Author Topic: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas  (Read 432829 times)

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Offline early grey

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #720 on: January 29, 2011, 04:43:12 AM »
I hope you won't find much in the way of hiss and crackle on my transcriptions of  the Artur Schnabel cycle (in the early stages, Two Volumes only made public, I do have the complete 12 Album set) which you will find on
www.cliveheathmusic.co.uk
 

Offline George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #721 on: January 29, 2011, 04:47:53 AM »
I hope you won't find much in the way of hiss and crackle on my transcriptions of  the Artur Schnabel cycle (in the early stages, Two Volumes only made public, I do have the complete 12 Album set) which you will find on
www.cliveheathmusic.co.uk

True, but as is the case with transfers of 78s that opt for little or no hiss, the piano tone suffers, resulting in a muffled sound in the upper frequencies.  :-\
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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #722 on: January 29, 2011, 05:21:14 AM »
....which three contiguous sonatas (either under a single opus number or three consecutive opus numbers) are your favorites and why

Op.10/3 (because of the gorgeous Largo), op.13 (because it's my favorite Beethoven sonata) and op.14/1....because it comes next  ;D

Sarge
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Offline early grey

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #723 on: January 29, 2011, 08:39:43 AM »
I hope, George, that you will give my Schnabel efforts a considered listening, especially for that muffled tone.

Offline George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #724 on: January 29, 2011, 08:51:38 AM »
I hope, George, that you will give my Schnabel efforts a considered listening, especially for that muffled tone.

Earlier, I listened to the entirety of the first movement through decent headphones. Other than the upper frequencies, which are muffled compared to the Naxos and Pearl transfers of these performances, I think the sound is excellent. However, for me the those upper frequencies are very important to the overall sound picture, especially with piano recordings. I'd rather have more noise and more of those upper frequencies.
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline early grey

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #725 on: January 29, 2011, 10:07:17 AM »
Thank you, George. I'll see what I can do with the next Volume.

Offline George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #726 on: January 29, 2011, 10:09:58 AM »
Thank you, George. I'll see what I can do with the next Volume.

I'd love to hear it.  :)

I have uploaded 60 second samples of the Schnabel Beethoven from 5 different transfers here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?lvppl6vj4omdj
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline early grey

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #727 on: January 31, 2011, 11:33:36 AM »
Well, MediaFire, hey! that was an experience. Intrusive ads, surplus screens appearing, pop-up blocking all the time but at last the five samples were downloaded. Has anybody else listened? First response was that Dante, EMI and Nuovo Era were acceptable but the noise on Naxos and Pearl was too intrusive without any obvious benefit in brilliance of the sound. I then put the first two and a half seconds of each sample through a noise-reduction sampler which sums the frequency content of the music. The acceptable three gave a graph with intensity falling steadily with increasing frequency as you would expect all music to do. The Naxos plot showed more (!) noise at the very highest frequencies than at lower but still high frequencies. The Pearl showed the noise/music content rising instead of falling at a highish frequency. not what you'd expect. Listening more extensively you become aware of a whooshing in the background of the Nuovo Era take. The EMI seems to be better balanced with a warmer bass as you would expect (they should know what equalisation was used) however this brings with it more bass content to the background. Dante was also well-balanced. My thanks to George for his contribution to my education.  What did I do next?, well just a suggestion, but I went to my site
                                                www.cliveheathmusic.co.uk
                                                                            (forgive the reminder) and put on Sonata No.4 in E flat major. The graph for this gave the same pattern as the three similar ones above. No offence taken if it doesn't appeal!
                                   

