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Tempest Sonata

Posted By: hopinmad

Tempest Sonata - 12/28/11 10:08 PM

Hi,

I've just started learning this piece. But I already have a few questions:

Bars 20-40 of the 1st movement (I think so anyway, I mean the bit with the triplet accompaniment). Can you give me some suggestions/ideas of how to play this bit? My copy (Barry Cooper ABRSM)has no pedal markings. Playing it without pedal, I'm forced to switch hands to play the accompanying triplets, and it is very difficult to play this accompaniment lightly without pedal. However, the dry sound on the LH ntoes are very effective. Playing all of it with pedal feels like I lose the impact of the LH notes, and playing some bars with some bars without I don't like because I feel the tone is too inconsistent. I like the A G# A Bb A melody with pedal, but I like the LH notes without. Essentially, I'm undecided on how to play this passage and I'd like others to share with me their experience of this passage, why you played it like this why not like this etc. why pedal here why not here etc.etc. I'm just looking for suggestions and ideas. Thanks.

The same question applies to start the third movement. How do people pedal it? Your thoughts on what sounds best?


Thanks
Posted By: Varcon

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/29/11 04:53 PM

Why not print out a copy with pedaling suggested and then use it as you feel it works for you? Fascinating sonata! smile
Posted By: Serge Marinkovic

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/29/11 07:58 PM

You picked the best edition with Barry Cooper. His ability to make simple sense out of difficult passages is wonderful. Sight reading the Hammerklavier is very difficult but it becomes less troublesome with Barry Cooper's edition because his editing clarifies a lot of passages and his fingering seems to always agree with what i need. Now your mileage may vary because I have a large hand but just about everyone I have recommended his series to has been very happy with them compared to the Henle edition. It is just better scholarship with Coopers edition.
Posted By: hopinmad

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/29/11 08:03 PM

@Varcon: Can't decide which I'd print!

@Serge Marinkovic: That may be, but pedalling is scarce. There are no pedal markings at all in Op.14/1, and only three or four bars (the slow arpeggio figure in bar 1, and some similar bars) have pedal markings in the Tempest (them being the only sonatas I've used the edition for).

Anyone with ideas from personal experience about how they use the pedal in the Tempest?
Posted By: sophial

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/29/11 08:04 PM

Serge, you get my vote for understatement of the year for this comment

" Sight reading the Hammerklavier is very difficult....." ! grin
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/29/11 08:32 PM

Originally Posted by hopinmad
[...]
The same question applies to start the third movement. How do people pedal it? Your thoughts on what sounds best?
Thanks


Pedaling becomes quite subjective, all the more so since each of us plays on a different piano and the sustain of any given piano as well as the adjustment - and hence, the effect - of the damper pedal are as individual as the instrument itself.

You must decide what effect you wish to obtain and use the pedal to best achieve that effect on your particular piano. This begs the question : what do you do when you perform on a different piano than the one you practiced on? Adjust as quickly as you can, if you can't try the piano before hand.

Regards,
Posted By: ando

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/29/11 09:19 PM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by hopinmad
[...]
The same question applies to start the third movement. How do people pedal it? Your thoughts on what sounds best?
Thanks


Pedaling becomes quite subjective, all the more so since each of us plays on a different piano and the sustain of any given piano as well as the adjustment - and hence, the effect - of the damper pedal are as individual as the instrument itself.

You must decide what effect you wish to obtain and use the pedal to best achieve that effect on your particular piano. This begs the question : what do you do when you perform on a different piano than the one you practiced on? Adjust as quickly as you can, if you can't try the piano before hand.

Regards,


I find I don't really look at pedal information at all. I tend to go on instinct based on what I want to hear.
Posted By: hopinmad

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/29/11 10:04 PM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by hopinmad
[...]
The same question applies to start the third movement. How do people pedal it? Your thoughts on what sounds best?
Thanks


Pedaling becomes quite subjective, all the more so since each of us plays on a different piano and the sustain of any given piano as well as the adjustment - and hence, the effect - of the damper pedal are as individual as the instrument itself.

