Author Topic: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?  (Read 1949 times)

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Offline king ubu

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #60 on: November 14, 2017, 04:39:15 AM »
Well, it's just sublime music making in my ears. No further explanations needed ... and no, I don't care if he's being just to the text or anything, when the result is that good.
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Offline amw

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #61 on: November 14, 2017, 04:42:47 AM »
I wasn't asked but I'll mention the good things about Gould's Mozart sonatas: they bring out Mozart's deep roots in the style and pacing of comic opera, and a purity from Romantic pianistic accretions that makes all other performances sound faintly Chopinised. I think the live sonatas (on Music & Arts) are generally superior to the studio recordings, which I don't think much of mostly because I don't think much of Gould's measured trills and arpeggios or his tendency to play accompanying figures louder than the melody, none of which are historically accurate. That said I still don't listen to the live sonatas much except as a palate cleanser.

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #62 on: November 14, 2017, 05:30:33 AM »
Well, it's just sublime music making in my ears. No further explanations needed ...

Gould's Mozart recordings are the only ones I cannot tolerate.  His performance is an assault on the music. 

Offline Omicron9

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #63 on: November 14, 2017, 05:35:46 AM »
Gould's Mozart recordings are the only ones I cannot tolerate.  His performance is an assault on the music.

What little of Gould's Mozart I've heard strikes me as too cute, for lack of a better word.  Cutesy and reductionist to the point of sing-song-y, if that makes any sense.  But that's just one person's opinion.
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Offline Omicron9

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #64 on: November 14, 2017, 05:36:36 AM »
Also: I had originally specified recording cycles on modern pianos, but will open that up to PF recordings as well. 

Again, many thanks.

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Offline king ubu

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #65 on: November 14, 2017, 05:42:28 AM »
Gould's Mozart recordings are the only ones I cannot tolerate.  His performance is an assault on the music.

Guess that's more or less the consensus about them ... please allow me to be of a different opinion, even though I'm unable to formulate reasons why I think it's good.
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

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Offline San Antonio

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #66 on: November 14, 2017, 05:45:50 AM »
Guess that's more or less the consensus about them ... please allow me to be of a different opinion, even though I'm unable to formulate reasons why I think it's good.

Absolutely.  ;)  I do not mean to impugn your opinion; each of us has their own reasons, even if we cannot say why, we like what we like.

Enjoy!

 :)

Offline Florestan

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #67 on: November 14, 2017, 05:47:02 AM »
Bezuidenhout is very stylish and urbane—"concert" Mozart, for a large and appreciative audience. He traverses all the keyboard works not just sonatas, as well, which reveals lots of very high quality music often left out of complete sets. The closest comparison among modern instrument performers would be Claudio Arrau (M&A) or Vladimir Horowitz.

(brainfart: definitely not Schiff)

Is this meant as a compliment to, or a criticism of, Schiff???

I haven't heard him in the sonatas, but his "Eine kleine gigue" disc, featuring variations and other works, is a marvel of musicality and poetry. Highly recommended, if you ask me (nobody did, but I just couldn't resist).  :)
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Online Jo498

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #68 on: November 14, 2017, 05:47:37 AM »
I think Gould's (studio, I only know these) are all over the place. Some are close to travesties/parodies (sonata facile), others are pretty good and not all that far from "normal" (as far as I remember the a minor one, probably also 576) and some are "thought provoking". E.g. he plays the famous alla turca rather slow (which could be closer to the allegretto intended than the usual fast tempo) and he has an especially interesting way with the variations in that sonata K 331. He plays already the theme very slowly and halting and overall one does not get the impression of a theme being varied but about the music being slowly put together, beginning with the theme and the first variations so that only when the fast last section of that movement comes around everything seems to fall into place. Although the beginning is too slow, I find it fascinating overall and it is an antidote against all to "china doll"-like readings.

While I don't share the extreme distaste of some listeners with them, overall I don't think they are among Gould's best efforts, neither taken at face value (like most of his Bach) nor as interesting "deconstructions" (like some of his Beethoven or the K 331).
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Offline amw

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #69 on: November 14, 2017, 06:07:32 AM »
Is this meant as a compliment to, or a criticism of, Schiff???

I haven't heard him in the sonatas, but his "Eine kleine gigue" disc, featuring variations and other works, is a marvel of musicality and poetry. Highly recommended, if you ask me (nobody did, but I just couldn't resist).  :)
Neither. Schiff's style is different—more personal and intimate, more delicate in touch. His modern piano cycle doesn't do it for me but these qualities make me appreciate his fortepiano recordings (with Schiff more than other pianists I find that the instruments often make a big difference; which I also don't mean as a criticism since he does choose them very carefully and the resulting sonority is a major component of his interpretation).

I had originally listed him as similar to Bezuidenhout when I in fact meant Horowitz. Bezuidenhout's style is not similar to Schiff's except in that it produces results of very high quality.

