\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13 (Read 16084 times)

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
« on: March 11, 2012, 10:45:27 PM »
First movement. I hope I can add the other movements soon, I have recorded them but I'm trying to get better takes.





I added the second movement:




third movement:


piano sheet music of Sonata 8 (Pathétique)


Offline austinarg

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 338
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 01:32:46 AM »
Really nice, congratulations. Can you give me some advice on the left hand tremolos?
“Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” - Thelonious Monk

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #2 on: March 12, 2012, 01:54:15 AM »
Did you notice how often they are just grumbling in p or even pp? Stay as close to the keys as possible and use a slight forearm rotation. Slow and relaxed practice-repeats will build up stamina. But yes, I think these tremolos are very difficult because they last so long! While practicing I thought sometimes that there must be a reason why many pianists nowadays tend to do the repeat from the Grave and not from the Allegro  ;D

I admit I skipped even the repeat of the exposition. Well, for now :P. I might look "cool" on the video but that's not at all how I feel. I know that many people, also in real life, think that I am doing pianistic things just "on the fly" but it's not like that. I am actually rather often very nervous.

Offline costicina

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1062
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 06:14:11 AM »
Congratulations, Wolfi, outstanding performance!!!!! Perfect choice of the tempo, great dynamics..I enjoyed it  greatly :D :D :D :D You are really a refined pianist... 

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 10:21:15 AM »
Thank you so much Costicina!  :)

I just added the second movement. I am still a bit experimenting with the tempo, I tried a super slow version (because Czerny puts a very slow metronome mark), but that was difficult to persevere, so here it's a rather "normal" tempo.

There's nothing better than to start a day with a Beethoven Adagio!  :)

Offline birba

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3738
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #5 on: March 12, 2012, 04:14:14 PM »
It was interesting hearing you play something that wasn't "yours"!  Really interesting.  You "play" the rests and silences with great artistry, if you know what I mean.  They're like suspended sound.  And I think in the intro and similar places - like before the coda - if you dilate the rests rather than shortening them, it would sound so much better.  Because you have a tendency to shorten them ever so slightly.  Your tone is lovely, but I already knew that.  Sometimes the sound is a little meager.  For example in the ascending motive in the right hand.  More of your meaty tone.  It's true, your tremolos are VERY professional - the right sonority and every note is there.  That's where I feel your right hand lacks meat.  Maybe more forearm?  I don't know.
I liked the second movement.  Very flowing and concise in form.  Played like a composer!  I think the tempo sounded fine.  I did find the intro in the first movement a little too fast.  I know what you mean about finding the right tempo.  But I don't think we should be tied down to a metronome.  I heard Kempff (and I'm sure you have to) take audacious liberties.  But he was always convincing.  Respecting the composer without being a slave to the printed page.
Can't wait for the third movement!

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #6 on: March 12, 2012, 08:19:11 PM »
Birba, thank you so much for your very insightful comments!

Indeed, I am fascinated by rests and silences as suspended sound, but also as a quality in itself and I am unhappy that I *still* tend to shorten some of them. I find that most pianists tend to shorten them but that shouldn't play a role, of course. I'll work on that! :)

Regarding the ascending motive in the right hand: I tried to follow Beethovens dynamic marks and keep it piano until it descends again. But it might have happened that the tremolos were slightly too dominant, and drowned the right hand a bit. But maybe you are missing some "meat" within the "piano" range. What do you think? :)

Thank you so much for listening and for your comments!  :)



 

Offline fleetfingers

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 621
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #7 on: March 12, 2012, 09:34:21 PM »
Thank you for posting these videos, pianowolfi! I listened with great interest! :)

I am learning the first movement of this piece and would like to learn the second movement also. I find it so beautiful and enjoyed listening to you play it. The melody sings, while the background notes are clear but soft and song-like, rather than metronomic and "marching", if that makes sense. :) Very pleasant to listen to.