You must decide what effect you wish to obtain and use the pedal to best achieve that effect on your particular piano. This begs the question : what do you do when you perform on a different piano than the one you practiced on? Adjust as quickly as you can, if you can't try the piano before hand.

Regards,


True, although the variation on different pianos isn't really the issue here. It's choosing an interpretation in the first place, not choosing how to execute a chosen one.

If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think it should be played without pedal. If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think the pedal should be used throughout but at their own discretion. The two interpretations that would result would be much less alike than two of the same interpretations on two very different pianos.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/30/11 12:56 AM

Originally Posted by hopinmad
[...]If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think it should be played without pedal. If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think the pedal should be used throughout but at their own discretion. The two interpretations that would result would be much less alike than two of the same interpretations on two very different pianos.


Eleanor Bailie comments on pedaling in Chopin by saying that 1) Chopin often did not indicate the use of the pedal where its use was so obvious that indicating it would be superfluous and 2) Chopin often did not indicate the use of the pedal where its use is so complex that it would be impractical to try to indicate how it is to be used.

Regards,
Posted By: didyougethathing

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/30/11 01:39 AM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by hopinmad
[...]If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think it should be played without pedal. If my score has no pedal markings, someone may think the pedal should be used throughout but at their own discretion. The two interpretations that would result would be much less alike than two of the same interpretations on two very different pianos.


Eleanor Bailie comments on pedaling in Chopin by saying that 1) Chopin often did not indicate the use of the pedal where its use was so obvious that indicating it would be superfluous and 2) Chopin often did not indicate the use of the pedal where its use is so complex that it would be impractical to try to indicate how it is to be used.

Regards,


That reminds me of: "This statement is false." crazy
Posted By: Jolteon

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/30/11 06:06 AM

I'd say the pedal markings on your score are the only ones that Beethoven would have written/used/intended. The piano he most likely would've been playing when he composed this, would have had a damper 'pedal' which was operated by the knee, and I'd guess it was not really very practical and probably quite cumbersome to use.

The editor of my Alfred Masterworks Edition says:
Bulow shows a disposition between the hands that is frequently recommended, that of continuing to play the triplet eighth notes with the RH and crossing over with the LH to play the melody in the treble clef in measures 22-24 and 26-28, suing the damper pedal to sustain notes in the bass. This results in some degree of blurring in measures 23 and 27. Tovey and Casella permit crossing in m easures 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38-40, where use of the damper pedal does not blur the line, but compromises the staccato marked on the sf quarter notes in measures 30, 32, 34 and 36. D'Albert, Schenker, and Schnabel recommend crossing only in measures 38-40, where the sf quarter notes no longer carry a staccato mark (both in Nageli and Simrock[first editions]). This editor agrees with crossing in measures 38-40, where the eighth- note triplet figure is high enough to make playing it with the left hand awkward.
___

Play it however you feel works best for you, and gives you the sound/effect you think Beethoven was after. I personally think that changing the playing of the triplets to the left hand, and playing the melody with the right hand works/sounds best, no pedal at all. Make sure you really give those bass arpeggios the staccatos, because it makes it sound awesome. smile
Posted By: stores

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/30/11 09:10 AM

Originally Posted by Jolteon
The piano he most likely would've been playing when he composed this, would have had a damper 'pedal' which was operated by the knee, and I'd guess it was not really very practical and probably quite cumbersome to use.



Actually, no, the piano Beethoven owned at the time wasn't one with a "knee-damper". They aren't at all cumbersome to use...really quite easy once one becomes familiar with it (as with anything). The "Tempest" was composed at a time when piano makers in Vienna were just starting to try and outdo one another. Erard, in 1801, built a piano with 5 pedals. Beethoven, would have known the knee-damper, of course, but the piano makers in Vienna fell over themselves trying to accommodate him with the newest version of their product. Many of the upgrades presented with each new version where those asked for by Beethoven. He's quite personally responsible for the evolution of the instrument we all love.
Posted By: Jolteon

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/30/11 10:51 AM

Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Jolteon
The piano he most likely would've been playing when he composed this, would have had a damper 'pedal' which was operated by the knee, and I'd guess it was not really very practical and probably quite cumbersome to use.



