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#1943174 - 08/15/12 12:43 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: stores]
Otis S Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 204
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Otis S
the omission of the damper pedal in performing Haydn or Mozart is not historically accurate. Virtually all the fortepianos of the last three decades of the eighteenth century [i.e. from the time Mozart turned 14] were equipped with a knee lever to raise and lower the dampers in much the same way as the modern piano's damper pedal does. ... he [i.e. Mozart] was enthusiastic about the pedaling mechanism of the Stein fortepianos."



I don't care if Banowetz or Jesus said it. The fact that the fortepiano is equipped with dampers (of any kind) has nothing to do with the OMISSION of pedal indication(s) in the score. There ARE indications to be found (and famously so), but it speaks volumes that in so few places ARE these indications to be found. Mozart, can be as enthusiastic as he wants to be about the pedaling mechanism! Interesting that he still doesn't tell me to use the thing, however. Apparently Haydn and Mozart weren't being historically accurate within their own compositions! The nerve!


I am not convinced by what you are stating in this post, Stores. The lack of pedal indications in Mozart's piano works should not be interpreted as a reason for avoiding all pedal in playing Mozart. Mozart may have left out pedal indications due to the fact that while he valued the use of damper pedals, he did not feel it necessary (or proper, see Entheo's post above regarding Debussy) to include specific directions for using them in his scores. Since the damper mechanism was relatively new in Mozart's time, there was not the precedent of previous masters such as Beethoven and Chopin having pedal markings throughout their piano pieces.

In David Rowland's book A History of Pianoforte Pedalling, he notes that pedal markings occur consistently in piano music only from the early 1790's. Mozart's last piano sonata (k. 576) was written in 1789. Mozart died in 1791. Therefore, the lack of pedal markings in Mozart's scores is not unexpected.

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#1943250 - 08/15/12 02:47 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: ando]
1RC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Alberta
Originally Posted By: ando
I have no idea what that means.


I think it means his "not to be taken seriously" list, which seems to be for people who can't fathom the truth as it's been pronounced. I would have a "people who take themselves too seriously" list but is one name really a list?

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#1943257 - 08/15/12 03:08 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: stores]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2560
Originally Posted By: stores

I don't care if Banowetz or Jesus said it.


Isn't this kind of saying I usually care only what I say?

And isn't it apparent that most people would think of you as you think of Banowetz or Jesus.
I mean who do you think cares you?

Why not instead say all the things that you say after this first sentence, without this first sentence?

Is it so important for you to make that remark, and the "nerve" remark at the very end?


Edited by Hakki (08/15/12 03:10 PM)
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#1943259 - 08/15/12 03:12 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: 1RC]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18022
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: 1RC
[...] list but is one name really a list?


... Only if his first name is Eugene!

Cheers!
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1943271 - 08/15/12 03:31 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: Otis S]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Otis S
Since the damper mechanism was relatively new in Mozart's time, there was not the precedent of previous masters such as Beethoven and Chopin having pedal markings throughout their piano pieces.

True, but even for Beethoven and Chopin you should always take their pedal markings with a grain of salt. If you do the first movement of Moonlight Sonata the way Beethoven wanted, it is not going to sound good on the modern grand.

At our MTAC Convention a few years ago, Seymour Bernstein basically said all the pedal indications in Chopin (he pointed to the Paderewski edition) are misleading and, if followed blindly, will result in unwanted blurriness. I couldn't agree more.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1943289 - 08/15/12 03:52 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: Otis S]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 477
Loc: Italy
The pedal indications for Chopin were put there by Chopin with a lot of thought.