As said by others, your playing is professional and refined. I enjoyed it very much. :)

Offline rachfan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3027
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #8 on: March 13, 2012, 05:18:23 AM »
Hi wolfi,

I had time tonight to listen to the 1st movement, and will try to get to the 2nd tomorrow.  I was very impressed by your playing.  I would play the opening even slower, but the pianist has to decide.  The only other comment I would make is that you play the music in a very pure way in my opinion.  Reminds me a little of Wilhelm Backhaus' approach.  I do think it's possible to inject a bit more drama into it; however, I'm also mindful that stylistically this is an early period sonata, so needs to be classical above all. Then again, Beethoven did startle Haydn sometimes with the passion of his playing.  So even in this sonata there might be a bit of early foreshadowing of his eventually becoming, like Schubert, a transitional composer into early romanticism.  So, perhaps a little more drama without being carried away by it. Again, wonderful playing, wofli.

David
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #9 on: March 13, 2012, 12:20:53 PM »
Thank you very much, rachfan and fleetfingers!

David you're right, there should be more drama, and there will be more drama in the future. I was a bit playing for safety, still. I'll take some of the drama out of my drama thread and put it into the sonata!  ;D

I have added the third movement. I always thought that the first would be harder for me but now I think differently, the last is harder, more delicate to play in a performance, I think.

Offline rachfan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3027
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #10 on: March 13, 2012, 03:24:05 PM »
Hi wolfi,

Yes, I think the first movement holds drama.  The second movement for me is a very lovely string quartet, and Beethoven seems to have conceived it that way.  The third movement for me was always a bear to play.  It's difficulty cannot be underestimated.  I hope to listen to the adagio today.

David
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline costicina

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1062
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #11 on: March 13, 2012, 05:25:47 PM »
I don’ whish to seem presumptuous  commenting on your performance, Wolfi, since I’m a plain amateur. But I listened to the whole sonata, and can’t help having my say ….

I found particularly interesting your approach to the 3 mv,  that IMO is the most difficult to this Sonata: it should be crystal clear, graceful but not mannered, sheer  Beethovenian in character...
 
You are a very fine musician, and found a very personal but utterly persuasive interpetation, almost forcing us to listen, and to enjoy it....
Thank you for sharing, I hope sincerely you post more videos of you as a performer, your example is deeply inspiring
Marg

Offline starstruck5

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 798
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #12 on: March 13, 2012, 06:35:50 PM »
Listened to all three movements and enjoyed them.  Wonderful to hear a complete sonata in the Audition Room -so well done for that -95/100
When a search is in progress, something will be found.

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #13 on: March 13, 2012, 09:27:25 PM »
Thank you starstruck5! And thanks Marg! Don't be shy about criticism! :) I hear you and I share your view of the last movement and I think similarly, I am not yet completely there, I know :)

Offline rachfan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3027
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #14 on: March 14, 2012, 12:00:31 AM »
Hi wolfi,  

I just listened to the adagio, a wonderful rondo made to sound like a string quartet I think.  A few thoughts: At Part B, the first episode (measure 18), the right hand is still cantabile, yet the left hand accompaniment has changed to chords which then compete for attention.  That is, the background tries to intrude into the foreground.  A tactic you could employ there would be to play the chords inside the keys, not allowing them to fully rebound up to rest position.  That would slow the velocity of the hammers striking the strings, thereby making the chords sound softer, thus making it easier to balance the hands. (Also glare at the cellist and violist for being so bold.  ;D)

In measures 26/27, as a matter of articulation, you could make more of the down-up, down-up motion of the hand in playing the two-note slurs in the right hand.  They would take on a more differentiated sound.

At the reprise of the main theme Part A2 at 29, be sure you're singing the melody in your mind.  It's quiet, but rich too.

At Part C, second episode at 37 this time the accompaniment is within the right hand, but the same technique can be used to play the double notes inside the keys to keep them mellow.

At 42 you play molto dramatico.  Good contrast!

In the coda, the only staccatos in the right hand in measures 70-72 are the last 16th note of each measure.  The preceding notes are all legato.  As it stands now, they all sound staccato.  But... this could be a matter of editions.  I'm reading from the Henle (B. A. Wallner).  So then I cross checked in the edited Century edition and there it shows the last two 16ths in each measure as staccato.  Oh well.  

