Author Topic: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960  (Read 14209 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1555
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #60 on: March 15, 2009, 09:32:56 PM »
Well?  >:(
If you really dislike Bach you keep quiet about it! - Andras Schiff

Dr. Dread

  • Guest
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #61 on: March 16, 2009, 04:32:21 AM »
Schubert's

sul G

  • Guest
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #62 on: March 16, 2009, 04:57:13 AM »
Yes, but the sound quality on that recording isn't up to much, I'm sure you agree...

George

  • Guest
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #63 on: March 16, 2009, 05:00:13 AM »
Well?  >:(

The one that you enjoy the most.  8)


nut-job

  • Guest
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #64 on: March 16, 2009, 11:51:59 AM »

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3572
  • Location: Germany
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #65 on: August 11, 2017, 05:39:26 AM »
Does anyone know of a discography?

I am wondering about the tempo indication and tempo of the first movement. "Molto moderato" is very uncommon and usually used a modifier, e.g. in "Allegro molto moderato" (although this particular combination is also uncommon). In Haydn and Beethoven "Moderato" movements are often highly embellished with figurations in (demi-semi? semi-demi-quavers) whereas Schubert's figurations (like the turn at the end of the second theme) are 16ths, there are only a few arpeggio flourishes with 32nds, also tone repetitions in triplets that seem to indicate a fairly flowing tempo.

Now there is the curious fact, that "early" recordings of that sonata tend to a comparably brisk tempo, basically an "Allegro moderato", close to the first movement of Beethoven's trio op.97 that shares the key and has a somewhat similar main theme. In fact, of the fastest interpretations I find, all but one (Lupu) are before 1970 or by "older" pianists born in the early 20th century. (unless indicated without exposition repeat)

Schnabel 1937 13:54
Wührer 1950s 12:31
Erdmann 1951 (Radio Bremen, there are more recordings/broadcasts but I have only this)  12:13
Annie Fischer 1960 12:45
Horowitz (date?) 13:07 (Urania, not sure where this stems from, his late DG is 19:14 incl. the repeat which is still faster than "typical" more recent performances)
Curzon (rec date? in Decca box) 13:15
Lupu 18:15 (incl. repeat would be ca. 13:30 without)
Haskil (?) 13:41 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqd7VG21Apw
Sofronitsky 1956 14:03 (there is another much slower one at 17:30 on youtube)
Rubinstein 14:17 (there is later slower one)

With repeat they would take ca. 17-19 min.
Nowadays almost all pianists take the repeat and they are typically around 20-22 min; the fastest "recent" one I am aware of (but there are probably many I have not checked) is Lupu and he is faster than Schnabel but considerably slower than Wührer, Fischer or Erdmann.

Now in the meantime there obviously was Richter who played that movement very slowly, ca. 24 minutes (w/ repeat).
While most more recent interpretations don't go quite that slow (except for some outliers, Afanassiev at >28 min...) they all seem to agree on a far more "moderate" tempo than most 50-60 years.
As Schubert's sonatas were not played frequently before the mid-20th century, one can wonder if those earlier pianists simply assumed that "molto moderato" would be modifying an implicit "allegro" and if they were correct in this. Or if Richter and his followers are correct and this is a considerably slower movement.

There is another movement with the same tempo indication (but 12/8 time), the first one of D 894. Richter is even slower here but fewer have followed him. Because of the different time signature etc. I don't think a comparison helps much to get a plausible tempo for D 960,i. The first mvmt. of D 887 has "Allegro molto moderato", this is in 3/4 and does have 16th triplets figurations and very quite different themes, so again, not much help here.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8511
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #66 on: August 11, 2017, 09:51:04 AM »
Afanassiev took about 28 minutes for the Denon, but seemed to rethink the approach for the ECM recording which takes about 22 minutes.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8511
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #67 on: August 11, 2017, 10:01:36 AM »
Can we talk about Arrau's 960 - I think it's sensational, the balance of the voices is really revealing. It's becoming my favourite 960.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Turner

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1438
  • Location: Europe
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #68 on: August 11, 2017, 10:22:07 AM »
Quote
I am wondering about the tempo indication and tempo of the first movement. "Molto moderato" is very uncommon and usually used a modifier, e.g. in "Allegro molto moderato" (although this particular combination is also uncommon). In Haydn and Beethoven "Moderato" movements are often highly embellished with figurations in (demi-semi? semi-demi-quavers) whereas Schubert's figurations (like the turn at the end of the second theme) are 16ths, there are only a few arpeggio flourishes with 32nds, also tone repetitions in triplets that seem to indicate a fairly flowing tempo.

Now there is the curious fact, that "early" recordings of that sonata tend to a comparably brisk tempo, basically an "Allegro moderato", close to the first movement of Beethoven's trio op.97 that shares the key and has a somewhat similar main theme. In fact, of the fastest interpretations I find, all but one (Lupu) are before 1970 or by "older" pianists born in the early 20th century. (unless indicated without exposition repeat)

Schnabel 1937 13:54
Wührer 1950s 12:31
Erdmann 1951 (Radio Bremen, there are more recordings/broadcasts but I have only this)  12:13
Annie Fischer 1960 12:45
Horowitz (date?) 13:07 (Urania, not sure where this stems from, his late DG is 19:14 incl. the repeat which is still faster than "typical" more recent performances)
Curzon (rec date? in Decca box) 13:15
Lupu 18:15 (incl. repeat would be ca. 13:30 without)
Haskil (?) 13:41 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqd7VG21Apw
Sofronitsky 1956 14:03 (there is another much slower one at 17:30 on youtube)
Rubinstein 14:17 (there is later slower one)

With repeat they would take ca. 17-19 min.
Nowadays almost all pianists take the repeat and they are typically around 20-22 min; the fastest "recent" one I am aware of (but there are probably many I have not checked) is Lupu and he is faster than Schnabel but considerably slower than Wührer, Fischer or Erdmann.