Sometimes he consistently puts the pedal between notes, like on the first prelude

you need to look at the first edition, which is not difficult to do these days because you can easily find them on the net

Mr. Bernstein did not consider that Chopin put the pedal markings there for a reason and that they are a clue on how he intended the phrases to be played, the intention etc.

usually Chopin's pedal markings are quite sparse, so I can't see how they could blur any of the music

the Grands of Chopin's time could be quite blurry-sounding if you wanted them to

I say that if you really want to know about these things look up the things that were written by people who were closer to the time of the composer or directly involved in some way.. try to find some pianos like the ones used by the composer to make sense of the written comments and then when you have formed your OWN opinion do what you think is correct on a modern piano, which behaves differently and therefore needs to be played differently
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#1943310 - 08/15/12 04:59 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: Otis S]
PianogrlNW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 299
Loc: Seattle, WA
According to Artur Schnabel, surface or shallow pedaling should be used in Mozart and early Beethoven only on descending scales, and never on ascending scales. I came across the Eunice Norton archived videos where she talks about the teachings of Schnabel. Here she plays the 1st movement of K576.
_________________________


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#1943321 - 08/15/12 05:13 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: 1RC]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3580
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: 1RC
Originally Posted By: ando
I have no idea what that means.


I think it means his "not to be taken seriously" list, which seems to be for people who can't fathom the truth as it's been pronounced. I would have a "people who take themselves too seriously" list but is one name really a list?


Oh, that list!

The truth is Stores and I have tangled about half a dozen times in the past. The fact that he doesn't recall it or feigns no recall of it, flatters him in neither case. After observing his posting over a long period, I'm quite delighted to be on his not to be taken seriously/ignore list, or whatever it is. Never has there been a poster who chimes in so often but says so little. It's mostly negative griping about members with no contribution to the actual topic. Or countless "+1" posts to the small number of members he approves of. In fact, his comments here about Mozart pedalling is the most he's said about music for some time. I guess taking liberties with Mozart has struck a nerve.

Back on topic:

For some reason, devotees on Mozart are probably the most uncompromising types of all. It attracts this purist/hyper-correct mentality more than any other composer. Honestly, I couldn't give a rat's patooti for this hyper-correct stance. I see no need to be so hyper-correct with Mozart - no more so than with other composers anyway. Yes, there are certain features of the music which require certain treatment from the instrument. I certainly don't use much pedal when I play Mozart - because the style texture of Mozart doesn't demand it. The character of Mozart can be achieved without pedal - controlling articulation with the fingers preserves the clarity of Mozart very well. But putting a blanket ban on pedalling is absurd in my opinion. As I stated, it's up to the performer to use the pedal judiciously and that's what I do. I never actually stated that I use the pedal heavily with Mozart - which is the conclusion to which Stores immediately leapt. I merely think it's a useful device to employ at times - historically pure thoughts on Mozart notwithstanding.

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#1943345 - 08/15/12 06:17 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: Otis S]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Otis S

In David Rowland's book A History of Pianoforte Pedalling, he notes that pedal markings occur consistently in piano music only from the early 1790's. Mozart's last piano sonata (k. 576) was written in 1789. Mozart died in 1791. Therefore, the lack of pedal markings in Mozart's scores is not unexpected.


I am well aware of the history you spell out for me, but thank you. Now, think about what you just wrote.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1943346 - 08/15/12 06:18 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: acortot]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18022
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: acortot
[...]try to find some pianos like the ones used by the composer to make sense of the written comments [...]


You write as if this were relatively easy to do.
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1943351 - 08/15/12 06:29 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: ando]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: ando


The truth is Stores and I have tangled about half a dozen times in the past. The fact that he doesn't recall it or feigns no recall of it, flatters him in neither case. After observing his posting over a long period, I'm quite delighted to be on his not to be taken seriously/ignore list, or whatever it is. Never has there been a poster who chimes in so often but says so little. It's mostly negative griping about members with no contribution to the actual topic. Or countless "+1" posts to the small number of members he approves of. In fact, his comments here about Mozart pedalling is the most he's said about music for some time. I guess taking liberties with Mozart has struck a nerve.



