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Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance (Read 8804 times)

Offline teresa_b

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Hi All,

In April I played the Beethoven PC 4, Chamber version, with the Chamber Orch. of Florida.  I won't post the 1st and 3rd movements, because this version is copyrighted as of 1995.  However, the second movement is the original version, except in this case with fewer strings.  

The recording is not the greatest, as it's taken from a DVD, and the mic'ing did not pick up the strings so well.  They sounded significantly louder in the concert hall.

Hope you like!  :)
Teresa

As of 6/29 I have a somewhat better-balanced copy of the recording.  I posted it second.  Feedback welcome!

piano sheet music of Piano Concerto 4


Offline pianistimo

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #1 on: June 05, 2007, 03:24:30 PM »
i think the tempo was a donkey's pace - but you play soooo well.  theresa_b - i really like your playing.

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #2 on: June 05, 2007, 07:22:27 PM »
Thanks for the compliment, pianistimo  (Although the donkey comparison seems a little harsh ???) ...Tempo can vary (within reason) according to taste.  I am aware that some recent interpreters have suggested this movement be played with more strict attention to the con moto marking. 

My time was almost exactly 5:00 minutes.  Out of curiosity, I pulled out several of my recordings of this, and here are the times:

Schnabel--4:55     Levin--5:14     Gilels--5:47    Moravec--6:09    Ashkenazy--6:13

All the best,
Teresa


Offline pianistimo

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #3 on: June 05, 2007, 07:25:27 PM »
well, i suppose it was harsh, considering that others have played it slower.  but, the thing is - it had no momentum.  sometimes i felt that it was suspended in time.  it was ALL the orchestra's fault.  not yours.  they started first.  i don't know how you held it together.  personally, i'd like to hear it a slight bit faster.  enough to get nudges forward from the last phrasing.

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #4 on: June 05, 2007, 07:58:48 PM »
Well, thanks for qualifying it--And of course, I didn't have control over the strings.  Not to make any excuses, but the whole concerto was very difficult to hold together, as we had exactly ONE rehearsal (except for a very short one immediately before the concert). 

I've done 4 Mozarts and this Beethoven with this group, and they are really excellent--but every time, there is only one full rehearsal.  I've made my own share of goof-ups, but I've also had to deal with suddenly being surprised with a faster tempo than I had planned on, the orchestra not being quite together at some points, and such things that make life interesting. 

Teresa

Offline el nino

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #5 on: June 05, 2007, 08:41:52 PM »
i think the tempo is ok. just i would like to hear some more colors.

Offline pianistimo

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #6 on: June 05, 2007, 11:10:11 PM »
overall - i think you're really great theresa_b.  you have a feel for mozart and beethoven.  it's not 'static' per se... i just wanted a little bit more speed.  personally, i feel the speed would bring out the colors more.  i think they go together.  just a notch or two above the tempo that was used.  maybe even keep that tempo for certain parts - and another slightly faster one for the beginning.  to me, the beginning tempo didn't 'grab' me.

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #7 on: June 06, 2007, 09:41:20 PM »
Thanks, pianistimo.  if we ever get another chance to perform it, I'll suggest to the conductor to begin a bit more "con moto".  I also admire your touch with Mozart--I don't think I've heard any of your Beethoven.

Teresa

Offline prongated

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #8 on: June 21, 2007, 02:43:58 PM »
...musically delightful! You didn't turn sentimental, but you kept it elegant.

Did you get any encores?

Offline el nino

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #9 on: June 21, 2007, 07:57:31 PM »
true,it is elegant,not sentimental. but this movement is maybe even the most sentimental piece of music beethoven has ever written. that's why personally this interpretation didn't "grab me". but still it's just my opinion.

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #10 on: June 29, 2007, 11:04:30 PM »
Hi guys,

Thanks for the input!  I posted a slightly better rebalanced recording at the top.  See if you find it any more satisfying. 

Prongated, thanks-- nope, no encores!  After playing the entire PC 4, I was pretty exhausted. 

El nino, if it didn't grab you, that's OK--I respect your opinion, but I differ with you on the sentimental aspect.  Emotion is one thing, but sentimentality is too superficial an emotion for Beethoven.  To me, this piece is a dialogue, a profound expression of a sad resignation that persists--and in the end, triumphs--in the face of an outwardly more powerful emotion--anger? 

An overly sentimental interpretation could turn it into a melodrama, which in my view, it is pointedly not.

