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Moonlight vs. The Tempest (Read 12218 times)

Offline sakhmet

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Moonlight vs. The Tempest
« on: April 16, 2008, 02:06:10 AM »
Ok, I have this competition coming up in seven months and I am unsure as to what sonata to learn.  I have to learn either the first or last movement of one sonata and its a toss up between the third movement of The Tempest or the third movement of Moonlight Sonata.  Which do you think is a better show piece?   
The rest of my pieces are Heroique Polonaise by Chopin, Etude Tableaux Op 33 no 6 by Rachmaninoff, Prelude and Fugue in C Minor from the first Well Tempered Clavier by Bach, and there is a toss up between the first movement of BB 88 Bartok Sonata or Etude op 18 - 1 by Bartok.  I would really appreciate your opinion! WHich sonata do you think would compliment this regimen the most?

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Beethoven: Sonata 14 (Moonlight), opus 27 no 2
piano sheet music of Sonata 14 (Moonlight)


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Beethoven: Sonata 17 (The Tempest), opus 31 no 2
piano sheet music of Sonata 17 (The Tempest)


Offline ganymed

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #1 on: April 16, 2008, 03:22:33 PM »
The Tempest has a higher level of difficualty. It's longer all in all has a different rhythm and tempo. Looking at the first page you will see THREE different tempi: Largo Allegero and Adagio.

But if you are not that advanced, I would suggest to take the easier sonata among those these, i.e the moonlight sonata. It is more reasonable to take an easier piece and play it perfect than choosing a hard piece which you barely manage to perfect.
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Offline sakhmet

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #2 on: April 16, 2008, 03:26:47 PM »
That is true ganymed, but I am only learning the third movement of either one, and both movements are equal length.  I tried going with the shorter one but, as before mentioned, that didn't work out, :P
You know, I think I might go with Moonlight, because you are definitely right, The Tempest is harder and I don't really have a whole lot of time to learn it.  So, thank you!  I appreciate you responding, :D

Offline dan101

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #3 on: April 16, 2008, 05:50:49 PM »
Moonlight seems to be the popular choice, although I have a soft spot for the Tempest. It's such a powerful, yet reflective work. If you learn fast, I'd go for it.
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Offline remy

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #4 on: April 16, 2008, 07:35:26 PM »
That is true ganymed, but I am only learning the third movement of either one, and both movements are equal length.  I tried going with the shorter one but, as before mentioned, that didn't work out, :P
You know, I think I might go with Moonlight, because you are definitely right, The Tempest is harder and I don't really have a whole lot of time to learn it.  So, thank you!  I appreciate you responding, :D
For my fingers, the third movement of Moonlight is much harder than the third movement of Tempest.

Moonlight demands an incredibly light, even, and fast touch for the arpeggios.

It also requires much more stamina than Tempest does.

As for which is the better show piece, definitely Moonlight.


remy

Offline sakhmet

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #5 on: April 16, 2008, 08:31:42 PM »
For my fingers, the third movement of Moonlight is much harder than the third movement of Tempest.

Moonlight demands an incredibly light, even, and fast touch for the arpeggios.

It also requires much more stamina than Tempest does.

As for which is the better show piece, definitely Moonlight.


remy

Yeah, I was starting to play Moonlight earlier today and, I'm not going to lie, that beginning is pretty dang hard to get it sound light and airy.  I do agree with you that it is the more impressive show piece, but I have other pieces that might make up for the lack of.  I've always favored The Tempest myself, especially the third movement, its so beautiful, but I am trying to impress here, but I am on a tight schedule so maybe I will go with The Tempest.  I don't know, I'm still a little undecided.

Offline kevinr

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #6 on: April 17, 2008, 02:04:55 PM »
It's hard to compare because the difficulties are of a different type and it depends what your strengths and weaknesses are.

I would say that both pieces would suffer if you tried learting them and getting them up to tempo too quickly.

