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Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor #2743359
06/10/18 07:06 AM
06/10/18 07:06 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
T
Tony007 Offline OP
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Tony007  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2013
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Switzerland
Hello everybody!

I have been working at Beethoven's famous "Tempest" sonata for a while, I learned it from scratch, that's what I could achieve for now....

Thank you for listening and maybe even sharing your impressions!

https://youtu.be/d4A1mWzlyAE

Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: Tony007] #2743563
06/11/18 02:23 AM
06/11/18 02:23 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,777
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Carey  Offline
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Phoenix, Arizona
Hi Felix -

I listened to your recording twice today (casually) then a third time with the score.

CONGRATULATIONS on learning and memorizing the entire sonata (from scratch) and for paying such close attention to the phrasing, dynamic markings, pedal markings, etc.
This is very fine work indeed.

You seem most comfortable with the first and second movements. They flow quite well, and are very satisfying to listen to.

Perhaps the 3rd movement could be played a little faster. Also, you might want to reconsider your use of ritardandos in transitional passages in the 3rd movement. I believe it was Beethoven's intent that the tempo and forward momentum (energy and intensity) of the music remain steady throughout. At least that's my understanding based on other performances I've heard over the years.

Again, thank you for sharing this beautiful and thoughtful rendition. I enjoyed it very much !!

Best -

Carey


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: Tony007] #2743579
06/11/18 05:35 AM
06/11/18 05:35 AM
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Posts: 2,814
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joe80 Offline
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Hi Felix,

Well done, there's a lot of very good playing here. The over all conception of the sonata is very good, and I like the way it flows.

I've actually made a couple of notes though if you don't mind, but I won't go into great detail here.

To start off with, I've played this sonata for 25 years and had lots of lessons on it, and every teacher I've played it to has contradicted the other, because so many people think they are Beethoven experts, etc.

Here are my general points of criticism:

The tempo in the first movement varies too much. Not just the rubato, but the actual pulse between the duplets and the triplets is not secure. For me, this movement must be exactly in time. Oddly enough, the recitative passages are too strict for me, and I'd like to hear you play them slower, more drawn out, softer, and more daring.

At the end of slurs, be careful not to rush, and not to clip notes. The staccato doesn't sing enough.

I personally wouldn't use *so* much rubato in the duplets, even on the repeat.

It would be more dramatic over all if you slow the tempo down, play in time, and have more dynamic contrasts.

The second movement is good, it's a very difficult movement to play. I feel you're playing it too fast. It has good line, and I like the arc that you achieve in it, but now it needs to be more detailed, and again, have more contrast between the dynamics. More pianissimo. The triplets in the left hand in particular sound very loud.

The Rondo, I disagree with Carey, I think you're playing it WAAAAAAY too fast. I used to play the movement at this speed (in fact there's a video of me on youtube playing it at that speed and screwing it up, I should really remove it, I'm not saying you screw it up, at all!), but now I play it at about half this speed. Maybe a third of this speed. That makes it sound more 'baroque', but this kind of 3/8 Allegretto needs to have 3 beats in the bar, not one, in my opinion. I could go into my reasons why I think that, and provide some evidence as to why, but I don't have time to do that right now.

What I will say, if we just take the score as the guide, is that you're not getting all the detail in, all of the dynamic contrasts, and the tempo, for me, changes the character into something quite frenetic and un-controlled (the character, not your playing). You are also, for my taste, using too much pedal.

I'd like to hear more from the pedal A in the first few bars, after all it's deliberately tied, and then the contrast from that off-beat pedal note to the G minor, where Beethoven notates extreme legato, becomes far more striking.

Just for the record I now play the outer two movements of this piece with practically no pedal at all. In fact the last time I performed this piece I played the Rondo completely dry and it worked in that I got the result I hoped for (whether it worked or not for the audience I don't know but I had many comments about how they admired the clarity).

By the way, Felix, I can't tell you if Beethoven and I would agree on my interpretation, probably not, he may prefer yours, and nor can I tell you if I think I'm 'right' and you're 'wrong', these are just merely ideas on how I perceive the piece at this moment in time. I've changed my mind on it before and probably will again.

Well done anyway, it was a very good performance no matter what I wrote above.

Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: Tony007] #2743647
06/11/18 01:51 PM
06/11/18 01:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,891
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Tim Adrianson Offline
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Tim Adrianson  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
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Hi, Tony007! This is the one Beethoven Sonata I studied with a teacher, my sophomore year of college in 1964. And so, like the others, I'm familiar with its idiosyncrasies and demands. I consider the entire Op 31 Sonata set to be Beethoven in full flower -- it's just chock full of humor, inventiveness, originality, charm, etc. My one general comment after listening is that it is at a stage exactly as you've described it -- it is correctly learned; the notes, pacing, dynamics, etc are in place -- but it is lacking a visceral excitement, a sense of urgency that I think is necessary to really "sell" this piece. For example, I'm looking somewhat more explosiveness in the fast sections of Mv 1, more mystery in the "cave" recititavos, more of a sinister component. In the 2nd Mv, I'm looking for really quite a bit more intimate, tender feel; a songful yearning component. And personally, I DO like your choice of tempo in the Mv 3 Rondo; I found it to be most successful of the three movements overall. But there too, I think there's more room for shaping, for increased dynamic contrast at various junctures, for lyrical "moments" within the moto perpetuo framework. But having said that, this is a very solid rendition, well worth listening to -- thanks for sharing it!

Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: Tony007] #2744704
06/15/18 02:43 PM
06/15/18 02:43 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 3,586
H
Hakki Offline
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Hakki  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
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Congratulations on learning this wonderful sonata.
I am with others that there is room for improvement.
But it is still very good at the moment.
I can only say that your playing is a bit cautious at the moment.
I believe a forward momentum with a bold style will make it better.
Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed listening your rendition.

Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: Tony007] #2744775
06/15/18 11:20 PM
06/15/18 11:20 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,313
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline
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Posts: 21,313
Victoria, BC
Tony:

There is much to appreciate in this performance, but I must state at the outset that I do not agree with the assessment that the third movement is played too fast; "WAAAAAY too fast," to quote joe80. It is marked Allegretto, and I don't see how any slower could be considered Allegretto. Nor do I feel that it should be three beats to the measure, but, rather, one. The notation even suggests one beat to the measure rather than three. However, that is a personal and artistic choice and I am sure that we can agree to disagree.

I agree that the recitatives (Largo at measures 143 through 148 and again at measures 155 through 158) in the first movement could be much more mysterious. While we should not, perhaps, on a modern piano, hold the damper down throughout these measures, some half-pedaling may give the more mysterious effect that Beethoven's pedaling suggests.

One little quibble that unsettles me in the second movement each time I hear it is the figuration that occurs first in measure 10 and then again in measures 12, 14, 44, 46, 48, 54, 56, 93, and 95. You play the turn and the note that follows the turn with equal note values. I feel that a distinction should be made so that we hear that the last note before the second beat is distinctly shorter (a thirty-second note) than the notes that constitute the turn. In the Schnabel edition of the Sonata, he comments on this fact saying that (in his example) executing four sixty-fourth notes followed by two thirty-second notes "... falsifies the rhythmic form." Schnabel suggests, as one possibility D=eighth-note; followed by a group of four sixty-fourth notes (E-flat, D, C, D); this last D tied to D thirty-second note, and then the final E-flat as a thirty-second note.

I'll see if I can find an illustration on line and I'll have to post it separately if I do find it because by then the "Edit post" function will have expired.

In the meantime, thank you very much for sharing this performance.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: Tony007] #2744777
06/15/18 11:31 PM
06/15/18 11:31 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,313
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline
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Posts: 21,313
Victoria, BC
Here are Schnabel's two suggestions for the measure with the turn. I think I prefer the second, although it's not much different than the first, but both emphasize the duration of the final note being distinct in duration from the preceding note.

[Linked Image]

Regards,



Last edited by BruceD; 06/15/18 11:36 PM.

BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: Tony007] #2744782
06/15/18 11:59 PM
06/15/18 11:59 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,313
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline
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Posts: 21,313
Victoria, BC
P.S.

The very figuration that Schnabel says "falsifies the rhythmic form" is what von Bulow and Lebert suggest in their 1894 [1923] Schirmer edition. Perhaps, then, that is also a viable execution of the figuration, although I personally prefer Schnabel's suggestion.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: Tony007] #2745065
06/17/18 09:27 AM
06/17/18 09:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
T
Tony007 Offline OP
Full Member
Tony007  Offline OP
Full Member
T
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
Hi Carey, joe80, Tim Adrianson, Hakki and BruceD!

I'm glad and proud to have got so many detailed and expert feedbacks cool

And I promise to answer to each of them very soon! They are all worth thinking about and replying to in detail!

I'm just very busy at the moment, but I'll be back!

Thanks again and best regards

Tony

Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: Carey] #2749924
07/07/18 05:43 AM
07/07/18 05:43 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
T
Tony007 Offline OP
Full Member
Tony007  Offline OP
Full Member
T
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
Originally Posted by Carey
Hi Felix -

I listened to your recording twice today (casually) then a third time with the score.

CONGRATULATIONS on learning and memorizing the entire sonata (from scratch) and for paying such close attention to the phrasing, dynamic markings, pedal markings, etc.
This is very fine work indeed.

You seem most comfortable with the first and second movements. They flow quite well, and are very satisfying to listen to.

Perhaps the 3rd movement could be played a little faster. Also, you might want to reconsider your use of ritardandos in transitional passages in the 3rd movement. I believe it was Beethoven's intent that the tempo and forward momentum (energy and intensity) of the music remain steady throughout. At least that's my understanding based on other performances I've heard over the years.