Honestly, I don't remember being at odds with you. I don't actually have a physical list that I keep track of. I don't usually have the time to elaborate with most of my posts and honestly I've all but gotten to the point of discontinuing my visits here, because I've become so disgusted by so much of what gets written as fact and the ignorance (blissful or not) and the fact that so many don't seem to even care that they're ignorant to some things...and some very important things at that. Mozart, didn't strike a nerve. What struck a nerve is when someone says "the composer be damned, I'll do it however I like". If that's the case then I'll take a little extra time (if I can). I can only wonder why people with that attitude even bother. It makes me want to say "go listen to your Lang Lang records and slop away to your hearts content, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1943374 - 08/15/12 07:34 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: stores]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3580
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ando


The truth is Stores and I have tangled about half a dozen times in the past. The fact that he doesn't recall it or feigns no recall of it, flatters him in neither case. After observing his posting over a long period, I'm quite delighted to be on his not to be taken seriously/ignore list, or whatever it is. Never has there been a poster who chimes in so often but says so little. It's mostly negative griping about members with no contribution to the actual topic. Or countless "+1" posts to the small number of members he approves of. In fact, his comments here about Mozart pedalling is the most he's said about music for some time. I guess taking liberties with Mozart has struck a nerve.



Honestly, I don't remember being at odds with you. I don't actually have a physical list that I keep track of. I don't usually have the time to elaborate with most of my posts and honestly I've all but gotten to the point of discontinuing my visits here, because I've become so disgusted by so much of what gets written as fact and the ignorance (blissful or not) and the fact that so many don't seem to even care that they're ignorant to some things...and some very important things at that. Mozart, didn't strike a nerve. What struck a nerve is when someone says "the composer be damned, I'll do it however I like". If that's the case then I'll take a little extra time (if I can). I can only wonder why people with that attitude even bother. It makes me want to say "go listen to your Lang Lang records and slop away to your hearts content, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously.


It's interpretation, Stores. There is very little in the way of dynamic markings in Bach's scores, yet people make their own decisions on what to do with dynamics. I'm not saying you shouldn't try to meticulously craft your sound, but in the absence of strict instructions from a composer (and there are no instructions regarding pedalling on Mozart, for the reasons that have been discussed), those decisions of whether it could be utilised effectively are left to the performer. I make my own decisions based on what I want to hear or bring out, and judicious use of the sustain pedal is not incompatible with playing some decent Mozart. You should be careful about applying your own assumptions about what people do. Just because I make use of the pedal at certain times, doesn't mean I'm any less of a musician than you are. It also doesn't mean that my interpretation isn't more in the spirit of Mozart's music. It all comes down to phrasing and execution. A good performance with judicious pedalling will beat a sloppy, ill-conceived interpretation that avoids the pedal. It's not either/or, you know.

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#1943406 - 08/15/12 08:34 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: ando]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ando


The truth is Stores and I have tangled about half a dozen times in the past. The fact that he doesn't recall it or feigns no recall of it, flatters him in neither case. After observing his posting over a long period, I'm quite delighted to be on his not to be taken seriously/ignore list, or whatever it is. Never has there been a poster who chimes in so often but says so little. It's mostly negative griping about members with no contribution to the actual topic. Or countless "+1" posts to the small number of members he approves of. In fact, his comments here about Mozart pedalling is the most he's said about music for some time. I guess taking liberties with Mozart has struck a nerve.



Honestly, I don't remember being at odds with you. I don't actually have a physical list that I keep track of. I don't usually have the time to elaborate with most of my posts and honestly I've all but gotten to the point of discontinuing my visits here, because I've become so disgusted by so much of what gets written as fact and the ignorance (blissful or not) and the fact that so many don't seem to even care that they're ignorant to some things...and some very important things at that. Mozart, didn't strike a nerve. What struck a nerve is when someone says "the composer be damned, I'll do it however I like". If that's the case then I'll take a little extra time (if I can). I can only wonder why people with that attitude even bother. It makes me want to say "go listen to your Lang Lang records and slop away to your hearts content, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously.