Teresa

Offline rachfan

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #11 on: July 04, 2007, 05:52:04 PM »
Hi teresa,

I just listened to your later posting of this movement, and really enjoyed it!  You played it with an approach offering great purity of sound and sensitivity.  I believe your interpretation for bringing out the poetry, but restraining sentimentality, was correct.  While Beethoven and Schubert were transitional composers between Viennese Classicism and Romanticism--and, to a large extent, the precursors of Romanticism--it takes the judgment you showed in performance to avoid excesses.  From the numbering, we quickly think of the 4th as a late concerto.  Yet this concerto was composed during 1805-1807, which would be considered Beethoven's "middle period"!  (Think of his Sonata Op. 78 from that same period, for example.)  He lived until 1827.   

It sounded too as though you had a sympathetic conductor who carefully maintained the ensemble balance with the piano.  You lucked out with the piano as well--not too mellow so as to make playing with the other instruments a struggle, but not so bright as to overshadow the strings either.  Congratulations on this fine performance!   
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #12 on: July 04, 2007, 11:44:15 PM »
Thanks, rach--I truly appreciate your comments!  I feel exactly the way you do about the interpretation of this.  It is one of those quintessential Beethoven works that exemplifies the "paradox" of simplicity being bound up with complexity.  As you know, it's quite  challenging to instill emotion without lapsing into an overly romantic rubato. 

Anyway, thank you fopr listening!  And please post more of your recordings.

All the best,
Teresa

Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #13 on: July 05, 2007, 01:30:46 AM »
I think it's too fast. And phrases sound a bit rushed. You make the piano sound very 'sad' when you begin, and that's beautiful. But I think you loose the sadness a bit by not employing more rubato, especially at phrase-ends. Perhaps you could have let the trill-section take a bit more time? Now it sounds almost as if you're counting the beats..

But this is nit-picking! You play it quite beautifully already!

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #14 on: July 05, 2007, 01:18:49 PM »
Thanks, dani--

I'll take your suggestion and listen closely to those phrase endings and the trill section.  (It might be that I was a little too focused on the beats--with one orchestra rehearsal it's scary.)  As to the tempo, it seems that this is very subjective-- If you noted pianistimo's comments near the top, it is too slow! 

Thanks for the nice words, though!
Teresa

Offline quantum

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #15 on: July 06, 2007, 12:19:26 AM »
I really don't have any complaints towards your tempo, as it is a big part of any interpretation.  I think you can still achieve the momentum Pianistimo is talking about while still staying in your tempo.  By thinking of the directionality and shape of the phrases, you can lead the melodies onwards towards small goal points within the phrase structure.  All this can still be done in tempo because it happens in between the big beats. 

I like your controlled yet expressive interpretation, wonderful tone.  :)
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #16 on: July 06, 2007, 11:31:23 AM »
Quantum, thanks for the comments--I will think "momentum."   :)

Teresa

Offline quantum

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #17 on: July 06, 2007, 12:17:19 PM »
Quantum, thanks for the comments--I will think "momentum."   :)

Teresa

Actually what my teacher used to say to me is "push to the end of the phrase" or "look for where the phrase is going, and go there".  You don't do this with all phrases to avoid sounding the same all the time but it is the general idea.  The push and pull happens in between the beats while big beats stay in constant tempo.  The result is expressive phrasing within a relatively steady beat.

BTW, did you read Nils' post on copyright for the audition room?  It's a sticky.  I think you can post the other two movements because we are allowed contemporary music in here.  It's the sheets request board where we can't post copyrighted stuff.  Besides I'd really like to hear the rest  ;D
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #18 on: July 06, 2007, 09:57:48 PM »
Thanks, Quantum,

I'd like to post the other movements, but I am concerned, because the rights to this chamber version are held by Dr. Kuethen in Germany, and we had to get express permission to perform it once.  We had to register the performance, with date, etc, through ASCAP and GEMA (the German equivalent).  There may be an issue with royalties, etc, so I don't want to take that chance. 

There is a very nice commercial recording of this version by Robert Levin on period instruments--there are a lot of embellishments in the 1st movement that are no in the "original" PC.

All the best,
Teresa

Offline thalberg

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #19 on: July 06, 2007, 10:31:59 PM »
 There is nothing unusual in the least about your tempo.  It's totally appropriate.

I like your sound quality a lot--really beautiful.  I agree with what they said about goal points in the phrases.  End of the movement was lovely.

Offline quantum

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #20 on: July 07, 2007, 12:10:31 AM »
Teresa, best  thing to do is ask Nils.  Send him a PM.  This arrangement may just be covered in the site's license.  It won't hurt to ask.
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 -- Second Mvt, live performance
«Reply #21 on: July 07, 2007, 01:56:50 AM »
Thanks, guys!   :)  I'll ask, quantum.

Teresa