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Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata #2279855 05/22/14 06:57 PM
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Francisco Scalco Offline OP
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Hey guys. First if all, I hope I'm wrong with this. But I listened countless times, and I still can't hear it properly.

At around 4:46, those arpeggios, am I the only one that doesn't hear all the notes? This happened with other (great) recordings, so I'm doubting my sanity right now.

And thank you very much!

EDIT: I erased what I wrote about those 2nd movements' 32nd notes. I checked another score online and found out the problem was with my edition. I just cannot work with it...

Last edited by Francisco Scalco; 05/22/14 07:07 PM.
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Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2279856 05/22/14 07:10 PM
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Polyphonist Offline
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I think Kempff knows what he's doing...


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2279860 05/22/14 07:31 PM
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hreichgott Offline
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Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco
am I the only one that doesn't hear all the notes?

It's the lower notes that you're straining to hear right?
The higher notes are voiced more loudly, but all notes are there.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Polyphonist] #2279884 05/22/14 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
I think Kempff knows what he's doing...

We know he knows what he's doing, but is it right or wrong? That is the question I believe the poster has in mind. The answer is that when it comes to interpretation, there is no right or wrong.
There is; however, good taste or bad taste. smile


*Fiona*

"If music be food of love, play on!"
P.S. I am in love with Beethoven, infatuated with Liszt, and crazy about Chopin!
And when he behaves, Rachmaninoff is my darling! ;p
Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2279974 05/23/14 03:10 AM
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Maybe he just fluffed it? Old recordings are rarely 'perfect', they couldn't just go back and cut out the bits they didn't like.

Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2279995 05/23/14 06:05 AM
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Francisco Scalco Offline OP
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Yeah, I'm probably not hearing right, because I noticed the same issue with the Barenboim live recording. It's like they don't play all the 16nd notes. Especially the last one, that leads right to the chord. And this is by no means a difficult passage for me, let alone for them... So yeah, I should forget about it I think. But thanks for the opinions guys!

Last edited by Francisco Scalco; 05/23/14 06:07 AM.
Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2281378 05/26/14 04:48 PM
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Francisco Scalco Offline OP
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No, this just can't be right... I was hearing a lecture on this piece by none other than Andras Schiff.
http://audio.theguardian.tv/sys-audio/Arts/Culture/2006/11/30/17_dmin_op31-2.mp3
Very good stuff by the way.
But when he gets to the arpeggios ( around 19:00)... aaargh, I wish I spoke better english. But bear with me. As reference I'm going to use this score. The arpeggios are on page 316.
http://javanese.imslp.info/files/im...01462-Sonata_in_D_minor_Opus_31_no_2.pdf
I don't know how to explain this properly. The signature is 4:4 right? So 3 notes 1 tempo, 3 notes 1 tempo, 3 notes tempo, then 6 notes 1 tempo, right? Please tell me I'm wrong, 'cause no one plays it like this smirk Everyone I hear plays all the notes at the same speed. Either I'm deaf, or I can't read music.

I feel so stupid asking this sort of question, but I really can't find an answer.

Last edited by Francisco Scalco; 05/26/14 04:49 PM.
Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2281431 05/26/14 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco
No, this just can't be right... I was hearing a lecture on this piece by none other than Andras Schiff.
http://audio.theguardian.tv/sys-audio/Arts/Culture/2006/11/30/17_dmin_op31-2.mp3
Very good stuff by the way.
But when he gets to the arpeggios ( around 19:00)... aaargh, I wish I spoke better english. But bear with me. As reference I'm going to use this score. The arpeggios are on page 316.
http://javanese.imslp.info/files/im...01462-Sonata_in_D_minor_Opus_31_no_2.pdf
I don't know how to explain this properly. The signature is 4:4 right? So 3 notes 1 tempo, 3 notes 1 tempo, 3 notes tempo, then 6 notes 1 tempo, right? Please tell me I'm wrong, 'cause no one plays it like this smirk Everyone I hear plays all the notes at the same speed. Either I'm deaf, or I can't read music.

I feel so stupid asking this sort of question, but I really can't find an answer.

I think he's playing it in time, except when he pauses to talk.
Silly question, but are you counting the quarter note beat or the half note beat? It's in cut time (2/2).