Very beautifully played!  I enjoyed it.

David

Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline scottmcc

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 544
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #15 on: March 14, 2012, 12:17:07 AM »
wolfi, thank you for posting this, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  it seems that every time I turn back to beethoven I find another reason he's my favorite composer, and clearly this sonata is one of his better ones.

anyway, specific comments:  I prefer the grave introduction of the first movement to be a little slower, to create a bit more of a sense of tension.  I love the use of silence as commented on by others, but this would be heightened by slowing down just a little bit overall.  I think that you really did a fantastic job of the main theme of the allegro con brio, but as others have said a bit more passion would really make this shine.  as you admitted, you played it a bit safe--don't hold back!  let's hear the thunder!

for the second movement, I like your choice of tempo but it felt like you really sped up when the left hand changed to triplets.  certainly some of this effect is required by the piece, but check yourself carefully.  this is the only movement of the 3 that I've played fully and I know that I have the same tendency--it's just so easy to get excited as the mood builds!  I like the little bit of tension that you built at the end of the movement to transition to the third.  rachfan, I like your analogy of a string quartet, but for me I've always heard the opening statement (bars1-8) as the strings, with the whole orchestra entering at bar 9.

finally, the third movement felt the least finished, as others have commented on.  but I think that the core ideas are there, it's just the final touches that need to be polished.  the challenge is clearly to keep it sounding ligh and fresh, while playing some rather technically challenging arpeggi.  I think for me the biggest challenge of it all is trying to coordinate the hands--they just don't seem to want to flow for me.  

anyway, again, great work, and please don't misinterpret these little critiques as anything negative--I'd love to be able to play beethoven as well as you!

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #16 on: March 14, 2012, 09:12:11 AM »
David, indeed, somehow I had the articulation in mm. 70-72 differently in my head, though I play from the Henle (Wallner) edition, too! Maybe I have played this a few years ago from different sheet music copies and it somehow got stuck in my head.

I'll try out what you suggest about playing the chords from inside the keys and your suggestions about the up-down-movement in mm. 26-27.

LOL @ the violist and cellist remark  ;D

Thank you for your very good suggestions, scottmc, I am grateful and I'll try it all out! :)


Offline jesc

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 240
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #17 on: March 14, 2012, 10:16:39 AM »
I apologize if there're any mistakes in my comment since it's been a long time since I played this piece in a recital. Still, I took the time to read the first few pages of this sonata, again.

Starting from 2:03, right hand crossing over the left. The manner of crossing leaves a noticeable gap. Moving up there's no problem but when your right hand returns to the bass cleff there's a slight gap/delay. I don't know if this has anything to do with you being too careful.

Sorry if this is nitpicking. I noticed this because I remember when I spent a lot of time and effort to make the movement as quick as possible since the transition to the bass cleff occurs inside a measure. To me, the voices on top and bottom of the left hand are not just answering each other, they're connected.

The slight gap might be forgivable if the first note of the bass cleff begins at the start of a measure but it's inside it, on the second beat.

This is a small criticism on a page full of praise so it may not be a big deal for most.

Offline rachfan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3027
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #18 on: March 14, 2012, 03:22:48 PM »
Hi wolfi,

I know exactly what you mean by your having learned the "Pathetique" from different sheet music.  If I were to take this sonata up again, I well know the arguments and advantages of using a good urtext like Henle, which is exactly what you did here--and it was the best thing to do.  But... I'd probably revert to the old Century edition, because that's what would be in my fingers, regardless of the urtext beckoning to me.  ;D  I think maybe I've reached the age where you can't teach an old dog new tricks.  ;D

David
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline birba

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3738
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #19 on: March 14, 2012, 05:01:53 PM »
I found the third movement more secure then the first.  The tempo is perfect.  I think you should play those two appoggiaturas ON the beat (f-g-a flat and e-flat -f-g) It gives it more impetus. 
It's now ready to make it yours.  Sometimes it sounded too metronomic.  You're a composer and this should sound like it's YOUR music.  Try taking outlandish liberties with the tempo.  I do this at times when I'm learning a piece.  Like with the appassionata.  It helps me to understand certain passages.  You don't carry these liberties over to the final performance, of course, but it ingrains certain musical intentions into your fingers. Crescendos, accents, rallentandos, etc.