I pretty much think you are right. Slow interpretations seemed rare.

Haskil on my Philips LP (rec. 1951) has a stated timing of 13:06; the 13:41 one could be the 1957 recording by her.

Horowiz´s early RCA (rec. 1953) is 13:02 on my LP.

Anda (1960) is 14:39.
Also, for example, Kempff did a Decca in 1950, and Badura-Skoda one in 1960, but I don´t have the timings.

Yudina however (1947), another early recording, is 21:57.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 10:23:43 AM by Turner »

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3572
  • Location: Germany
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #69 on: August 12, 2017, 12:13:55 AM »
Thanks for the info, I found the Haskil only on youtube, was not aware that there are several recordings; the early Horowitz is probably the same as on that Urania CD
The 1960s stereo by Kempff is already on the slower side >21 min, can't find the timing of the earlier Decca.
Interesting that there is at least one slow early one, namely Yudina.

As for Arrau, his fairly late (1980) Studio recording clocks at 20:07 with repeat, so while not nearly as fast as the early recordings mentioned above, it is on the fast side of the "new normal" which I find remarkable for a pianist who is often on the slow side (especially in his lateish recordings, take his 10:49 for the andante of the sonata in that recording or the slowish finale of the c minor D 958). So I think that Arrau is also (barely) a data point for the "earlier recordings/older pianists played this movement considerably faster" thesis.
Likewise, Haskil, Fischer and others mentioned above are not exactly speed demons in other repertoire. Therefore I think that this really shows a different general idea, namely that it is basically "allegro moderato", despite the uncommon "molto moderato". (Somewhat surprisingly, Schnabel who seems fast compared to most recent recordings, is actually among the slowest of the olders ones!)

Basically, the "slow" recordings of earlier times (also Serkin with 21 min or so) are roughly like the average/median (or even slightly faster than that) interpretations of the last 40 years. And while there might be some out there, I am not aware of any fastish recordings by "younger" pianists with the exception of Lupu (1994). The two "HIP" recordings I have are also slowish or (new) average respectively: Staier 21:59, Lahusen 20:38.

Ad Afanassiev: I was told that the ECM is actually an earlier recording (1985) that was only published much later. Another very slow recent one is Korstick (cpo, 25:35)

I found another fastish one, Andras Schiff's more recent on ECM at 18:33, but this is still slower than Lupu and the "older" recordings.

There is another bunch slightly faster than the typical new tempi (20-22 min with repeat) but they are usually about a minute slower than Lupu.

Horowitz (DG) 19:14
Badura-Skoda 19:24; 19:41
Todd Crow 19:24
Koroliov 19:32
Jörg Ewald Dähler (HIP) 19:09
Pollini: 18:56
Zhu Xiao Mei 19:27

no repeat:
Goode 14:04
Barenboim (Erato) 14:05
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 01:06:23 AM by Jo498 »
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline amw

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3108
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #70 on: August 13, 2017, 04:53:57 PM »
Södergren 1984 is 13:16 (not 14:05 as listed on the LP sleeve)
Lefébure 1979 is 13:15
Fleisher 1956 is 13:39

Goldstone 2001 is 18:04
Hobson 2000 is 17:55

It does seem like the average performance tempo of Schubert has slowed way down recently though. 22 minutes, which is practically an adagio, seems to be exceeded by more pianists than all three of us have listed combined.

(when I personally play the movement it usually ends up in the 17:30-18:00 range with repeat and this has always felt like the "right" tempo.... of course I grew up on a steady diet of Schnabel)

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3572
  • Location: Germany
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #71 on: August 13, 2017, 10:53:00 PM »
I actually think that the movement "works" at a broad range of tempo but I have not listened to Richter recently. But it is puzzling that the faster half of that range (that was the "normal" around 1960) seems to have largely disappeared with a few exceptions.

In the last days/week I heard Arrau's and Zacharias' recordings (around 20 and 20:40 respectively) and I found this tempo quite good. It is a clearly slower than a typical allegro moderato (like the "old" ones or Lupu) but still flowing.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3024
  • selig sind
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #72 on: August 14, 2017, 07:40:58 AM »
It was a surprise to read in Interpretating Bach at the Keyboard by Badura-Skoda, that tempi in the Baroque era were considerably faster. This inference was derived from a discovery of "organ-rolls", many of them destroyed but enough remaining to upset entrenched beliefs about slower speeds.

Clara Haskil's rendering of the Bb Sonata of Schubert is one of my absolute favorites, although I grew up with Schnabel's.
Noteworthy are her trills, crafted with the precision of a violinist, which she was also.
"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8511
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #73 on: August 15, 2017, 12:45:00 AM »
It was a surprise to read in Interpretating Bach at the Keyboard by Badura-Skoda, that tempi in the Baroque era were considerably faster. This inference was derived from a discovery of "organ-rolls", many of them destroyed but enough remaining to upset entrenched beliefs about slower speeds.


This must refer to musical clocks and barrel organs. Were there mechanical reproductions of Bach's music, for example? It would be nice to know more about what PBS was referring to exactly, I don't have the book.

There's some really nice things

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/uvGDFZN3SoA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/uvGDFZN3SoA</a>
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 01:07:54 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Omicron9

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 163
  • Location: US
Re: Schubert's Piano Sonata D 960
« Reply #74 on: August 15, 2017, 09:26:29 AM »
I have easily a half-dozen recordings of this piece.  I like them all for differing reasons, but the two to which I most often gravitate, other than Richter which has already been discussed, is Schiff and Pollini.

-09
"Signature-line free since 2017!"

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK