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#1531553 - 10/09/10 09:41 AM Why do some performers repeat the first part only?
mps989 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 42
Loc: next to a keyboard
I played the mozart k265 variations and repeated the first half of each variation and played the second one only once, as I had heard in a recording (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO-ecxHEPqI). My teacher said I should either play them straight through or repeat both halves, and for my logic it makes sense. What I was wondering is why some performers only repeat the first half ( I think I've seen the same thing with some sonatas too).

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#1531556 - 10/09/10 09:47 AM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13764
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Laziness

Lack of creativity on how to handle the repeat

To fit more stuff on the CD
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1531562 - 10/09/10 10:00 AM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3727
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I think there are some legit-ish reasons for repeating just part A of an A-B variation. If, as is often the case, the B section consists of some new material followed by a return to the A material, then the whole variation is laid out like sonata form (exposition, development, recapitulation), and repeating A is like repeating the exposition.

I don't do it myself, but it doesn't automatically feel capital-W Wrong to me.

-Jason
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1531565 - 10/09/10 10:03 AM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
Victor25 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1676
Loc: The Netherlands
Do you mean you don't repeat the exposition in a sonata?
_________________________
Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)

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#1531572 - 10/09/10 10:17 AM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
mps989 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 42
Loc: next to a keyboard
Thanks for the quick reply, beet's explanation makes sense to me.

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#1531580 - 10/09/10 10:33 AM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
In the movements of a Bach suite for example, I will often only repeat the first section, particularly when the material of the A section comes back at the end of the B section. It just makes a lot more musical sense to me that way.

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#1531594 - 10/09/10 10:50 AM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
Victor25 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1676
Loc: The Netherlands
Would you do this as well with Beethoven's Opus 109?
_________________________
Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)

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#1531634 - 10/09/10 11:54 AM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Not wanting to play a final cadence twice?

There are reasons either way, some having to do mainly with tradition.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

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#1531646 - 10/09/10 12:14 PM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
No I wouldn't. It would be embarrassing for me to have to explain why.


Edited by debrucey (10/09/10 12:15 PM)

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#1531727 - 10/09/10 02:04 PM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: debrucey]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2290
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: debrucey
In the movements of a Bach suite for example, I will often only repeat the first section, particularly when the material of the A section comes back at the end of the B section. It just makes a lot more musical sense to me that way.


You can count the number of times Bach does a literal recap of the opening material on one hand. Maybe one finger, I haven't checked lately.

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#1531863 - 10/09/10 05:41 PM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13764
Loc: Iowa City, IA
The OP is asking about a variation set.

For sonatas, there are reasons, mostly involving tradition and the evolution of the form, why the second repeat is omitted.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1531940 - 10/09/10 07:38 PM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8827
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Interesting to read this thread.

Tangentially, I heard a recording of Beethoven's 5th symphony the other day wherein the repeat in the last movement was not taken.

Bad news. tiki
_________________________
Jason

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#1531957 - 10/09/10 08:06 PM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: Victor25]
bellamusica Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/10
Posts: 369
Quote:
Would you do this as well with Beethoven's Opus 109?


I did all of the repeats when I played Op. 109. However, for a sonata form I prefer not to repeat the development/recapitulation section. I don't really have a scholarly or logical reason for it. I guess I just don't want to play through the whole thing again when the audience already knows what the end is going to be! smile

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#1532122 - 10/10/10 04:36 AM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
Victor25 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1676
Loc: The Netherlands
@bellamusica indeed it is rare to repeat the last section, but very few pieces have instructions for it, so I think you are on the safe side.
@Kreisler as you are familiar I'm sure, the last mvt. of 109 is a variation set, with the theme being also the end.
_________________________
Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)

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#1532146 - 10/10/10 07:02 AM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
Samuel1993 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 351
Loc: United Kingdom
In terms of Sonata Form, this is correct. If you look at Mozart's K545 1st Mvt, the Exposition is repeated and then followed by the Development and Recapitulation. In that Theme and Variation it does actually make structural sense. The first section (A) is repeated, much like an Exposition in the Sonata form. Section B opens with new materal often in a new key, before returning to a brief recap of the A section; if you like, this makes a small Sonata. The A section is the Exposition (ALWAYS should be repeated), and the 1st half of the 2nd section is the Development (new keys, idea's etc), and then the ending is a return to the A material (Recapitlation). Why composer's put a repeat for the 2nd half is something I don't know. But I hope this makes sense. I guess this kind of thing is tradition, much like the Minuet and Trio, on the Da Capo of the Minuet it is tradition for the repeats tp be omitted.