Actually, no, the piano Beethoven owned at the time wasn't one with a "knee-damper". They aren't at all cumbersome to use...really quite easy once one becomes familiar with it (as with anything).


I've never used or even seen one of these pianos, so I'm only guessing. But there must be a reason why natural selection opted for a foot-pedal rather than a knee-pedal. smile
Posted By: hopinmad

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/30/11 01:01 PM

Originally Posted by Jolteon


The editor of my Alfred Masterworks Edition says:
Bulow shows a disposition between the hands that is frequently recommended, that of continuing to play the triplet eighth notes with the RH and crossing over with the LH to play the melody in the treble clef in measures 22-24 and 26-28, suing the damper pedal to sustain notes in the bass. This results in some degree of blurring in measures 23 and 27. Tovey and Casella permit crossing in m easures 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38-40, where use of the damper pedal does not blur the line, but compromises the staccato marked on the sf quarter notes in measures 30, 32, 34 and 36. D'Albert, Schenker, and Schnabel recommend crossing only in measures 38-40, where the sf quarter notes no longer carry a staccato mark (both in Nageli and Simrock[first editions]). This editor agrees with crossing in measures 38-40, where the eighth- note triplet figure is high enough to make playing it with the left hand awkward.
___

Play it however you feel works best for you, and gives you the sound/effect you think Beethoven was after. I personally think that changing the playing of the triplets to the left hand, and playing the melody with the right hand works/sounds best, no pedal at all. Make sure you really give those bass arpeggios the staccatos, because it makes it sound awesome. smile


Thank you, that's a very useful post!

I originally tried it without pedal at all, distributing the triplets across both hands. Three things changed my mind though:

1. It feels unnatural swapping them over when you could so easily play all the triplets in the RH.

2. The triplets are harder without pedal.

3. I'd play some melody notes in the RH too, unless I wanted to switch hands in middle of a bar.

I've now decided I'm going to play all thhe triplets with the RH, since those three problems go away. In particular, it feels more natural. I also really do like the A G# A Bb A bit with pedal. Unfortunately, though, it means I either have to compromise some staccato markings, or have inconsistency with the tone. There is also the fact that, between bars 31 and 32 for example, the RH has to repeat a note (BEB BEB), which suggests that Beethoven would have wanted me to switch hands.

But! it feels nice playing it like this! So I think I'll stick with it.
Posted By: Brad Hoehne

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/30/11 03:50 PM

Hopinmad,

I've been working on the Tempest since the beginning of November.

When I play those measures (starting at measure 21), I switch hands often. However, I find it a lot easier than the alternative you're suggesting (which I tried at the outset). The motion of switching feels fluid and natural without too much practice.

I play the triplets in the right hand for measures 21, 26 and 30, for instance, and then immediately switch to the left hand on the first beat of measures 22, 27 and 31. That way I can easily hold the low D in measure 22 (or the low E in measure 26 or the low F in 31) through its full three measure length without pedaling at all.

While playing the apeggiated D chord in the left hand in measure 21, think of your 5th finger landing on the low D (and the fourth finger on the F) at the outset of measure 22. If you practice this alone a few times (without playing the Right hand tremolo), the hand switch is becomes quite simple. The right hand simply moves out of the way, and then has three whole beats to get in place to play the A on the fourth beat of measure 22. There's no crossing over involved at this point.

I try to do as little pedaling as possible to keep the passage, and the piece in general, as clean as I can. I lean heavily on it for the Adagio sections and the blurry coda, but I try to keep my foot far away from the pedal for most of the rest. (I give in to the temptations of my right foot for the second movement, however.)