It's interpretation, Stores. There is very little in the way of dynamic markings in Bach's scores, yet people make their own decisions on what to do with dynamics. I'm not saying you shouldn't try to meticulously craft your sound, but in the absence of strict instructions from a composer (and there are no instructions regarding pedalling on Mozart, for the reasons that have been discussed), those decisions of whether it could be utilised effectively are left to the performer. I make my own decisions based on what I want to hear or bring out, and judicious use of the sustain pedal is not incompatible with playing some decent Mozart. You should be careful about applying your own assumptions about what people do. Just because I make use of the pedal at certain times, doesn't mean I'm any less of a musician than you are. It also doesn't mean that my interpretation isn't more in the spirit of Mozart's music. It all comes down to phrasing and execution. A good performance with judicious pedalling will beat a sloppy, ill-conceived interpretation that avoids the pedal. It's not either/or, you know.


Judicious use of the pedal is not what you were stating earlier, I believe. That is a completely different thing. I have no problem, whatsoever, with that.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1943445 - 08/15/12 09:49 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: stores]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3580
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ando


The truth is Stores and I have tangled about half a dozen times in the past. The fact that he doesn't recall it or feigns no recall of it, flatters him in neither case. After observing his posting over a long period, I'm quite delighted to be on his not to be taken seriously/ignore list, or whatever it is. Never has there been a poster who chimes in so often but says so little. It's mostly negative griping about members with no contribution to the actual topic. Or countless "+1" posts to the small number of members he approves of. In fact, his comments here about Mozart pedalling is the most he's said about music for some time. I guess taking liberties with Mozart has struck a nerve.



Honestly, I don't remember being at odds with you. I don't actually have a physical list that I keep track of. I don't usually have the time to elaborate with most of my posts and honestly I've all but gotten to the point of discontinuing my visits here, because I've become so disgusted by so much of what gets written as fact and the ignorance (blissful or not) and the fact that so many don't seem to even care that they're ignorant to some things...and some very important things at that. Mozart, didn't strike a nerve. What struck a nerve is when someone says "the composer be damned, I'll do it however I like". If that's the case then I'll take a little extra time (if I can). I can only wonder why people with that attitude even bother. It makes me want to say "go listen to your Lang Lang records and slop away to your hearts content, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously.


It's interpretation, Stores. There is very little in the way of dynamic markings in Bach's scores, yet people make their own decisions on what to do with dynamics. I'm not saying you shouldn't try to meticulously craft your sound, but in the absence of strict instructions from a composer (and there are no instructions regarding pedalling on Mozart, for the reasons that have been discussed), those decisions of whether it could be utilised effectively are left to the performer. I make my own decisions based on what I want to hear or bring out, and judicious use of the sustain pedal is not incompatible with playing some decent Mozart. You should be careful about applying your own assumptions about what people do. Just because I make use of the pedal at certain times, doesn't mean I'm any less of a musician than you are. It also doesn't mean that my interpretation isn't more in the spirit of Mozart's music. It all comes down to phrasing and execution. A good performance with judicious pedalling will beat a sloppy, ill-conceived interpretation that avoids the pedal. It's not either/or, you know.


Judicious use of the pedal is not what you were stating earlier, I believe. That is a completely different thing. I have no problem, whatsoever, with that.


I'm always judicious with my pedalling. I'm as careful with my pedal as I am with my fingers. I don't feel the need to follow every composer's pedal markings, nor am I shy to use it if there are no markings. I have studied music at an advanced level and feel I have earned the right to make these decisions based on my own ear and interpretation. I don't rely on instructions as far as pedalling goes. I find pedal instructions also a bit vague anyway. There is more to pedalling than on/off, so in a sense everybody has to learn how to pedal to achieve sound, rather than by instruction. Different pianos respond differently too. You have to be monitoring your sound all the time to use the pedal properly.

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#1943544 - 08/16/12 03:59 AM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: ando]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ando


The truth is Stores and I have tangled about half a dozen times in the past. The fact that he doesn't recall it or feigns no recall of it, flatters him in neither case. After observing his posting over a long period, I'm quite delighted to be on his not to be taken seriously/ignore list, or whatever it is. Never has there been a poster who chimes in so often but says so little. It's mostly negative griping about members with no contribution to the actual topic. Or countless "+1" posts to the small number of members he approves of. In fact, his comments here about Mozart pedalling is the most he's said about music for some time. I guess taking liberties with Mozart has struck a nerve.