Offline George

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #728 on: January 31, 2011, 11:38:08 AM »
Well, MediaFire, hey! that was an experience. Intrusive ads, surplus screens appearing, pop-up blocking all the time but at last the five samples were downloaded. Has anybody else listened? First response was that Dante, EMI and Nuovo Era were acceptable but the noise on Naxos and Pearl was too intrusive without any obvious benefit in brilliance of the sound. I then put the first two and a half seconds of each sample through a noise-reduction sampler which sums the frequency content of the music. The acceptable three gave a graph with intensity falling steadily with increasing frequency as you would expect all music to do. The Naxos plot showed more (!) noise at the very highest frequencies than at lower but still high frequencies. The Pearl showed the noise/music content rising instead of falling at a highish frequency. not what you'd expect. Listening more extensively you become aware of a whooshing in the background of the Nuovo Era take. The EMI seems to be better balanced with a warmer bass as you would expect (they should know what equalisation was used) however this brings with it more bass content to the background. Dante was also well-balanced. My thanks to George for his contribution to my education.  What did I do next?, well just a suggestion, but I went to my site
                                                www.cliveheathmusic.co.uk
                                                                            (forgive the reminder) and put on Sonata No.4 in E flat major. The graph for this gave the same pattern as the three similar ones above. No offence taken if it doesn't appeal!
                                 

Thanks for listening.

So of the five, what was your favorite? There were two EMI Samples.
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Leon

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #729 on: January 31, 2011, 11:47:12 AM »
Well, MediaFire, hey! that was an experience. Intrusive ads, surplus screens appearing, pop-up blocking all the time but at last the five samples were downloaded. Has anybody else listened? First response was that Dante, EMI and Nuovo Era were acceptable but the noise on Naxos and Pearl was too intrusive without any obvious benefit in brilliance of the sound. I then put the first two and a half seconds of each sample through a noise-reduction sampler which sums the frequency content of the music. The acceptable three gave a graph with intensity falling steadily with increasing frequency as you would expect all music to do. The Naxos plot showed more (!) noise at the very highest frequencies than at lower but still high frequencies. The Pearl showed the noise/music content rising instead of falling at a highish frequency. not what you'd expect. Listening more extensively you become aware of a whooshing in the background of the Nuovo Era take. The EMI seems to be better balanced with a warmer bass as you would expect (they should know what equalisation was used) however this brings with it more bass content to the background. Dante was also well-balanced. My thanks to George for his contribution to my education.  What did I do next?, well just a suggestion, but I went to my site
                                                www.cliveheathmusic.co.uk
                                                                            (forgive the reminder) and put on Sonata No.4 in E flat major. The graph for this gave the same pattern as the three similar ones above. No offence taken if it doesn't appeal!
                                 

I must tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed your website, which you have put together in very fine form.  The page devoted to your father was very touching and conjured up a warm picture of a delightful man.


Offline early grey

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #730 on: February 01, 2011, 02:38:15 AM »
George,  the most listenable was the one you labelled "EMI". It all comes down to whether you like to hear the music through a veil of hiss which hints at greater frequency range without actually guaranteeing it or as in my case forgoing this for the benefits of a greater dynamic range and  clarity. I do not use any top-cut as such in my processing  and although some high frequencies may be diminished in intensity my guess is that they are still present. At the very least an alternative way of enjoying great music is available. Freedom of choice!

Scarpia

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #731 on: February 01, 2011, 06:01:52 AM »
Always depressing when a discussion of Beethoven Piano Sonatas degenerates to a discussion of hiss.  Maybe we can bracing discussion of whether god exists will help us break out of it.   0:)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #732 on: February 06, 2011, 11:04:59 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ffesxg5K5NQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ffesxg5K5NQ</a>

This Waldstein from 1970 shows quite a lot about Argerich's art at its worst.

It's really exciting in the first movement -- but so what? Her Waldstein is just that -- a cheap thrill. She's got very little to say with the music -- it's not quite typing but not far off. She's fast. The articulation is clean, somewhere between staccato and legato. There are one or two seconds of unusual balances. But that's not enough to make this music into anything interesting.

Admittedly this is a hard movement to make interesting (it's a bit repetitive!) But there are some fantastic performances on record -- she's just not up to it. She's not wayward enough in fact -- she's too firmly on the rails. I kept imagining what Ernst Levy or Claudio Arrau must have thought if they had heard her play it.

