Author Topic: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas  (Read 601083 times)

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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4080 on: February 21, 2019, 10:33:09 AM »
There isn't a sense of the instrument inspiring a creative interaction between music, instrument and performer  -- contrast Lubimov or Beghin.

Precisely my sentiments too.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 10:40:25 AM by (: premont :) »
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Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4081 on: February 21, 2019, 10:34:22 AM »
...and what of Brautigam?

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4082 on: February 21, 2019, 11:02:25 AM »
Oh goodness, wait until you hear the Penelope Crawford album. One of my "desert island discs" across all classical music. She is so little-known but such a special artist. Here's Todd's review, and once I got to interview her.

I would agree with Brian. This is a terrific version of 109-110-111, and she has another disc with several of the other lates. One of my favorite Beethoven piano CDs.
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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4083 on: February 21, 2019, 11:06:20 AM »
Huh! I'm usually very sensitive to stop-and-start and small pauses - I hate it - but never noticed it with her.

It bothers me only before the very final chord of 110. I want that conclusion to drive forward in tempo. I may even rip the disc and edit that part to my liking.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Online Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4084 on: February 21, 2019, 11:13:34 AM »
I may even rip the disc and edit that part to my liking.

Very good. You're a postmodern listener.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4085 on: February 21, 2019, 01:14:39 PM »
It bothers me only before the very final chord of 110. I want that conclusion to drive forward in tempo. I may even rip the disc and edit that part to my liking.
Oh, you're right, she definitely does it there.

Offline amw

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4086 on: February 21, 2019, 02:20:17 PM »
I listened to Stewart Goodyear's set "The Middle Sonatas", am I crazy to think he reminds me of Rudolf Serkin in many places? He has that "angularity" to his playing where it sounds like he is reaching or climbing and he can change directions on a dime, this is exciting playing. His liner notes are excellent as well, and written with a youthful affectation for the scores (his note on wondering how Op. 15 would fit in Disney's Fantasia makes complete sense to me). Where I am quite disappointed with his set and what struck it off my list of keeper sets is he plays the slow movements too briskly, like in the Adagio of Op. 31/1 or Minuetto of 31/3 where I would find someone like Lucchesini beyond human. This turns many of the sonatas into a 1 dimensional affair, almost like he has to build himself as some concert virtuoso. I would be interested if he revisits the cycle later in his career.

It’s a very good set, and performing the slow movements fairly moderately is much more historically accurate (& potentially more effective). My main criticism of the set & feeling of 1 dimensionality comes from the dynamics and colours I think, his playing doesn’t seem to have the kind of differentiation and contrast of some other pianists. And he’s fairly metronomic but hardly the worst offender in that regard.

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4087 on: February 21, 2019, 07:03:55 PM »
Very good. You're a postmodern listener.

I like being up to date.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4088 on: February 22, 2019, 03:19:32 PM »
I like being up to date.

Toying with reality is very current.
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Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4089 on: February 22, 2019, 03:20:49 PM »
Toying with reality is very current.

The recording producer/editor does it, why not us?

Offline Madiel

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4090 on: February 22, 2019, 05:08:32 PM »
The recording producer/editor does it, why not us?

I could write a couple of pages on why not. Some of which would discuss moral rights, and most of which would be centred on why everybody believing they can do everybody else's job is one of the great dangers of modern technology, but it would probably divert into a discussion of how we get Claudio Colombo attempting to drown the internet in utterly vapid "performances" of nearly everything in the repertoire.

But so long as it's purely for your own private use, go ahead and shape your little piece of the universe.
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4091 on: February 23, 2019, 03:07:34 AM »
Once we have bought a recording (vinyl, CD or download) we think of it as being 'my property' - as in, "I have Klemperer's Beethoven Pastoral Symphony".  As such we can do what we like with it.  I can think of many multi-movement musical works where I habitually skip one or more of the movements.  It's an advantage of being a home (or mobile) listener rather than being a concertgoer.