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #20 on: March 15, 2012, 05:59:38 PM »
@ jesc: thank you for listening and commenting! Good point! I am aware of that problem and I am working on it :)
  I think of the first movement as a symphonic movement and I am trying to find something like the conductor's perspective to resolve this.

Honestly I felt some sort of relief, when I watched Barenboim's recording on youtube. I think he also had to resolve this "mundane" technical problem, and he found a very smart solution for it. I don't intend to compare my recording with his outstanding performance, of course, but he also has a gap there. But he can make it sound like there was no gap, he does a slight and smooth "rubato" while staying strictly within the pulse! :)

@Birba: yes, I am actually in the process of switching to playing the appoggiaturas on the beat, honestly I even thought I had already played them on the beat in this recording, but maybe it was not yet rhythmically clear enough. Thank you for your other comments too, they are indeed *very* helpful!! :)

Offline rachfan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3027
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #21 on: March 16, 2012, 03:49:07 AM »
Hi wolfi,

Tonight I listened to the Rondo.  For me this was always the most difficult movement to perform.  There are figurations there that are not easy to execute.  I believe you played it very well with attention to detail.  My sense is that in this rendition you take a pure classical approach to the work. I do think though that you could allow some of your own personality to venture into the music as appropriate.  I believe too that Beethoven would actually welcome that, as he himself would surely have played this sonata with much passion, given his somewhat mercurial temperament.  Bringing in the inner feelings is the only way, in my opinion, to make the piece as expressive as possible.      

David  
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline jesc

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 240
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #22 on: March 16, 2012, 03:41:52 PM »
Honestly I felt some sort of relief, when I watched Barenboim's recording on youtube.

You also can add Rubinstein to your relief. Some of his recordings even starts the passage slower than your play.  ;D I really wasn't expecting that from Rubinstein.

You can listen to Horowitz's recording or Glenn Gould's just to see the other side of the spectrum. TBH, I'm quite surprised at the diversity with which this piece is played. Makes me want to finally say, "Play it as you will." :)

Offline Mayla

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6638
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #23 on: March 22, 2012, 05:06:52 AM »
.
"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #24 on: March 22, 2012, 11:31:15 AM »
Thank you very much Mayla! :)

Yippiehdiyipp I am happy that you like it :)

Now the next step will be to do a live performance with audience. I hope I'll be there by the middle of April :)

Offline thalbergmad

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16592
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #25 on: March 22, 2012, 11:05:39 PM »
I have despised this sonata for over 30 years, since I was compelled to learn it, so I only listened to the Rondo.

As was remarked above, it was nice to see and hear you play one of the classics and I hope you do it again.

Your rendition was a mile away from mine and it never ceases to amaze me how two people looking at the some notes can play pieces so differently. I was "brought up" on the Radu Lupu recording and I recall he used a considerable amount of pedal in the Rondo. Perhaps because of this I did too, but now I have heard your performance, I don't think I would play it the same again.

Well done that man.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #26 on: March 23, 2012, 09:29:28 PM »
Hi Thal, thank you so much! What a nice surprise! :)

Now that made me curious to hear that Radu Lupu recording, I'll go and listen to it.

As you might have noticed, I even managed to get that bagdad battery lampshade (which you didn't like) out of sight!  ;D

 8)

Offline emill

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1046
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #27 on: March 23, 2012, 11:25:21 PM »
hello wolfi,

personally I find your version refreshing and enjoyable to listen to .... it is for me a much gentler and more musical "Pathétique".  A good number of pianists seems to play this with with aggressiveness and more "banging" of the keys as if it must reflect the "anger and tempestuousness" of Beethoven.  ...... I like it as it is!!! :) (though I am not a pianist)
member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo

Offline thalbergmad

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16592
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #28 on: March 24, 2012, 06:44:09 PM »
As you might have noticed, I even managed to get that bagdad battery lampshade (which you didn't like) out of sight!  ;D

I thought something was missing.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #29 on: March 24, 2012, 08:39:10 PM »
hello wolfi,

personally I find your version refreshing and enjoyable to listen to .... it is for me a much gentler and more musical "Pathétique".  A good number of pianists seems to play this with with aggressiveness and more "banging" of the keys as if it must reflect the "anger and tempestuousness" of Beethoven.  ...... I like it as it is!!! :) (though I am not a pianist)

Hi emill, thank you so much, that's a very interesting comment! :) I think you are right, and/but everybody who suggested "more drama" was right as well :).

