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Tempest Sonata #1813936
12/28/11 05:08 PM
12/28/11 05:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,001
Eryri/Manchester
hopinmad Offline OP
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Hi,

I've just started learning this piece. But I already have a few questions:

Bars 20-40 of the 1st movement (I think so anyway, I mean the bit with the triplet accompaniment). Can you give me some suggestions/ideas of how to play this bit? My copy (Barry Cooper ABRSM)has no pedal markings. Playing it without pedal, I'm forced to switch hands to play the accompanying triplets, and it is very difficult to play this accompaniment lightly without pedal. However, the dry sound on the LH ntoes are very effective. Playing all of it with pedal feels like I lose the impact of the LH notes, and playing some bars with some bars without I don't like because I feel the tone is too inconsistent. I like the A G# A Bb A melody with pedal, but I like the LH notes without. Essentially, I'm undecided on how to play this passage and I'd like others to share with me their experience of this passage, why you played it like this why not like this etc. why pedal here why not here etc.etc. I'm just looking for suggestions and ideas. Thanks.

The same question applies to start the third movement. How do people pedal it? Your thoughts on what sounds best?


Thanks


Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin
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Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: hopinmad] #1814404
12/29/11 11:53 AM
12/29/11 11:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,931
Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Varcon Offline
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Why not print out a copy with pedaling suggested and then use it as you feel it works for you? Fascinating sonata! smile

Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: hopinmad] #1814523
12/29/11 02:58 PM
12/29/11 02:58 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 406
United States
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Serge Marinkovic Offline
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You picked the best edition with Barry Cooper. His ability to make simple sense out of difficult passages is wonderful. Sight reading the Hammerklavier is very difficult but it becomes less troublesome with Barry Cooper's edition because his editing clarifies a lot of passages and his fingering seems to always agree with what i need. Now your mileage may vary because I have a large hand but just about everyone I have recommended his series to has been very happy with them compared to the Henle edition. It is just better scholarship with Coopers edition.


Serge P. Marinkovic, MD

Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: hopinmad] #1814528
12/29/11 03:03 PM
12/29/11 03:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
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Eryri/Manchester
hopinmad Offline OP
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@Varcon: Can't decide which I'd print!

@Serge Marinkovic: That may be, but pedalling is scarce. There are no pedal markings at all in Op.14/1, and only three or four bars (the slow arpeggio figure in bar 1, and some similar bars) have pedal markings in the Tempest (them being the only sonatas I've used the edition for).

Anyone with ideas from personal experience about how they use the pedal in the Tempest?


Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin
Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: hopinmad] #1814530
12/29/11 03:04 PM
12/29/11 03:04 PM
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US
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Serge, you get my vote for understatement of the year for this comment

" Sight reading the Hammerklavier is very difficult....." ! grin

Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: hopinmad] #1814547
12/29/11 03:32 PM
12/29/11 03:32 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,128
Victoria, BC
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Originally Posted by hopinmad
[...]
The same question applies to start the third movement. How do people pedal it? Your thoughts on what sounds best?
Thanks


Pedaling becomes quite subjective, all the more so since each of us plays on a different piano and the sustain of any given piano as well as the adjustment - and hence, the effect - of the damper pedal are as individual as the instrument itself.

You must decide what effect you wish to obtain and use the pedal to best achieve that effect on your particular piano. This begs the question : what do you do when you perform on a different piano than the one you practiced on? Adjust as quickly as you can, if you can't try the piano before hand.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: BruceD] #1814589
12/29/11 04:19 PM
12/29/11 04:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
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Hobart, Australia
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ando Offline
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by hopinmad
[...]
The same question applies to start the third movement. How do people pedal it? Your thoughts on what sounds best?
Thanks


Pedaling becomes quite subjective, all the more so since each of us plays on a different piano and the sustain of any given piano as well as the adjustment - and hence, the effect - of the damper pedal are as individual as the instrument itself.

You must decide what effect you wish to obtain and use the pedal to best achieve that effect on your particular piano. This begs the question : what do you do when you perform on a different piano than the one you practiced on? Adjust as quickly as you can, if you can't try the piano before hand.

Regards,


I find I don't really look at pedal information at all. I tend to go on instinct based on what I want to hear.

Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: BruceD] #1814621
12/29/11 05:04 PM
12/29/11 05:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,001
Eryri/Manchester
hopinmad Offline OP
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by hopinmad
[...]
The same question applies to start the third movement. How do people pedal it? Your thoughts on what sounds best?
Thanks


Pedaling becomes quite subjective, all the more so since each of us plays on a different piano and the sustain of any given piano as well as the adjustment - and hence, the effect - of the damper pedal are as individual as the instrument itself.

You must decide what effect you wish to obtain and use the pedal to best achieve that effect on your particular piano. This begs the question : what do you do when you perform on a different piano than the one you practiced on? Adjust as quickly as you can, if you can't try the piano before hand.

Regards,


True, although the variation on different pianos isn't really the issue here. It's choosing an interpretation in the first place, not choosing how to execute a chosen one.

If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think it should be played without pedal. If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think the pedal should be used throughout but at their own discretion. The two interpretations that would result would be much less alike than two of the same interpretations on two very different pianos.


Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin
Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: hopinmad] #1814749
12/29/11 07:56 PM
12/29/11 07:56 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,128
Victoria, BC
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Originally Posted by hopinmad
[...]If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think it should be played without pedal. If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think the pedal should be used throughout but at their own discretion. The two interpretations that would result would be much less alike than two of the same interpretations on two very different pianos.


Eleanor Bailie comments on pedaling in Chopin by saying that 1) Chopin often did not indicate the use of the pedal where its use was so obvious that indicating it would be superfluous and 2) Chopin often did not indicate the use of the pedal where its use is so complex that it would be impractical to try to indicate how it is to be used.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: BruceD] #1814772
12/29/11 08:39 PM
12/29/11 08:39 PM
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New York
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by hopinmad
[...]If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think it should be played without pedal. If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think the pedal should be used throughout but at their own discretion. The two interpretations that would result would be much less alike than two of the same interpretations on two very different pianos.


Eleanor Bailie comments on pedaling in Chopin by saying that 1) Chopin often did not indicate the use of the pedal where its use was so obvious that indicating it would be superfluous and 2) Chopin often did not indicate the use of the pedal where its use is so complex that it would be impractical to try to indicate how it is to be used.

Regards,


That reminds me of: "This statement is false." crazy

Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: hopinmad] #1814924
12/30/11 01:06 AM
12/30/11 01:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 526
Perth, Australia
Jolteon Offline
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I'd say the pedal markings on your score are the only ones that Beethoven would have written/used/intended. The piano he most likely would've been playing when he composed this, would have had a damper 'pedal' which was operated by the knee, and I'd guess it was not really very practical and probably quite cumbersome to use.

The editor of my Alfred Masterworks Edition says:
Bulow shows a disposition between the hands that is frequently recommended, that of continuing to play the triplet eighth notes with the RH and crossing over with the LH to play the melody in the treble clef in measures 22-24 and 26-28, suing the damper pedal to sustain notes in the bass. This results in some degree of blurring in measures 23 and 27. Tovey and Casella permit crossing in m easures 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38-40, where use of the damper pedal does not blur the line, but compromises the staccato marked on the sf quarter notes in measures 30, 32, 34 and 36. D'Albert, Schenker, and Schnabel recommend crossing only in measures 38-40, where the sf quarter notes no longer carry a staccato mark (both in Nageli and Simrock[first editions]). This editor agrees with crossing in measures 38-40, where the eighth- note triplet figure is high enough to make playing it with the left hand awkward.
___

Play it however you feel works best for you, and gives you the sound/effect you think Beethoven was after. I personally think that changing the playing of the triplets to the left hand, and playing the melody with the right hand works/sounds best, no pedal at all. Make sure you really give those bass arpeggios the staccatos, because it makes it sound awesome. smile


[Linked Image]
Algernon: I hope, Cecily, I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection.
Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: Jolteon] #1814961
12/30/11 04:10 AM
12/30/11 04:10 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,651
Here, as opposed to there
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Originally Posted by Jolteon
The piano he most likely would've been playing when he composed this, would have had a damper 'pedal' which was operated by the knee, and I'd guess it was not really very practical and probably quite cumbersome to use.