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2281481 05/26/14 08:59 PM
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Francisco Scalco Offline OP
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Weird... Well, I suppose I could record something and show it here to see if somethings wrong.
I just feel like, when I practice, those 6 notes in 1 tempo are so much faster than the 3 notes in 1 tempo. And I don't hear that in recordings.

I'm expressing myself rather poorly, I don't know the english musical vocabulary smirk

Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2281714 05/27/14 08:17 AM
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hreichgott Offline
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You've got all the vocabulary except we usually say "beat" instead of "tempo" for what you're talking about smile
I listened to Schiff a few times and it sounds accurate to me.
Sometimes students rush when they get to a group of fast notes but I assume that you are beyond that point.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2282447 05/28/14 06:27 PM
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Francisco Scalco Offline OP
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Yes, I have got to agree with you hreichgott ( and Schiff, Kempff, Barenboim... lol). I slowed down the video and there they were! My problem was that when practicing I was accenting every note that fell with the beat. I always have to remember myself to not do that when practicing veery slowly.

Now, another issue smile

The very beginning, the first time the piece settles in dminor, with that very fast tremollando ( measure 20). NO one I heard plays the tremollando with the left hand as written, they always play that A-G#-A-B-A-A-A with the left hand over the right one, and thus making it impossible to hold that really long note.
Why is that? Is it really just because it's difficult to play at tempo the way it was written? I always practiced as Beethoven wrote it, because I think that note is really important, but if even Glenn Gould, Barenboim and Pires can't play it, I feel a bit discouraged. Is there a reason to do this that I'm not noticing?

Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2282459 05/28/14 06:55 PM
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Quote
NO one I heard plays the tremollando with the left hand as written....

What makes you think it's specifically written for the LH?


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2282460 05/28/14 06:56 PM
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You can transfer the tremolo triplets from the right hand to the and use the 5th finger of the left hand to hold the D and carry on the tremolo without losing the D. BUT it is very difficult to pull off that tremolo when holding the D with the same hand.

I wonder if some of the artists you were watching are holding the D with the sostenuto pedal in order to overcome that difficulty. I haven't found a good solution to this technical difficulty.


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Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2282463 05/28/14 07:07 PM
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Francisco Scalco Offline OP
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Derulux, you are right. I got carried away when writing.
But still, my point remains that there's a note to be held, that I don't se any musician holding.

Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2282468 05/28/14 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco
Derulux, you are right. I got carried away when writing.
But still, my point remains that there's a note to be held, that I don't se any musician holding.

It's been a long time, but I do believe I ended up switching hands there. But I can say for a certainty that I did attempt it both ways before I decided. wink


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2282487 05/28/14 08:28 PM
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I used to keep all the tremolos in the right hand, and cross over for the counter melody. Now I do it as written, switching the tremolo between hands every other measure. Doing the cross over does make it simpler (notice I didn't say 'easier,') however, does not making a tempestuous piece easier rob it of its tempestuosity?

Beethoven has already established a very jerky piece, with the dramatic tempo, and textural, shifts; the right hand part awkwardly wrangles its way from the left hand over the latter's syncopated diminished grunts; when it makes its way back down, the off-beat accents give it no soft landing ground; finally, one last attempt to escape with a chromatic sweep - futile, of course - captured! He has been caught and blended to death in a relentless tremolo.

For me, this is all musical justification to pass the tremolo around. If it were all kept in one hand, it would be smoother. Smoothness is not what this piece is about. Changing the tremolo from hand to hand gives it different color. It's very orchestral: violas, then cellos, then violins; doubled by brass, then winds, then brass.

This sonata is all over the place, and this may be accomplished to suitable effect by being all over the place technically. This passage is very challenging.

Another thing I like about switching between the hands is, jumping with the left hand between positions, from the bass to the tremolo, gives the 4th note of the theme a kick. Measure 21, LH, 5-4-2-4.

2 to 4 is accomplished with a jerky jump, and that is the kind of frenetic energy that drives this piece. Playing the top note with the (LH) thumb is sort of pedantic, and brings out the note in relief too much - 'over-explains' it. Tackling the tremolo in the same gesture as jumping to the top note of the theme buries it the texture. After all, how clearly can one see in a storm? The clarity of the bass note with come into relief through it's duration, instead of its attack.