I you go for the Moonlight 3rd movt I would keep it at half speed for a good half of the period of time you have to learn it. Try to get the upward broken chords very light and even and perfectly synchronised with the staccato bass.  It might help to practise the RH staccato too. If you can manage this it will help you to keep relaxed without  you wrist getting tense and seized up.  It will also help to keep the broken chords soft, which will make the loud repeated chords at the top all the more striking.

If you can keep relaxed like this the movement should not really be too much of a trial of stamina because you will be able to pace yourself and reserve the ff moments to the places where they will have the most dramatic impact.

I you go for the Tempest 3rd movement, again I think you need to start slowly and get the currect articulation and rhythm.

At all cost avoid letting it sound as if it is in 6/8 time. The first 2 quavers of the LH opening bar (and the many similar bars) should be fingered 54. This is an awkward skip but allows you to hold on to the second quaver as Beethoven requires. Again, keeping to a slow tempo will help you to achieve the right feel for the rhythm and time signature. The end of this movement is also a bit treacherous with its diminuendo on a downward arpeggio and soft ending.  At least with the Moonlight you can finish with 2 resounding loud chords!

Perhaps it might be worth stariting to learn both movements at half tempo then, depending on how you progress, making a decision on which to go with after a month or so.


Offline goldentone

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #7 on: April 18, 2008, 08:12:28 PM »
Moonlight wins over Tempest as far as a showpiece.  The last movement of Tempest seems to have a natural pianistic flow to it, that for me makes it easier to play.
It does require dynamic sensitivity.
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Offline welltemperedpianist

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #8 on: April 18, 2008, 11:43:18 PM »
hmmm... I dont know if I would choose either Moonlight or Tempest for a competition. Especially the Moonlight -- go with Tempest.

Offline jinfiesto

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008, 04:57:51 AM »
I dunno. I think that the rest of your program is pretty showy. You could do with something a little more  less show-oriented in your program, at least in my opinion. Plus, the Tempest is really a place to show off how musical you can be.

Offline imbetter

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #10 on: May 16, 2008, 10:35:45 AM »
I wouldn't do either if you plan on winning.
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Offline invictious

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 04:49:15 PM »
Is your choice only limited to those two movements? As imbetter said, they are overdone and pretty much every interpretation has been exhausted.

But if they are your only choice, then I would do Tempest, it is probably marginally less overplayed than the Moonlight.
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Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 08:22:30 PM »
You still have six months, I gather.. Which did you select?
There is less variation in musical content in Tempest 3rd (i.e, moonlight has a greater variety of musical ideas, i.e more diverse sections). It would require the better musician to do the Tempest, and the better pianist to do the Moonlight. The latter is the more virtuosic I'd say. I think the Tempest is quite easy technically, but any shortcomings you might have as a musician will be even more obvious than in the Moonlight. 8 minutes of never ending 16th notes will require the utmost of your ability in shaping musical lines.

The same could of course be said about the Moonlight...musical masterpieces of the highest order are never easy, not even for a second..

Offline sakhmet

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #13 on: May 23, 2008, 08:42:55 PM »
You still have six months, I gather.. Which did you select?
There is less variation in musical content in Tempest 3rd (i.e, moonlight has a greater variety of musical ideas, i.e more diverse sections). It would require the better musician to do the Tempest, and the better pianist to do the Moonlight. The latter is the more virtuosic I'd say. I think the Tempest is quite easy technically, but any shortcomings you might have as a musician will be even more obvious than in the Moonlight. 8 minutes of never ending 16th notes will require the utmost of your ability in shaping musical lines.

The same could of course be said about the Moonlight...musical masterpieces of the highest order are never easy, not even for a second..

I ended up picking The Tempest, because it was more easy than Moonlight and quite frankly I don't have a whole lot of time.  I did change the Bartok piece because I don't have time to learn 18 pages either.  What I'm going to play instead of that is a much more modern piece, Dizzy Fingers by Zez Confrey which I already knew, so that makes it easier. 

