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#2121604 - 07/22/13 05:36 PM Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)…  
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[Linked Image]

Here is the picture of the notation for Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. This wonderful arrangement was made by Matthew Cameron and I believe it is the best piano arr. for EKNM.

Look at 36th bar. As you can see there is a trill above the B note. Common sense will tell you that you should play B, C# and again B. I listened quite a few version of EKNM and my ears were telling me that it was played also like C#, B, C# and B. So, there are two interpretations.

Even more, I listened few different MIDIs of EKNM with very slow speed (in computer program) and some versions have B,C#,B, some other versions have C#, B, C#, B.

I also read some history of this trills and I actually found out that interpretation of trills was not always the same. Before 1800 (not very accurate: plus or minus 20 years) this trill above B would be C#, B, C# and B. They actually started with the upper note (not the one that has trill above). After 1800 (plus or minus 20 years) this trill would be played B, C#, B, which means they started with the note with the sing “Tr” (like today). EKNM was finished around 1787, so it is difficult to say what Mozart had in his mind when he was writing the piece or how he interpreted trills.

My question would be: does anybody know what is original interpretation of this trills for EKNM? My ears prefer C#,B,C# and B (but you need to play it faster if you want to sound it good) but I heard both interpretations. Is it even possible to find out how Mozart interpreted this trill (first or second version)?

Thanks


Last edited by ZBGM0; 07/22/13 05:38 PM.
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#2121627 - 07/22/13 06:52 PM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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The usual practice is to start trills from this period on the upper note. However, CPE Bach gives a number of exceptions in his essay that are worth noting.


Laguna Greg

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#2121745 - 07/23/13 01:00 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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If you can't manage to play the appropriate four notes of trill in the allotted time (C#-B-C#-B), you could simply leave out the ornament altogether. Many pianists would use the B-C#-B compromise solution, though it is most likely incorrect in this instance.

#2121746 - 07/23/13 01:05 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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I think most performances of the piece in any instrumentation, including the original, play just the 3 notes.
(B - C# - B)

In any event it's not "wrong" at all. It's a common execution for a brief "trill," of any composer or any period.

Edit: The 4-note thing is more common than I thought. I did a quick search on youtube and just went down the line on the first few matches (about 6). Some clearly do the 4 notes, some I really can't tell for sure which it is, and only one clearly does just 3 (i.e. starting on the B). BTW one of those top few matches, and the only one that isn't a string ensemble or string orchestra, was a piano arrangement played by one of our members. (He plays the 4 notes.)

My ear apparently has played a trick on me with this piece. I've heard many performances, and always imagined that I was hearing just a 3-note 'shake' on that figure. I had to labor a bit in listening to these recordings to hear that some of them actually do 4.

To show that it's not just a pianist's concession to play just a 'shake,' here's the string ensemble performance in those first few matches that plays it that way:



.....and perhaps showing that it's not just ignorance or neglect of period practices that leads one to play just the 'shake,' this is an ensemble of period instruments. Of course that doesn't mean everything they do is necessarily authentic but it does tend to suggest that they care about it. smile

Last edited by Mark_C; 07/23/13 01:25 AM.
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#2121769 - 07/23/13 02:12 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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My favorite quote on the subject was someone who said that starting trills on the upper auxiliary was mentioned so often in the literature of the time that not doing it must have been almost universal!

In any case, ornaments are added according to one's ability, as well as taste. In this case, you can ignore it, play a C# crush note, play B-C#-B, or C#-B-C#-B, depending on how well and how reliably you can play it. You also have to look at any similar occurrences of the phrase, and play them all in a reasonably similar manner.


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#2121790 - 07/23/13 04:10 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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I think I read it in Tovey that trills starting on the upper note were "going out" in Mozart's time, so I guess it's a matter of taste: to ascertain whether or not they had "gone out" mainly or totally by the time a particular piece was composed would be an essay in extreme pedantry.

