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Dmajor is my second in command

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Originally Posted by Binchois
While I'm skeptical that the transposition much alters the effect of a perfect performance...

Probably not much if the Impromptu is played by itself. But it's a different issue if played as a cycle with the other three impromptus. The 2nd of the set ends in Eb minor, and of course Gb is the relative major. This would seem to indicate that Schubert intended the four impromptus of D899 to be performed together.


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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by Binchois
While I'm skeptical that the transposition much alters the effect of a perfect performance...

Probably not much if the Impromptu is played by itself. But it's a different issue if played as a cycle with the other three impromptus. The 2nd of the set ends in Eb minor, and of course Gb is the relative major. This would seem to indicate that Schubert intended the four impromptus of D899 to be performed together.


I wonder if he intended these to be a piano sonata like his Klavierstüke. I also tried the G-major version of the Impromptu and it sounded weird. The G-flat is so much better.

John


Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

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Originally Posted by John Citron

I wonder if he intended these to be a piano sonata like his Klavierstüke. I also tried the G-major version of the Impromptu and it sounded weird. The G-flat is so much better.
John


Nope. D. 899 was definitely intended by Schubert to be published as four impromptus (which it was). Likewise the 4 Impromptus D. 935 - though here it is slightly less certain since Schubert did not live to see the publication and that the autograph has no title (only the numbers 5 through 8... a continuation from the first 4 Impromptus most likely). Schumann seemed to think that these could be grouped as a sonata (first movement = sonata-rondo form), but this is purely speculative (and IMO wierd).

Finally, the three Klavierstüke (D. 946) are purely posthumous. We have no true knowledge of their final intended format.


Last edited by Binchois; 05/11/09 09:50 PM.
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Originally Posted by Binchois
D. 899 was definitely intended by Schubert to be published as four impromptus (which it was).

As I mentioned before, they make perfect sense performed as a cycle, as I feel Schubert intended.

Quote
Likewise the 4 Impromptus D. 935 - though here it is slightly less certain since Schubert did not live to see the publication and that the autograph has no title ...

Well not really. The D935 (unlike the D899) make perfect sense (IMO) considered as a sonata, and no one would ever have questioned Schubert's decision had he published them as a sonata. Would you?

But with due respect, all bets are always off with Schubert. He was a bit disorganized, he wrote far too much music (some of the lieder are deadly dull, not to mention the operas which simply demonstrate that he had no instinct at all for dramatic timing), but if the muse was there in spades, let him have his place in the sun.

Yet I tend to be suspicious of composers who are ridiculously prolific. Telemann is usually the villain here (but when he was on, he bowed to no one), but more recent composers such as Milhaud, Martinu and Hovhaness tend to just repeat themselves. Always well written music, but how much of this do we really need to hear?

Funny thing, though. Rachmaninov -who is GOD on this forum- tended to emotionally and technically repeat himself also, though he is hardly a 'prolific' composer in the sense of the others.

No problem mates, I adore Rachmaninov (what works, works!), but I don't think he comes within a farthing of his great contemporaries, Strauss, Mahler, Sibelius or Elgar. These guys simply had a more adventurous and combative muse. IMHO of course.



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Originally Posted by Binchois
Originally Posted by John Citron

I wonder if he intended these to be a piano sonata like his Klavierstüke. I also tried the G-major version of the Impromptu and it sounded weird. The G-flat is so much better.
John


Nope. D. 899 was definitely intended by Schubert to be published as four impromptus (which it was). Likewise the 4 Impromptus D. 935 - though here it is slightly less certain since Schubert did not live to see the publication and that the autograph has no title (only the numbers 5 through 8... a continuation from the first 4 Impromptus most likely). Schumann seemed to think that these could be grouped as a sonata (first movement = sonata-rondo form), but this is purely speculative (and IMO wierd).

Finally, the three Klavierstüke (D. 946) are purely posthumous. We have no true knowledge of their final intended format.



If Schubert did intend the four Impromptus D.899 to be played as a set - let alone be considered as movements of a large-scale Sonata - one would expect that he would have had all four of them published, together, at the same time, his unreliability with details and lack of organization notwithstanding.

The first two Impromptus were published in 1827 while Schubert was still alive. The third and fourth were posthumous publications, not published until 30 years later. This certainly seems as good an argument as any - since it's mostly speculation at this point - that they were not conceived as movements of a Sonata. Otherwise, why would he publish the first two "movements" at one time and not the other two? Whether or not he intended them to be played as a set of four independent but related pieces we will probably not know, at least not until some long-lost correspondence turns up to put the question to rest.

Regards,


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Least favorite key--B minor. You end up with many awkward hand positions.


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I really like the C minor scale. I also noticed that I find scales with flats much more easier to memorise and play in.


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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by Binchois
D. 899 was definitely intended by Schubert to be published as four impromptus (which it was).

As I mentioned before, they make perfect sense performed as a cycle, as I feel Schubert intended.

Quote
Likewise the 4 Impromptus D. 935 - though here it is slightly less certain since Schubert did not live to see the publication and that the autograph has no title ...

Well not really. The D935 (unlike the D899) make perfect sense (IMO) considered as a sonata, and no one would ever have questioned Schubert's decision had he published them as a sonata. Would you?


