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Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella? (Read 8512 times)

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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I know Appasionata is more musically demanding, but is it more technically demanding?  And if so, then why?  You don't have to worry about exhausting yourself in Appasionata like you do in La Campanella do you?
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Beethoven: Sonata 23 (Appassionata), opus 57
piano sheet music of Sonata 23 (Appassionata)


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Liszt: Etude - La Campanella, no 3
piano sheet music of Etude - La Campanella


Offline williampiano

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 05:10:19 AM »
I'd imagine that Appassionata is more exhausting than La Campanella if you're playing all three movements of it. But personally, I don't think Appassionata is quite as technically difficult. I know many probably disagree with me, but I think I'd have a much easier time learning all three movements of Appassionata then attempting to master the huge, monotonous jumps in La Campanella.

Offline pytheamateur

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 07:28:28 AM »
I love asking similar questions to my teacher (and have asked plenty here), who hardly ever provides straight answers, his point being that there are no straight answers to such questions.  I have yet the hear him describe a piece as technically difficult; general opinion means little to him.  He says that one should not be put off from learning a piece by its reputation as a difficult piece. 

To support his view, he told me an anecdote about Martha Argerich: she was once asked how she managed to learn the notoriously difficult Gaspard de la nuit by Ravel.  Her response was that she was asked to learn it when she was young. At that time she had no idea about its notorious reputation, so she simply went about it just like learning any other piece, something for which she remains grateful.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 02:46:01 PM »
He says that one should not be put off from learning a piece by its reputation as a difficult piece. 



I'm gonna learn it regardless, I just wanna know what I'm getting in to.
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Offline pytheamateur

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 07:56:33 PM »
I'm gonna learn it regardless, I just wanna know what I'm getting in to.

Go for it!  As long as you learn it properly under the guidance of a teacher, there's no great harm learning a difficult piece early.  Even if a piece is too advanced musically, I suppose you can master the technical aspects first; it will save enormous time when you work on the musical aspects later.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline j_menz

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 11:58:34 PM »
I know Appasionata is more musically demanding, but is it more technically demanding?  And if so, then why?  You don't have to worry about exhausting yourself in Appasionata like you do in La Campanella do you?

If you're exhausted (physically or emotionally) after playing La Campanella, you've done it wrong.

If you're not exhausted, both physically and emotionally, after playing Appassionata, you needn't have bothered.
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Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 02:48:05 AM »
If you're exhausted (physically or emotionally) after playing La Campanella, you've done it wrong.

I don't know, It's like some days I get exhausted physically playing it through once, but some days I can through three or four times in a row without being tired.  I'm kinda inconsistent with it.

Quote
If you're not exhausted, both physically and emotionally, after playing Appassionata, you needn't have bothered.

What exactly is that supposed to mean? 
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Offline j_menz

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 03:16:00 AM »
What exactly is that supposed to mean? 

La Campanella is a bit of fluff designed to show of one's techniquie (though quite lovekly when done right).

Appassionata is full on Beethovian drama; intense, demanding. If you can't do it justice, why bother playing it? And if you do do it justice, it will leave you feeling like an elated wrung out sock.
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Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 03:37:10 AM »
La Campanella is a bit of fluff

So you're saying it's not as hard as it seems?

Quote
And if you do do it justice, it will leave you feeling like an elated wrung out sock.

Like technically exhausting where your wrists are burning? or exhausting like you just sprinted a mile?  Because I'm in pretty good shape!   8)

BUT...  You still didn't answer my question.   :-\
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Offline j_menz

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 03:45:36 AM »
So you're saying it's not as hard as it seems?

No, it's pretty much exactly as hard as it seems. Not really more than that though.

Like technically exhausting where your wrists are burning? or exhausting like you just sprinted a mile?  Because I'm in pretty good shape!   8)

BUT...  You still didn't answer my question.   :-\

Not technically exhausting, good technique will prevent this.

