing the first few bars. By the time I 'forgot' my intention which led into a total rhythmical mess at the end.

Moreover, I am confused when listening to Appassionata played by different artists because the performances range from almost excessive rhyithmical accuracy to wholly unfettered interpretations.

Concerning your comments on the trills: I'm sorry, but I don't really understand the issue about on which note to begin the trills in classical music. I didn't grasp the problem with the e natural in bar 3. In fact my knowledge of musical theory is very limited (in fact, I'm a real philistine): When I started playing at the year of 8, I didn't fancy practising and showed no talent, so I gave up piano playing when I was 12. Four years later I restarted practising (several hours/day) on my own and finally took an additional 3 years of lessons. So now I'm 23 and passed my last piano lesson four or five years ago. Knowadays I just play for fun and don't care too much for details. As for both, the Appassionata and the Ballades I have the Henle/Urtext edition, which is not of greathelp either.

Ballades:
You're right, I should have played several passages more piano. There were some notes which a played way too loud. Perhaps it was partly due to the unaccustomedly soft action of the piano, at least compared to the heavy action of my own piano.

I'm not sure what you meant with your drinking/rollercoaster comment? I just thought I used to much rubati in general, but you say they were rather misplaced.

Piano:
The piano was a nearly 100 year old but completely revised and freshly tuned  Bφsendorfer.

Sitting position:
Unfortunately the bench was at its lowest position and still too high for me. I really didn't feel confortable.




Offline pianistimo

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wow.  if you are doing all this without a piano teacher...kudo's to you!  actually, i have not played the appassionata - but am becoming interested in studying it.  it has so many 'quandries' - if you want to call it that - for someone who has not studied it with a teacher.

i have taught beginning and intermediate students for many years - but am really wanting to wander off into left field and have a student correct me instead of me correct a student.  that's how you learn, right?! 

i studied at university of alaska and got a bachelor's degree in piano performance.  then, went back recently to west chester and was working on my master's until i broke my leg.  have always been interested in furthering what i know about upper level piano literature and especially beethoven.

so - my question for the longtime piano professors of more advanced students would be this:  'how do you play the accidentals in the rh in measure 3 (E-natural or E-flat on the seventh/eighth beat trill)'  and also 'how do you play the trill itself?  do you play the C ON the beat and count that as beat 7 and the start of the trill as beat 8?'  and lastly - what do you think of my comment about the trill in measure 11 starting ON the beat, too - even though it breaks a classical rule about trills that have the same previous note?'

after playing it both ways - it seems that possibly beethoven meant (in measure 3) for the note to be an E-natural on the trill because the e-natural is in the lh on the first beat and also on the 12th beat.  beat 7 is a whole step trill.  beat 11 is a whole step trill.  i'm just a little confused because i heard that UNLESS the treble staff indicates an accidental - the bass staff does not change the treble.  is this true?

and- regarding the speeding up and slowing down - i think that it's just a personal thing that i am feeling because i've heard others play the ballade a certain way.  no offense - because i think you're doing a great job!  i haven't played that ballade either - so you are way ahead of me on that one.  i did play the second  - but haven't performed it yet.  la campanella would be about two or three years for me to play well, probably.

ps the bosie seems to have been excellently restored. 


Offline ganymed

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wow you dont have a teacher? Im very impressed
Frankly, i liked the Appassionata better than the g minor ballade. Maybe it's just because I'm to spoiled from the great recordings. There are some aspects to imrpove which popped in my mind. But it's not adequate to critisize you  - after all i could not do it bettter .
Hehehe how long do you play the piano now?
"We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come."

Milan Kundera,The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Offline hummel

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Oh, I actually studied the Appassionata with my teacher five years ago. However, my technique at that time was too bad to play it fluidly and at a reasonable pace. So much of the time I had to spend on technique especially and to mitigate my stiffness. (Now I think that I have the technique to work on such pieces but too little time to practise)

So I had to relearn the piece for this recital on my own but nevertheless had some professional advice. The same is true for the Ballade in g minor.

The Ballade in f minor and La campanella are the only pieces I never studied with a teacher.