I DO pedal measures 38-40 to keep the whole notes resounding. I play the triplets exclusively with the R.H. and the chord and high A by crossing over the L.H. But, at this point, the "melody" is so simple that this is darn easy. I change pedal just before the beginning of each measure. I justify this because it adds to the implied crescendo to fortissimo (the first in the piece) by allowing the piano to resound. The damper pedal (right pedal) was, for a time, called the loud pedal for a reason...


My teacher helped me get this passage sounding musical without any pedal at all. Here's what he had me do:

- Practice the triplets as triplets- that is, play the two note tremolo NOT like DA-di DA-di DA-di etc,. but DA-di-da DI-da-di DA-di-da DI-da-di. etc,. giving a little emphasis to the beginning of each triplet chunk. It helps also to think in quarter notes (DA-DI-DA-DI) not concerning oneself too much with sounding, or even thinking about, the non-accented notes.

Note that at tempo (probably around 100-110 bpm), you will naturally even this out a bit, and that's fine. However, if you slow practicethe triplets cleanly delineated like this, the four beat pulse of the piece should be maintained at higher tempo.

- The forte comes from the melody and the first note of each triplet. The remaining notes merely add "texture", and, as long as they're there, they can be played lightly without affecting the overall sense of loudness.

- "Chunk" when practicing. Start by practicing the hand position shifts without playing the tremolos as tremolos.

- Technically, a tremolo should be played with a slight axial roll of the forearm sort of like turning a doorknob. This reduces the amount of stress on the fingers.

- The key to the six note R.H. melody is in getting an effective phrasing down. I spent a while practicing this without the L.H. trying to get a very musical lilt to the passage- playing it less squarely and more "like Chopin" to contrast it with the almost-stacatto arpeggiated chord that comes one measure before. What a lyrical passage is is rather subjective. Experiment and find a phrasing that sounds lyrical to you. (Mine is a sort of breathy da-Dah-DAAH-di-da-da da, with the final note being quite delicate. )

If my experience is any guide (and, who knows if it is?), this should help bring things under your fingers fairly quickly.
Posted By: stores

Re: Tempest Sonata - 12/30/11 07:13 PM

Originally Posted by Jolteon
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Jolteon
The piano he most likely would've been playing when he composed this, would have had a damper 'pedal' which was operated by the knee, and I'd guess it was not really very practical and probably quite cumbersome to use.



Actually, no, the piano Beethoven owned at the time wasn't one with a "knee-damper". They aren't at all cumbersome to use...really quite easy once one becomes familiar with it (as with anything).


I've never used or even seen one of these pianos, so I'm only guessing. But there must be a reason why natural selection opted for a foot-pedal rather than a knee-pedal. smile


Foot pedals are simply that much easier to use, but the knee-damper isn't difficult to get used to. I studied pianoforte for most of my university days and on more than one fitted with a knee-damper.
Posted By: hopinmad

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/10/12 07:11 PM

Originally Posted by Brad Hoehne
Hopinmad,

I've been working on the Tempest since the beginning of November.

When I play those measures (starting at measure 21), I switch hands often. However, I find it a lot easier than the alternative you're suggesting (which I tried at the outset). The motion of switching feels fluid and natural without too much practice.

I play the triplets in the right hand for measures 21, 26 and 30, for instance, and then immediately switch to the left hand on the first beat of measures 22, 27 and 31. That way I can easily hold the low D in measure 22 (or the low E in measure 26 or the low F in 31) through its full three measure length without pedaling at all.

While playing the apeggiated D chord in the left hand in measure 21, think of your 5th finger landing on the low D (and the fourth finger on the F) at the outset of measure 22. If you practice this alone a few times (without playing the Right hand tremolo), the hand switch is becomes quite simple. The right hand simply moves out of the way, and then has three whole beats to get in place to play the A on the fourth beat of measure 22. There's no crossing over involved at this point.

I try to do as little pedaling as possible to keep the passage, and the piece in general, as clean as I can. I lean heavily on it for the Adagio sections and the blurry coda, but I try to keep my foot far away from the pedal for most of the rest. (I give in to the temptations of my right foot for the second movement, however.)

