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question on beethoven's appassionata (Read 8510 times)

Offline pianistimo

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question on beethoven's appassionata
« on: March 16, 2007, 04:13:10 PM »
ok.  this is not performance related (as i digitally speeded this up so icould see what it sounded like)

now, my question is from something i've been pondering.  the trills in opus 47 do not sound bad when paired with the eighth note appoggiaturas instead of a higher trill.  take a listen.  tell me if it apostasy or if it sounds kinda good.  i start the trill on the beat at measure 11 - and with an eighth note on the appoggiatura'd note elsewhere.

i can play this piece 100% faster, i believe, this way later on.  in measure 23 - i would play the appogiatura as a sixteenth note instead of an eighth and and just make it C Db all the way. 

try it and it eliminates a lot of awkward passages.  the only thing is - that the consistency of the the idea of measure 11 (taking the top note instead of bottom auxillary -appogiatura) compared to measures 3 and 7 do not 'match up.'  11 having the top note of the final turn in the trill - the way it is normally played.

what bothers me is that i do not like the jump from the auxillary note TO the highest note of the trill and then trilling down.  in any case i prefer starting on the main note.  i will play it the second way that i mean.  using the eighth on the beat of beat 7 and then trilling upwards D-natural to E-natural.

piano sheet music of Sonata 23 (Appassionata)


Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #1 on: March 16, 2007, 04:25:34 PM »
second version - with eighth note appoggiatura still on beat 7 - but trilling from bottom to top note (instead of lower auxillary or appoggiatura to main note).

i guess i like the second way.  now, the accidental signs that are before the trill indicate what to do with the second note (upper auxillary) of the trill, right?!  therefore we are talking about naturalizing the E on the first trill.  is this correct?


Offline thracozaag

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #2 on: March 16, 2007, 04:33:08 PM »
now, my question is from something i've been pondering. the trills in opus 47 [sic] do not sound bad when paired with the eighth note appogiaturas instead of a higher trill.

  It doesn't sound particularly "good", either.

koji
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #3 on: March 16, 2007, 04:36:26 PM »
i concur.  it just makes playing it allegro assai - much MUCH easier.  but, the second way - adding in the upper note of the trill - but keeping it flowing from the appoggiatura to the main note to the upper - seems smoother and more unobtrusive to me than skipping from the appoggiatura to the upper note of the trill.  what do you think, koji? 


Offline zheer

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #4 on: March 16, 2007, 06:46:45 PM »
   I like to play C (grace note) like a quater note , up to D, also quater note and then the E natural the sarting point for the trill.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #5 on: March 16, 2007, 06:58:05 PM »
but isn't that changing what the composer wrote.  or is that your point?  that myfirst idea isn't what beethoven intended.

and,  i'm really curious to understand that the natural in front of the trill sign truly does indicate the SECOND (upper auxillary) and not the main note.  sometimes reading this music gets confusing.  i was thinking that i'd see TWO naturals indicating both notes.  but, this is obviously not the case - i suppose- since the first note is written anyways.  now, the parenthesis means that the accidental is NOT in the key signature?  as with measure 44 (Cb)?


Offline zheer

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #6 on: March 16, 2007, 07:06:51 PM »
but isn't that changing what the composer wrote.  or is that your point?  that myfirst idea isn't what beethoven intended.

  We know that beethoven was one hell of a improviser, my theory teacher told me once that Beethovens improvisation was probably better than what he wrote. So with that thought in mind i think it's a reasonable to assume that what sounds best is correct, so for me thats how to play it, for someone else possibly not.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #7 on: March 16, 2007, 07:12:17 PM »
you are very creative, zheer, and i agree that often the average listener just likes to hear what sounds good.  but, if you also play for a piano teacher - don't you worry that they will say - 'wait a minute. that is not what is written here.' 

i suppose i should make it a happy medium.  after all, when performing from memory i'm never sure if all the notes are as written - and usually rely on the best of my recollection AND what sounds good to me.

glad you like to improvise and be natural instead of force yourself into something that doesn't feel or sound comfortable to you.   

