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#1971942 - 10/11/12 05:34 PM D.960  
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last movement, the G-octaves, recurring all the time, at the end dropping 2 semitones, constantly stopping the process of a happy stroll, what do you think about these, and, for that matter, about the 'false' victory at the end?


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
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#1971966 - 10/11/12 06:08 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Why do think it's a "false victory" at the end?

#1971982 - 10/11/12 06:36 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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because the whole sonata has a 'tired, valedictory, used-up' character and is in no way a podiumpiece to star the performer, it's a companionpiece to it's 2 sisters and the stringquintet, it's Schubert's last word in instrumental music, it's out of this world, it's a forced happy-ending, it's a formula, it's a forced point to the last sentence.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#1971985 - 10/11/12 06:45 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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It bugs me when people play this movement casually. Even the slowest performers of the 'Cello Quintet give the last movement its due energy; why do we forgive pianists who fail to do this? For that matter, the whole sonata is usually played too slowly. It loses its tightness, cohesion and direction.

And lest people forget, I recorded all of Schubert's slow movements. I have an outpouring of love for them, and it pains me to hear them played without shape and direction.

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#1972313 - 10/12/12 01:22 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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I'm not as familiar with the piece as I should, but I feel compelled to mention a very distinctive performance of it that I witnessed on my birthday this year. It was at my house, after a mini-recital I gave for the attendees, and an adult friend played the third and fourth movements as part of a gift to me. It was an odd sort of gift, considering that this usually brilliant pianist had had a fair amount to drink over the course of the evening... but the interruptions of the "happy stroll" did have a very arresting quality. No pun intended grin

#1972386 - 10/12/12 04:56 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
because the whole sonata has a 'tired, valedictory, used-up' character...
it never really struck me that way.

#1972553 - 10/13/12 12:35 AM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
it's Schubert's last word in instrumental music, it's out of this world, it's a forced happy-ending, it's a formula, it's a forced point to the last sentence.

And quite the very fashionable interpretation, au courant indeed wherein every note of Schubert is scrutinized for some secret and mystical reference to ruined love, death, or any other textbook category of emotional unfulfillment, self-hatred, and ultimately self-absorption.

I have loved the Bb sonata since a teenager, and it has always given me a joyous pleasure in its affirmation of life. I will not be depressed by this music.

Some composers -Schubert, Mahler, Shostakovich- seem to be ideal vessels for the psychoanalytic crowd, and the academics go on and on, not shedding much light but making money on a lot of questionable conclusions.

Wagner, of course, is the prime example, but I have long grown impatient with all the babble and simply choose to concentrate on how glorious this music is to me.


Jason
#1973261 - 10/14/12 06:20 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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I am inclined not to consider myself as a member of the psycoanalytic crowd, nor the academics, just the concertplayers, your assumption gives me the pimples, and my opinion, though hardly perceptible from the post, will not be 'fashionable', ever, what a presumptious and little-ivory-tower-far-in-the-outback-aftertaste it gives me, this comes from some one in the midst of concertplaying duties, not from some lone ranger with peculiar visions.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#1973281 - 10/14/12 07:02 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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^ Well then you best be going back to your concert playing duties, fair enough.

But of course doesn't it come down to a simple 'you have no right to question what I think, what do YOU know?.

Well perhaps, so there is no dialogue...

...which would be too bad, since there might be other aspects to consider about that Schubert sonata, just saying...


Jason
#1975877 - 10/19/12 06:38 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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there should be always room for dialogue, just not for solipsistic statements, I thought your's was quite hermetic, hence my protest, I didn't slam any doors in anyone's face, certainly not your's. I think Schubert's last 3 sonatas are not just there for musiclover's delight, they mean something more, in Schuberts' oeuvre/career/life and for us, poor pianists who have to recreate masterpieces of the past (and present). In D.960's case, because it has me under it's spell for more than 40 years and I'm in the process of performing it now regularly, it seemed to be a good idea to let loose some thoughts on the forum here and to many collegues/friends all over the place to discuss whatever might trigger your/their opinions about it, that's all, so far the results here are rather slight, let's see what might pop up, but I like the pace it goes in: molto moderato.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#1975902 - 10/19/12 07:28 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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I know what you mean about the ending. It's certainly not your average piece of triumph. Lots of doubt, dissatisfaction, overweight and near-sightedness. Even with all that I think it really must be played sincerely. St. Peter stuff. One thing to avoid is a measured here-we-go type of thing. It should be abrupt and blazing and breathless.