Honestly, I don't remember being at odds with you. I don't actually have a physical list that I keep track of. I don't usually have the time to elaborate with most of my posts and honestly I've all but gotten to the point of discontinuing my visits here, because I've become so disgusted by so much of what gets written as fact and the ignorance (blissful or not) and the fact that so many don't seem to even care that they're ignorant to some things...and some very important things at that. Mozart, didn't strike a nerve. What struck a nerve is when someone says "the composer be damned, I'll do it however I like". If that's the case then I'll take a little extra time (if I can). I can only wonder why people with that attitude even bother. It makes me want to say "go listen to your Lang Lang records and slop away to your hearts content, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously.


It's interpretation, Stores. There is very little in the way of dynamic markings in Bach's scores, yet people make their own decisions on what to do with dynamics. I'm not saying you shouldn't try to meticulously craft your sound, but in the absence of strict instructions from a composer (and there are no instructions regarding pedalling on Mozart, for the reasons that have been discussed), those decisions of whether it could be utilised effectively are left to the performer. I make my own decisions based on what I want to hear or bring out, and judicious use of the sustain pedal is not incompatible with playing some decent Mozart. You should be careful about applying your own assumptions about what people do. Just because I make use of the pedal at certain times, doesn't mean I'm any less of a musician than you are. It also doesn't mean that my interpretation isn't more in the spirit of Mozart's music. It all comes down to phrasing and execution. A good performance with judicious pedalling will beat a sloppy, ill-conceived interpretation that avoids the pedal. It's not either/or, you know.


Judicious use of the pedal is not what you were stating earlier, I believe. That is a completely different thing. I have no problem, whatsoever, with that.


I'm always judicious with my pedalling. I'm as careful with my pedal as I am with my fingers. I don't feel the need to follow every composer's pedal markings, nor am I shy to use it if there are no markings. I have studied music at an advanced level and feel I have earned the right to make these decisions based on my own ear and interpretation. I don't rely on instructions as far as pedalling goes. I find pedal instructions also a bit vague anyway. There is more to pedalling than on/off, so in a sense everybody has to learn how to pedal to achieve sound, rather than by instruction. Different pianos respond differently too. You have to be monitoring your sound all the time to use the pedal properly.


Well, I was coming around to you, but then you had to say you've earned the right to make a decision based on your ear and interpretation. None of us have EARNED a thing. We are ALWAYS learning and ALWAYS indebted to the score and the composer first and foremost. There is NEVER a point where any of us have earned something. You may say that what you're doing is what you THINK it ought to be, etc., but it is not because you've earned the right to present it as such. Most of us believe interpretation to mean something completely different than what it is, but I won't get into that subject. You are, of course, correct that you must learn to rely on your ear ultimately in regard to pedaling, but it is more of an exact thing than most would have you believe... just ask Stephen Hough.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1943545 - 08/16/12 04:13 AM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: wr]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 770
Loc: Dorset, UK
WR: perhaps logical deduction may be more convincing. I agree that percussion instruments to accompany dancing were probably first. When we come to melodic instruments we have 2 choices. Did people sing and then find out that blowing into a hollow reed produced a sound like the human voice singing, or did people develop a melodic instrument and then found out they could make similar sounds by singing?

The former deduction leads logically into the countless exhortations over the centuries of composers/teachers for people to play instruments after the manner of singing. I suspect that we have to get quite late on - 19thC at least? - before any composer wanted a singer to make sounds like, say, a violin, although no doubt this has happened.

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#1943551 - 08/16/12 04:29 AM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: Otis S]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3536
I prefer K545 without pedal, also the slow part. Here's my take at it

http://recitals.pianoworld.com/recital_files/Recital_24/01.%20wouter79%20-%20Mozart%20KV545.mp3
_________________________

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#1943576 - 08/16/12 05:50 AM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: sandalholme]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7840
Originally Posted By: sandalholme
WR: perhaps logical deduction may be more convincing. I agree that percussion instruments to accompany dancing were probably first. When we come to melodic instruments we have 2 choices. Did people sing and then find out that blowing into a hollow reed produced a sound like the human voice singing, or did people develop a melodic instrument and then found out they could make similar sounds by singing?