Offline zheer

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #8 on: March 16, 2007, 07:20:37 PM »
- don't you worry that they will say - 'wait a minute. that is not what is written here.'

  A wrong note is a wrong note, however how we play  the correct notes is where as performers we can be creative.

  BTW when you have time could you record the third possibility.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #9 on: March 16, 2007, 07:25:20 PM »
the third piano concerto?  the third what?  what do you think of his fourth piano concerto?  i have that one.  i've learned three pages.  oh...this appassionata with your idea.  sure!  let me just get myself together.  mentally.  changing one thing changes everything. 

Offline zheer

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #10 on: March 16, 2007, 07:26:55 PM »
 The third way of playing the trill OBVIOUSLeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #11 on: March 16, 2007, 07:33:43 PM »
is this what you mean?

ok.  i'm no gilels.  he plays the appoggiatura before the beat.  i cannot, in good conscience, imitate that.  it seems dishonest to try to sqeeze that eighth beat before the downbeat of two.  just a quirk i have.  but, the passage is played by gilels in the thread below this one where the appassionata is played by hummel.  he makes it sound convincing - so it's not out of the question.  it just moves the beat around and you have to keep 'fixing.'  you know what i mean?  cheating the first six beats.  i suppose everyone has preferences as to how it 'should' sound.

btw, no offense to hummel because i think he's quite talented and ambitious to learn so much music.  and, his appassionata sounds convincing.  sometimes i get really perfectionistic about rhythms.  nevermind me.

is there a doctor in the house.  what do people think beethoven actually did with this appoggiatura.  play it BEFORE the beat or ON the beat?

Offline zheer

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #12 on: March 16, 2007, 07:39:30 PM »
  No, the trill has to start on E natural, but its a trill on D, if you know what i mean.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #13 on: March 16, 2007, 07:40:35 PM »
yes.  that skip is EXACTLY what bothers me.  it is 'unnatural.'  not flowing.

#1  C E D E D...
#2   C D E D E D  (with C on the 7th beat - D and E on 8 and so forth)  it comes out evenly this way at the end with the turn on beat 11 being D C and then E D.

oh.  i see what you mean.  the C and E on the beats of 7 and 8 and then the trill D E D E on 9 and 10?  ok.

Offline zheer

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #14 on: March 16, 2007, 07:49:49 PM »
what do people think beethoven actually did with this appoggiatura.  play it BEFORE the beat or ON the beat?

 Who knows, but before the beat, so it's C - D - E natural on the beat and the the begining of the trill on D.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #15 on: March 16, 2007, 07:52:24 PM »
zheer, i think you are very astute.  this is also another good alternative to keeping the appogiatura on the beat of 7 and still making the trill come out correctly at the end.  hmm.  i'll pratice it both ways and see which way comes out the best.  THANK YOU!

the second way, as i see it, is C on beat 7,  D and E on beat 8 (starting trill on D) and continuing trill until the end where beat 11 has a D before the C.

Offline zheer

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #16 on: March 16, 2007, 07:53:37 PM »
  Sorry i mean semi quaver.
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Offline zheer

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #17 on: March 16, 2007, 07:58:03 PM »
zheer, i think you are very astute.  this is also another good alternative to keeping the appogiatura on the beat of 7 and still making the trill come out correctly at the end.  hmm.  i'll pratice it both ways and see which way comes out the best.  THANK YOU!

the second way, as i see it, is C on beat 7,  D and E on beat 8 (starting trill on D) and continuing trill until the end where beat 11 has a D before the C.