Actually, no, the piano Beethoven owned at the time wasn't one with a "knee-damper". They aren't at all cumbersome to use...really quite easy once one becomes familiar with it (as with anything). The "Tempest" was composed at a time when piano makers in Vienna were just starting to try and outdo one another. Erard, in 1801, built a piano with 5 pedals. Beethoven, would have known the knee-damper, of course, but the piano makers in Vienna fell over themselves trying to accommodate him with the newest version of their product. Many of the upgrades presented with each new version where those asked for by Beethoven. He's quite personally responsible for the evolution of the instrument we all love.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: stores] #1814978
12/30/11 05:51 AM
12/30/11 05:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 526
Perth, Australia
Jolteon Offline
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Jolteon
The piano he most likely would've been playing when he composed this, would have had a damper 'pedal' which was operated by the knee, and I'd guess it was not really very practical and probably quite cumbersome to use.



Actually, no, the piano Beethoven owned at the time wasn't one with a "knee-damper". They aren't at all cumbersome to use...really quite easy once one becomes familiar with it (as with anything).


I've never used or even seen one of these pianos, so I'm only guessing. But there must be a reason why natural selection opted for a foot-pedal rather than a knee-pedal. smile


[Linked Image]
Algernon: I hope, Cecily, I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection.
Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: Jolteon] #1815007
12/30/11 08:01 AM
12/30/11 08:01 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,001
Eryri/Manchester
hopinmad Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Jolteon


The editor of my Alfred Masterworks Edition says:
Bulow shows a disposition between the hands that is frequently recommended, that of continuing to play the triplet eighth notes with the RH and crossing over with the LH to play the melody in the treble clef in measures 22-24 and 26-28, suing the damper pedal to sustain notes in the bass. This results in some degree of blurring in measures 23 and 27. Tovey and Casella permit crossing in m easures 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38-40, where use of the damper pedal does not blur the line, but compromises the staccato marked on the sf quarter notes in measures 30, 32, 34 and 36. D'Albert, Schenker, and Schnabel recommend crossing only in measures 38-40, where the sf quarter notes no longer carry a staccato mark (both in Nageli and Simrock[first editions]). This editor agrees with crossing in measures 38-40, where the eighth- note triplet figure is high enough to make playing it with the left hand awkward.
___

Play it however you feel works best for you, and gives you the sound/effect you think Beethoven was after. I personally think that changing the playing of the triplets to the left hand, and playing the melody with the right hand works/sounds best, no pedal at all. Make sure you really give those bass arpeggios the staccatos, because it makes it sound awesome. smile


Thank you, that's a very useful post!

I originally tried it without pedal at all, distributing the triplets across both hands. Three things changed my mind though:

1. It feels unnatural swapping them over when you could so easily play all the triplets in the RH.

2. The triplets are harder without pedal.

3. I'd play some melody notes in the RH too, unless I wanted to switch hands in middle of a bar.

I've now decided I'm going to play all thhe triplets with the RH, since those three problems go away. In particular, it feels more natural. I also really do like the A G# A Bb A bit with pedal. Unfortunately, though, it means I either have to compromise some staccato markings, or have inconsistency with the tone. There is also the fact that, between bars 31 and 32 for example, the RH has to repeat a note (BEB BEB), which suggests that Beethoven would have wanted me to switch hands.

But! it feels nice playing it like this! So I think I'll stick with it.


Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin
Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: hopinmad] #1815096
12/30/11 10:50 AM
12/30/11 10:50 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 391
Ohio
Brad Hoehne Offline
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Ohio
Hopinmad,

I've been working on the Tempest since the beginning of November.

When I play those measures (starting at measure 21), I switch hands often. However, I find it a lot easier than the alternative you're suggesting (which I tried at the outset). The motion of switching feels fluid and natural without too much practice.

I play the triplets in the right hand for measures 21, 26 and 30, for instance, and then immediately switch to the left hand on the first beat of measures 22, 27 and 31. That way I can easily hold the low D in measure 22 (or the low E in measure 26 or the low F in 31) through its full three measure length without pedaling at all.

While playing the apeggiated D chord in the left hand in measure 21, think of your 5th finger landing on the low D (and the fourth finger on the F) at the outset of measure 22. If you practice this alone a few times (without playing the Right hand tremolo), the hand switch is becomes quite simple. The right hand simply moves out of the way, and then has three whole beats to get in place to play the A on the fourth beat of measure 22. There's no crossing over involved at this point.

I try to do as little pedaling as possible to keep the passage, and the piece in general, as clean as I can. I lean heavily on it for the Adagio sections and the blurry coda, but I try to keep my foot far away from the pedal for most of the rest. (I give in to the temptations of my right foot for the second movement, however.)

I DO pedal measures 38-40 to keep the whole notes resounding. I play the triplets exclusively with the R.H. and the chord and high A by crossing over the L.H. But, at this point, the "melody" is so simple that this is darn easy. I change pedal just before the beginning of each measure. I justify this because it adds to the implied crescendo to fortissimo (the first in the piece) by allowing the piano to resound. The damper pedal (right pedal) was, for a time, called the loud pedal for a reason...


My teacher helped me get this passage sounding musical without any pedal at all. Here's what he had me do:

- Practice the triplets as triplets- that is, play the two note tremolo NOT like DA-di DA-di DA-di etc,. but DA-di-da DI-da-di DA-di-da DI-da-di. etc,. giving a little emphasis to the beginning of each triplet chunk. It helps also to think in quarter notes (DA-DI-DA-DI) not concerning oneself too much with sounding, or even thinking about, the non-accented notes.

Note that at tempo (probably around 100-110 bpm), you will naturally even this out a bit, and that's fine. However, if you slow practicethe triplets cleanly delineated like this, the four beat pulse of the piece should be maintained at higher tempo.

- The forte comes from the melody and the first note of each triplet. The remaining notes merely add "texture", and, as long as they're there, they can be played lightly without affecting the overall sense of loudness.

- "Chunk" when practicing. Start by practicing the hand position shifts without playing the tremolos as tremolos.

- Technically, a tremolo should be played with a slight axial roll of the forearm sort of like turning a doorknob. This reduces the amount of stress on the fingers.

- The key to the six note R.H. melody is in getting an effective phrasing down. I spent a while practicing this without the L.H. trying to get a very musical lilt to the passage- playing it less squarely and more "like Chopin" to contrast it with the almost-stacatto arpeggiated chord that comes one measure before. What a lyrical passage is is rather subjective. Experiment and find a phrasing that sounds lyrical to you. (Mine is a sort of breathy da-Dah-DAAH-di-da-da da, with the final note being quite delicate. )

If my experience is any guide (and, who knows if it is?), this should help bring things under your fingers fairly quickly.

Last edited by Brad Hoehne; 12/30/11 11:33 AM.

1999 Petrof 125-111 (upright)
Casio Privia PX-330

Currently working on:
Chopin Etude op 25 #2 and op 10 #5
Schubert Op 90 #2, #3
Playing by ear and "filling out" pop tunes
Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: Jolteon] #1815238
12/30/11 02:13 PM
12/30/11 02:13 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,651
Here, as opposed to there
stores Offline
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Originally Posted by Jolteon
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Jolteon
The piano he most likely would've been playing when he composed this, would have had a damper 'pedal' which was operated by the knee, and I'd guess it was not really very practical and probably quite cumbersome to use.



Actually, no, the piano Beethoven owned at the time wasn't one with a "knee-damper". They aren't at all cumbersome to use...really quite easy once one becomes familiar with it (as with anything).


I've never used or even seen one of these pianos, so I'm only guessing. But there must be a reason why natural selection opted for a foot-pedal rather than a knee-pedal. smile


Foot pedals are simply that much easier to use, but the knee-damper isn't difficult to get used to. I studied pianoforte for most of my university days and on more than one fitted with a knee-damper.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: Brad Hoehne] #1822210
01/10/12 02:11 PM
01/10/12 02:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,001
Eryri/Manchester
hopinmad Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Brad Hoehne
Hopinmad,

I've been working on the Tempest since the beginning of November.

When I play those measures (starting at measure 21), I switch hands often. However, I find it a lot easier than the alternative you're suggesting (which I tried at the outset). The motion of switching feels fluid and natural without too much practice.

I play the triplets in the right hand for measures 21, 26 and 30, for instance, and then immediately switch to the left hand on the first beat of measures 22, 27 and 31. That way I can easily hold the low D in measure 22 (or the low E in measure 26 or the low F in 31) through its full three measure length without pedaling at all.

While playing the apeggiated D chord in the left hand in measure 21, think of your 5th finger landing on the low D (and the fourth finger on the F) at the outset of measure 22. If you practice this alone a few times (without playing the Right hand tremolo), the hand switch is becomes quite simple. The right hand simply moves out of the way, and then has three whole beats to get in place to play the A on the fourth beat of measure 22. There's no crossing over involved at this point.

I try to do as little pedaling as possible to keep the passage, and the piece in general, as clean as I can. I lean heavily on it for the Adagio sections and the blurry coda, but I try to keep my foot far away from the pedal for most of the rest. (I give in to the temptations of my right foot for the second movement, however.)

I DO pedal measures 38-40 to keep the whole notes resounding. I play the triplets exclusively with the R.H. and the chord and high A by crossing over the L.H. But, at this point, the "melody" is so simple that this is darn easy. I change pedal just before the beginning of each measure. I justify this because it adds to the implied crescendo to fortissimo (the first in the piece) by allowing the piano to resound. The damper pedal (right pedal) was, for a time, called the loud pedal for a reason...


My teacher helped me get this passage sounding musical without any pedal at all. Here's what he had me do:

- Practice the triplets as triplets- that is, play the two note tremolo NOT like DA-di DA-di DA-di etc,. but DA-di-da DI-da-di DA-di-da DI-da-di. etc,. giving a little emphasis to the beginning of each triplet chunk. It helps also to think in quarter notes (DA-DI-DA-DI) not concerning oneself too much with sounding, or even thinking about, the non-accented notes.

Note that at tempo (probably around 100-110 bpm), you will naturally even this out a bit, and that's fine. However, if you slow practicethe triplets cleanly delineated like this, the four beat pulse of the piece should be maintained at higher tempo.

- The forte comes from the melody and the first note of each triplet. The remaining notes merely add "texture", and, as long as they're there, they can be played lightly without affecting the overall sense of loudness.

- "Chunk" when practicing. Start by practicing the hand position shifts without playing the tremolos as tremolos.

- Technically, a tremolo should be played with a slight axial roll of the forearm sort of like turning a doorknob. This reduces the amount of stress on the fingers.

- The key to the six note R.H. melody is in getting an effective phrasing down. I spent a while practicing this without the L.H. trying to get a very musical lilt to the passage- playing it less squarely and more "like Chopin" to contrast it with the almost-stacatto arpeggiated chord that comes one measure before. What a lyrical passage is is rather subjective. Experiment and find a phrasing that sounds lyrical to you. (Mine is a sort of breathy da-Dah-DAAH-di-da-da da, with the final note being quite delicate. )

If my experience is any guide (and, who knows if it is?), this should help bring things under your fingers fairly quickly.


Thanks, I've read your post carefully. However, I've decided to pedal that entire section (21 - 40) and play the accompaniment with the RH always. It may be partly because I don't want to tackle that playing it without pedal, which would be quite a bit harder. I'll see how it goes anyway, thanks for your reply!


Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin
Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: hopinmad] #1822216
01/10/12 02:28 PM
01/10/12 02:28 PM
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Just try to imitate this and you will be fine.

regards,

Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: Jolteon] #1822307
01/10/12 05:50 PM
01/10/12 05:50 PM
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New York City
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Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
pianoloverus  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,040
New York City
Originally Posted by Jolteon
I'd say the pedal markings on your score are the only ones that Beethoven would have written/used/intended.
Czerny said that Beethoven used the pedal much more than he indicated in his scores according to Rosen's book on the Beethoven Sonatas. My understanding is that most of Beethoven's pedal indications are in places where he thought it may not have been obvious/critical.

Re: Tempest Sonata [Re: Hakki] #1822324
01/10/12 06:13 PM
01/10/12 06:13 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,651
Here, as opposed to there
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member
stores  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,651
Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by Hakki
Just try to imitate this and you will be fine.

regards,


No. Don't try to imitate anyone. Be original. Think for yourself. Do your homework and learn all you can so that when you sit to play we hear Beethoven.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

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