Offline pianistimo

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what did your teachers say - in terms of reasoning - about the trill (Eb vs E nat)?  and about the trill in measure 11.  is this 'cut in stone' or can you start a trill in a romantic vein - even if the previous note is the same?

hope you keep practicing and working on everything - because interpretations can sometimes be greatly modified by increased technique and ability to hear inconsistencies.  great that you played the appassionata before.

is this piano kind of stiff to play now?  it seemed that you had to play a bit louder on the trills to get them to sound.  i was expecting the trills to be the same dynamic as everything else.

Offline jlh

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'how do you play the accidentals in the rh in measure 3 (E-natural or E-flat on the seventh/eighth beat trill)'  and also 'how do you play the trill itself?  do you play the C ON the beat and count that as beat 7 and the start of the trill as beat 8?'  and lastly - what do you think of my comment about the trill in measure 11 starting ON the beat, too - even though it breaks a classical rule about trills that have the same previous note?'

after playing it both ways - it seems that possibly beethoven meant (in measure 3) for the note to be an E-natural on the trill because the e-natural is in the lh on the first beat and also on the 12th beat.  beat 7 is a whole step trill.  beat 11 is a whole step trill.  i'm just a little confused because i heard that UNLESS the treble staff indicates an accidental - the bass staff does not change the treble.  is this true?

In measure 3 there is a natural sign above the trill, that's how you know it's an E-natural.  Plus, in measure 3 the music is in dominant tonality, which is C-major.  If it were an E-flat, it would not make sense because then it would be a i-v-viio7/5-v before going to the neopolitan.  Dominant is and should be major in this context.

The trills are played as written.  Usually in music of Beethoven's time, trills automatically start on the upper note, unless there is some other indication. Sometimes composers wanted to make sure that it did, hence an appogiature to start off with. Same (as written) for the 3 trills around measure 45; the first is played as above, but the next 2 start on the upper note, and this upper note should be clearly audible.

There are many approaches I've seen toward this end, and I would suggest listening to recordings by Gilels, Richter, Horowitz, Arrau, and others to see what they have come up with to solve this problem.  Also, you might benefit from a readthrough of Schnabel's editorial of the score.
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Offline pianistimo

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agreed about the C major part - BUT, the natural sign is placed with the #2 finger and first in the row of trill placements.  to me, that indicates the D-natural and nothing more.  why are there not TWO natural signs?  i know, the first indication would be that it is already in the measure on beat six - but the problem i see is that it usually is still indicated in trills isn't it?

now in measure 44 - the first way i read this was that there was only one flat - so to me, that meant the Bb.  are you saying this also indicates a Bb to a Cb?  i think it is Bb to A natural.

Offline jlh

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agreed about the C major part - BUT, the natural sign is placed with the #2 finger and first in the row of trill placements.  to me, that indicates the D-natural and nothing more.  why are there not TWO naturals?
But... the D is already a natural because of the natural placed on the D in beat 6. There is no reason to restate the natural on the D.  Additionally the restatement in the neopolitan in measures 4-8 is an exact transposition, so why should it sound any different?
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Offline jlh

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agreed about the C major part - BUT, the natural sign is placed with the #2 finger and first in the row of trill placements.  to me, that indicates the D-natural and nothing more.  why are there not TWO natural signs?  i know, the first indication would be that it is already in the measure on beat six - but the problem i see is that it usually is still indicated in trills isn't it?

now in measure 44 - the first way i read this was that there was only one flat - so to me, that meant the Bb.  are you saying this also indicates a Bb to a Cb? 

No, the flat sign on the trill refers to the upper note.  so the trill begins with the A natural appogiatura and the trill is B-flat as written with the upper note being a C-flat.
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Offline pianistimo

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dear jlh,  you are helping me understand this whole thing -because i realize here in measure 44 that the flat sign is surrounded by parenthesis.  that must indicate that it is in the key signature.  when unparenthesized - it would mean anything not in the key signature?

i would disagree with your assessment of measure 44 on the basis of the parenthesis.  i believe it is from the Bb back down to the A.  it is a half step and initiated three times in a row - in measure 45 and 46.  in measure 45 and 46 it is  a GIVEN that the trill is with the appogiatura'd note.