The former deduction leads logically into the countless exhortations over the centuries of composers/teachers for people to play instruments after the manner of singing. I suspect that we have to get quite late on - 19thC at least? - before any composer wanted a singer to make sounds like, say, a violin, although no doubt this has happened.


I'm not convinced...to me, that all sounds like speculation based on some received wisdom that I just can't make myself believe is grounded in reality.

I have some ideas of why that "vocal" trope exists, but since I can't prove those ideas, and since they are tedious to try to explain, I won't go into them other than to say that they involve how we can perceive music as communicating something (often something difficult to describe) and how we are probably hardwired that way. But I don't think that ability is derived from singing.

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#1943597 - 08/16/12 07:04 AM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: stores]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3580
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: ando


The truth is Stores and I have tangled about half a dozen times in the past. The fact that he doesn't recall it or feigns no recall of it, flatters him in neither case. After observing his posting over a long period, I'm quite delighted to be on his not to be taken seriously/ignore list, or whatever it is. Never has there been a poster who chimes in so often but says so little. It's mostly negative griping about members with no contribution to the actual topic. Or countless "+1" posts to the small number of members he approves of. In fact, his comments here about Mozart pedalling is the most he's said about music for some time. I guess taking liberties with Mozart has struck a nerve.



Honestly, I don't remember being at odds with you. I don't actually have a physical list that I keep track of. I don't usually have the time to elaborate with most of my posts and honestly I've all but gotten to the point of discontinuing my visits here, because I've become so disgusted by so much of what gets written as fact and the ignorance (blissful or not) and the fact that so many don't seem to even care that they're ignorant to some things...and some very important things at that. Mozart, didn't strike a nerve. What struck a nerve is when someone says "the composer be damned, I'll do it however I like". If that's the case then I'll take a little extra time (if I can). I can only wonder why people with that attitude even bother. It makes me want to say "go listen to your Lang Lang records and slop away to your hearts content, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously.


It's interpretation, Stores. There is very little in the way of dynamic markings in Bach's scores, yet people make their own decisions on what to do with dynamics. I'm not saying you shouldn't try to meticulously craft your sound, but in the absence of strict instructions from a composer (and there are no instructions regarding pedalling on Mozart, for the reasons that have been discussed), those decisions of whether it could be utilised effectively are left to the performer. I make my own decisions based on what I want to hear or bring out, and judicious use of the sustain pedal is not incompatible with playing some decent Mozart. You should be careful about applying your own assumptions about what people do. Just because I make use of the pedal at certain times, doesn't mean I'm any less of a musician than you are. It also doesn't mean that my interpretation isn't more in the spirit of Mozart's music. It all comes down to phrasing and execution. A good performance with judicious pedalling will beat a sloppy, ill-conceived interpretation that avoids the pedal. It's not either/or, you know.


Judicious use of the pedal is not what you were stating earlier, I believe. That is a completely different thing. I have no problem, whatsoever, with that.


I'm always judicious with my pedalling. I'm as careful with my pedal as I am with my fingers. I don't feel the need to follow every composer's pedal markings, nor am I shy to use it if there are no markings. I have studied music at an advanced level and feel I have earned the right to make these decisions based on my own ear and interpretation. I don't rely on instructions as far as pedalling goes. I find pedal instructions also a bit vague anyway. There is more to pedalling than on/off, so in a sense everybody has to learn how to pedal to achieve sound, rather than by instruction. Different pianos respond differently too. You have to be monitoring your sound all the time to use the pedal properly.


Well, I was coming around to you, but then you had to say you've earned the right to make a decision based on your ear and interpretation. None of us have EARNED a thing. We are ALWAYS learning and ALWAYS indebted to the score and the composer first and foremost. There is NEVER a point where any of us have earned something. You may say that what you're doing is what you THINK it ought to be, etc., but it is not because you've earned the right to present it as such. Most of us believe interpretation to mean something completely different than what it is, but I won't get into that subject. You are, of course, correct that you must learn to rely on your ear ultimately in regard to pedaling, but it is more of an exact thing than most would have you believe... just ask Stephen Hough.