#1976027 - 10/20/12 12:33 AM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
...it seemed to be a good idea to let loose some thoughts on the forum here and to many collegues/friends all over the place to discuss whatever might trigger your/their opinions about it, that's all, so far the results here are rather slight, let's see what might pop up, but I like the pace it goes in: molto moderato.

No intention to slight or insult you. (That would be silly of me.) I was just putting out a rather controversial opinion, fully realizing that. laugh

But here is a question for you: do you take the exposition repeat in the first movement? Tell us what you think!



Jason
#1976042 - 10/20/12 01:25 AM Re: D.960 [Re: argerichfan]  
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
...it seemed to be a good idea to let loose some thoughts on the forum here and to many collegues/friends all over the place to discuss whatever might trigger your/their opinions about it, that's all, so far the results here are rather slight, let's see what might pop up, but I like the pace it goes in: molto moderato.

No intention to slight or insult you. (That would be silly of me.) I was just putting out a rather controversial opinion, fully realizing that. laugh

But here is a question for you: do you take the exposition repeat in the first movement? Tell us what you think!



The exposition repeat is important, but it requires the performer not to play in a soporific manner. Molto moderato it is; Largo or Grave it is not.

#1976280 - 10/20/12 01:44 PM Re: D.960 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
...it seemed to be a good idea to let loose some thoughts on the forum here and to many collegues/friends all over the place to discuss whatever might trigger your/their opinions about it, that's all, so far the results here are rather slight, let's see what might pop up, but I like the pace it goes in: molto moderato.

No intention to slight or insult you. (That would be silly of me.) I was just putting out a rather controversial opinion, fully realizing that. laugh

But here is a question for you: do you take the exposition repeat in the first movement? Tell us what you think!



The exposition repeat is important, but it requires the performer not to play in a soporific manner. Molto moderato it is; Largo or Grave it is not.


Yes, I agree.

#1976420 - 10/20/12 07:20 PM Re: D.960 [Re: Orange Soda King]  
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones

The exposition repeat is important, but it requires the performer not to play in a soporific manner. Molto moderato it is; Largo or Grave it is not.


Yes, I agree.

I agree also, even if Brendel felt differently, and I would not want to argue the point with him.

Still, one must wonder what Richter was up to with his recording. He drags the movement out to Wagnerian proportions -a whole new spin on the heavenly lengths concept- but unlike Wagner, there seems little sense of dramatic timing, more a private meditation, but this is never the case with Wagner, as his slowest moments (cf Wotan's monologue in Walkure) will often push the action far faster than his more kinetic scenes.

Of course who am I to argue with Richter either, yet his D960 comes off as a sonata with two slow movements, hardly -I should think- what Schubert might have intended.


Jason
#1976969 - 10/22/12 03:11 AM Re: D.960 [Re: argerichfan]  
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones

The exposition repeat is important, but it requires the performer not to play in a soporific manner. Molto moderato it is; Largo or Grave it is not.


Yes, I agree.

I agree also, even if Brendel felt differently, and I would not want to argue the point with him.

Still, one must wonder what Richter was up to with his recording. He drags the movement out to Wagnerian proportions -a whole new spin on the heavenly lengths concept- but unlike Wagner, there seems little sense of dramatic timing, more a private meditation, but this is never the case with Wagner, as his slowest moments (cf Wotan's monologue in Walkure) will often push the action far faster than his more kinetic scenes.