Offline jlh

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agreed about the C major part - BUT, the natural sign is placed with the #2 finger and first in the row of trill placements.  to me, that indicates the D-natural and nothing more.  why are there not TWO natural signs?  i know, the first indication would be that it is already in the measure on beat six - but the problem i see is that it usually is still indicated in trills isn't it?

now in measure 44 - the first way i read this was that there was only one flat - so to me, that meant the Bb.  are you saying this also indicates a Bb to a Cb?  i think it is Bb to A natural.

I will have to look at my scores next time I'm in my office, because right now I'm just going by the internet version, but being that the trill specifies the upper note as being natural, it wouldn't make sense for the D to be flat in the trill... that wouldn't make sense.
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Offline jlh

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Which version of the score are you looking at? 
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Offline pianistimo

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henle.  where do you see a D-flat?  you mean measure 23?  the C to Db/Eb  that would be the trill notes there, i believe.  ok.  so unparenthesized accidentals mean those that aren't already in the key signature?  but, actually in measure 23 the flat sign is confusing because we have already a Db and Eb IN the key signature.  it must ONLY indicate the second note of the trill?  i'm so confused.

ok.  measure 21 and measure 23 seem to indicate the second note of E-natural in measure 21 and Eb in measure 23.  so you are saying the accidentals most always refer to the SECOND note of the trill?

Offline pianistimo

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ps the reason i like to start all trills ON the beat (including ones with the previous same note) is that you can evenly measure them out.  at measure 11 and measure 21 and 23 - you can play lower/upper/lower/upper/lower/upper/lower/upper (beat 7,8,9,10) and then go into lower note of D to C for beat 11 and E-nat to D-nat as beat 12.

Offline jlh

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henle.  where do you see a D-flat?  you mean measure 23?  the C to Db/Eb  that would be the trill notes there, i believe.  ok.  so unparenthesized accidentals mean those that aren't already in the key signature?  but, actually in measure 23 the flat sign is confusing because we have already a Db and Eb IN the key signature.  it must ONLY indicate the second note of the trill?  i'm so confused.

ok.  measure 21 and measure 23 seem to indicate the second note of E-natural in measure 21 and Eb in measure 23.  so you are saying the accidentals most always refer to the SECOND note of the trill?

No I meant that the D in measure 3 shouldn't be flat.  I'd have to look at my editions to see if they contain the parentheses because frankly I'm lost.  Generally when a note has an accidental earlier in the measure then the accidental is continued to be observed through the trill.  So the D doesn't need to have a natural sign on the trill.  The natural sign on the trill does not correspond to any fingerings, as all these fingerings are editorially added.  In measure 3, it refers to the only note left to affect, the E.

You'd have to look at an autograph score to be certain, but my best guess is that the flat signs in measure 23 were added (possibly by editors) as a courtesy because of the content of measures 21-22.
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Offline pianistimo

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i never said that the D in measure 3 should be flat.  i'm wondering which note the natural sign refers to (and the other examples of accidentals).  if i understand you correctly - u are saying that these refer ONLY to the second note (even if they are already in the key signature)?  in this case - the E-natural is not in the key signature.  thus no parenthesis?

Offline pianistimo

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another much wilder interpretation of this appassionata would be that beethoven wrote in the appogiaturas as an indication of which note he wanted to be the paired trill note.  i realize this is a wild interpretation - but try it just for fun.  you can see that it works if you DO allow the beat seven to be a full eighth note on the C (in measure 3) and a D-natural on the first of every two sixteenths (DC DC DC DC = beat 8,9,10)  beat 11= DC and beat 12 = Enatural and D natural.

it works everywhere else, too - even at the switch to eighth note appogiaturas at measure 44.

the only place i would suggest adding a note would be in measures  like 11 - where adding a lower appogiatura (just like in the previous measures) and keeping the trill between the E-natural and the F.  it's faster to play this way.  it sounds more authentic.  and it makes the flat signs before the trills much more easily understood because they refer (in my wild interpretation ) to the first note of the trill and not the second.