Geez, you're a hard guy to get along with. I've earned the right to interpret things the way I like because I've devoted much of my life to understanding music. I have two degrees in music - analysis/composition and performance. I'm well aware of the history and development of Western music (and yes, Mozart). Your concept of being indebted to the composer, as though he's looking over our shoulders, is needlessly hyperbolic. This isn't life or death here. I'm respectful of what composers have added to the musical world, but I don't think the world starts and stops with them. There are countless interpretations of every piano work on the planet. Everybody is making decisions based on their own research, understanding and personality. Yourself included. If you think you are somehow more true to every composer than everybody else, you are sadly deluded.

One thing the great composers were was adventurous. Back in their time there was lots of extemporising. Cadenzas were different every time. Beethoven was famous for inserting improvisation in his recitals. Classical music isn't an archeological artefact - it's a interpretative art. It's different every time and subject to change and experimentation. The interpretations that don't hold internal logic and don't appeal to listeners fall by the wayside. The interpretations that do appeal are added to the repertoire of valid musical thought. Experimentation should be encouraged, not roundly rebuked like you do. Most people would suffocate under the rules and regulations of your musical regime.

It's not like I'm advocating ripping pieces to shreds anyway. I'm talking about fine and subtle effects. Not total game-changers. I don't think there have ever been two players who used the sustain pedal in exactly the same way. Have a look at the video posted above by PianogrlNW. It shows a perfectly justifiable example of pedal use in Mozart. Subtle, not overused, but effective. If you can dismiss that as outrageous and sacrilegious to the composer, I'd be deeply amazed.

And finally, I am not interested in whether I have gained your approval. I can respect that you have your own thoughts on music, but I don't have to agree with them all. You show no respect to anything outside your strict limits. I suspect that's why you have done battle with a large number of members on this forum - and why you probably argue with a lot of people in your life. You have to let people have their own views. Disagree? Fine - but leave the moral outrage out of it.

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#1943619 - 08/16/12 08:49 AM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: wr]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 770
Loc: Dorset, UK
WR: fine. We can agree to disagree. smile

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#1943625 - 08/16/12 08:59 AM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: PianogrlNW]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
this is the reason i spend an hour daily hanging out at piano world.

Thanks for the video
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1943630 - 08/16/12 09:17 AM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: stores]
1RC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Alberta
Originally Posted By: stores
Honestly, I don't remember being at odds with you. I don't actually have a physical list that I keep track of. I don't usually have the time to elaborate with most of my posts and honestly I've all but gotten to the point of discontinuing my visits here, because I've become so disgusted by so much of what gets written as fact and the ignorance (blissful or not) and the fact that so many don't seem to even care that they're ignorant to some things...and some very important things at that. Mozart, didn't strike a nerve. What struck a nerve is when someone says "the composer be damned, I'll do it however I like". If that's the case then I'll take a little extra time (if I can). I can only wonder why people with that attitude even bother. It makes me want to say "go listen to your Lang Lang records and slop away to your hearts content, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously.


I am a busy fellow as well, and go long stretches without even lurking here and post even less, people probably don't recognize my username for much. Even with my minimal participation I'd come to the same conclusion as Ando wrote previously.

You SEEM like you have a lot of knowledge to offer, I'm sure I've read a post or two from you in the past worth reading. What seems odd to me is that someone who appears to have such high (condescending) standards, and is so busy, should still find so much time to write useless sneering replies to threads. Those make you appear more like a posturing crank, and YOU expect to be taken seriously?

If you're going to do something do it right, no? Otherwise please do discontinue your visits. There are plenty of very knowledgable people visiting this site who actually bother to share what they know.

