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Topic: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3  (Read 5440 times)

Offline arvhaax93

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Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
on: September 18, 2009, 03:26:23 AM
I'm having trouble with the first and second movements.  For the first movements I'm playing the piece around 72 bpm per quarter note and I understand that it's the speed that makes this song difficult.  How should I go about speeding this song up?  For the second movement I'm having troubles with tempo, I cannot keep a stable tempo.  For the beginning part where there are 8th notes I keep a slow tempo, but once i get to the 16th notes starting with the D, I speed the tempo up a little bit because I think it fits the mood better.  I'm also playing this movement for judges next month and I'm not sure if judges will take off for tempo.  Also, the section of the movement where there are consecutive 32nd notes, I increase the tempo quite a bit to match the mood (as well)  These tempo changes within the song, I think, fit it perfectly, but my teacher says that I should keep one tempo throughout.  Is it normal to change tempos for a song in different sections that match the mood or should I keep one relative tempo throughout the whole movement?  If you think it should be one tempo throughout the whole thing, what would be an ideal tempo?
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Mozart Sonata in D Major K. 284
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Offline allthumbs

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #1 on: September 18, 2009, 08:02:15 AM
If you want some help, no one is going to take you seriously if you refer a piece of piano music as a 'song'. The term 'song' infers that it is music which has lyrics, which is not the case to the piece you are referring to.
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Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #2 on: September 18, 2009, 09:44:13 AM
If you want some help, no one is going to take you seriously if you refer a piece of piano music as a 'song'. The term 'song' infers that it is music which has lyrics, which is not the case to the piece you are referring to.

And nobody is going to take you serious if youre trying to destroy his question because of usage of 1 word. Its a serious question, dont answer it with childish stuff.
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Offline allthumbs

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #3 on: September 18, 2009, 06:07:46 PM
And nobody is going to take you serious if youre trying to destroy his question because of usage of 1 word. Its a serious question, dont answer it with childish stuff.

Feel free to answer the question then. His/Her word usage was incorrect, I merely pointed it out to him/her for future reference.

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Offline kay3087

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #4 on: September 19, 2009, 12:16:10 AM
Quote
I'm having trouble with the first and second movements.  For the first movements I'm playing the piece around 72 bpm per quarter note and I understand that it's the speed that makes this song difficult.  How should I go about speeding this song up?

Tedious practice. "Practice makes perfect," or something close... Practice at a quarter of the tempo that you want to play the piece at, a few times. Any passages that are difficult to play: take some time to learn the fingerings that are suggested on the score, or create fingerings that are easiest for you.

A strict "One Tempo" in the second movement will not impress the judges, you will only sound like a MIDI recording. Tempo fluctuation is inevitable, and can be used, with taste, to add depth, tension, and development, to your performance. The ideal tempo is, ideally, up to you—the performer and interpreter. The tempo changes you mention shouldn't be too much of a concern, as long as they not are too drastic. 50-60 is the tempo that many scores suggest (including the score edited by Hans von Bülow, who was a student of Liszt), and any tempo changes should be confined to this area, ideally.

Offline antichrist

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #5 on: September 19, 2009, 02:26:22 AM
I think its reasonable to correct it

beethoven sonata is never a song

Offline nanabush

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #6 on: September 23, 2009, 03:58:02 AM
I think you guys scared them away  :-\

I haven't played that Sonata, but I'm sure if you are changing the tempo drastically within a movement, or way under bar for tempo, judges will definitely knock some points down.

Some movements have slower sections, but they are usually noted pretty clearly (I'll use the Pathetique Grave sections as an example here.  There are fast sections in the first movement, and some very slow sections that require a drastic tempo change), but otherwise, a relatively stable tempo would probably be much better.

If you are fluctuating the tempo slightly, then you are probably doing something along the lines of rubato playing.  It's good to let some notes breath more than others, but try not to turn a fast sonata movement into a romantic piece with massive tempo variations.

Again, I've never played this sonata lol, I'm just kind of stating my view.
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Offline ramseytheii

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #7 on: September 23, 2009, 11:58:05 AM
I'm having trouble with the first and second movements.  For the first movements I'm playing the piece around 72 bpm per quarter note and I understand that it's the speed that makes this song difficult.  How should I go about speeding this song up?  For the second movement I'm having troubles with tempo, I cannot keep a stable tempo.  For the beginning part where there are 8th notes I keep a slow tempo, but once i get to the 16th notes starting with the D, I speed the tempo up a little bit because I think it fits the mood better.  I'm also playing this movement for judges next month and I'm not sure if judges will take off for tempo.  Also, the section of the movement where there are consecutive 32nd notes, I increase the tempo quite a bit to match the mood (as well)  These tempo changes within the song, I think, fit it perfectly, but my teacher says that I should keep one tempo throughout.  Is it normal to change tempos for a song in different sections that match the mood or should I keep one relative tempo throughout the whole movement?  If you think it should be one tempo throughout the whole thing, what would be an ideal tempo?

72 per quarter note for the first movement is extremely slow.  Are you sure you are doing that?  72 per half note, is still way too slow.  I don't understand your post.  This piece should be more like 76 for a whole bar.  Schnabel's half note is around 168, but it is variable because he does some parts a bit slower.  If you cannot play faster than 72 per quarter note, which to me is mind-boggingly slow, you really should not be playing this piece.

For the slow movement: sometimes it is helpful to practice slow movements faster in order to get a feeling for the long line.  Instead of counting each individual eighth note, count higher beat levels.  Count each dotted quarter note; then count each bar; then count each two bars.  Achieving control over the tempo in a long-range piece involves getting a higher and higher look, like a bird ascending into the air and getting more and more of the land below into its field of vision.

I strongly recommend you reconsider playing the first movement at all.