It's like I am starting to see and feel the whole architecture of Beethoven's writing, and how much every dynamic mark stands like a supporting pillar of the whole organism.

Indeed Beethoven's "anger and tempestuousness" is almost like some sort of Cliché, and there's a truth in this, but in his music it's a very well organized anger and tempestuousness, and the more I'm able to see how much every single note saves the overall architecture, the more respect I gain, for Beethoven :)

Offline candlelightpiano

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1159
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #30 on: March 25, 2012, 01:49:47 AM »
Very impressive performance of one of my very favorite Beethoven sonatas.  Of the three movements, I enjoyed the third the most and especially loved the brilliant and fiery ending.  Your first movement was definitely softer and gentler than what I've heard but I enjoyed your version of it.  It had a beauty all its own.  The middle movement was sad and lovely to listen to.  - Choo

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #31 on: March 25, 2012, 04:43:43 PM »
Hi Choo, thank you very much for listening and for your comments! :) It's really interesting how this comes across, and it makes me curious as to where my journey with this piece will lead me to :)



Offline goldentone

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1679
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #32 on: March 27, 2012, 06:25:05 AM »
I enjoyed hearing your Pathetique, Wolfi. :)  Especially since a repertoire post is a rare Wolfian occurrence. :)  I meant to post earlier than this, but after I listened to the 1st movement I forgot. There are moments throughout when your mastery with the instrument is evident with deft expression. There are spots technically that bog you down.  I agree with Rachfan for you to release yourself in the piece.  
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Offline iratior

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #33 on: March 27, 2012, 12:48:02 PM »
I was delighted to hear this. I was brought up on the Rudolf Serkin interpretation of this piece.  He repeats the GRAVE.  I think the case for repeating the GRAVE can be made as follows.  First, Beethoven did not explicitly put in a repeat sign.  Second:  in the recapitulation, Beethoven does return to the GRAVE tempo, and the contrast of it with the fast and violent sound before and after is very delectable, just as the GRAVE is when repeated after a loud and fast expo.  Of course, repeating the GRAVE makes it considerably much easier to endure the tremolos, and the Puritan in us has trouble not feeling guilty, not feeling that doing things the easier way must be wrong, nay immoral!  (I do penance by playing the right-hand mordents as such rather than as triplets.) As I'm sure is familiar to you, the GRAVE is one of the few passages of music in which one-hundred-twenty-eighth notes appear.  I've always grooved on that.  When I was in fifth grade, I thumbed through every piece of sheet music my mother owned, to see if I could find examples of one-hundred-twenty-eighth notes or even two-hundred-fifty-sixth notes. You'd have thought that I was Mozart himself, so much interested in music did I seem to be!  Of course, the meditation on this subject got me thinking about powers of two, and so, mathematics, and so, getting to be a college valedictorian with honors in mathematics, and so, actuarial science.  I wound up servicing pension plans for twenty years.  Anyhow, here is a very mischievous fingering for some of those beloved one-hundred-twenty-eighth notes in the GRAVE, measure ten.  Starting with the right thumb on the G below high C, where the left hand is doing the minor tonic 6-4 chord, use the thumb, then the fifth finger on the Eb above high C, then go down the chromatic scale (whee!) 5432143215432154321543215432151 ! This lets you be utterly relaxed to attack the allegro with all the violence you want, not that the critics will necessarily like that!  Take care!

Offline furtwaengler

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #34 on: March 30, 2012, 07:20:13 AM »
"Without Beethoven the world wouldn't exist anymore."