Physically and emotionally draining.  Like running a marathon back from burying your favourite pet.
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Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 03:47:51 AM »

Like technically exhausting where your wrists are burning? or exhausting like you just sprinted a mile?  Because I'm in pretty good shape!   8)


How about emotionally exhausting - like when your best friend dies (for example i mean, not something I've personally experienced and I hope you haven't either).

Real emotion is physically exhausting though, that I do know from experience.

edit: clearly j_menz beat me to it...    wrung out sock is a fairly good description, as would be "punched in the guts" or "nauseous"

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #11 on: July 09, 2012, 04:29:06 AM »

Not technically exhausting, good technique will prevent this.


Well good technique will prevent getting exhausted from anything right?  So my getting exhausted from La Campanella is a result of bad technique then huh... :-[

Oh Rachmaninoff's 4th moment musical is another good one!  I just wanna know if I'll encounter the same problem of forearm exhaustion in the 4th moment musical and La Campanella as I will in Appassionata.

Quote
Physically and emotionally draining.  Like running a marathon back from burying your favourite pet.

I'm in pretty good shape.  And you'll seriously feel like your pet died?!  Are you kidding me?!  Will my attitude change or something?

*just finished playing Appassionata*

Kid:  hey wanna skate today?

Me:  nah man, I don't feel up to it... :'(

*looks at picture of Muffy and starts crying*

Really? :o
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Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #12 on: July 09, 2012, 04:36:03 AM »
How about emotionally exhausting - like when your best friend dies (for example i mean, not something I've personally experienced and I hope you haven't either).

Real emotion is physically exhausting though, that I do know from experience.

edit: clearly j_menz beat me to it...    wrung out sock is a fairly good description, as would be "punched in the guts" or "nauseous"

what how?!  You'll seriously feel nauseous?!  How?!

*just finished playing Appassionata*

Kid:  hey you wanna play some basketball?

Me:  nah man, I don't feel so good. :-[

*throws up*

Mom:  walk the dog!

Me:  just leave me alone!!! >:( :'(

Are you freaking kidding me? :o
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Offline j_menz

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #13 on: July 09, 2012, 04:41:30 AM »
Well good technique will prevent getting exhausted from anything right?  So my getting exhausted from La Campanella is a result of bad technique then huh... :-[

Oh Rachmaninoff's 4th moment musical is another good one!  I just wanna know if I'll encounter the same problem of forearm exhaustion in the 4th moment musical and La Campanella as I will in Appassionata.

It's either lack of exercise of the relevant muscles (ie not enough practice of those bits) or bad technique or a combination of both. Ask your teacher.

I'm in pretty good shape.  And you'll seriously feel like your pet died?!  Are you kidding me?!  Will my attitude change or something?

*just finished playing Appassionata*

Kid:  hey wanna skate today?

Me:  nah man, I don't feel up to it... :'(

Really? :o

Unfortunately, both AJ and I picked bad experiences as examples. Yes it can be draining in that way, but it can be cathartic, joyful, exhilarating as well.  You will feel wrung out, but you may feel better than you could imagine alongside it. You may well be too exhausted to skate, but you may also feel like skating to the moon.
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Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #14 on: July 09, 2012, 04:43:41 AM »
Personally, my more passionate emotional experiences relate to girls..  or rather one, whom I more or less looked after and dedicated my life (and supposed future) to for several years only to be dropped for a really trivial reason.

While not the most gut wrenching experience in the world, and certainly not a unique one either - That feels awful. Without going into detail lets just say I didn't function like a normal person for over a year.

I also wrote songs about it. I don't play/sing those songs these days. Feels freaking awful.

If you do the appassionata justice, you will feel it. Because in order to do it justice, to properly convey what it means you have to know what that feels like, and you have to feel it while you play it. When you're done it will be like you just got kicked in the face all over again.

Edit: It can ofcourse be positive too, as j_menz pointed out. The appassionata kind of hits me as being full of emotional turmoil in a negative way though, for the most part at least. High powered positive emotions can be just as taxing though..  what comes up must come down sooner or later..  you don't feel depressed/nauseous or anything, but its a "drained" kind of sensation once the adrenalin wears off

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #15 on: July 09, 2012, 04:44:29 AM »
It's either lack of exercise of the relevant muscles (ie not enough practice of those bits) or bad technique or a combination of both. Ask your teacher.

Unfortunately, both AJ and I picked bad experiences as examples. Yes it can be draining in that way, but it can be cathartic, joyful, exhilarating as well.  You will feel wrung out, but you may feel better than you could imagine alongside it. You may well be too exhausted to skate, but you may also feel like skating to the moon.

You STILL didn't tell me if I'll encounter the same problems as I did in La Campanella and the 4th moment musical.  And you still didn't tell me if Appassionata was more technically diffiult.  Are you trying to hide something from me?...  
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Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #16 on: July 09, 2012, 04:48:19 AM »
You STILL didn't tell me if I'll encounter the same problems as I did in La Campanella and the 4th moment musical.  And you still didn't tell me if Appassionata was more technically diffiult.  Are you trying to hide something from me?... 

There's a technique to a convincing performance that isnt physical such as how you move your arms..  its "feeling the music"..  That the part that makes the Beethoven more demanding.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #17 on: July 09, 2012, 04:52:59 AM »
You STILL didn't tell me if I'll encounter the same problems as I did in La Campanella and the 4th moment musical.  And you still didn't tell me if Appassionata was more technically diffiult.  Are you trying to hide something from me?...  

Read through it yourself. You'll get a much better idea from doing that than I could possibly do over an internet forum.

I'm not trying to hide anything from you, but likewise, I'm not gonna do your homework.
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Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #18 on: July 09, 2012, 04:56:40 AM »
There's a technique to a convincing performance that isnt physical such as how you move your arms..  its "feeling the music"..  That the part that makes the Beethoven more demanding.

Omg haha lol.  This what I hoped this thread would never come to.  

Yes, I know it's musically demanding, I just need to know if Appassionata is more PHYSICALLY technically demanding than La Campanella and if my hands will burn out from playing this.
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Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #19 on: July 09, 2012, 05:03:15 AM »
Omg haha lol.  This what I hoped this thread would never come to. 

Yes, I know it's musically demanding, I just need to know if Appassionata is more PHYSICALLY technically demanding than La Campanella and if my hands will burn out from playing this.

J_menz and I are saying that the musical/emotional element of the beethoven can be physically relevent.

If your technique is fine you'll never burn your hands out - if its not, you could burn yourself out on pieces easier than both of them. Just play in a way that feels good, and if you can't find that talk to your teacher.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #20 on: July 09, 2012, 05:05:45 AM »
J_menz and I are saying that the musical/emotional element of the beethoven can be physically relevent.

Never heard or played anything like that before.  I must have a pretty narrow repertoire...
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Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #21 on: July 09, 2012, 05:19:25 AM »
Never heard or played anything like that before.  I must have a pretty narrow repertoire...

Hypothetical Example 1.

Say there's a passage that is really powerful and hits you really hard, it evokes anger, frustration, and rage within you..   as a result you feel angry playing it, because of this you instinctively start hitting the keys harder, this slows you down and wears you out..

Mentally it messes with you because now despite feeling like hitting the keys with a sledge hammer you have to maintain a technique that facilitates the remaining 10 minutes of sonata not falling in a hole because your hands/arms hurt from bashing the piano.

After you finish the sense of rage lingers and you have to play chopin 9/2 afterwards, which is all lovey love love love but you can't stop feeling ragey rage rage rage.

...not like that for everyone obviously..  plenty of people get through their pieces without ever being heavily connected to them emotionally.

Edit:
Don't know if you've seen "shine" - if so, remember david gets taken the piano teachers house and they ask for him to be taught Rachmaninoff. The teachers reaction is like "Don't be stupid, he's a boy, he can not express that kind of passion"

Thats an element of something as big as the appassionata, there's playing the notes, and then there's really playing the notes...  and you have to draw on life experience not just musical experience.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #22 on: July 09, 2012, 05:40:45 AM »
Hypothetical Example 1.

Say there's a passage that is really powerful and hits you really hard, it evokes anger, frustration, and rage within you..   as a result you feel angry playing it, because of this you instinctively start hitting the keys harder, this slows you down and wears you out..

Mentally it messes with you because now despite feeling like hitting the keys with a sledge hammer you have to maintain a technique that facilitates the remaining 10 minutes of sonata not falling in a hole because your hands/arms hurt from bashing the piano.

After you finish the sense of rage lingers and you have to play chopin 9/2 afterwards, which is all lovey love love love but you can't stop feeling ragey rage rage rage.

...not like that for everyone obviously..  plenty of people get through their pieces without ever being heavily connected to them emotionally.

Edit:
Don't know if you've seen "shine" - if so, remember david gets taken the piano teachers house and they ask for him to be taught Rachmaninoff. The teachers reaction is like "Don't be stupid, he's a boy, he can not express that kind of passion"

Thats an element of something as big as the appassionata, there's playing the notes, and then there's really playing the notes...  and you have to draw on life experience not just musical experience.

Instead I smile lol.  I mean sure I feel the emotion, but instead I'm like, 'hey do you hear this?  Doesn't this sound cool?!' in stead of, 'I'm so freaking mad!!!  I'm gonna punch you in the face!'

Or when I listen to or play something sad, I don't cry, I'm like, 'ooooaaaoooaaooaooaooh dude this is soo good!'

Like a new discovery
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Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #23 on: July 09, 2012, 05:50:25 AM »
Instead I smile lol.  I mean sure I feel the emotion, but instead I'm like, 'hey do you hear this?  Doesn't this sound cool?!' in stead of, 'I'm so freaking mad!!!  I'm gonna punch you in the face!'

Or when I listen to or play something sad, I don't cry, I'm like, 'ooooaaaoooaaooaooaooh dude this is soo good!'

Like a new discovery

^a perfectly acceptable approach.

One conveys through the music the way one feels. You would know doubt be really fun to watch because you probably communicate that really enjoy playing.

From a compositional perspective, or interpretivative from whatever angle - sometimes what you're trying to do is, to quote zimmerman (roughly) "shape peoples emotions over time" - you want a performance to take your audience in different directions and different moments, highs and lows - and to share your own personal experience of life through music. That is perhaps how one truly makes an impact as a performer, rather than just entertains. You have to mean something, and share that.

Ofcourse, if you're only playing for your own benefit then it need only be whatever you want it to..

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #24 on: July 09, 2012, 05:56:23 AM »

From a compositional perspective, or interpretivative from whatever angle - sometimes what you're trying to do is, to quote zimmerman (roughly) "shape peoples emotions over time" - you want a performance to take your audience in different directions and different moments, highs and lows - and to share your own personal experience of life through music. That is perhaps how one truly makes an impact as a performer, rather than just entertains. You have to mean something, and share that.

Isn't the objective of all art to evoke emotion in the audience?  From acting to paintings to books, and to music? 
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Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #25 on: July 09, 2012, 05:59:20 AM »
Isn't the objective of all art to evoke emotion in the audience?  From acting to paintings to books, and to music? 

Sure -

So when you play any given piece from your repetoire, what string of emotions are you trying to evoke? Can you describe that..?  or are you just saying to people "hey check out how cool this sounds?"

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #26 on: July 09, 2012, 06:17:44 AM »

So when you play any given piece from your repetoire, what string of emotions are you trying to evoke? Can you describe that..?  or are you just saying to people "hey check out how cool this sounds?"

Agh that's a hard question...  