Offline sakhmet

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #14 on: May 23, 2008, 08:44:05 PM »
Is your choice only limited to those two movements? As imbetter said, they are overdone and pretty much every interpretation has been exhausted.

But if they are your only choice, then I would do Tempest, it is probably marginally less overplayed than the Moonlight.

No, I could pick any sonata, it just had to be either the first or last movement.  What would you recommend instead of these two?  I know that the moonlight is way overplayed, thats another reason why I was a little leary about picking  that one.

Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #15 on: May 24, 2008, 01:12:35 AM »
It's a delicate balance...
You need to demonstrate a certain 'awareness', otherwise you could be judged to be a not 100% serious contender.
That is, do not pick the sonatas that are never played, i.e Op 54, Op 31:3.

On the other hand, the jury will have heard (and played themselves) Op2:1, Op2:3, Pathetique, Moonlight, Appasionata, Waldstein and Op 109 roughly 1 million times already..

Familiar, but less 'overplayed' (and good choices) are perhaps:
Op 10:1
Op 10:3
Op 14:2
Op 31:1
Op 101
Op 110

I've deliberately excluded some, like Opp 7 & 22 (too 'big'); Opp 14:1, 78 & 90 (reputation for being 'easy', although not true).

I still think Tempest third is quite a good choice anyway. Why? Because when played well it can be simultaneously: beautiful, brutal, sensitive, majestic, introspective, uproarish....you will at least have won the jury's heart! But you'll have to play top-notch for that, of course..




Offline dnephi

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #16 on: May 24, 2008, 11:58:58 AM »
It's a delicate balance...
You need to demonstrate a certain 'awareness', otherwise you could be judged to be a not 100% serious contender.
That is, do not pick the sonatas that are never played, i.e Op 54, Op 31:3.

On the other hand, the jury will have heard (and played themselves) Op2:1, Op2:3, Pathetique, Moonlight, Appasionata, Waldstein and Op 109 roughly 1 million times already..

Familiar, but less 'overplayed' (and good choices) are perhaps:
Op 10:1
Op 10:3
Op 14:2
Op 31:1
Op 101
Op 110

I've deliberately excluded some, like Opp 7 & 22 (too 'big'); Opp 14:1, 78 & 90 (reputation for being 'easy', although not true).

I still think Tempest third is quite a good choice anyway. Why? Because when played well it can be simultaneously: beautiful, brutal, sensitive, majestic, introspective, uproarish....you will at least have won the jury's heart! But you'll have to play top-notch for that, of course..




31-3 is quite often played by professionals.  It is neglected by young students because it's very difficult. 

It's an excellent sonata and worthy of performance

I also wonder why you'd think to recommend Opp. 101 and 110 to a student who is probably not even advanced enough for Op. 27 No. 2. 
For us musicians, the music of Beethoven is the pillar of fire and cloud of mist which guided the Israelites through the desert.  (Roughly quoted, Franz Liszt.)

Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #17 on: May 25, 2008, 02:18:38 AM »
You are of course absolutely right, I mixed up the opus numbers.
Make 31:1 and 31:3 change places in my post.

It's difficult to know what to suggest when you don't know what someone is capable of, how old he is, or what sort of competition it is. Certainly, there are situations where late Beethoven could backfire rather than impress, on that I agree.



Offline dnephi

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #18 on: May 25, 2008, 08:41:56 PM »
No harm done- Thanks for the feedback.
For us musicians, the music of Beethoven is the pillar of fire and cloud of mist which guided the Israelites through the desert.  (Roughly quoted, Franz Liszt.)

Offline sakhmet

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #19 on: May 31, 2008, 01:52:34 AM »
31-3 is quite often played by professionals.  It is neglected by young students because it's very difficult. 

It's an excellent sonata and worthy of performance

I also wonder why you'd think to recommend Opp. 101 and 110 to a student who is probably not even advanced enough for Op. 27 No. 2. 

I can play Moonlight, just not the third movement, thank you!  I know you don't know me and I didn't say anything about my skill level, but it was kind of insulting.