Looking at the OP's example, the bass has A, C# and E, which harmonises with the C# upper "start". Doesn't prove anything - harmony or dissonance is also a matter of taste depending upon your view of the music/passage. (I am no expert in harmony, so it is entirely possible that the B with the bass chord is within the harmonic spectrum of the home key - it will however be, let's say, less bland than a C#.)

#2121798 - 07/23/13 05:39 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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The passage in question is firmly in D major - the dominant of the home key. The harmony is very simple - D /A7 /D /A7 /D. The B is, in each case an appoggiatura; that is an unprepared dissonance resolving by step. In the case of the D harmony, this could be termed a 6-5 appoggiatura; in the case of the A7 harmony it could be termed a 9-8 appoggiatura.


John


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#2121843 - 07/23/13 09:30 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: drumour]  
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Thank you all for answers. I had the same thing in my mind, it is actually personal decision how to play this trills. Both versions are OK because at full speed there is not much difference to hear. Someone can even ignore the trill if he/she is not comfortable with it.

I also don’t think that it is possible to find out how Mozart interpreted this trills. As far as I know this piece was never performed live when Mozart was alive. There are also different historical data. Some sources claim that “normal” trills that start with the lower note (like today) started at the end of baroque music (1750), other sources claim that they started around 1800. EKNM is somewhere in this “transition”.

Last edited by ZBGM0; 07/23/13 09:32 AM.
#2121855 - 07/23/13 09:57 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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The score is sacred!!! laugh There can be no interpreting!
You must play the score as the composer intended or face the wrath of Stores (G#d incarnate).

#2121943 - 07/23/13 01:53 PM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: laguna_greg]  
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
The usual practice is to start trills from this period on the upper note. However, CPE Bach gives a number of exceptions in his essay that are worth noting.


And if memory serves, the final exception CPE offers is that "if it doesn't sound good, don't do it," or words to that effect.


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#2122061 - 07/23/13 08:09 PM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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I think it is fine to play only 3 notes. At any rate I think it is better if you play 3 notes smoothly than 4 notes clumsily.



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#2122132 - 07/24/13 01:36 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: NeilOS]  
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Originally Posted by NeilOS
Originally Posted by laguna_greg
The usual practice is to start trills from this period on the upper note. However, CPE Bach gives a number of exceptions in his essay that are worth noting.


And if memory serves, the final exception CPE offers is that "if it doesn't sound good, don't do it," or words to that effect.


Exactly Neil! It's a rather lengthy caveat in the last chapter in the ornaments section.


Laguna Greg

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#2122857 - 07/25/13 03:16 PM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
I think it is fine to play only 3 notes. At any rate I think it is better if you play 3 notes smoothly than 4 notes clumsily.


I agree!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBsakvRBXG0


Here I found magnificent performance of this arrangement that is played by Cyprien Katsaris. I believe there are only two recordings of this arrangement on youtube (maybe I didn't search well).

This trill comes at 1:11. It’s so fast that I really can’t say if I hear 4 notes or 3, but to me it sounds like trill starts with C# (4 notes). Can someone with good ear confirm that?




Last edited by ZBGM0; 07/25/13 03:18 PM.
#2122894 - 07/25/13 04:48 PM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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For Bach, you trill from the upper auxiliary unless you are approaching from below - then you start the trill on the primary note. Whether this would have been the same in Mozart's time is open to interpretation, but they were only separated by about 30 years.

#2122897 - 07/25/13 04:54 PM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: jeffreyjones]  
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
For Bach, you trill from the upper auxiliary unless you are approaching from below - then you start the trill on the primary note. Whether this would have been the same in Mozart's time is open to interpretation, but they were only separated by about 30 years.


I thought that was the rule for Mozart as well, and whether it's true for Beethoven is open to interpretation.

