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Topic: Waldstein  (Read 1884 times)

Offline IanT

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Waldstein
on: April 07, 2005, 08:26:37 PM
I read somewhere else on this board that there was some speculation that Beethoven's Waldstein sonata was written to be performed on a piano in just tuning.

Does anyone have any more info on this topic?  It certainly makes a lot of sense to me.  I always wondered at the strange writing in this piece - all the major chord arpeggios and the lack of any particularly remote keys or dissonant chords.

It brings to mind images of a crabby Count Waldstein complaining to Beethoven that 'modern music is all written for this new-fangled equal temperament system', 'nobody cares about the old ways anymore', 'write me something that I can play on my just temperament clavier!'

Any thoughts?

Ian

Offline pianonut

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Re: Waldstein
Reply #1 on: April 08, 2005, 02:52:23 AM
my thoughts exactly.
do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.

Offline rab1588

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Re: Waldstein
Reply #2 on: April 10, 2005, 04:27:37 AM
wow. i have never heard of that but it does sound interesting. if u get some info, make sure to post it.

Offline jlh

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Re: Waldstein
Reply #3 on: April 10, 2005, 06:42:04 AM
Well, the fact that Beethoven was already deaf when he composed the Waldstein may be part of the issue.

Right before I played my senior recital the other day, the technician was replacing a string that was broken by a MM student playing the Waldstein earlier that day... Maybe that's why the string broke... the equal temperament couldn't take it any longer!  ;)
. ROFL : ROFL:LOL:ROFL : ROFL '
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LOL "\         [ ] \
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Offline aquariuswb

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Re: Waldstein
Reply #4 on: April 10, 2005, 11:39:36 PM
Well, the fact that Beethoven was already deaf when he composed the Waldstein may be part of the issue.

Nope -- he was absolutely not completely deaf by the time he wrote Op. 53. Yes, he had already STARTED to go deaf, but he could still hear!
Favorite pianists include Pollini, Casadesus, Mendl (from the Vienna Piano Trio), Hungerford, Gilels, Argerich, Iturbi, Horowitz, Kempff, and I suppose Barenboim (gotta love the CSO). Too many others.

Offline musik_man

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Re: Waldstein
Reply #5 on: April 11, 2005, 12:48:42 AM
Does anyone know of any recordings done in just-tempering?  I'd like to hear it.
/)_/)
(^.^)
((__))o

Offline Komponist

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Re: Waldstein
Reply #6 on: April 13, 2005, 12:02:00 PM
I read somewhere else on this board that there was some speculation that Beethoven's Waldstein sonata was written to be performed on a piano in just tuning.

Does anyone have any more info on this topic?  It certainly makes a lot of sense to me.  I always wondered at the strange writing in this piece - all the major chord arpeggios and the lack of any particularly remote keys or dissonant chords.

It brings to mind images of a crabby Count Waldstein complaining to Beethoven that 'modern music is all written for this new-fangled equal temperament system', 'nobody cares about the old ways anymore', 'write me something that I can play on my just temperament clavier!'

Any thoughts?

Ian

I disagree for several reasons.   First, I doubt greatly that Count Ferdinand von Waldstein would have any inclination, not to mention skill, to attempt this beast.  Clementi probably would have declared it unplayable; perhaps Cramer would have taken it on, albeit with disdain for the double glissando octaves.  Secondly, your point about the lack of distant keys is disproven early, I'm afraid.  The second subject of the first movement is in E major, and in the preparation to arrive there, there are arpeggiated B major chords in both hands.  This continues through the development of the first movement....Gb major, Cb, Eb minor, F#7, really, you name it, the Master cycles around the circle of 5ths like it's child's play.  Your point is taken about the mostly diatonic third movement, but the first movement with its wild gearshifting of tone-centers would really sound like hell in any preferential tuning scheme.

Hence, I doubt you'll find it recorded as such.

Just my two cents.
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