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#1943634 - 08/16/12 09:20 AM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: apple*]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1114
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: apple*
Thanks for the video


thumb

from bindu to ojas.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

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#1943666 - 08/16/12 10:29 AM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: PianogrlNW]
Otis S Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 204
Originally Posted By: PianogrlNW
According to Artur Schnabel, surface or shallow pedaling should be used in Mozart and early Beethoven only on descending scales, and never on ascending scales. I came across the Eunice Norton archived videos where she talks about the teachings of Schnabel. Here she plays the 1st movement of K576.




This is a very interesting and informative video, PianogrlNW. Thanks for posting it.

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#1943823 - 08/16/12 01:24 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: 1RC]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: 1RC
you appear more like a posturing crank.


Originally Posted By: 1RC
Otherwise please do discontinue your visits.


Easy does it, please.

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#1943989 - 08/16/12 04:51 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: landorrano]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6335
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: 1RC
you appear more like a posturing crank.


Originally Posted By: 1RC
Otherwise please do discontinue your visits.


Easy does it, please.


Ditto. Most inappropriate. smokin
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1944034 - 08/16/12 06:26 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: ando]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: ando

Geez, you're a hard guy to get along with. I've earned the right to interpret things the way I like because I've devoted much of my life to understanding music. I have two degrees in music - analysis/composition and performance.


I'll keep it short and sweet, because I have a few lessons on the way... (and this will be one of my last posts as well)...
I don't care if you have 26 degrees, ando. You can spend a lifetime studying and still not earn any "right". There is no such thing as a "right" to interpret things the way YOU LIKE. It's not your work... the work belongs to Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, etc., etc. To interpret is to speak FOR them... not what YOU decide they're saying, but what they HAVE said already. Ask yourself this... is your audience more interested in your voice or the voice of Mozart? Mozart's thoughts are MUCH more interesting, I assure you.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1944035 - 08/16/12 06:27 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: 1RC]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: 1RC
Otherwise please do discontinue your visits.


Your wish is granted and soon. Do enjoy.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1944099 - 08/16/12 08:48 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: Otis S]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I see no reason in why I should try to ignore a composer's markings. If I wanted to interpret music my way with no regard to someone else being the composer, I would just write my own music. But I haven't taken up trying to compose yet, because there's so much I want to say through other composers. I think as performers, our own personal voice comes through even if we follow every marking the composer writes, because we as people are all unique.

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#1944107 - 08/16/12 09:06 PM Re: avoiding use of sustaining pedal when playing Mozart [Re: Orange Soda King]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3580
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I see no reason in why I should try to ignore a composer's markings. If I wanted to interpret music my way with no regard to someone else being the composer, I would just write my own music. But I haven't taken up trying to compose yet, because there's so much I want to say through other composers. I think as performers, our own personal voice comes through even if we follow every marking the composer writes, because we as people are all unique.


OSK, nobody is talking about ignoring what's on the page. Mozart didn't compose on instruments with much pedal capability, therefore pedal markings are not part of his notational repertoire. This thread has been about whether the pedal should be totally avoided or not. I happen to agree that using a lot of pedal is unsuitable to playing Mozart, but I have found there are times when you can use some judicious pedalling and still be obeying the written page perfectly well. Don't buy into the crazy ranting of Stores - he's trying to characterise everybody in extreme terms as though people are throwing away everything and just bashing on the keyboard with the pedal down and calling it Mozart. It's needless hyperbole and pays no consideration as to whether people may have a perfectly mature approach to Mozart and still see some occasions where pedal use might be a useful enhancement. There are lots of highly respected pianists who do use some pedal in Mozart - all of them with more credentials than Stores.

I have no doubt that if Mozart had used instruments with more a capable pedal and it was standardised across Europe, he would have employed the pedal and used markings. He wasn't an idiot, he used what was at his disposal. The fact that there are no pedal markings is merely happenstance based on where the pianoforte's development was at the time. Does anybody here really believe that if Mozart had had a lovely, precise and functional pedal at his disposal, he would have refused to use it? Some people seem to think pedal means loss of line and clarity. If you use it well, it actually doesn't. In fact, if used well you shouldn't be aware that it's even there - especially for something like Mozart.

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