I don't know about that blurb, Wolfi. With the combination of Beethoven and C minor (or F minor, or D minor, or yada, yada, yada), I'm surprised the world has not exploded! I remember back when I was striving after op. 111 I was always a little surprised and a little disappointed that the walls were still standing at the conclusion of the first movement.

I've decided someday I'm going to have to be in the same room as you when you're giving a performance. Somehow it's hard for these videos to do justice to the capacity of musicality and power you produce each moment.

I enjoyed this performance!
Don't let anyone know where you tie your goat.

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #35 on: March 30, 2012, 05:38:10 PM »
Dave, thank you so much for listening and commenting! :)

You're making a good point about that blurb. Yes, Beethoven has the exploding element too, it's in the Appassionata! I remember that I had a vinyl recording of Kempff when I was young, and he had written the blurb himself, and he said that at the end of the Appassionata the whole world crashes into pieces, and of course he's right!! :o .  And well, the other young people went to the disco (me too, but not that often), and I was secretly so many times doing an "Appassionata disco" for myself, in my little room, I was really excessively dancing the Appassionata to Kempff's recording, when nobody (and I mean *nobody*!) could watch me!  ;D

Beethoven, according to Brendel, composed like an architect.  In the Pathétique he is "architecturing" more in the sense of "Empfindsamkeit" (C.Ph.E. Bach) where every "negative" emotion gets in some way aesthetically resolved. In the Appassionata he's the architect of an Apocalypse, but still an architect. Even in the total chaos he keeps control, like a creator, not like somebody who wants to destroy. That's the fascinating point to me, hence that blurb. He reminds me of Prometheus.

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Beethoven Grande Sonate Pathétique op.13
«Reply #36 on: March 30, 2012, 06:07:45 PM »
I was delighted to hear this. I was brought up on the Rudolf Serkin interpretation of this piece.  He repeats the GRAVE.  I think the case for repeating the GRAVE can be made as follows.  First, Beethoven did not explicitly put in a repeat sign.  Second:  in the recapitulation, Beethoven does return to the GRAVE tempo, and the contrast of it with the fast and violent sound before and after is very delectable, just as the GRAVE is when repeated after a loud and fast expo.  Of course, repeating the GRAVE makes it considerably much easier to endure the tremolos, and the Puritan in us has trouble not feeling guilty, not feeling that doing things the easier way must be wrong, nay immoral!  (I do penance by playing the right-hand mordents as such rather than as triplets.) As I'm sure is familiar to you, the GRAVE is one of the few passages of music in which one-hundred-twenty-eighth notes appear.  I've always grooved on that.  When I was in fifth grade, I thumbed through every piece of sheet music my mother owned, to see if I could find examples of one-hundred-twenty-eighth notes or even two-hundred-fifty-sixth notes. You'd have thought that I was Mozart himself, so much interested in music did I seem to be!  Of course, the meditation on this subject got me thinking about powers of two, and so, mathematics, and so, getting to be a college valedictorian with honors in mathematics, and so, actuarial science.  I wound up servicing pension plans for twenty years.  Anyhow, here is a very mischievous fingering for some of those beloved one-hundred-twenty-eighth notes in the GRAVE, measure ten.  Starting with the right thumb on the G below high C, where the left hand is doing the minor tonic 6-4 chord, use the thumb, then the fifth finger on the Eb above high C, then go down the chromatic scale (whee!) 5432143215432154321543215432151 ! This lets you be utterly relaxed to attack the allegro with all the violence you want, not that the critics will necessarily like that!  Take care!

Iratior, thank you very much for your comments, I am thinking about them and trying things out. I think I have actually even tried out that fingering you suggest, but only for myself, not yet in a performance.
All in all I don't really see the allegro as "violent", rather as "groovy". The groove it is, not the volume. Have you noticed how much piano grumbling is in there? It's astonishing. I try to build up from a p or pp "groove" and set only the crescendos, f or ff accents, and especially the subito p that Beethoven writes. If I failed here it might be rather because I couldn't do the groovy p and pp and subito p enough yet. Well, I'm exaggerating a bit, of course, but it's actually my idea at the moment :)