Never do something to make a Beethoven sonata easier.

About the original arpeggios you asked about. I like to take these in one hand (RH,) as it's written. It's more awkward. To do it well, one must really move fast - scamper! Two hands draws more attention to the harmony at play - but I like to think of these arpeggios as motivic. Refer to the very opening statement.

This piece never ceases to frustrate me . . . . I love it!


Michael

"Genius is nothing more than an extraordinary capacity for patience."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2282492 05/28/14 08:36 PM
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I'll add only these pieces of information from youtube: Barenboim crosses LH over and doesn't hold the D except for a brief period with half pedal. Lisitsa plays the D with the LH and holds it, moving the tremolo to the LH at that time. The sound is very different.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Parks] #2282497 05/28/14 08:43 PM
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Francisco Scalco Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Parks
I used to keep all the tremolos in the right hand, and cross over for the counter melody. Now I do it as written, switching the tremolo between hands every other measure. Doing the cross over does make it simpler (notice I didn't say 'easier,') however, does not making a tempestuous piece easier rob it of its tempestuosity?

Beethoven has already established a very jerky piece, with the dramatic tempo, and textural, shifts; the right hand part awkwardly wrangles its way from the left hand over the latter's syncopated diminished grunts; when it makes its way back down, the off-beat accents give it no soft landing ground; finally, one last attempt to escape with a chromatic sweep - futile, of course - captured! He has been caught and blended to death in a relentless tremolo.

For me, this is all musical justification to pass the tremolo around. If it were all kept in one hand, it would be smoother. Smoothness is not what this piece is about. Changing the tremolo from hand to hand gives it different color. It's very orchestral: violas, then cellos, then violins; doubled by brass, then winds, then brass.

This sonata is all over the place, and this may be accomplished to suitable effect by being all over the place technically. This passage is very challenging.

Another thing I like about switching between the hands is, jumping with the left hand between positions, from the bass to the tremolo, gives the 4th note of the theme a kick. Measure 21, LH, 5-4-2-4.

2 to 4 is accomplished with a jerky jump, and that is the kind of frenetic energy that drives this piece. Playing the top note with the (LH) thumb is sort of pedantic, and brings out the note in relief too much - 'over-explains' it. Tackling the tremolo in the same gesture as jumping to the top note of the theme buries it the texture. After all, how clearly can one see in a storm? The clarity of the bass note with come into relief through it's duration, instead of its attack.

Never do something to make a Beethoven sonata easier.

About the original arpeggios you asked about. I like to take these in one hand (RH,) as it's written. It's more awkward. To do it well, one must really move fast - scamper! Two hands draws more attention to the harmony at play - but I like to think of these arpeggios as motivic. Refer to the very opening statement.

This piece never ceases to frustrate me . . . . I love it!


Wow park, very sensitive writing. I found this text very enlightening, and not just for the passage in question. You really captured the sense of the piece, IMO. As I always say, I'd love to hear a recording of yours, especially of this great masterpiece you seem to know so well.

Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: hreichgott] #2282502 05/28/14 08:52 PM
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Francisco Scalco Offline OP
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Originally Posted by hreichgott
I'll add only these pieces of information from youtube: Barenboim crosses LH over and doesn't hold the D except for a brief period with half pedal. Lisitsa plays the D with the LH and holds it, moving the tremolo to the LH at that time. The sound is very different.


Yes, very different indeed. Am I the only one that is not crazy about Barenboim?

Re: Help! Beethoven Tempest Sonata [Re: Francisco Scalco] #2282510 05/28/14 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco

I'd love to hear a recording of yours, especially of this great masterpiece you seem to know so well.



Ok, now I'm blushing! Well see about that recording . . .

Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco

Am I the only one that is not crazy about Barenboim?



He's the best and the worst. A masterful musician, artist. I've met him in person, and I was quite disgusted actually. He hosted a Q&A at Harvard for my school (I didn't go to Harvard, I'm just saying that's where he hosted the event,) and was very unimpressed by his answers, his demeanor, his vanity. He did say intelligent things, but with such an f-you tone. Maybe I caught him on a grumpy day?

I like his music making; but I can't stand all his facial clownish nonsense.


Michael

"Genius is nothing more than an extraordinary capacity for patience."
Leonardo da Vinci
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