  Ammmmmmmmm, you know the grace note, could you play it as a semi quaver followed by the D semi quaver, then the E natural on the beat , however its a trill on D.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #18 on: March 16, 2007, 08:02:34 PM »
why do you always want to put the E natural on the beat?  i am starting to get perfectionistically irritated.  i don't like hearing the jarring E-natural first.  that means there's more of them.  i want more D's.  you see, this is my problem.  i like the flow of D to E and i like the D to be on the beat of 8.  making the C a full eighth or 'quaver' and the two notes D and E together on beat 8.

it comes out evenly with mp3 #2 (second example) and your way (third - but both notes eighth - and the trill starting on beat 9 starting on D.  ie  C - 7,  E - 8 , DE - 9 ...

have you heard it the third way that you suggested by a concert artist that you know?  or, do you like the way it sounds.  i do like it.  i will alternate between the two because i like th e trills to start on D.  they have to at beat 11 to come out at the turn evenly.  i simply repeat the F again.  F G... to beat 10 where F and E-natural come together (semi-quavers)

Offline zheer

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #19 on: March 16, 2007, 08:16:27 PM »
why do you always want to put the E natural on the beat?


  Hmmmmmmm, well thats the only way that i play it.











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Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #20 on: March 16, 2007, 08:24:59 PM »
you get measure 11 to come out even by playing F on beat 7 - G on beat 8 - and FG on beat 9 - FG on beat 10  - FE on beat 11 - and G F on beat 12?

Offline jlh

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #21 on: March 16, 2007, 09:37:23 PM »
I still think the D is the principle (lower) note of the trill in measure 3.  ;)

You asked what Richter did?  Here's a link of him playing the beginning of this sonata:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/music/wma-pop-up/B000003EUL001005/ref=mu_sam_wma_001_005/102-0764223-5481727

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Offline jlh

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #22 on: March 16, 2007, 09:39:34 PM »
Also, if anyone would like to read the beginnings of this discussion, here's the link:

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

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #23 on: March 16, 2007, 10:27:48 PM »
i can play this piece 100% faster, i believe, this way later on.  in measure 23 - i would play the appogiatura as a sixteenth note instead of an eighth and and just make it C Db all the way. 

try it and it eliminates a lot of awkward passages.  the only thing is - that the consistency of the the idea of measure 11 (taking the top note instead of bottom auxillary -appogiatura) compared to measures 3 and 7 do not 'match up.'  11 having the top note of the final turn in the trill - the way it is normally played.

I would caution you not to make wild interpretations of what you think Beethoven meant based soley on the ease at which you can play it.  That borders on cheating.  :)
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Offline teresa_b

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #24 on: March 16, 2007, 11:08:01 PM »
I tried to follow this discussion and now I'm dizzy!  :o  I don't think there is too much in Beethoven's writing here that is open to changing.  He is explicit about the grace notes and the trills.  You shouldn't change the actual notes of the trills, such as playing C-D-flat instead of C-D-flat-E-flat in measure 23.  Whether you play the appogiatura on the downbeat or slightly before is an agogic choice, although I would play them mostly on the downbeat. 

I don't know anyone who would insist on skipping the principle note in meas. 3 and going from the appogiatura dierectly to the auxiliary.  That would sound weird and disconnected.  It is C-D-E not C-E-D. 

By the way, pianistimo, if you are planning to work on PC no 4, I am performing it next month, so I'm pretty familiar with it.  If you have any questions, I guarantee I've probably already asked them!  :)

Teresa

Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #25 on: March 17, 2007, 07:22:25 PM »
thanks jlh and theresab!  i really appreciate the thoughtful replies.  unfortunately, my computer is not compatible with the listening features for the amazon site that has richter playing.  can you tell me what he does?  i'm very curious.  and, agreed with theresa that the trill itself is separate from the appoggiatura (just saying it's easier to play without three separate notes and only two).  so what you are both saying is that the accidental written before the trill sign is definately referring to the upper auxillary of the trill (the E-natural in beat 3) and not to the first note of the trill (the D-natural).

that is now the interpretation that i see (especially since we have a definate useage of the third note in measure 11).  now, in my henle version - measure 11 starts with the upper note (auxillary) of the trill because of the previous note being the same F.  why do i not like this?  i just like to hear the F again.  is this ok?  so it would be F and then FGFGFGFGFEbGF  (you see how it comes out perfectly even).  please say yes.  but, it's ok if you disagree.

zheer has a good point.  if you really want to make it come out even and play the trill from the top - make the first two notes eighth notes.  it sounds like a slow trill starting and then getting faster.  i guess as long as one is consistent!

Offline jlh

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #26 on: March 17, 2007, 09:36:12 PM »
so what you are both saying is that the accidental written before the trill sign is definately referring to the upper auxillary of the trill (the E-natural in beat 3) and not to the first note of the trill (the D-natural).

Yes, the accidental on the trill sign is definitely referring to the upper auxillary note. (The D is already natural because of beat 6).

that is now the interpretation that i see (especially since we have a definate useage of the third note in measure 11).  now, in my henle version - measure 11 starts with the upper note (auxillary) of the trill because of the previous note being the same F.  why do i not like this?  i just like to hear the F again.  is this ok?  so it would be F and then FGFGFGFGFEbGF  (you see how it comes out perfectly even).  please say yes.  but, it's ok if you disagree.

I see 2 problems with starting the trill on the F:  1) Like you said, it is preceded by the F, and 2) The trill should start on the upper note.

Remember that it's a trill, not written out notes to be played exactly the same duration and an exact amount of notes (as I interpret the trill in this context).  When you see a trill above a quarter note in boroque music, it means that the trill should have at minimum 4 smaller-duration notes, and resting on the principle note.  You can trill with MORE notes than that, but that amount is required.  Even more so in Beethoven's music, for this trill there is a minimum amount of ornamental notes required, but it is ok to add more notes, as long as the rhythm of the main beats is not altered.  So if you end up with an uneven amount of 16th notes for this trill, add one.  Richter actually plays a lot more notes here, making it sound as if he's playing 32nd notes for the trill -- and there is a bit of breathing room in the trill... it starts out slower, gets faster, then comes back to 16th notes for the last 3 notes in the measure.  He also begins the trill with the appogiatura ON beat 7.

Wilhelm Kempff actually plays yet another lower appogiatura on this measure, keeping it consistant with the other instances of the trill.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #27 on: March 18, 2007, 12:39:48 AM »
when you said 'richter begins the trill with the appoggiatura ON beat 7' - are you referring to measure 11 or the other trills as well?  i'm happy that i guessed this about him, because i like to hear it that way.  thank you for the insight.

kempff is also a pianist that i love.  and it did occur to me - that very thing - to add an appoggiatura here.  i suppose it shows a consistancy of idea.

Offline jlh

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #28 on: March 18, 2007, 08:17:21 AM »
when you said 'richter begins the trill with the appoggiatura ON beat 7' - are you referring to measure 11 or the other trills as well?  i'm happy that i guessed this about him, because i like to hear it that way.  thank you for the insight.

kempff is also a pianist that i love.  and it did occur to me - that very thing - to add an appoggiatura here.  i suppose it shows a consistancy of idea.

Richter plays basically the same way for every trill, except unlike Kempff, he does not add the appoggiatura where it is not written in the score.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: question on beethoven's appassionata
«Reply #29 on: March 20, 2007, 08:37:56 AM »
oh.  i see.  thank you so much for explaining this.  i don't have so much knowledge of how to  play the latter sonatas and working through this helps me solidify which sort of sounds to expect here.  people would have gagged at my first idea, probably - but hey, if you look through the entire piece - it COULD be misleading if you don't knowthe accidental refers to the SECOND note (upper aux) of the trill.  and, i shall follow  my hero richter on using the appogiatura on the beat. 

it's not wrong either way, probably.  just a preference. 

i am curious what what the 'performance practice' of beethoven's time.  you're saying the trills should start ON the beat with the upper auxillary note to stay within performance practices of the time? 

is the appoggiatura on the beat a carry over from the classical era - and having it slightly before would be the 'romantic' way of playing beethoven?  what theorists of beethoven's time explain the way these things were played?  does beethoven anywhere - explain?  or do any of his students?