I DO pedal measures 38-40 to keep the whole notes resounding. I play the triplets exclusively with the R.H. and the chord and high A by crossing over the L.H. But, at this point, the "melody" is so simple that this is darn easy. I change pedal just before the beginning of each measure. I justify this because it adds to the implied crescendo to fortissimo (the first in the piece) by allowing the piano to resound. The damper pedal (right pedal) was, for a time, called the loud pedal for a reason...


My teacher helped me get this passage sounding musical without any pedal at all. Here's what he had me do:

- Practice the triplets as triplets- that is, play the two note tremolo NOT like DA-di DA-di DA-di etc,. but DA-di-da DI-da-di DA-di-da DI-da-di. etc,. giving a little emphasis to the beginning of each triplet chunk. It helps also to think in quarter notes (DA-DI-DA-DI) not concerning oneself too much with sounding, or even thinking about, the non-accented notes.

Note that at tempo (probably around 100-110 bpm), you will naturally even this out a bit, and that's fine. However, if you slow practicethe triplets cleanly delineated like this, the four beat pulse of the piece should be maintained at higher tempo.

- The forte comes from the melody and the first note of each triplet. The remaining notes merely add "texture", and, as long as they're there, they can be played lightly without affecting the overall sense of loudness.

- "Chunk" when practicing. Start by practicing the hand position shifts without playing the tremolos as tremolos.

- Technically, a tremolo should be played with a slight axial roll of the forearm sort of like turning a doorknob. This reduces the amount of stress on the fingers.

- The key to the six note R.H. melody is in getting an effective phrasing down. I spent a while practicing this without the L.H. trying to get a very musical lilt to the passage- playing it less squarely and more "like Chopin" to contrast it with the almost-stacatto arpeggiated chord that comes one measure before. What a lyrical passage is is rather subjective. Experiment and find a phrasing that sounds lyrical to you. (Mine is a sort of breathy da-Dah-DAAH-di-da-da da, with the final note being quite delicate. )

If my experience is any guide (and, who knows if it is?), this should help bring things under your fingers fairly quickly.


Thanks, I've read your post carefully. However, I've decided to pedal that entire section (21 - 40) and play the accompaniment with the RH always. It may be partly because I don't want to tackle that playing it without pedal, which would be quite a bit harder. I'll see how it goes anyway, thanks for your reply!
Posted By: Hakki

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/10/12 07:28 PM

Just try to imitate this and you will be fine.

regards,
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/10/12 10:50 PM

Originally Posted by Jolteon
I'd say the pedal markings on your score are the only ones that Beethoven would have written/used/intended.
Czerny said that Beethoven used the pedal much more than he indicated in his scores according to Rosen's book on the Beethoven Sonatas. My understanding is that most of Beethoven's pedal indications are in places where he thought it may not have been obvious/critical.
Posted By: stores

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/10/12 11:13 PM

Originally Posted by Hakki
Just try to imitate this and you will be fine.

regards,


No. Don't try to imitate anyone. Be original. Think for yourself. Do your homework and learn all you can so that when you sit to play we hear Beethoven.
Posted By: Hakki

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/11/12 04:55 AM

Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Hakki
Just try to imitate this and you will be fine.

regards,


No. Don't try to imitate anyone. Be original. Think for yourself. Do your homework and learn all you can so that when you sit to play we hear Beethoven.


Of course.
I meant to say, just think of him as your teacher saying "look, let me show you one possibility how I would play" during a lesson. Normally a teacher does that, dosen't he?

regards,
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/11/12 06:01 AM

Originally Posted by Hakki
[...]I meant to say, just think of him as your teacher saying "look, let me show you one possibility how I would play" during a lesson. Normally a teacher does that, dosen't he?

regards,


Interesting comment. Except for one public performance in a Beethoven Piano Trio a few years ago, I've never heard my teacher play, except a phrase or two.