Okay so I think I play my music from a third persons point of view?  Kinda like I'm narrating a story?  So Beethovens Pathetique sonata.  For the first movement I'm like, 'hey look at this guy, he's soo mad!  Umad bro?  He's raging soo hard right now!  He thinks he's soo tough'.  For the second movement I'm like 'hey look at the night sky!  Do you see the shooting star!  There it is, it's going, it's going, it's goooiiiing, and it's-  gone...!  Did you see that?  That was awesome!  No wait, here it is again!'. Then the third movement is like, 'hey look at this couple talking!  I thought they broke up like last week right?  it seems like they want to get together again.  I don't know why, they always argue.  Oh look, they're talking but it's beginning to escalate...  Wow that was fast!  They just screamed at each other and walked away!'  *two weeks later*. 'what they're talking again!  It seems like theyre getting long better than before.  what they started arguing again and just stormed off?'. *three weeks later*. what now they're all lovey dovey!  How?!  Uh oh...  Someone said something,  I sense the tension!  Yup, now they're back to their usual arguing self...  Ooh but this is even more intense than before!  what, they both shot each other!  Dang, you guys feel salty...'

I know it's kinda immature I guess, but that's just how it is.  I never thought of that.  Is that bad or should I play more from a first person point of view.  Like, in stead of 'hey this guy is raging so hard' I should be like, 'what man I'm soooo mad!!!'

Oooaoaaoaaooh I realized something!  Okay so I only play from first person point of view when I'm playing something sad like Chopin prelude 4 or Rachmaninoff prelude 32 10.  But if it's anything else, then it's third person.

Or am I just saying gibberish.  Gosh that was a hard question to answer...
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Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #27 on: July 09, 2012, 06:29:10 AM »
I use both perspectives at different times..

The thing here is does your audience get that at all, does that way effectively communicate something? and how does each part of that story relate to the others? it isnt 3 separate pieces, they interrelate. 1 whole sonata.

Why not try it first person and record it, vs a recording of third person..

What actually sounds better, more convincing, as a listener..  and what do you personally enjoy more as the performer?

Comparison to acting though, there's got to be a reason they try to "get in character" - to really be and feel like the person they are portraying..

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #28 on: July 09, 2012, 06:32:58 AM »
Quote from: ajspiano link=topic=47021.msg511262#msg511262  and how does each part of that story relate to the others? it isnt 3 separate pieces, they interrelate.
[/quote



Time to go work on that...

Actually, let me rethink the way I play the pathetique.  I haven't really thought about it.  I'll give you a better response tomorrow. 
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Offline j_menz

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #29 on: July 09, 2012, 06:35:23 AM »
I believe a truly great performance allows/enables the listener to see the piece from a first person point of view.

And you're right, it is a hard question, but it is the door to musical wisdom.
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Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #30 on: July 09, 2012, 06:37:37 AM »
I believe a truly great performance allows/enables the listener to see the piece from a first person point of view.

But what if you lay everything out and have the audience decide for themselves how they feel?  What you feel as happy might feel as sorrow for someone else.
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Offline j_menz

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #31 on: July 09, 2012, 06:48:27 AM »
But what if you lay everything out and have the audience decide for themselves how they feel?  What you feel as happy might feel as sorrow for someone else.

You'd be surprised how well people agree about the emotional impact of things.

How do you expect to "lay everything out" if you don't lay out that emotion too? And how do you do that if you don't feel it?  And feel it through the music, not seperately from it?

By that latter I mean for example that you express sorrow, say, through the music, not through tears or sighing or slumping. All of it through the music.
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Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
«Reply #32 on: July 09, 2012, 06:55:50 AM »
If you lay it out for the audience to decide, as opposed to define an emotion as the performer - The audience will not find what they feel in the music, rather you will give the impression of a lack of emotion and they will feel that. Nothing.

Your description before I call visual imagery, that varies person to person. But what goes underneath, the raw indescribable feeling - thats (probably) the same for everyone. The actual visual created is dependent on a persons life experience, but the gut feeling will be the same..

For the record, I thought you did pretty well to come up with a story for the different fragments of the sonata and put it in words. It is a very difficult question.