E.g. he plays the famous alla turca rather slow (which could be closer to the allegretto intended than the usual fast tempo)
Contemporary accounts do indeed suggest that the typical tempo of an Allegretto was about quarter = 76ish, and it seems as though the tempo should be about the same as the "turkish" movement of Haydn's "Military" (with the note values doubled). I don't think even Gould plays it that slowly, so there's clearly a market niche for Tzimon Barto waiting to be filled

Offline Florestan

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #70 on: November 14, 2017, 06:13:24 AM »
Neither. Schiff's style is different—more personal and intimate, more delicate in touch. His modern piano cycle doesn't do it for me but these qualities make me appreciate his fortepiano recordings (with Schiff more than other pianists I find that the instruments often make a big difference; which I also don't mean as a criticism since he does choose them very carefully and the resulting sonority is a major component of his interpretation).

Thanks for clarifying it; makes sense to me. I completely agree with your assessment of Schiff. Are you familiar with his Schubert fortepiano disc? I think it's superb.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 06:15:41 AM by Florestan »
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Offline Omicron9

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #71 on: November 14, 2017, 06:17:49 AM »
I think Gould's (studio, I only know these) are all over the place. Some are close to travesties/parodies (sonata facile), others are pretty good and not all that far from "normal" (as far as I remember the a minor one, probably also 576) and some are "thought provoking". E.g. he plays the famous alla turca rather slow (which could be closer to the allegretto intended than the usual fast tempo) and he has an especially interesting way with the variations in that sonata K 331. He plays already the theme very slowly and halting and overall one does not get the impression of a theme being varied but about the music being slowly put together, beginning with the theme and the first variations so that only when the fast last section of that movement comes around everything seems to fall into place. Although the beginning is too slow, I find it fascinating overall and it is an antidote against all to "china doll"-like readings.

While I don't share the extreme distaste of some listeners with them, overall I don't think they are among Gould's best efforts, neither taken at face value (like most of his Bach) nor as interesting "deconstructions" (like some of his Beethoven or the K 331).

"Parodies" is a good way to put it, based on what I've heard (first two discs of the studio cycle).  Or maybe it's just that Gould/Mozart is an acquired taste.

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Offline amw

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #72 on: November 14, 2017, 06:22:06 AM »
Thanks for clarifying it; makes sense to me. I completely agree with your assessment of Schiff. Are you familiar with his Schubert fortepiano disc? I think it's superb.
ECM? I wish! Those releases are expensive :P I will probably get it someday though, I've already got his Diabellis & the Beethoven cycle & most of the ECM Bach so I am collecting them slowly >.>

Offline Florestan

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #73 on: November 14, 2017, 06:47:45 AM »
ECM? I wish! Those releases are expensive :P

Unblock me from sending you PMs, please.You won't be disappointed, I promise.  :D
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 06:49:50 AM by Florestan »
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Offline amw

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #74 on: November 14, 2017, 07:10:13 AM »
Oops. PM inbox was full. I've deleted some messages now :)

Offline Florestan

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #75 on: November 14, 2017, 07:17:19 AM »
Oops. PM inbox was full. I've deleted some messages now :)

Thanks. You have fresh mail.
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Online Jo498

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #76 on: November 14, 2017, 07:35:04 AM »
The Romance in the military symphony is a little too slow for a (typical) march, it is more like genially ambling along. The Alla Turca is usually played too fast for a march. If I go through those tunes in my head I can agree that they could/should be much closer in tempo than one usually hears them. Now bandmasters around here can probably explain how this is done today and there is certainly a broad range from funeral marches to fast marches but I think "typical", moderately fast marches are around 100 bpm?

As for the roots; another listener once said Gould played Mozart like Scarlatti. Not sure I want to hear Scarlatti like this but the features of usually very fast tempi, non legato playing and the above mentioned "too loud" accompaniment don't make that impression completely outlandish.

It seems generally agreed that they are an acquired taste (to an even larger extent than most other Gould), but nobody can tell beforehand who will acquire that taste and who won't :D
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.
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Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #77 on: November 14, 2017, 09:41:27 AM »
The Romance in the military symphony is a little too slow for a (typical) march, it is more like genially ambling along. The Alla Turca is usually played too fast for a march. If I go through those tunes in my head I can agree that they could/should be much closer in tempo than one usually hears them. Now bandmasters around here can probably explain how this is done today and there is certainly a broad range from funeral marches to fast marches but I think "typical", moderately fast marches are around 100 bpm?

I can pretty accurately approximate 120 bpm if I imagine "Stars and Stripes Forever"...

Offline André

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Re: Mozart: Piano Sonatas: Your preference and why?
« Reply #78 on: November 14, 2017, 03:30:05 PM »
Lili Kraus’ M&A set is just the ticket. Brautigam is very thought provoking, I enjoy this approach. I also like Peter Katin very much: unfussy, direct. Hamelin may sound unfussy and direct to the point of quasi blandness unti you pay close attention to his refined handling of the voices. But is it Mozart ? Kraus has lots of ‘face’ to her playing, Hamelin seems to avoid this ‘take charge’ approach at all costs.

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