-J


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#2123006 - 07/25/13 08:43 PM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: beet31425]  
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Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
For Bach, you trill from the upper auxiliary unless you are approaching from below - then you start the trill on the primary note. Whether this would have been the same in Mozart's time is open to interpretation, but they were only separated by about 30 years.


I thought that was the rule for Mozart as well, and whether it's true for Beethoven is open to interpretation.

-J


Well, all my teachers told me that was the guideline up until Op. 25.


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#2123102 - 07/26/13 01:32 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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Also, starting on the C# for the trill would be a leap because you're going from the A

#2123105 - 07/26/13 01:39 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: antony]  
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Originally Posted by antony
Also, starting on the C# for the trill would be a leap because you're going from the A

I think that's probably the main reason I prefer the '3-note' version and why my ear always made it into that even when it wasn't. The leap followed by the 4-note version has pizzazz, and I suppose it's an impressive thing to do, but to my ear, it's.....uh......a little gauche.

(Readers of another thread will know where I got that word. And I mean it irrespective of the handedness of the players.) grin

The 3-note version, when done well, is IMO much more graceful -- probably especially because of the absence of the little leap -- and that's a good thing here.

BTW one of the things I love about discussions like this is how much thought we can put into a note that can often barely be heard.

#2123119 - 07/26/13 02:04 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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Also, the harmony is A major and that would be doubling the 3rd/ leading tone. The B is better to start on because it's not in the harmony and acts as an accented passing tone with an upper neighbor(the C#)

#2123126 - 07/26/13 02:36 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: antony]  
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Originally Posted by antony
Also, the harmony is A major and that would be doubling the 3rd/ leading tone. The B is better to start on because it's not in the harmony and acts as an accented passing tone with an upper neighbor(the C#)

You're awfully good at this!!

(Hadn't come close to thinking of that, but agree totally with it.)

I'd love to see any of the "start-on-the-upper-note" advocates try to address the points you've raised. I think they might have a hard time of it.

#2123134 - 07/26/13 02:52 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: Mark_C]  
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Thanks smile I studied harmony and counterpoint very intensely for years

#2123137 - 07/26/13 03:03 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: antony]  
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Originally Posted by antony
Thanks smile I studied harmony and counterpoint very intensely for years

Me too -- but maybe not as many years. ha

Besides that, you're just really good at coming up with relevant factors and ideas on these things.

#2123153 - 07/26/13 04:30 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: Mwm]  
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by Mwm
The score is sacred!!! laugh There can be no interpreting!
You must play the score as the composer intended or face the wrath of Stores (G#d incarnate).


Well, you're correct. There is no willy nilly personal choice about hot to play the ornaments in question. The correct way is not difficult and if you do your homework you'll find an inordinate amount of information regarding the execution of ornaments. There is already quite a bit of incorrect information that's been thrown about in this thread and there is one person who has even admitted that for years he's believed the existing ornament was something other than it was. It's highly likely that he heard the ornaments played incorrectly at some point along the way and it's stuck with him, but, and this is where the homework comes in, had he been thoroughly aware of ornaments and their proper execution his ear wouldn't have "tricked" him in the first place.
By the way, there is no "3 note version" and where you people come up with this crap is beyond me.



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#2123155 - 07/26/13 04:41 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: stores]  
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Originally Posted by stores
....had he been thoroughly aware of ornaments and their proper execution....

He was as fully aware of that concept as you are. smile

Are you capable of replying meaningfully and thoughtfully to points that have been raised on the other side of what you're saying, other than stating rigid dogma and implying that we're ignorant or stupid? You've never shown such an ability for consideration and reflection, but perhaps you've been keeping things in reserve. grin

As I've said before, I'll refrain from highlighting your limitations as long as you remain inoffensive, or at least stay away from who you should stay away from. You've been doing a a pretty good job of that lately, but I guess now and then you can't help yourself.

Quote
there is no "3 note version" and where you people come up with this crap is beyond me.

Wrong again. grin

For example, see the video I posted -- which happens to be by a period-instrument ensemble.