Walter Ramsey


Offline ramseytheii

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #8 on: September 23, 2009, 12:03:52 PM
I reread your post and I didn't answer all your questions.  I think it is possible to modify a tempo within a movement; in fact it's written about Beethoven's playing that "each bar seemed to be in a different tempo."

That wasn't an insult, but it was an observation that he played freely and tailored the beat to fit emotional moods.  If you listen to Schnabel's recording of this sonata, you will find this tradition alive and well, and not just in the second movement.

But you've reached the point where all pianists have to make a choice. The fact is, judges have their own problems.  They are confronted in one competition with a lot of pianists, and they have to look for things to disqualify people from advancing.  They cling to the objective; is it the same tempo all the way through?  They almost have to.  Also, many people out there, not just judges but certainly some, are very close-minded.  They just think things have to be a certain way, and that's that.  A pianist who feels a piece has to go a certain way then has to make a choice when playing before judges: betray thyself or play as you feel?

If you smooth out everything, and try and it make it objective and acceptable, you risk mis-reading who the judges are, what they expect, what they are listening for.  You also risk sounding bland, which happens quite a lot in competitions for this very reason.  If you are determined to play as you feel, you risk becoming mannered and trying too hard to prove something.  You also risk disqualification, because if you are modifying the tempo left and right, it's not objective.  It's subjective, and judges hate that.  But on the other hand, unless you exaggerate everything, you'll come out having been true to yourself.

If I were you, I would listen to a lot of recordings of this piece.  Schnabel, Arrau, Horowitz, Gould, Kempff, Backhaus, Brendel, there are tons of recordings.  Get an idea as to when pianists get free with the tempo, and why.

Walter Ramsey


Offline arvhaax93

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #9 on: September 24, 2009, 02:34:05 AM
72 per quarter note for the first movement is extremely slow.  Are you sure you are doing that?  72 per half note, is still way too slow.  I don't understand your post.  This piece should be more like 76 for a whole bar.  Schnabel's half note is around 168, but it is variable because he does some parts a bit slower.  If you cannot play faster than 72 per quarter note, which to me is mind-boggingly slow, you really should not be playing this piece.

For the slow movement: sometimes it is helpful to practice slow movements faster in order to get a feeling for the long line.  Instead of counting each individual eighth note, count higher beat levels.  Count each dotted quarter note; then count each bar; then count each two bars.  Achieving control over the tempo in a long-range piece involves getting a higher and higher look, like a bird ascending into the air and getting more and more of the land below into its field of vision.

I strongly recommend you reconsider playing the first movement at all.

Walter Ramsey




I'm sorry I must have worded my question wrong.  72 per quarter note is no where near the speed it should be, that was just my practicing speed (I probably forgot to mention that).  It should be at least 3-4 times faster than the speed I'm at now.  My question was mainly regarding the fact of how I should speed this song up consistently.
Currently Learning:
Mozart Sonata in D Major K. 284
Chopin Etude Op. 25 No. 1 "Aeolian Harp"
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 1 in F# minor, Op. 1

Offline ramseytheii

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #10 on: September 24, 2009, 02:23:53 PM
I'm sorry I must have worded my question wrong.  72 per quarter note is no where near the speed it should be, that was just my practicing speed (I probably forgot to mention that).  It should be at least 3-4 times faster than the speed I'm at now.  My question was mainly regarding the fact of how I should speed this song up consistently.

That's  a relief!  I knew something was wrong.  

The way to speed up a piece, especially one in the Classical mold, in my opinion, is not to constantly turn the metronome higher and higher, but rather to achieve control over larger and larger beat patterns.  So for instance, if you have the metronome counting quarter notes, change it to counting half notes, at a speed you can manage.  It might even be useful, to set it at one speed for the quarter note, then don't change the metronome speed for half notes, just double your playing pace.

But don't keep speeding up the metronome, while keeping the note value the same.  Don't speed up the metronome while counting quarters; enlarge the beat to half notes.  Then, count whole bars with the metronome.  Then, and this may be too slow for the metronome, count two bars at a time.  Then count entire phrases.  Do you see the pattern?  All Classical music is written like this, subdiving large beat patterns mathematically into smaller and smaller bits.

Beethoven's slow movements are so difficult because of the extreme subdivisions he goes to.  It makes it hard to relate the opening bars of the slow movement in this sonata, with the bars with the 32nds.  But you have to be able to master all the levels of the beat: the 32nds, the 16ths, the eights, the dotted quarters, the dotted halves, the dotted whole notes.  That's how they composed the music, and therefore that is how we have to practice it.

The later sonatas are extremes of this practice.  Look at the second movement of op.111; if the tempo is not just right in the opening theme, so many of the variations could stumble.  The amount of subdivision there, of top-down construction, is mind-boggling.  Well op.111 and op.10 no.3 are actually not that far apart in theory.  They employ the same techniques, just one is magnified.

My advice!

Walter Ramsey


Offline sashaco

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #11 on: October 13, 2009, 11:51:28 AM
Allthumbs, Since we seem to be in the business of correcting people's language., allow me to inform you that a word cannot infer anything.  The reader of a word can infer a meaning from it, and hence interpret the writer's meaning.  To "infer" then, is "to understand from what has been said."  For example: I INFER from your use of the phrase "If you want to be taken seriously" that your advice was not offered in a kindly spirit, but rather out of  pettiness.

The word you doubtless intended to use was "imply." 

Offline bachapprentice

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Re: Beethoven Sonata op 10 no 3
Reply #12 on: October 16, 2009, 01:46:02 PM
If you want some help, no one is going to take you seriously if you refer a piece of piano music as a 'song'. The term 'song' infers that it is music which has lyrics, which is not the case to the piece you are referring to.
No one should take you seriously.
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