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The Complete Piano Music by Franz Schubert

Unlike Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt or Chopin, Schubert was not a keyboard virtuoso. He played the piano only in the intimate gatherings known as Schubertiads. Nevertheless, he is certainly one of the greatest composers for piano, exploring the expressive potential of the keyboard in a succession of masterpieces for solo piano, piano duet, chamber music and song accompaniment. Therefore, it’s an event worth celebrating when Piano Street now publish his dances as well as his complete piano sonatas, which in addition to the previously available selection of Impromptus, Moments Musicaux and many other pieces give you the complete picture of Schubert as a composer for the piano. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Beethoven - Sonata in c# minor, Op 27 No. 2 (1st Movement)  (Read 10595 times)
perfect_pitch
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« on: June 16, 2011, 05:17:37 AM »

Greetings...

After having a word with an american Doctor who came to give me a masterclass on my Chopin Ballade - he said something that really got to me. He said that true pianism is taking a piece of music and bringing it to absolute beauty. Which is why every week (I'll try and keep it every week), I'll try to post a performance of a classic piece of music and really try to bring it to perfection as I can.

And this is why I would like to post a little performance of the 1st movement of Beethovens 'Moonlight' Sonata. Is there anything I could do to just bump this up a notch to get it truly beautiful?

Remember... this is only on a Yamaha C2 piano, so it's much harder to get the softer dynamics than on a (say) $250,000 Fazioli Grand Piano.    Smiley


* Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata, Op 27 No. 2 - Mov 1.mp3 (12772.5 KB - downloaded 210 times.)
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piano sheet music of Sonata 14 (Moonlight)
michael_langlois
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 11:07:05 AM »

Hi PP,

You have marvelous sound control, phrasing, and immaculate pedaling.  You might consider placing the mic a little farther away for the next recording, especially for this piece, which needs a little less present sound at times for the fantastical character, and I know a Yamaha doesn't usually lend itself to that subtlety (BTW, that is another reason to commend your pedaling!).

As for character: it strikes me as a little agitated.  The tempo could work, just laying back on the beat a little more (that's not to say the melody cannot push and pull).  Do keep in mind that it is "Adagio (Sostenuto!)," not "Andante."  I'd just like to leave you with this idea from a lesson I once had on a Haydn adagio.  Responding to a similar agitation in my playing, my teacher drew with his pencil a line between the "d" and second "a" in the word "Adagio," explaining that it means "at ease."

All the best!
Mike
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 12:06:49 PM »

Cool... It's hard to try and get a sense of what can be adagio or what edges on the edge of andante...

I just didn't want it to seem like it was dragging. I once heard someone playing it at University at about a crotchet = 40 and it was so bloody slow it was just painful.

I just didn't want to try and get caught between playing it slow where it drags along, or fast where it feels rushed. Seems like a very small window...    Grin
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pbryld
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2011, 02:01:26 PM »

I liked it, but I do prefer it just a bit slower.
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General info:
Started playing music in the summer of 2010
Plays on a Bechstein B
Lives in Denmark
michael_langlois
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 05:31:49 PM »

Cool... It's hard to try and get a sense of what can be adagio or what edges on the edge of andante...

I just didn't want it to seem like it was dragging. I once heard someone playing it at University at about a crotchet = 40 and it was so bloody slow it was just painful.

I just didn't want to try and get caught between playing it slow where it drags along, or fast where it feels rushed. Seems like a very small window...    Grin

It has partially something to do with tempo, but it is much more in the spacing and impulse of the notes, in whatever tempo.  More character than speed, and admittedly very tricky.

If you would like a helpful illustration, the end of the first movement of the Brahms violin concerto has a similar type of stillness.

Cheers,
Mike
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 03:14:07 AM »

Well... here I am again after spending a little more time on it. I've tried to calm the sense of the piece down a little as well as the tempo (slightly). It's 20 seconds longer so I believe I've found the tempo that helps sustain the speed without it dragging.

Tell me what you think. This is the last time I'm recording this for a while - I'm gonna focus on bigger works after this.

* Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata, Op 27 No 2 (Mov 1).mp3 (13831.88 KB - downloaded 105 times.)
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scottmcc
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2011, 11:40:33 AM »

either recording is of fine quality.  I prefer the second.  there is truly a wide range of valid interpretations of this piece and I think either rendition fits squarely into the middle of what is acceptable.  here's an interesting link from NPR about this sonata, to show you the contrasts:  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18577817 (if you listen to the story, you'll hear about a dozen versions spliced together)

it's interesting to hear you playing less technically challenging works, especially after you've spent so much time recently on such very demanding repertoire.  but I think you'll find it important to your continued development, much like coming up for air after a long underwater swim.

anyway, as always, I look forward to your next recording.
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2011, 12:23:34 PM »

it's interesting to hear you playing less technically challenging works, especially after you've spent so much time recently on such very demanding repertoire.  but I think you'll find it important to your continued development, much like coming up for air after a long underwater swim.

That is very true... especially since I've just snapped a second string trying to learn the Totentanz for solo piano. I'm really pissed off at that.

I thought for $38,000 you'd be able to get an instrument that was capable of handling at least some of the more pianistic pieces without bloody well breaking.

 Angry
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pianisten1989
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2011, 01:28:36 PM »

That is very true... especially since I've just snapped a second string trying to learn the Totentanz for solo piano. I'm really pissed off at that.
I know what you mean... It was fun the first time I broke a string, but now I'm on my 5th, this year. That just sucks...
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2011, 12:51:28 AM »

Then how the hell am I supposed to be able to learn anything if every few months piano strings keep breaking? As soon as I get the string replaced, I won't be able to record anything for about 6 frickin' months until the string regains its bloody tension.

Plus I'll be wondering at what point the next string will break?

Do strings get weaker and weaker over time? Or can they gain their strength if you go easy on them for a couple of months?
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emill
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2011, 03:46:53 AM »

Hi PP !! Smiley

Thank you for this piece this morning .... almost got me teary eyed .... beautiful,
really beautiful.  Although I am not a pianist, I would probably like it a tad slower
in beat ....  just a little bit.  Oh well it must be my depressed mood this morning.  

I hate some of my neighbors who refer to this as the "dracula piece" everytime
my son enzo plays this  Grin; well as a good neighbor all I do is grin.. Grin Roll Eyes

Does your piano have a humidity controller?  I have noticed though that since
we bought one a little over a year ago, fewer strings broke ... probably only about
2 for one year instead of the usual over 5 strings...hehheee.

Thanks for posting.

EDIT:  sorry, I did not notice there was a repost, a slower one of the piece ...
         I like it much better....
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member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo
perfect_pitch
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2011, 11:38:28 AM »

Does your piano have a humidity controller?  I have noticed though that since
we bought one a little over a year ago, fewer strings broke ... probably only about
2 for one year instead of the usual over 5 strings...hehheee

REALLY??? No, actually - I don't. Right now I'm just renting a place until I can save enough to get a house of my own. But you've definitely got me intrigued. I'll need to try and find something to help normalise the humidity.

Thank you for that - that's worth following through with. I appreciate it.  Cheesy
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