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#1971372 - 10/10/12 02:48 PM Beethoven Sonata Op. 26 - 1st Movement question
Rich D. Online   content
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Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1368
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
Quick question. When playing the second and third variation (and other areas as well), my Henle Beethoven addition shows playing the indicated bass notes staccato. In my Dover edition it instructs playing the same notes portamento. Of the few recordings I've listened to I believe the pianists are playing them portamento. I realize this may be come to which way one prefers to play them (portamento in my case) but I was wondering if there is any general concensus on how it should be played?

Rich
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#1971523 - 10/10/12 08:02 PM Re: Beethoven Sonata Op. 26 - 1st Movement question [Re: Rich D.]
Mark_C Offline
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BTW this was my first Beethoven sonata.

I think the main answer is an indirect one: Remember that "staccato" doesn't necessary mean "short." Even when a marking is a simple 'staccato,' not infrequently the preferred execution is something that would sound like portamento.

In this case, I think the specific answer is different in the each of the two variations. In the 2nd variation, I think that people almost uniformly really play the staccato notes short. (I'm surprised you found recordings where they sound portamento!) In the 3rd variation, even though at least some scores show simple staccatos, hardly anyone plays those notes "short." I think the message that was intended by those staccato marks was "pulsating."

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#1971545 - 10/10/12 08:53 PM Re: Beethoven Sonata Op. 26 - 1st Movement question [Re: Rich D.]
Rich D. Online   content
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Registered: 05/27/01
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Thanks Mark, that was helpful.

Rich
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Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"

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#1971907 - 10/11/12 04:04 PM Re: Beethoven Sonata Op. 26 - 1st Movement question [Re: Rich D.]
BruceD Offline

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Moreover, the choice between staccato and portamento may be a personal choice and may even, to some degree, be dictated by the character of an individual piano and the room in which it is being played.

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#1971925 - 10/11/12 04:48 PM Re: Beethoven Sonata Op. 26 - 1st Movement question [Re: Rich D.]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6449
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Bruce is right. It is the same with pedal indications. Your ears are always the best judges.
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#1971941 - 10/11/12 05:32 PM Re: Beethoven Sonata Op. 26 - 1st Movement question [Re: ChopinAddict]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Bruce is right. It is the same with pedal indications. Your ears are always the best judges.
Although I understand the point you're trying to make, I actually think that unless has reached a very high level one should at least strongly consider and think about the suggestions(fingering, pedaling, etc.) of a terrific editor, most especially when the editor is a renown pianist or pedagogue. Your ears may well be be poor judges unless one has reached a very high level. I've heard even students at top conservatories make poor pedaling choices that were pointed out in master classes. If one's ears were always the best judges, no pianist would make poor pedaling choices.

I would say "One should always use their ears" but realize they may not always make the best judgements.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/11/12 05:36 PM)

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#1971963 - 10/11/12 05:59 PM Re: Beethoven Sonata Op. 26 - 1st Movement question [Re: pianoloverus]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6449
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Well, I was specifically thinking of Chopin, where Bailie also points out that certain pedal indications sounded different on the piano of his time.
Rich did well in thinking about the problem (of course you have to take the markings into consideration first), but he should also consider how those staccatos sound on his piano.
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