Offline thierry13

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #20 on: May 31, 2008, 02:00:56 AM »
I can play Moonlight, just not the third movement, thank you!  I know you don't know me and I didn't say anything about my skill level, but it was kind of insulting.

Hrm, he was actually talking about the whole sonata, so obviously the 3rd movement, so he was again obviously right, and you should not be complaining about anything. He did not say anything harsh.

Offline eddie54

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #21 on: May 31, 2008, 05:59:22 AM »
i think the 3rd movement of the tempest is much more of an interesting piece, and it demands a different kind of technique.....metronome work in the beginning is advised, since there's a "pulse" to the entire song that you'll want to keep.....3rd movement of the moonlight to me is just more of a technique showoff piece, and there is much more opportunities for error.....in fact, I had a master class at usc with john perry about the last movement of the tempest, so i can get the score out and see what notes he/i marked for any insights, etc.....

Offline rasteen

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #22 on: June 01, 2008, 01:59:56 AM »
You mentioned that you wanted to know which is the better "show piece." Based on that, I would go with the last movement of the "Moonlight." It is very exciting and sounds quite like a virtuoso piece.

I ADORE the "Tempest" and the last movement is thrilling.  BUT I have heard a great variety of interpretations porffered among adjudicators in the past years.  For that reason, the "Moonlinght" is "safer" from an interpretive viewpoint.

I know that sounds crass, and none of us want to be accused of "selling out" to win. But at competitions, it is best not to unnecessarily risk "turning off" a judge with an interpretation that they don't like.

Just my opinion. Best of luck!
Ron Steen
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Offline chun

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #23 on: June 09, 2008, 01:23:42 AM »
i think that the 3rd movement of Beethoven Moonlight sonata is much more better. Even though it is only mostly appegios, it still sounds nice and learning those appegios are not easy. The dynamics are so important in that piece.

Offline sborovic

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #24 on: June 09, 2008, 12:37:02 PM »
What I'm going to play instead of that is a much more modern piece, Dizzy Fingers by Zez Confrey which I already knew, so that makes it easier. 

Why? :( Also, it doesn't seem classical... ?

Offline sakhmet

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #25 on: June 09, 2008, 08:50:14 PM »
Why? :( Also, it doesn't seem classical... ?

Well, no, it's not classical.  I had to have a modern piece and I originally picked out a Bartok Sonata to do but, quite frankly, I don't have time to learn it and ragtime is very modern (more modern than the original) and it shows that I can do both classical and ragtime/stride. 

Offline thierry13

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #26 on: June 09, 2008, 09:29:05 PM »
Well, no, it's not classical.  I had to have a modern piece and I originally picked out a Bartok Sonata to do but, quite frankly, I don't have time to learn it and ragtime is very modern (more modern than the original) and it shows that I can do both classical and ragtime/stride. 

You're going to play ragtime in a piano competition ... no comments. Why don't you improvise on a Britney Spears song! I guess that would be even more modern than your ragtime. And it will be much more personnal since it will be improvisation. How about that?

Offline dnephi

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #27 on: June 09, 2008, 09:43:33 PM »
Hey, ragtime's acceptable.  What about Bolcom?
For us musicians, the music of Beethoven is the pillar of fire and cloud of mist which guided the Israelites through the desert.  (Roughly quoted, Franz Liszt.)

Offline thierry13

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #28 on: June 09, 2008, 10:45:57 PM »
Hey, ragtime's acceptable.

Barely ... not really in fact.

Offline sborovic

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #29 on: June 10, 2008, 01:30:44 PM »
Barely ... not really in fact.

I second that :)

Offline sakhmet

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Re: Moonlight vs. The Tempest
«Reply #30 on: June 19, 2008, 07:47:50 PM »
You're going to play ragtime in a piano competition ... no comments. Why don't you improvise on a Britney Spears song! I guess that would be even more modern than your ragtime. And it will be much more personnal since it will be improvisation. How about that?

Ok then, you seem to know what you are talking about.  What piece would you recommend to someone who has limited time?