Again, thank you for sharing this beautiful and thoughtful rendition. I enjoyed it very much !!

Best -

Carey






Hi Carey!

First of all: Many thanks for listening so often and so carefully to my recording!

And yes, it would be possibly better to play the transitional passages of the 3d movement without these extensive ritardandos.... You know? It's the force of habit grin One starts with a little bit, and every day it grows and grows, until it's too much....

Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: joe80] #2749928
07/07/18 06:02 AM
07/07/18 06:02 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
T
Tony007 Offline OP
Full Member
Tony007  Offline OP
Full Member
T
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
Originally Posted by joe80


To start off with, I've played this sonata for 25 years and had lots of lessons on it, and every teacher I've played it to has contradicted the other, because so many people think they are Beethoven experts, etc.



Hi Joe80

Many thanks also to you for listening so carefully and sharing your impressions!

I quoted this passage of your comment, because it's funny that we have approached the sonata from opposite sides smile YOU worked at it for a long time with different teachers contradicting each other, I just learned it within a few months, completely on my own....

This said, I can just thank you for all your interesting, inspiring, helpful remarks! As I had no teacher for this sonata, YOU were my teacher now smile

Interesting to play the 3d movement much slower than I did! Maybe I've to try this, too? I actually felt very well in my tempo, I got into it very naturally.... And I never listened again to anybody else's interpretation in order to find my own way.... But now, as I have reached a first stage, I feel free for experiments, this version certainly isn't my "final word" smile

Thank you for giving me some hints where the "journey" could lead me to!

Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: Hakki] #2749929
07/07/18 06:08 AM
07/07/18 06:08 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
T
Tony007 Offline OP
Full Member
Tony007  Offline OP
Full Member
T
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
Originally Posted by Hakki
Congratulations on learning this wonderful sonata.
I am with others that there is room for improvement.
But it is still very good at the moment.
I can only say that your playing is a bit cautious at the moment.
I believe a forward momentum with a bold style will make it better.
Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed listening your rendition.


Hi Hakki!

Thank you for listening and commenting!

OF COURSE I'm still very cautious, and I'll have to conquer more freedom! Playing this sonata in concert, learning from these experiences, I think that's the key! You know? For now I exactly played it like somebody who has learned it from scratch and is proud to have reached a first stage smile

Last edited by Tony007; 07/07/18 06:15 AM.
Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: Tim Adrianson] #2749934
07/07/18 06:14 AM
07/07/18 06:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
T
Tony007 Offline OP
Full Member
Tony007  Offline OP
Full Member
T
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Hi, Tony007! This is the one Beethoven Sonata I studied with a teacher, my sophomore year of college in 1964. And so, like the others, I'm familiar with its idiosyncrasies and demands. I consider the entire Op 31 Sonata set to be Beethoven in full flower -- it's just chock full of humor, inventiveness, originality, charm, etc. My one general comment after listening is that it is at a stage exactly as you've described it -- it is correctly learned; the notes, pacing, dynamics, etc are in place -- but it is lacking a visceral excitement, a sense of urgency that I think is necessary to really "sell" this piece. For example, I'm looking somewhat more explosiveness in the fast sections of Mv 1, more mystery in the "cave" recititavos, more of a sinister component. In the 2nd Mv, I'm looking for really quite a bit more intimate, tender feel; a songful yearning component. And personally, I DO like your choice of tempo in the Mv 3 Rondo; I found it to be most successful of the three movements overall. But there too, I think there's more room for shaping, for increased dynamic contrast at various junctures, for lyrical "moments" within the moto perpetuo framework. But having said that, this is a very solid rendition, well worth listening to -- thanks for sharing it!


Hi Tim Adrianson!

As always you give me precious hints, thanks a lot!

Maybe I'm not such an "urgent" pianist? Of course it would be possible to play this sonata much more dramatically, but I have to live with my personality which is "well-tempered" and trusts more in the music speaking for itself? Anyway: This was a first approach, and furthermore a home recording.... I'm sure that playing the sonata in concert sooner or later will "wake me up", add some "dramatical" qualities to my interpretation – let's see....

Re: Beethoven Sonata No 17 D Minor [Re: BruceD] #2749935
07/07/18 06:28 AM
07/07/18 06:28 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
T
Tony007 Offline OP
Full Member
Tony007  Offline OP
Full Member
T
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 343
Switzerland
Hi BruceD!

Thank you for listening so carefully and commenting in such a detailed and expert way!

I'll have to reconsider everything, particularly the figurations in the second movement.... You know? I first chose another version, but a colleague at my school told me: Why don't you play it differently? And she convinced me of the version I used in my recording smile Of course Schnabel and Bülow are great names, and it's worth considering what they suggest – thank you so much for sharing these examples cool It's simply interesting that they contradict each other, and that Schnabel offers different possibilities – that's a sign we can never know for sure which one would be the right way how to play.... And maybe Beethoven himself used different versions as well, according to his whims? How puzzling.... confused


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