Forgive the misunderstanding! I have no problem with those who wish to see D935 as an aborted sonata. Indeed, Schubert was constantly starting works (sonatas included) only to never quite finish them or to finish them later in a different form. Because of the autograph’s numbering, however, it seems likely that Schubert did not intend these pieces to be published as a sonata (no matter what he may have thought upon first writing them). No one would complain had he called the work “sonata,” but I suspect these pieces were not conceived as such a unit.

As for D 899, I again have no trouble with thinking of it as an intentional, four-movement whole – Schubert often demonstrated great care when arranging a set for publication. It obviously works beautifully when performed as a set. That said, the works are just as lovely on their own and with both sets of impromptus, few would complain if only a single movement was excerpted for performance. Meanwhile, there is no arguing that idea D899 #3 should be in G-major in order to create some more coherent tonal plan. The change in key was purely a publishing decision in order to boost sales.

Oh… one more thing!:

Originally Posted by argerichfan
But with due respect, all bets are always off with Schubert. He was a bit disorganized, he wrote far too much music (some of the lieder are deadly dull, not to mention the operas which simply demonstrate that he had no instinct at all for dramatic timing), but if the muse was there in spades, let him have his place in the sun.

Yet I tend to be suspicious of composers who are ridiculously prolific. Telemann is usually the villain here (but when he was on, he bowed to no one), but more recent composers such as Milhaud, Martinu and Hovhaness tend to just repeat themselves. Always well written music, but how much of this do we really need to hear?


What are you suspicious of? Yes, Schubert was extremely prolific – by one scholar’s count, the most prolific composer after Bach (calculated by total measures/life span). But his music is constantly creative and overflowing with his special melodic/harmonic gifts. Keep in mind that Schubert was dead and gone at 31! Compare what Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, or virtually any other composer managed to do in the same time (not even close!). So yes, much of his music rambles or seems to lack a fully mature, narrative drive, but to dismiss it is to dismiss way too much! His operas are loaded with gorgeous, sometimes highly inventive music. And his songs… boring in no way! Like Mahler, Schubert’s lieder and instrumental output have a deep, symbiotic relationship. The more you know, the more it enriches the whole. Yes, with so much extant music from before he was 18, it would be wrong to suggest that it is anything but uneven in quality. But I strongly believe that Schubert's entire output strives constantly towards something profoundly greater than one simple man. It is among the richest testaments we have of a musician's life - a life which produced many great works by the time it ended. Considering what he was capable of at the end (!) just imagine what Schubert would of left us with had he lived just one more year (let alone lived for a normal lifespan - mingling, perhaps, with the careers of our favorite Romantics).

P.S. I love argerich too!

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Originally Posted by BruceD

If Schubert did intend the four Impromptus D.899 to be played as a set - let alone be considered as movements of a large-scale Sonata - one would expect that he would have had all four of them published, together, at the same time, his unreliability with details and lack of organization notwithstanding.

Who knows, Bruce. With Schubert all bets are off. Perhaps he didn't think the 3rd and 4th 'pieces' good enough for publication, so Schubert submitted the first two movements as impromptus rather than 'Two Movements of a Sonata'.

Whatever, I'm just grateful we have this music, and there are certainly other musical mysteries which I would like to see solved ahead of the D899 situation.


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Originally Posted by Binchois

What are you suspicious of?

Perhaps I was being a bit flippant. I have no disagreement with your assessment of Schubert, it's just that the sheer amount of music can be daunting at times... I've read through quite a bit of the lieder and it's all rather numbing if taken in unhealthy doses!

The thought of Schubert living to be 60 and maintaining the compositional flow... too bizarre to contemplate. laugh


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Mention of Church music reminds me of a few funerals I have attended recently . The services were in a new building and it is oval shaped. I have seen the concert hall in Birmingham where musicians play near the centre of an oval or one of the focal points. That may work very well . I only saw the hall when it was empty. These funerals had the organ over at the edge of one end. The lady reading the service was almost impossible to decipher and the organ apparently played the music for the hymn sheets but I had to check when we got home as it was a total blur at the time.Most funerals seem to be so badly run and managed it becomes an irksome chore to suffer through . I hope the harps are in better tune where they have gone . That must come under least favourite keys to listen to .But the mystery is which ones. All of the ones they play there I suppose .

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My favorite key is undoubtedly B major! not just for the sound but it fits nicely into the hands, whenever i improvise i subconcoiusly do it in B major.

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Originally Posted by Fazioli73
My favorite key is undoubtedly B major! not just for the sound but it fits nicely into the hands, whenever i improvise i subconcoiusly do it in B major.
Can you have a look at this ?
Although Groove On may be right, it sure looks a lot like he doing this in B Major.

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Originally Posted by Fazioli73
My favorite key is undoubtedly B major! not just for the sound but it fits nicely into the hands, whenever i improvise i subconcoiusly do it in B major.


I like B major, too. But, I once dreamt that I was being attacked by a four-octave G-sharp minor scale! Double sharps influence a gang of regular ones into hooliganism. ha


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I think A flat major is simultaneously my favorite and least favorite key. I love the sound of it. But for me it's so hard to read. Possibly this might have to do with the fact that it uses 4 out of the 5 black keys, and the one left out is G flat (F sharp, which appears in many common key signatures).

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