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I played the mozart k265 variations and repeated the first half of each variation and played the second one only once, as I had heard in a recording (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO-ecxHEPqI). My teacher said I should either play them straight through or repeat both halves, and for my logic it makes sense. What I was wondering is why some performers only repeat the first half ( I think I've seen the same thing with some sonatas too).

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Laziness

Lack of creativity on how to handle the repeat

To fit more stuff on the CD


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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I think there are some legit-ish reasons for repeating just part A of an A-B variation. If, as is often the case, the B section consists of some new material followed by a return to the A material, then the whole variation is laid out like sonata form (exposition, development, recapitulation), and repeating A is like repeating the exposition.

I don't do it myself, but it doesn't automatically feel capital-W Wrong to me.

-Jason

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Do you mean you don't repeat the exposition in a sonata?


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
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Thanks for the quick reply, beet's explanation makes sense to me.

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In the movements of a Bach suite for example, I will often only repeat the first section, particularly when the material of the A section comes back at the end of the B section. It just makes a lot more musical sense to me that way.

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Would you do this as well with Beethoven's Opus 109?


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
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Not wanting to play a final cadence twice?

There are reasons either way, some having to do mainly with tradition.


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No I wouldn't. It would be embarrassing for me to have to explain why.

Last edited by debrucey; 10/09/10 12:15 PM.
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Originally Posted by debrucey
In the movements of a Bach suite for example, I will often only repeat the first section, particularly when the material of the A section comes back at the end of the B section. It just makes a lot more musical sense to me that way.


You can count the number of times Bach does a literal recap of the opening material on one hand. Maybe one finger, I haven't checked lately.

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The OP is asking about a variation set.

For sonatas, there are reasons, mostly involving tradition and the evolution of the form, why the second repeat is omitted.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Interesting to read this thread.

Tangentially, I heard a recording of Beethoven's 5th symphony the other day wherein the repeat in the last movement was not taken.

Bad news. tiki


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Would you do this as well with Beethoven's Opus 109?


I did all of the repeats when I played Op. 109. However, for a sonata form I prefer not to repeat the development/recapitulation section. I don't really have a scholarly or logical reason for it. I guess I just don't want to play through the whole thing again when the audience already knows what the end is going to be! smile

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@bellamusica indeed it is rare to repeat the last section, but very few pieces have instructions for it, so I think you are on the safe side.
@Kreisler as you are familiar I'm sure, the last mvt. of 109 is a variation set, with the theme being also the end.


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
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In terms of Sonata Form, this is correct. If you look at Mozart's K545 1st Mvt, the Exposition is repeated and then followed by the Development and Recapitulation. In that Theme and Variation it does actually make structural sense. The first section (A) is repeated, much like an Exposition in the Sonata form. Section B opens with new materal often in a new key, before returning to a brief recap of the A section; if you like, this makes a small Sonata. The A section is the Exposition (ALWAYS should be repeated), and the 1st half of the 2nd section is the Development (new keys, idea's etc), and then the ending is a return to the A material (Recapitlation). Why composer's put a repeat for the 2nd half is something I don't know. But I hope this makes sense. I guess this kind of thing is tradition, much like the Minuet and Trio, on the Da Capo of the Minuet it is tradition for the repeats tp be omitted.

Last edited by Samuel1993; 10/10/10 07:05 AM.

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Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu in C sharp minor Op.66
Mozart - Piano Sonata in E flat K.282
Liszt - Romance in E minor "O pourquoi donc" S.196
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Originally Posted by Samuel1993
In terms of Sonata Form, this is correct. If you look at Mozart's K545 1st Mvt, the Exposition is repeated and then followed by the Development and Recapitulation. In that Theme and Variation it does actually make structural sense. The first section (A) is repeated, much like an Exposition in the Sonata form. Section B opens with new materal often in a new key, before returning to a brief recap of the A section; if you like, this makes a small Sonata. The A section is the Exposition (ALWAYS should be repeated), and the 1st half of the 2nd section is the Development (new keys, idea's etc), and then the ending is a return to the A material (Recapitlation). Why composer's put a repeat for the 2nd half is something I don't know. But I hope this makes sense. I guess this kind of thing is tradition, much like the Minuet and Trio, on the Da Capo of the Minuet it is tradition for the repeats tp be omitted.


But composers often do indicate a repeat for the second section. Surely then they wanted a repeat. In which case, should we not be trying to understand why, and perform the repeat?

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Originally Posted by David-G
But composers often do indicate a repeat for the second section. Surely then they wanted a repeat. In which case, should we not be trying to understand why, and perform the repeat?


You have to consider how music was presented in Mozart's time. There was no such thing as a solo piano concert; if you were lucky enough to be there when Mozart played a sonata, it could sometimes be the only time you saw him on the program, and it would certainly be the only time you ever heard him play that piece. So the repeats were there as a courtesy to the audience so that they got their money's worth.

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Still doesn´t explain why he would publish it with the repeats.


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
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[/quote] But composers often do indicate a repeat for the second section. Surely then they wanted a repeat. In which case, should we not be trying to understand why, and perform the repeat? [/quote]

In Theme and Variations there is a repeat on the B section. Not in traditional Sonata Form, the Exposition is repeated only. This is the case in Mozart/Haydn/Beethoven.


Currently working on...
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu in C sharp minor Op.66
Mozart - Piano Sonata in E flat K.282
Liszt - Romance in E minor "O pourquoi donc" S.196
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One thing I know for sure. Sometimes in a theme and variations, one of the variations has the "repeated sections" completely written out, so the overall form is AABB with no repeat signs. (The second A won't be a literal repeat of the first A, but, usually, an embellishment; similarly for the two B's.) In this case, I don't feel like I have the option not to take the repeat signs in the other variations; it would be too odd to have one variation twice as long as the others.

This happens in the last movement of Mozart's K. 284, for example, and in the Beethoven Op. 109. (Not that I would have skipped the repeats for the 109 anyway.) In fact, this happens with a *lot* of variations. The Goldbergs is one of the few major exceptions.

-Jason

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