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Author Topic: Tempo for Alla Turco  (Read 6451 times)
timothy42b
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« on: June 25, 2007, 09:14:31 AM »

Hope I spelled that correctly!  <g>

What would be a reasonable tempo range for this piece? 

It's on my "life list."  It's been fairly far down the list, but I was looking at it this weekend thinking maybe I'm getting close.  Depends on how fast it should go, though. 
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Tim

piano sheet music of Alla Turca
counterpoint
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2007, 11:33:08 AM »

It's always played too fast  Cheesy

Please note, that Mozart notated the first and the fifth note of the beginning as gracenotes, that means, they have to be played very expressive!
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daniloperusina
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2007, 11:50:52 PM »

Sorry, but you didn't!:) Alla Turca...(in turkish manner, as turkish things were supposed to be a bit in vougue at the time; see also the 'turkish' finale of violin concerto no 5 and the opera 'the abduction from the seraglio').

Sorry for ranting about. Anyway, I agree that it's probably not meant to be very fast, the tempo is indicated as "Allegretto" after all..

In english they call it 'Turkish March', which gives a good idea about tempo! A march is of course an accompaniment to marching soldiers, and is not meant as an exercise in speed.

I don't agree with what counterpoint says: "..Mozart notated the first and the fifth note of the beginning as gracenotes, that means, they have to be played very expressive!"
Rather, it was standard practice at the time to notate un-harmonious notes (i.e. not part of the chord) falling on strong beats, in the manner of grace notes. That is, it was purely an esthetic thing, the 'harmonically correct way' to notate, and had no expressive meaning.
The group of gracenote+8thnote+2x16thnotes is of course meant to be played as four 16th notes.
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counterpoint
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 07:18:51 AM »

I don't agree with what counterpoint says: "..Mozart notated the first and the fifth note of the beginning as gracenotes, that means, they have to be played very expressive!"
Rather, it was standard practice at the time to notate un-harmonious notes (i.e. not part of the chord) falling on strong beats, in the manner of grace notes. That is, it was purely an esthetic thing, the 'harmonically correct way' to notate, and had no expressive meaning.
The group of gracenote+8thnote+2x16thnotes is of course meant to be played as four 16th notes.

Perhaps a little misunderstanding? Of course they are played as four 16th notes! But the first of each group of four 16th notes has to be played with an expressive accentuation. And not - how it's often heard! - that the four 16th notes sound like a single figure of gracenotes to the following quarter note. The accent is on the upbeat, not on the downbeat. At least I understand it like that.
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daniloperusina
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 08:37:22 AM »

Perhaps a little misunderstanding?
No, I didn't mean that you said anything to the contrary, it was just my own statement.
But the first of each group of four 16th notes has to be played with an expressive accentuation.
This is where we don't agree..
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counterpoint
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2007, 09:08:55 AM »

Gracenotes are used to attract attention to special notes.
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daniloperusina
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2007, 12:21:05 PM »

Trills often end with a pair of gracenotes. They are not so special, nor do they need any specific attention or expression. This is just a case of avoiding an absurdly detailed rythmical notation, which would be difficult to read.
Gracenotes with a slash across only mean very fast, and if anything will draw attention to the note following.
Chopin's frequent use of a long row of gracenotes has more to do with rythmic liberty than a certain espressivity. In my opinion he uses that very word, 'espresivo', when he wants more sensitivity.
But please understand that I don't mean that it excludes the possibility to play gracenotes as something special. It's up to the interpreter to do what he/she thinks fit in every unique instance. But I heartily disagree that there's any such rule, as you seem to imply.
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jlh
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2007, 07:29:11 PM »

In english they call it 'Turkish March', which gives a good idea about tempo!

In Turkey they just call it "March", so I suggest asking someone from that region to specify a tempo...  Wink
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                 ___/\___
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timothy42b
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2007, 07:06:19 AM »

Well, I'm playing this as 4 even sixteenths.  Is that incorrect?

It sounds good to my ears between quarter = 110 and 120 MM, fast but not blurred.  Is this grossly wrong, or ball park? 
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Tim
jlh
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2007, 08:03:01 AM »

I'm on vacation without my metronome, so I couldn't say one way or another at the moment.  How about this speed?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM0wSNqA7f0
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                 ___/\___
  L   ______/             \
LOL "”””””””\         [ ] \
  L              \_________)
                 ___I___I___/
counterpoint
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2007, 08:27:29 AM »

In Turkey they just call it "March", so I suggest asking someone from that region to specify a tempo...  Wink

Here is an example of an original "turc march"

http://www.patkop.ch/sounds/002_hicaz_humayun_pesrevi.mp3

it's from a page about Mozart's music

http://www.patkop.ch/mozarttxt.htm


Here some more infos on wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_military_band
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counterpoint
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2007, 08:41:07 AM »

Well, I'm playing this as 4 even sixteenths.  Is that incorrect?

It sounds good to my ears between quarter = 110 and 120 MM, fast but not blurred.  Is this grossly wrong, or ball park? 

4 even 16th is correct (my point was only to accentuate the first of this four 16th)

"Normal" tempo in recordings of this movement is around quarter=160.

So 110 - 120 is very pleasing to me  Cheesy
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timothy42b
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2007, 01:08:06 PM »


"Normal" tempo in recordings of this movement is around quarter=160.


Thank you. 

while that is indeed what I was looking for, in hindsight I am glad you didn't say so right away.  That would have killed an interesting thread.
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Tim
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