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Beemer Offline OP
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My copy of Schumann Op15 No.1 Von fremden ländern und Menschen is marked mm crotchet 76-96. Either speed appears too fast when I listen to distinguished concert pianists.
Comments welcomed.
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76-97 to the crotchet (quarter note) is a fairly wide range, but "too fast"? The lower end seems much in line with what I have heard.

My (very) old Oliver Ditson edition (edited by Dörffel and Schmidt) has MM = 108 to the quarter-note (crotchet) and that seems a shade fast to me. Henle also has the same tempo indication (MM = 108), presumably it's Urtext = Schumann's tempo indication. But that's a bit faster than your edition's marking. What edition do you have?

Horowitz = 76
Argerich = 72
Lang Lang = 66

Regards,


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108 is the Clara Schumann indication. The autograph does not have any tempo.

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I can't help but keep returning to Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen. I think I'll keep playing it until I'm done with this world.

I seem to be playing between about 70 and 76 in terms of tempo, nothing like that marked on my henle edition.

This is around 72 Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen

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Originally Posted by KevinM
I can't help but keep returning to Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen. I think I'll keep playing it until I'm done with this world.

I seem to be playing between about 70 and 76 in terms of tempo, nothing like that marked on my henle edition.

This is around 72 Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen

Nice playing, Kevin! I put this aside for a while, just felt like I was getting nowhere, musically, with it.


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Beemer Offline OP
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Originally Posted by BruceD
76-97 to the crotchet (quarter note) is a fairly wide range, but "too fast"? The lower end seems much in line with what I have heard.

My (very) old Oliver Ditson edition (edited by Dörffel and Schmidt) has MM = 108 to the quarter-note (crotchet) and that seems a shade fast to me. Henle also has the same tempo indication (MM = 108), presumably it's Urtext = Schumann's tempo indication. But that's a bit faster than your edition's marking. What edition do you have?

Horowitz = 76
Argerich = 72
Lang Lang = 66

Regards,
I have several, but the Leopold Godowsky one is most informative. Its narrative says that 'very few editions have the correct tempo' This being due to the inaccuracy of metronomes at the time. Presumably some were still using pre Metzel ones, e.g. Winkel. I now have found editions that vary from 60 to 108. I realise that these 25 pieces were not written for children to play but I believe that this one in particular being so beautiful sounds better when played around 64bpm as I believe Martha is doing here:

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Originally Posted by Beemer
I have several, but the Leopold Godowsky one is most informative. Its narrative says that 'very few editions have the correct tempo' This being due to the inaccuracy of metronomes at the time. Presumably some were still using pre Metzel ones, e.g. Winkel. I now have found editions that vary from 60 to 108. I realise that these 25 pieces were not written for children to play but I believe that this one in particular being so beautiful sounds better when played around 64bpm as I believe Martha is doing here:

Ian

The 108 tempo is indicated in the second print of the first edition in 1839 (whose source is not clearly established to be by Schumann, thus some urtext edition do not use these numbers). However in the Instructive Ausgabe published by Clara Schumann in 1887 the tempo is also 108. I would assume that Clara knew what was the tempo requested by her husband and also that by 1887, metronomes were reliable. Any other tempo markings present in editions are coming from the editors, not from Schumann or his wife.

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Thanks for your comment. So do you prefer to play it at 108?
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Musically qtr note 54 or eighth note 108 is a perfectly reasonable tempo. Schumann likely conceived this piece in tempo ordinario. The modern piano's sustain ability sounds very nice at 54bpm and gives time for the triplet voice to unfold beautifully.

When I hear this piece in my head it's definitely around 60 bpm. Not saying you can't go fast. Only saying there is no musical reason to go fast here.


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Originally Posted by Beemer
Thanks for your comment. So do you prefer to play it at 108?
Ian

That is a different question. What i prefer is really not important. Obviously Clara Schumann thought that quarter note at108 was about the appropriate tempo. I think in general, modern pianists tend to have a more sentimental view of Schumann than what he was. Here is Perahia point of view. That said amateur pianists can choose to play it as they wish, in particular if they cant manage to play it fast or dont like it that way.


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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Beemer
Thanks for your comment. So do you prefer to play it at 108?
Ian

I think in general, modern pianists tend to have a more sentimental view of Schumann than what he was.

That has piqued my interest. I like Schumann; was he a tad disagreeable? His music might indicate a forceful character, but with a soft side. On occasions. A bit like me . . .haha


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Thanks for the Murrey Perahia link which I had not seen before. He gives good insight to the pieces.
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Originally Posted by Fidel
Musically qtr note 54 or eighth note 108 is a perfectly reasonable tempo. Schumann likely conceived this piece in tempo ordinario. The modern piano's sustain ability sounds very nice at 54bpm and gives time for the triplet voice to unfold beautifully.

When I hear this piece in my head it's definitely around 60 bpm. Not saying you can't go fast. Only saying there is no musical reason to go fast here.
Where there are edition markings they are crotchet beats so 86 to 108 range. Quavers have no meaning as for as bpm here.
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Funny, we are having that exact discussion in another thread laugh. Lot's of discussion about the tempo here, in the end it will be up to yourself what you prefer. I like the piece more when it's a little faster, makes it more lively, but 108 might be too fast to my taste.

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Originally Posted by Beemer
My copy of Schumann Op15 No.1 Von fremden ländern und Menschen is marked mm crotchet 76-96. Either speed appears too fast when I listen to distinguished concert pianists.
Comments welcomed.
Ian


There is no universal speed for pianists--do not make the mistake of trying to sound like other pianists. Learn from their interpretations, but do not imitate. Forget about speed and play what comes naturally. Concentrate on making it musical.

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Originally Posted by itsfreakingmeout
Originally Posted by Beemer
My copy of Schumann Op15 No.1 Von fremden ländern und Menschen is marked mm crotchet 76-96. Either speed appears too fast when I listen to distinguished concert pianists. Comments welcomed.Ian
There is no universal speed for pianists--do not make the mistake of trying to sound like other pianists. Learn from their interpretations, but do not imitate. Forget about speed and play what comes naturally. Concentrate on making it musical.
I wouldn't call getting a basic sense of an appropriate tempo from recordings of great pianists imitating other pianists. If many/most great pianists play a piece at a tempo far different from the one you choose, I think one should seriously consider if one's tempo is a good one. This is no different from a good teacher suggesting a different tempo to a student. I think Beemer made a good point, assuming I understand what he meant. He said that many great pianists play it slower than 76-90 and that implies a slower tempo may be more appropriate.

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I think I got my numbers completely wrong about my tempo above.

I just tried calculating how long the piece should take to play at different tempos. There are 44 bars of music to play taking into account the repeats. There are two beats in each bar 2/4 (crochets, quarter notes) which makes 88 beats in total. At a tempo of 108 that works out to be around 49 seconds, when you take into account the ritardo, you would get around low 50s seconds I'd guess.

The tempo I'm playing there is around 58 not 72.

Am I doing something wrong with my calculations here?

So I had a go at trying to pushing my speed up a far as I could take it while still having some musicality in what i was playing. So based on my calculations this is around 64.

Von Fremden played at around 64

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Originally Posted by KevinM
I think I got my numbers completely wrong about my tempo above.

I just tried calculating how long the piece should take to play at different tempos. There are 44 bars of music to play taking into account the repeats. There are two beats in each bar 2/4 (crochets, quarter notes) which makes 88 beats in total. At a tempo of 108 that works out to be around 49 seconds, when you take into account the ritardo, you would get around low 50s seconds I'd guess.

The tempo I'm playing there is around 58 not 72.

Am I doing something wrong with my calculations here?

So I had a go at trying to pushing my speed up a far as I could take it while still having some musicality in what i was playing. So based on my calculations this is around 64.

Von Fremden played at around 64


Your link does not seem to work. 108 is indeed very fast. Perahia is playing it around 96 outside the ritard.

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Apologies, trying out private links. The above works for me of course.

Von Fremden as fast as I can play it.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[quote=itsfreakingmeout][quote=Beemer] If many/most great pianists play a piece at a tempo far different from the one you choose, I think one should seriously consider if one's tempo is a good one. This is no different from a good teacher suggesting a different tempo to a student.

Please listen to Glenn Gould's rendition of Brahms Intermezzo Op 76 #6 then listen to Richard Goode play it. Then repeat the quoted section back to yourself. The bottom line is, there is no universal speed for pianists, and it's foolish to arbitrarily state that if one is not playing it to whatever speed you're used to hearing it at, that it's inadequate. That's an awful thing to suggest, especially in a place where people are looking for encouragement.

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