Poll

How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?

Once (scherzo - trio - scherzo - trio - quiet reprise of scherzo)
6 (54.5%)
Zero times (scherzo - trio - quiet reprise of scherzo)
5 (45.5%)

Total Members Voted: 8

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Offline amw

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another pointless poll  $:)

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 06:53:44 AM »
I always thought the 'quiet reprise' was more like a coda/bridge rather than a reprise. It reminds me of extended codas of sonata form movements where Beethoven develops the material just a tiny bit more. Because of this I think it sounds better as a disruption to a pattern set up through the repetition of the scherzo and trio and helps push the music towards a more triumphant finale. The first time I ever heard this symphony in full was the famous Kleiber recording, which I love, but the third movement always seemed awkwardly front-heavy even to my 10 year old self.

Offline Jo498

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 08:35:28 AM »
I prefer the shorter version. Probably because that's the way I got to know the piece (C. Kleiber) but I also find the "extension" of the scherzo movement by A-B-A'-B-A'' that Beethoven started in the 4th symphony (and roughly at the same time in op.59/2) somewhat lame. ;) It's not really giving more weight or complexity to a movement that is supposed to be rather brief and lightweight anyway. The proper way is either to keep it that way or to do a fairly weighty main section like in the 9th symphony (and also op.127 and 132) or even cooler to write a freer, more original movement with little literal or double bar repeats like in op.59/1 but unfortunately Beethoven did this only once.

Now, admittedly both the 5th and the 6th symphony are special cases. In the latter the folk dance is interrupted by the thunderstorm and for a folk dance going on and on in a round is fitting.
In the 5th symphony we have that grand arch over all four movements in which the 3rd movement serves as the re-introduction of the tragic tone and the return of the "fate motive" and of course as a foil for the radiant finale. For me this function is better served by the "truncated" version with only the piano, "shadowy" repeat of the main section. So this 3rd movement is somewhat incomplete and it is supposed to be so. In the long version it sounds to "complete" and the shadowy repeat and transition as an addition, not as the "natural outgrowth".
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 Mirror Image

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 08:42:35 AM »
Ad infinitum...
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 06:51:30 AM »
Till it hurts.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline ritter

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 11:28:11 AM »
Until they get it right....  ;)
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Offline LKB

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 01:01:54 PM »
If l were conducting the work, I'd be very tempted to let the double-basses decide. :D

Sweating,

LKB
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

Baron Scarpia

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 01:33:20 PM »
I say play them as written.

Offline amw

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 03:11:26 PM »
I say play them as written.
That’s the issue.... the newest critical edition has the da capo, older critical editions don’t. Beethoven seemed unclear about whether he wanted it.

I favour the da capo at this point because I think it grants the movement enough weight to act as a counterbalance to the first movement; otherwise it can seem slight. But obviously I don’t mind hearing the music twice either, whereas for some people that’s an issue. (like the long repeats in the scherzos of the Pastoral and Archduke, often omitted in the latter case)

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 03:54:09 PM »
Perform them differently on alternate nights to screw with critics' heads

Offline Jo498

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 12:15:59 AM »
That’s the issue.... the newest critical edition has the da capo, older critical editions don’t. Beethoven seemed unclear about whether he wanted it.

I favour the da capo at this point because I think it grants the movement enough weight to act as a counterbalance to the first movement; otherwise it can seem slight. But obviously I don’t mind hearing the music twice either, whereas for some people that’s an issue. (like the long repeats in the scherzos of the Pastoral and Archduke, often omitted in the latter case)
I think there is a general problem for many modern listeners that double bar repeats that stemmed from the dance history of scherzo movements and when they were much shorter were retained by Beethoven and Schubert for some comparably long pieces where they seem superfluous. And in the cases you mention there is the additional "round" with the trio section appearing twice. As the Archduke is overall a fairly leisurely piece I am not bothered by the long scherzo (and I like the piece a lot).

As said above, I think that both the 5th and 6th symphony are somewhat special cases. In the 6th the "long scherzo" makes sense for a folk dance. In the 5th I can agree that the movement becomes more weigthy with the repeats. But if one goes more for a "poetic programme" and a long arc of the whole this additional weight is not desirable ;) I also find the trio section (the running basses and cellos) strange, so I'd rather have it only once. Again, with a vague programme, I'd interpret that section as "stirring" of either the power of the despaired individual or the suppressed masses against the desperate state (LvB wrote "desperate state" (verzweiflungsvoller Zustand) about the first movement of the 9th, but if the 5th is a "fate" piece, it would also fit 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)

Baron Scarpia

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 08:30:18 AM »
It happens I just received Harnoncourt's CMW recording of the fifth symphony and listened yesterday. He plays the repeat, which is not what I'm used to, and I think it worked well.

I think without it the Scherzo is too light. After all, lacks the customary repeats within the scherzo section. The standard form from the Mozart/Haydn era would be AABA'BA'aaba'ba'ABA' (or maybe even closing with the full AABA'BA' if he conductor is a real purist) and in the fifth symphony the A and BA' sections are not repeated before the trio begins. It always bothered me me that the Scherzo material is not repeated at all in the standard repeatless performance of the fifth. In particular, the strong entrance of the horns (da-da-da daaa da-da-da daaa  da-da-da daaa  da-da-da daaa) after the quiet motiv on the strings is heard only once.

With the repeat it is more clear that the 'quiet reprise' is really part of the introduction/transition to the finale and the repeat of the trio is the start of that transition. (And who would object to hearing that stunning trio again, oh Jo498 would.)

As long as I'm on the subject, I found Harnoncourt's recording utterly fabulous, although I though the trombones were were too dominant in the finale. That said, I still love my old Karajan '63 (and '77). It is music that can be successfully performed more than one way.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 08:35:43 AM by Baron Scarpia »

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2018, 02:13:22 AM »
It happens I just received Harnoncourt's CMW recording of the fifth symphony and listened yesterday. He plays the repeat, which is not what I'm used to, and I think it worked well.

I think without it the Scherzo is too light. After all, lacks the customary repeats within the scherzo section. The standard form from the Mozart/Haydn era would be AABA'BA'aaba'ba'ABA' (or maybe even closing with the full AABA'BA' if he conductor is a real purist) and in the fifth symphony the A and BA' sections are not repeated before the trio begins. It always bothered me me that the Scherzo material is not repeated at all in the standard repeatless performance of the fifth. In particular, the strong entrance of the horns (da-da-da daaa da-da-da daaa  da-da-da daaa  da-da-da daaa) after the quiet motiv on the strings is heard only once.

With the repeat it is more clear that the 'quiet reprise' is really part of the introduction/transition to the finale and the repeat of the trio is the start of that transition. (And who would object to hearing that stunning trio again, oh Jo498 would.)

As long as I'm on the subject, I found Harnoncourt's recording utterly fabulous, although I though the trombones were were too dominant in the finale. That said, I still love my old Karajan '63 (and '77). It is music that can be successfully performed more than one way.


Yeah this has been my perspective too, up until you started talking about Karajan's smudged and timid interpretation.

Offline Jo498

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2018, 02:36:31 AM »
I should re-listen to Harnoncourts, although I only have the older European chamber orchestra recording. I found this overall not "massive" enough back then and rarely listened to it.
There is nothing timid about Karajan 1962, if anything it is "too grandiose" and it has transparency issues with woodwinds disappearing in the "wall of sound", so does occasionally the justly famous Carlos Kleiber from the 1970s.

But again, my point was that if one thinks of the whole symphony as "per aspera ad astra" in one great arc, it makes a lot of sense that this movement is incomplete. As the philology is uncertain, older editions have no additional round of the trio, more recent have it, I go with the "feeling". But it is not a big deal. The problem is rather that I probably prefer certain recordings that lack the additional repeat for other reasons anyway.
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)

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2018, 03:35:21 AM »
I should re-listen to Harnoncourts, although I only have the older European chamber orchestra recording. I found this overall not "massive" enough back then and rarely listened to it.
There is nothing timid about Karajan 1962, if anything it is "too grandiose" and it has transparency issues with woodwinds disappearing in the "wall of sound", so does occasionally the justly famous Carlos Kleiber from the 1970s.

No I don't hear anything grandiose in Karajan's Beethoven. I hear what sounds like someone playing it safe. What you call a 'wall of sound' is what I tend to think of as padding to make the hard edged music much 'easier' to listen to. Nice and reliable Karajan. Not only do the woodwinds suffer from this, but a lot of what makes Beethoven interesting texturally is constricted. It's almost as if Karajan wanted to make Beethoven more 'diatonic,' 'simpler' more 'regular' by taking away the real depth to his orchestration. Because of this, Beethoven comes across as less interesting and more timid.

If anything makes the music seem grandiose, it's probably Immerseel's recording. Everything about Beethoven's composition seems magnified and overpowered to an almost overbearing degree. Incidentally, Immerseel chose not to include the da capo in the third movement.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 03:43:05 AM by jessop »

Baron Scarpia

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2018, 10:29:03 AM »
Karajan admired Toscanini's Beethoven and wanted to bring to it a more weighty string sonority without sacrificing the tautness and brisk tempos. I think he achieved that; relentless forward momentum is the main impression I get from Karajan's Beethoven Allegro movements. But the winds become less prominent and that attenuates some of the spikiness of Beethoven's writing for orchestra. I wouldn't want to be without other recordings (Harnoncourt COE and CMW, Immerseel, Dorati, Cluytens), but I still find Karajan's set satisfying in its way.

But now we're way off topic.

 
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 10:56:35 AM by Baron Scarpia »

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: How many times should the scherzo and trio be repeated in Beethoven 5?
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2018, 06:11:12 PM »
I just listened to the scherzo of Gardiner's first Beethoven 5 and found that the transition to the fourth movement to be much more effective with the repeat of the scherzo and trio. It set up an expectation that the scherzo and trio can basically be repeated ad infinitum, so the break in the pattern after the second run of the trio allows the music to evoke a much greater sense of mystery. It raises the question as to how this repeating cycle of scherzo and trio themes could possibly end, breaking any expectation that a listener may have as it builds up to the first bar of the finale instead of ending on a nice cadence.