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It's great to have different interpretations of songs for our enjoyment, but I came across this passage in Ludwig Van Beethoven's Pianoforte Sonatas:

Originally Posted by William Behrend
The beginning of the [third movement] involuntarily gives the impression of a rising wave, which at its highest part "shows its teeth" and breaks (in the FF chords); but in Beethoven's directions, the accuracy and carefulness of which are, as a rule, worthy of note and observance, there is no crescendo sign. Moreover, piano virtuosi may be heard performing this part with literal exactness; the ascending passages p and the chords with a sudden, violent force. The former view, however, seems more reasonable and attractive, regarded artistically and psychologically, and the author is able to state with satisfaction that an Anton Rubinstein performed the passages in question in this manner.


So, opiniatively, which sounds better? The sudden crashing chords, or a growing wave of noise?

For those who may not be familiar with the piece:



(If anyone has a favorite version, post that too!)


Poetry is rhythm
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A piano sonata is not a song.


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Originally Posted by carey
A piano sonata is not a song.

Cry me a river.

I like Lisitsa on this piece, extremely smooth and natural. Her finale is incredible as well.

Kovacevich is good too.


Last edited by Atrys; 03/06/14 04:31 AM.

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Originally Posted by carey
A piano sonata is not a song.


+1



"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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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by carey
A piano sonata is not a song.


+1

In fact, if we consider that the art of piano playing consists in making the piano "sing", then we are indeed playing "songs"... crazy

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Originally Posted by carey
A piano sonata is not a song.


+100

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Originally Posted by natty_dread78
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by carey
A piano sonata is not a song.


+1

In fact, if we consider that the art of piano playing consists in making the piano "sing", then we are indeed playing "songs"... crazy


Making the piano "sing" is just a part of the art (and depending on repertoire choices, may not even be required) - and it is certainly not applicable to the opening of the last movement of the "Moonlight", which is theoretically the subject of the discussion.


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Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by carey
A piano sonata is not a song.

Cry me a river.

You know, I just might.


Regards,

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Brandonburg 5 is my favorite song.

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Originally Posted by carey
A piano sonata is not a song.


Well, if phantomFive thinks it is, who are you to say it is not? Really, of all the nerve...

I mean, words don't actually mean anything outside of what the person using them thinks they mean, do they? If I and a few of my ignorant and badly educated friends want to call that thing by Beethoven a "butter dish", well, that's what it's called.

And speaking of butter dishes, I really like the butter dish in g minor by Medtner.




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I like to imagine, in my heart of hearts, that the truly great pianists don't care if one uses the word 'song' in place of 'piece' (a term used on this forum without prejudice). After all, 'song' is fairly descriptive of the experience of music, while 'piece' could refer to a gun, or a sexy person, or a ...

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Let me remind people what that great orator, Humpty Dumpty, said (in a rather scornful tone):

"When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."


"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."
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Originally Posted by prout
I like to imagine, in my heart of hearts, that the truly great pianists don't care if one uses the word 'song' in place of 'piece' (a term used on this forum without prejudice). After all, 'song' is fairly descriptive of the experience of music, while 'piece' could refer to a gun, or a sexy person, or a ...

"butter dish"??



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Originally Posted by bennevis
Let me remind people what that great orator, Humpty Dumpty, said (in a rather scornful tone):

"When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."


and we all know what eventually happened to him........ wink


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Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by prout
I like to imagine, in my heart of hearts, that the truly great pianists don't care if one uses the word 'song' in place of 'piece' (a term used on this forum without prejudice). After all, 'song' is fairly descriptive of the experience of music, while 'piece' could refer to a gun, or a sexy person, or a ...

"butter dish"??


Eh?, or Huh?, depending on your country of origin.

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Originally Posted by natty_dread78
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by carey
A piano sonata is not a song.


+1

In fact, if we consider that the art of piano playing consists in making the piano "sing", then we are indeed playing "songs"... crazy

But using the word "sonata" as opposed to "cantata" indicates that the piece is to be played, not sung.

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Originally Posted by the nosy ape
Originally Posted by natty_dread78
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by carey
A piano sonata is not a song.


+1

In fact, if we consider that the art of piano playing consists in making the piano "sing", then we are indeed playing "songs"... crazy

But using the word "sonata" as opposed to "cantata" indicates that the piece is to be played, not sung.

Details, details........who needs them ?? grin


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Originally Posted by the nosy ape
Originally Posted by natty_dread78
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by carey
A piano sonata is not a song.


+1

In fact, if we consider that the art of piano playing consists in making the piano "sing", then we are indeed playing "songs"... crazy

But using the word "sonata" as opposed to "cantata" indicates that the piece is to be played, not sung.


Correct, but why do we get our knickers in a knot when everyone here knew at the onset precisely what the OP meant?

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Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by the nosy ape
Originally Posted by natty_dread78
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by carey
A piano sonata is not a song.


+1

In fact, if we consider that the art of piano playing consists in making the piano "sing", then we are indeed playing "songs"... crazy

But using the word "sonata" as opposed to "cantata" indicates that the piece is to be played, not sung.


Correct, but why do we get our knickers in a knot when everyone here knew at the onset precisely what the OP meant?

Because song. Didn't you know? wink


To the OP, I'm not sure the examples provided are the best differentiators of the two interpretations you're describing. Lisitsa, on the other hand, displayed the crescendo style brilliantly.

I think this is all about personal taste. What you like is what you like. I don't like it when a line doesn't move at all, so I prefer at least some dynamic alteration rather than a static p. But whether that would get to the level of necessitating a crescendo marking depends on how well the performer pull off their interpretations. I've heard this piece both ways, and like it both ways. I'm not sure I could even begin to say whether one way was more "effective" than the other, because I'm not sure effectiveness is really the right word for me to use. smile


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I understand why some people would like the crescendo, but so very many composers wrote music like that with crescendos that go right where you'd expect them to. Beethoven, on the other hand, often has these craggy sharp dynamic edges and that is one of the things that make his music so unique. I like the sf that comes out of nowhere.


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