Offline jlh

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They refer to the ornament note.  An accidental on the primary note is notated by placing an accidental to the left of that note.  When an accidental is placed above, next to, or right below an ornament such as a trill (or mordant or turn etc.) it refers to the ornament note.  In this case, the ornament note is the upper note, so then the upper note is affected by the natural sign, thus it is an E natural in measure 3.  
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Offline jlh

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another much wilder interpretation of this appassionata would be that beethoven wrote in the appogiaturas as an indication of which note he wanted to be the paired trill note.  i realize this is a wild interpretation - but try it just for fun.  you can see that it works if you DO allow the beat seven to be a full eighth note on the C (in measure 3) and a D-natural on the first of every two sixteenths (DC DC DC DC = beat 8,9,10)  beat 11= DC and beat 12 = Enatural and D natural.

it works everywhere else, too - even at the switch to eighth note appogiaturas at measure 44.

I wouldn't subscribe to that interpretation.  My view on the appogiatura is what I stated earlier:

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,23964.msg267885.html#msg267885
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Offline pianistimo

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the ornament note might actually be, in this case, the note that is paired with the appogiatura (appogiatura being the down beat).

i base my case on measure 23 - which in the henle suddenly ADDs the lower note (appogiatura) of C into the middle of the measure.  i think it was mistakenly not put in the other  measures that have the same pattern.

Offline jlh

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the ornament note might actually be, in this case, the note that is paired with the appogiatura as the down beat.

No, because an appogiatura is not a principle note, it is an ornament in and of itself.  The only way the D natural in measure 3 could be the ornamental note in a trill is if the appogiatura is the principle note.  The D natural is clearly the principle note, so there must be yet another note above the D, and that note is what is paired with the D.
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Offline pianistimo

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but, it cannot fit - beat-wise - into the previous six beats because it is an eighth note.

ok.  so you are saying that all the accidentals refer to the upper auxillary note of the trill?  that is the way it is most commonly played, i guess.  the only thing is - what are all these eighth appoggiaturas for?  they serve no real purpose if they are not part of the trill, as i see it.  i realize this is a wild interpretation - unless someone else has come up with it.  try playing the appogiaturas as part of the trill and it sounds good, too.  in fact, much easier to play 'allegro ASSAI.'


Offline jlh

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but, it cannot fit - beat-wise - into the previous six beats because it is an eighth note.

ok.  so you are saying that all the accidentals refer to the upper auxillary note of the trill?  that is the way it is most commonly played, i guess.  the only thing is - what are all these eighth appoggiaturas for?  they serve no real purpose if they are not part of the trill, as i see it.  i realize this is a wild interpretation - unless someone else has come up with it.  try playing the appogiaturas as part of the trill and it sounds good, too.  in fact, much easier to play 'allegro ASSAI.'



I have to leave for a rehearsal in like 1 minute, but I wanted to respond before I go. 

I think the 8th appogiaturas purpose is to ensure the trill begins on the principle note (or from below)and not on the upper note.  however, since the principle nore is the same note as the note in beat 6, the only way to accomplish this is to write in an appoggiatura.  The trill is still on the same notes, but it is prepared and executed from a different angle. 

Listen to Gilels play this movement and see what he does:



It is clear that he is approaching the trills in measures 3, 7 and 9 in the same way as in measure 11.  That is to say, he is placing the upper auxillary note ON beat 7.  There is a certain consistancy in this approach.  What do you think? 
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Offline pianistimo

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there's no doubt it sounds good - but he is cutting short the first six beats to evenly fit in the eighth - and it isn't even an eighth anymore - but turns into a sixteenth -before the downbeat.

i don't like it, personally, because the beats are off.  literalist that i am.  what does richter do?  it just seems awkward.

for instance - if you simply play the eighth ON the 7th beat - you are fully set up to play the sixteenth paired trills and they evenly come out at the end.  also, if you play starting the trill on the beat for the seventh beat of measure 11 - it also comes out perfectly even (F G F G, F G, F G ,F E-flat, G F.

measure 183 is definately showing that the trills here are ON the beat (as with m 44, 45, 46).  you have F# - then trill from G to Ab.  this is the way gilels plays it throughout - not making distinction between the sixteenth appoggiaturas and the eighth appoggiaturas - so he can start the trills on the beat.  at least that is the way i hear it.

just experimenting and wondering at the same time - because as i hear it - the trills that start on the main note actually accent the note better.  i mean - it's on the beat at measure 11.  the other places with eighth note starts (appogiaturas) seem to be a sort of 'pairing' to my ears.