#2123179 - 07/26/13 07:27 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C


BTW one of the things I love about discussions like this is how much thought we can put into a note that can often barely be heard.


Mark, same thing with me. Many people will probably think that I complicate so much for one little note that most people don’t even hear. But for me this is interesting…..I am curious how Mozart actually interpreted trills:) why not discuss this.…even if there is no correct answer.

#2123210 - 07/26/13 09:27 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: antony]  
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Originally Posted by antony
Also, the harmony is A major and that would be doubling the 3rd/ leading tone. The B is better to start on because it's not in the harmony and acts as an accented passing tone with an upper neighbor(the C#)

I don't quite follow this analysis. What is "that" referring to in the first sentence? And if you're in A major, how is "that" doubling the leading tone?

Not saying it's wrong; in fact, I think you're onto something useful. I was just looking for some clarification.

For the record, I'm not in the camp that believes ALL trills must begin on the upper auxiliary note.


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#2123229 - 07/26/13 10:12 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: ZBGM0]  
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There are a number of studies about that matter. I think I remember an edition of the Mozart sonatas with a long introduction about the ornaments in Mozart's music.

I think the 4 notes approach is the most universally recognized one in Mozart (or 6). In fact, playing 3 notes is technically no longer a trill, but a mordent.

However, personnaly, I usually play a mix of styles, 3 notes, 4 notes, even 5 or 6 notes sometimes.
I play what I think sounds best, and/or what I can. Indeed, all cases are different. Depending on what the previous note is, e.g., the 3 notes approach might sound better than the 4 notes one.
What I consider a good example is the following extract of K310:

[Linked Image]

I really think the 3 notes (or 5) trill sounds much better than the 4 one.

So I think we should not be too adamant about how we play them. Isn't sound the most important thing in music ? If it sounds good, it is probably correct to play that way.

#2123248 - 07/26/13 10:56 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: natty_dread78]  
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I did little testing on this trills and I discovered (for me) that I can play 3 notes easily, 4 notes cause me a little problem because you really need to play them fast to sound good. My hand can become little tired with 4 notes, especially on the beginning of the second part of EKNM (1.mvt) where you must play those trills nonstop. I will better stick with 3 notes.

On other parts of EKNM I prefer 5 notes. Recording that I listened also indicates that there are 5 notes on other parts (like beginning etc.)

#2123270 - 07/26/13 11:26 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: natty_dread78]  
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Originally Posted by natty_dread78
In fact, playing 3 notes is technically no longer a trill, but a mordent.


[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Very interesting natty. I was always asking myself why we call this thing with 3 notes trill if mordent has exactly the same function.

I have the sheet music from Chopin (Nocturne op.9-2) and as you can see in the 14th bar there is mordent on Eb, which means 3 notes (Eb, F, Eb).

On the second picture you can find trill in the 22th bar on the same note (Eb) and I believe you must play this note the same way (Eb, F, Eb) like mordent. I believe there is confusion. “Tr” and mordent are sometimes played the same way (3 notes). There should be some sort agreement what separates trill from mordent. Trill should be at least 4 notes, so it can be distinguished from mordent (with only 3).

Last edited by ZBGM0; 07/26/13 11:34 AM.
#2123281 - 07/26/13 11:45 AM Re: Experts for Mozart music (and Trills!)… [Re: AZNpiano]  
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by antony
Also, the harmony is A major and that would be doubling the 3rd/ leading tone. The B is better to start on because it's not in the harmony and acts as an accented passing tone with an upper neighbor(the C#)

I don't quite follow this analysis. What is "that" referring to in the first sentence? And if you're in A major, how is "that" doubling the leading tone?....

Let me take a swing at that. smile

The thing is, the KEY at that point is D major.

As he said, the harmony there is A, but the key (in that section) is D. (It would have been clearer if he had said "chord" instead of harmony, or added that it's the dominant.)

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