Returning to those Crawford recordings - late Beethoven and major-key Beethoven generally is not really my thing, but this discussion did pique my interest and I've really enjoyed what I've listened to so far, of the two Crawford collections of late sonatas.  Especially No.27 Op.90 which was music I'm not familiar with at all.  But generally I really like the light, somewhat backward-looking feel of what I've heard.  I would call it an antidote to the late sonatas which generally are too stodgy for me.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 03:11:14 AM by aukhawk »

Online Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4092 on: February 23, 2019, 03:31:26 AM »
And for me, not finding much of interest in Crawford, I went back to this recording, with great pleasure

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4093 on: February 23, 2019, 03:39:48 AM »
aukhawk's comments above made me think about how the major sonatas are overplayed and considered echt-Beethoven, while the others are neglected and considered somehow inferior. So my question is: do you subscribe to the notion that only the great ones are truly worth hearing? do you have any favorites among the lesser appreciated, less frequently played and recorded sonatas? Which and why? (Okay, that's four questions, actually).
"I compose music because I must give utterance to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts." --- Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Madiel

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4094 on: February 23, 2019, 03:46:32 AM »
I can think of many multi-movement musical works where I habitually skip one or more of the movements.  It's an advantage of being a home (or mobile) listener rather than being a concertgoer.

And again, I can think of a lot I would say against such a practice. People now tend to deplore the 19th century practice of shuffling movements between symphonies, something which definitely happened to Beethoven. Your habit is basically no different.

You can do it if you like. Just don't kid yourself that you're listening to what the composer wanted you to listen to. Or the performers for that matter. And recognise that you are distorting all sorts of things about tempo and proportion and key relationship that were planned.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 03:48:18 AM by Madiel »
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Offline amw

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4095 on: February 23, 2019, 03:57:50 AM »
aukhawk's comments above made me think about how the major sonatas are overplayed and considered echt-Beethoven, while the others are neglected and considered somehow inferior. So my question is: do you subscribe to the notion that only the great ones are truly worth hearing? do you have any favorites among the lesser appreciated, less frequently played and recorded sonatas? Which and why? (Okay, that's four questions, actually).
I mean at this point all the sonatas are frequently played & recorded; outside the famous “name” sonatas (Appassionata, Pastorale, Hammerklavier etc) and the last three I like Op.2/2, 7, 10/1-3, 31/3, 78, 90, 101 the most. The last five are several notches qualitatively above the rest, but only in that Beethoven lavished significantly more time and care on them than the remainder, to the point of giving each of the last three its own opus number rather than publishing as a set like Op.2, 10, 14, 27 or 31. So this belief about their greater importance comes from Beethoven himself & is how he wished them to be perceived—but quite honestly in none of those five sonatas could he achieve the effortless grace and humour of a 31/3 or a 10/2 & he probably didn’t want to.

Offline amw

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4096 on: February 23, 2019, 04:01:01 AM »
Also it must be said from the perspective of posterity that the middle period sonatas were much more influential than the late ones, sometimes to a very obvious extent—compare 31/3/i to Schumann’s Op.41/3/i for example.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4097 on: February 23, 2019, 04:02:49 AM »
I mean at this point all the sonatas are frequently played & recorded; outside the famous “name” sonatas (Appassionata, Pastorale, Hammerklavier etc) and the last three I like Op.2/2, 7, 10/1-3, 31/3, 78, 90, 101 the most. The last five are several notches qualitatively above the rest, but only in that Beethoven lavished significantly more time and care on them than the remainder, to the point of giving each of the last three its own opus number rather than publishing as a set like Op.2, 10, 14, 27 or 31. So this belief about their greater importance comes from Beethoven himself & is how he wished them to be perceived—but quite honestly in none of those five sonatas could he achieve the effortless grace and humour of a 31/3 or a 10/2 & he probably didn’t want to.

Thanks.

Also it must be said from the perspective of posterity that the middle period sonatas were much more influential than the late ones, sometimes to a very obvious extent—compare 31/3/i to Schumann’s Op.41/3/i for example.

And thanks again, will do it after dinner.  :) Any particular recordings you'd recommend?
"I compose music because I must give utterance to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts." --- Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Florestan

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4098 on: February 23, 2019, 05:44:33 AM »
compare 31/3/i to Schumann’s Op.41/3/i for example.

I just did. You do have a point, the latter sounds like a string quartet version of the former,  at least as far as the first 3 minutes of each work go.  :)

Now it makes me wonder: is is just coincidence or a conscious choice of Schumann?

« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 05:48:05 AM by Florestan »
"I compose music because I must give utterance to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts." --- Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #4099 on: February 23, 2019, 05:49:06 AM »
So my question is: do you subscribe to the notion that only the great ones are truly worth hearing?


I'm not sure what is meant by "great ones".  All or most of them are great.


do you have any favorites among the lesser appreciated, less frequently played and recorded sonatas?


Yes.


Which and why?


Various sonatas for various reasons.  I may have posted on it before.
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