Regards,
Posted By: btb

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/11/12 06:41 AM

Beethoven Tempest Sonata Opus 31, no. 2
m21 triplets

In my book, the triplet trill should be seen as being sandwiched between the crusts of a growl-like 4-note LH sequence ... and then
jumped to the top crust of a 7-note treble profile ... as with

m21 ... D, F, A
m22 ... D - A
m23 ... G#, A, Bb, A
m34 ... A - A

Some of us lithe chappies manage to cross hands (left over right) in sounding the crust theme ... so as to maintain the inner RH tremor trill.

PS. The tied LH D-notes (to my Schirmer score) are IMHO in error.
Posted By: stores

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/11/12 08:58 AM

Originally Posted by Hakki
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Hakki
Just try to imitate this and you will be fine.

regards,


No. Don't try to imitate anyone. Be original. Think for yourself. Do your homework and learn all you can so that when you sit to play we hear Beethoven.


Of course.
I meant to say, just think of him as your teacher saying "look, let me show you one possibility how I would play" during a lesson. Normally a teacher does that, dosen't he?

regards,


Listening to a recording and having a lessons with Danny (which I would love) are two different things and no, not everyone plays whatever work (or portions thereof) at the lesson. There are entire days of teaching where I never even touch the piano.
Posted By: stores

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/11/12 08:59 AM

Originally Posted by btb


PS. The tied LH D-notes (to my Schirmer score) are IMHO in error.


And for owning a Schirmer edition you are in error.
Posted By: btb

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/11/12 09:33 AM

Take a good look at the score stores before ending up a ripe Charlie.

It's not possible to tie the LH notes over the three measures while the treble is dancing ... the publishers got it wrong ...
but if you want to argue with von Bulow, be my guest.
Posted By: stores

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/11/12 11:27 PM

Originally Posted by btb
Take a good look at the score stores before ending up a ripe Charlie.

It's not possible to tie the LH notes over the three measures while the treble is dancing ... the publishers got it wrong ...
but if you want to argue with von Bulow, be my guest.


I know the Tempest very well, btb. I'd venture to say I know it measure for measure better than most here, but I've not paid very close attention to this thread and so I must plead ignorance regarding the subject at hand. I am not, however, in the dark regarding the Schirmer edition. It's good for nothing but filling the nearest garbage can.
Posted By: btb

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/12/12 06:14 AM

What edition do you use stores?

After 50 years valiant service my Schirmer edition is a fragile assembly of single pages ... perhaps I should treat myself to a
new edition like yours.

Posted By: argerichfan

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/12/12 06:32 AM

Originally Posted by btb
What edition do you use stores?

After 50 years valiant service my Schirmer edition is a fragile assembly of single pages ... perhaps I should treat myself to a
new edition like yours.

Would be curious what edition stores uses. I've always used Tovey, though I understand it is not the most up to date. However, Tovey's sometimes witty annotations are fun to read, and often very illuminating. Methinks you would enjoy!

I've heard many negative comments about the Schirmer, though I have only looked at it in passing. No one I know personally has used it.

Posted By: btb

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/12/12 07:10 AM

Sonata Opus 31, no.2 (measures 21-24 ... 1st movement)

Thanks for that fan ... Tovey looks like a good bet for the Beethoven Sonatas edition.

However, the point at issue is the LH tie to measures 22-24 (incl.) ... my contention is that the bottom A does not just drift along horizontally as a tied note (spread over 3 measures) ... the crux of the masterly construction is that, at m22, the bottom A in fact spreads to 3/4 of the measure ... before leaping to the 7 note treble outline from m22-24 (incl.).

Any use of the pedal should enhance this upper and lower “crust” outline ... with the
triplet trill maintaining a steady “sandwiching” inner content.

Hoping my explanation doesn’t mystify ... my system of graphic notation has proved a demanding format, in that all structural parts must be tidily linked (no loose ends) ...
thus the LH tied A over 3 measures is not only incorrect, but an impossibility to hold while
36 triplets are dancing up and down ... not to mention the treble input.

Posted By: stores

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/12/12 08:56 AM

Originally Posted by btb
What edition do you use stores?

After 50 years valiant service my Schirmer edition is a fragile assembly of single pages ... perhaps I should treat myself to a
new edition like yours.



Argerichgroupie, above there, hit it on the head. I actually own four different editions (and a few odds and ends), but the Tovey is my favorite. The new Cooper is brilliant, but you can't go wrong with good old Donald. If you can find it, his companion book to the sonatas is very good also.
Posted By: btb

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/12/12 02:47 PM

Beethoven Sonata 31, no. 2 ... measures 21-24 (incl).

Earlier I had commented

“However, the point at issue is the LH tie to measures 22-24 (incl.) ... my contention is that the bottom A does not just drift along horizontally as a tied note (spread over 3 measures) ... the crux of the masterly construction is that, at m22, the bottom A in fact spreads to 3/4 of the measure ... before leaping to the 7 note treble outline from m22-24 (incl.).”
My Schirmer’s edition endorses this view (bottom page 321)

“Give due prominence to the principal motive in the bass and the subsequent melody in the soprano.”
Posted By: Piano*Dad

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/12/12 05:56 PM

Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by btb


PS. The tied LH D-notes (to my Schirmer score) are IMHO in error.


And for owning a Schirmer edition you are in error.


I have two editions, Henle and Schnabel. They each have certain virtues.
Posted By: Otis S

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/13/12 01:55 PM

I play the triplets in measures 20-39 with my right hand and cross over playing the melody with my left hand. When playing this section, it is critically important to bring out the dynamic contrasts between 4 note bass melody (forte) and the 7-note treble melody (piano). The triplets can be used to accentuate these dynamic contrasts. However, it is critically important not to drown out the 7-note treble melody with the triplets; it is easy to do this since the 7-note treble melody is to be played piano.

I have also looked at multiple editions of this sonata. In addition to the ones previously mentioned, I have used the Dover edition edited by Heinrich Schenker. Regarding the Schirmer edition by Hans von Bulow, one of the problems is that von Bulow adds directives to the score which are his own and not those of Beethoven himself. They are in a sense von Bulow's own interpretation of Beethoven's piano sonatas and not necessarily what Beethoven intended. Von Bulow was one of the most famous conductors of the 19th century and is also credited with being the first to play all 32 Beethoven sonatas in a single concert cycle.
Posted By: btb

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/14/12 05:19 AM

Thanks for that Otis ... you are obviously one of those “lithe” chappies ... without a mountainous gut from soaking up too much beer ... to play

“ triplets in measures 20-39 with my right hand and cross over playing the melody with my left hand.”

Nevertheless, it takes some working on to maintain that smooth cross over.

Cheers!
Posted By: argerichfan

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/14/12 05:54 AM

Originally Posted by Otis S
Regarding the Schirmer edition by Hans von Bulow, one of the problems is that von Bulow adds directives to the score which are his own and not those of Beethoven himself. They are in a sense von Bulow's own interpretation of Beethoven's piano sonatas and not necessarily what Beethoven intended.

Bülow gets quite a bad rap these days -one of my teachers called it an 'atrocious' edition, and whilst I'm not intimately familiar with it, some of his annotations seem rather defensive. (Nothing like his edition of the Cramer etudes wherein he is positively bullheaded and dictatorial!)

But I do wonder how much of Bülow's 'interpretation' derives from his study of Beethoven with his teacher Liszt, and in fact I recall that in the Op 110 he makes mention of Liszt's playing of it.

BTW, ever heard any of Bülow's original piano works? They are about as interesting as the works of Liszt's other great early student, Tausig.
Posted By: Otis S

Re: Tempest Sonata - 01/14/12 02:17 PM

Btb:

You make a good point regarding physical characteristics which can affect what one can comfortably play on the piano. This is obviously a key reason why fingerings and note distributions across hands should be individualized for each person.

Argerichfan:

I am not familiar with Hans von Bulow's piano compositions. Are there any particular ones which you would recommend?
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