Don't get me wrong -- I like some of the recordings: the Bach Toccata and Partita, the Chopin mazurkas and sonata released last year by DG (historic material previously in the archives), the Brahms duet with Zilberstein, The Mendelssohn 1st trio.

But mostly she's not a favourite.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 11:14:28 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Verena

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #733 on: February 06, 2011, 11:46:06 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ffesxg5K5NQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ffesxg5K5NQ</a>

This Waldstein from 1970 shows quite a lot about Argerich's art at its worst.

It's really exciting in the first movement -- but so what? Her Waldstein is just that -- a cheap thrill. She's got very little to say with the music -- it's not quite typing but not far off. She's fast. The articulation is clean, somewhere between staccato and legato. There are one or two seconds of unusual balances. But that's not enough to make this music into anything interesting.

Admittedly this is a hard movement to make interesting (it's a bit repetitive!) But there are some fantastic performances on record -- she's just not up to it. She's not wayward enough in fact -- she's too firmly on the rails. I kept imagining what Ernst Levy or Claudio Arrau must have thought if they had heard her play it.

Don't get me wrong -- I like some of the recordings: the Bach Toccata and Partita, the Chopin mazurkas and sonata released last year by DG (historic material previously in the archives), the Brahms duet with Zilberstein, The Mendelssohn 1st trio.

But mostly she's not a favourite.

Agree about Argerich's Beethoven, and I share your general impression of her playing. However, I remember really liking some of her early Schumann recordings (Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana). Time for me to revisit those early favorites, now that I have listened to quite a few other recordings of those works.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #734 on: February 06, 2011, 11:51:48 AM »
I've just noticed I posted on the wrong thread -- sorry :(
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Online Brian

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #735 on: February 06, 2011, 12:44:27 PM »
Admittedly this is a hard movement to make interesting
??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

That said, that's a really insensitive performance for sure. I would have expected much, much better out of someone that well-respected.

Scarpia

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #736 on: February 06, 2011, 12:54:37 PM »
Argerich is not known for being sensitive, she is known for brilliance, which is present in fair measure here.  And criticizing a pianist of that level of talent based on a crappy youtube transfer of a live tape from 1970 strike me as ridiculous.  Par for the course.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #737 on: February 06, 2011, 01:19:53 PM »
Oh I think she can be very sensitive -- in the Chopin B minor sonata and mazurkas issued on DG  last year.  And she can be wonderfully spontaneous, like in this Chopin Ballade from a Carnegie Hall recital in 1981. Also I would say she is a very great  Bach pianists.


<a href="http://www.goear.com/files/external.swf?file=ad67744" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.goear.com/files/external.swf?file=ad67744</a>



But not in that Beethoven. Her performance is  flat. Limited dynamic contrasts; limited contrasts of tempo; relatively unnuanced; boring phrasing. I just listened to Ernst Levy to remind me how this can sound.

And I actually thought the sound on that youtube was very good!




« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 01:29:51 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Verena

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #738 on: February 06, 2011, 01:27:43 PM »
Oh I think she can be very sensitive -- in the Chopin B minor sonata and mazurkas issued on DG  last year.  And she can be wonderfully spontaneous, like in this Chopin Ballade from a Carnegie Hall recital in 1981.


<a href="http://www.goear.com/files/external.swf?file=ad67744" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.goear.com/files/external.swf?file=ad67744</a>



But not in this case. Her performance is  flat. Limited dynamic contrasts; limited contrasts of tempo; relatively unnuanced; boring phrasing.

And I actually thought the sound on that youtube was very good!

I'd also say that the Schumann recordings I referred to are characterized by high sensitivity. Perhaps the surprising thing is how unsensitive she can sound on some occasions - given an artist of her stature. Perhaps one is expecting too much.

Offline Bogey

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Re: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
« Reply #739 on: February 06, 2011, 01:30:21 PM »
Jet lag flying to Tokyo....month of February, so possibly the flu (my wife and son have it and I just got over it)....etc.  Who knows? :)
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