Of course who am I to argue with Richter either, yet his D960 comes off as a sonata with two slow movements, hardly -I should think- what Schubert might have intended.


You know what he said when he listened to his own D. 894 - "I feel nothing." That's how I feel about all of Richter's Schubert. It's beautiful pools of empty sound. I'd rather listen to the scratchiest, most technically horrible recordings of him playing Schumann or Prokofiev or even Beethoven.

#1977197 - 10/22/12 05:08 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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about the repeat:
1) the easy reason: Schubert wrote it, so we have to play it.
2) the more elaborate and musical reason: the musical substance of the extra bars to reintroduce the exposition is, according to some highbrow pianists of the former generation, of a slight nature, slight enough to be skipped in order to keep the movement going on.. My (and of course not only my) opinion is that in those few bars the g-flat trill becomes so utterly dramatic and all important, that it quasi overtakes the psychology of the whole movement, and becomes all the more sinister whenever one hears it again, in the distance, so when one doesn't play the repeat and misses the all important ƒƒ trill, one keeps happily at the surface of what eventually should become a 'dramatic' movement instead of a 'placid' one, quite a change of directions, and as I might add: a crucial one.
No repeat is no sonata, this applies to all of Schuberts music, even the 2nd trio, that so many ensembles find hard to do justice to by just respecting all the repeats..
Bruckner, the champion of 'long' music (and musical heir of Schubert) f.e. may sound in his substantial (and long) symphonies even longer when cut and he said it so simply and beautifully: 'meine Symfonien sind nicht zu lange, sie sind zu kurz!' He was right.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#1977198 - 10/22/12 05:11 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
about the repeat:
1) the easy reason: Schubert wrote it, so we have to play it.
2) the more elaborate and musical reason: the musical substance of the extra bars to reintroduce the exposition is, according to some highbrow pianists of the former generation, of a slight nature, slight enough to be skipped in order to keep the movement going on.. My (and of course not only my) opinion is that in those few bars the g-flat trill becomes so utterly dramatic and all important, that it quasi overtakes the psychology of the whole movement, and becomes all the more sinister whenever one hears it again, in the distance, so when one doesn't play the repeat and misses the all important ƒƒ trill, one keeps happily at the surface of what eventually should become a 'dramatic' movement instead of a 'placid' one, quite a change of directions, and as I might add: a crucial one.
No repeat is no sonata, this applies to all of Schuberts music, even the 2nd trio, that so many ensembles find hard to do justice to by just respecting all the repeats..
Bruckner, the champion of 'long' music (and musical heir of Schubert) f.e. may sound in his substantial (and long) symphonies even longer when cut and he said it so simply and beautifully: 'meine Symfonien sind nicht zu lange, sie sind zu kurz!' He was right.


What a pleasure, reading what is written here.

#1977342 - 10/23/12 12:03 AM Re: D.960 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones

You know what he said when he listened to his own D. 894 - "I feel nothing." That's how I feel about all of Richter's Schubert. It's beautiful pools of empty sound.


That comment gives me hives.



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#1977359 - 10/23/12 12:31 AM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Richter does amazing things, but I still don't care for the tempo of D 960 first movement...

#1977360 - 10/23/12 12:33 AM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Why? He's probably the only one that can pull that off. It's very philosophical.



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#1977364 - 10/23/12 12:47 AM Re: D.960 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones

The exposition repeat is important, but it requires the performer not to play in a soporific manner. Molto moderato it is; Largo or Grave it is not.


Yes, I agree.

I agree also, even if Brendel felt differently, and I would not want to argue the point with him.

Still, one must wonder what Richter was up to with his recording. He drags the movement out to Wagnerian proportions -a whole new spin on the heavenly lengths concept- but unlike Wagner, there seems little sense of dramatic timing, more a private meditation, but this is never the case with Wagner, as his slowest moments (cf Wotan's monologue in Walkure) will often push the action far faster than his more kinetic scenes.

Of course who am I to argue with Richter either, yet his D960 comes off as a sonata with two slow movements, hardly -I should think- what Schubert might have intended.


You know what he said when he listened to his own D. 894 - "I feel nothing." That's how I feel about all of Richter's Schubert. It's beautiful pools of empty sound. I'd rather listen to the scratchiest, most technically horrible recordings of him playing Schumann or Prokofiev or even Beethoven.

He comments on his tempo for D.960 that he feels like his own tempo is the right tempo for the entire movement. He sort of pioneered the slow approach anyways, but it's effective when he gets to the violent climax in the development (same as with D.849).

I like his approach because of the intensity he maintains at the slow tempo. You don't get that with a lot of other performances.

And I'm sort of confused about the references to Schumann and Prokofiev, considering how those are probably the two composers he plays best...


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

#1977365 - 10/23/12 12:48 AM Re: D.960 [Re: argerichfan]  
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Originally Posted by argerichfan


I have loved the Bb sonata since a teenager, and it has always given me a joyous pleasure in its affirmation of life. I will not be depressed by this music.



I really love this take on D.960!! I'll keep it in mind when I take a listen to the sonata again.


Working on:
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#1977619 - 10/23/12 03:35 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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It's fantastic, but it still drags, and he bangs a couple spots, too... I feel that there are other great performances of that piece that move me along more.

#1977890 - 10/24/12 07:45 AM Re: D.960 [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
You know what he said when he listened to his own D. 894 - "I feel nothing." That's how I feel about all of Richter's Schubert. It's beautiful pools of empty sound. I'd rather listen to the scratchiest, most technically horrible recordings of him playing Schumann or Prokofiev or even Beethoven.


I took his quote to mean that he feels at death's door when he plays a lot of the Schubert Sonatas, that they are valedictory music to him (rather than empty sounds). It's not just D894 and D960 where he drags out the first movements to breaking point, as well as employ violent contrasts: in D784, the ff octaves and chords in the first movement are all the more ennerving with his slow tempo and careful build-up; in the Impromptu D899/2, his astonishing accelerando to its desperate conclusion sounds almost like he's throwing himself into the abyss....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#1977976 - 10/24/12 11:36 AM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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this is the most pretentious thread I've ever seen

#1977985 - 10/24/12 11:47 AM Re: D.960 [Re: evilpacman18]  
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Originally Posted by evilpacman18
this is the most pretentious thread I've ever seen


Not me. I think this is an insightful (and civil) thread about one of the most profound, but enigmatic and slightly inscrutable pieces of music I know. Perhaps you don't love the piece with every fiber of your being? That's fine!...

I agree with bennevis's take on Richter's quote. There is, in late Schubert and late Beethoven, an aspect of resignation, of simply being, rather than feeling and acting. Jason #1's thoughts about this sonata as life-affirming are interesting and eye-opening, but I've always heard this sonata as weary, peaceful, resigned, sad: in the finale's opening G octaves the OP mentions, in the scherzo's main theme (for me, one of the saddest quick-paced major movement in the repertoire), in the whole second movement of course. And, more than anywhere else, in the last two minutes of the development section of the first movement, for me the deepest two-minute dive in all of Schubert.

-Jason


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
#1977989 - 10/24/12 12:00 PM Re: D.960 [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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I've heard numerous live performances of D.960 by some very great pianists. I never once thought of the sonata as showing resignation, wearinesss, etc. except for the minor keyed part of the second movement.

#1979172 - 10/27/12 03:47 AM Re: D.960 [Re: evilpacman18]  
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Originally Posted by evilpacman18
this is the most pretentious thread I've ever seen

Why do you think it is pretentious? It strikes me as an interesting discussion about a major work by Schubert.

#1979338 - 10/27/12 04:33 PM Re: D.960 [Re: Pogorelich.]  
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones

You know what he said when he listened to his own D. 894 - "I feel nothing." That's how I feel about all of Richter's Schubert. It's beautiful pools of empty sound.


That comment gives me hives.


I'd get it treated asap if I were you


Michael
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