Edited by Samuel1993 (10/10/10 07:05 AM)
_________________________
Currently working on...
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu in C sharp minor Op.66
Mozart - Piano Sonata in E flat K.282
Liszt - Romance in E minor "O pourquoi donc" S.196

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#1532521 - 10/10/10 05:52 PM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: Samuel1993]
David-G Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1242
Loc: London
Originally Posted By: Samuel1993
In terms of Sonata Form, this is correct. If you look at Mozart's K545 1st Mvt, the Exposition is repeated and then followed by the Development and Recapitulation. In that Theme and Variation it does actually make structural sense. The first section (A) is repeated, much like an Exposition in the Sonata form. Section B opens with new materal often in a new key, before returning to a brief recap of the A section; if you like, this makes a small Sonata. The A section is the Exposition (ALWAYS should be repeated), and the 1st half of the 2nd section is the Development (new keys, idea's etc), and then the ending is a return to the A material (Recapitlation). Why composer's put a repeat for the 2nd half is something I don't know. But I hope this makes sense. I guess this kind of thing is tradition, much like the Minuet and Trio, on the Da Capo of the Minuet it is tradition for the repeats tp be omitted.


But composers often do indicate a repeat for the second section. Surely then they wanted a repeat. In which case, should we not be trying to understand why, and perform the repeat?

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#1532625 - 10/10/10 08:55 PM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: David-G]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2290
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: David-G
But composers often do indicate a repeat for the second section. Surely then they wanted a repeat. In which case, should we not be trying to understand why, and perform the repeat?


You have to consider how music was presented in Mozart's time. There was no such thing as a solo piano concert; if you were lucky enough to be there when Mozart played a sonata, it could sometimes be the only time you saw him on the program, and it would certainly be the only time you ever heard him play that piece. So the repeats were there as a courtesy to the audience so that they got their money's worth.

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#1533027 - 10/11/10 10:59 AM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
Victor25 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1676
Loc: The Netherlands
Still doesn´t explain why he would publish it with the repeats.
_________________________
Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)

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#1533144 - 10/11/10 02:10 PM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: David-G]
Samuel1993 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 351
Loc: United Kingdom
[/quote] But composers often do indicate a repeat for the second section. Surely then they wanted a repeat. In which case, should we not be trying to understand why, and perform the repeat? [/quote]

In Theme and Variations there is a repeat on the B section. Not in traditional Sonata Form, the Exposition is repeated only. This is the case in Mozart/Haydn/Beethoven.
_________________________
Currently working on...
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu in C sharp minor Op.66
Mozart - Piano Sonata in E flat K.282
Liszt - Romance in E minor "O pourquoi donc" S.196

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#1533155 - 10/11/10 02:21 PM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3727
Loc: Bay Area, CA
One thing I know for sure. Sometimes in a theme and variations, one of the variations has the "repeated sections" completely written out, so the overall form is AABB with no repeat signs. (The second A won't be a literal repeat of the first A, but, usually, an embellishment; similarly for the two B's.) In this case, I don't feel like I have the option not to take the repeat signs in the other variations; it would be too odd to have one variation twice as long as the others.

This happens in the last movement of Mozart's K. 284, for example, and in the Beethoven Op. 109. (Not that I would have skipped the repeats for the 109 anyway.) In fact, this happens with a *lot* of variations. The Goldbergs is one of the few major exceptions.

-Jason
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1533188 - 10/11/10 02:51 PM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
Uncle George Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/08/10
Posts: 101
Loc: FL, USA
Jeffreyjones
<<So the repeats were there as a courtesy to the audience so that they got their money's worth.>>

I do not think it was only monetary reward. It probably included the desire to make a new work better understood by the public. Frequently a work, or even a performance of a known work, requires more than one hearing for good comprehension.

If I remember correctly Kenneth Hamilton in "After the Golden Age.....". Oxford Univ Press writes about this notion of taking a repeat or not.

Composers probably indicated the repeats to make sure the public got a good grasp of the work being performed for the first time.

By the way, I was always told that all repeats should be taken as indicated on the score. Today I would make some exceptions.


Uncle George

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#1533280 - 10/11/10 05:13 PM Re: Why do some performers repeat the first part only? [Re: mps989]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Netherlands
I think that in general repeats in 'classical' pieces are a only custom not to be followed too literally, in sonata's the 1st repeat is usually tken, the 2md hardly ever, in variations though, they are obeyed more frequently, for variety's sake: everytime one repeats a section, one can/should do something different, why not? As for 2nd repeats in sonata-movements: Beethoven prescribed the last half of the op.57 3rd movement to be repeated, what about Arietta and not playing the repeats (kidding), the Goldbergs without repeats are truncated, notwithstanding Glenn's efforts...
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Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Couperin pièces, Ravel tombeau de C

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