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#2000755 - 12/17/12 04:22 PM Check my viedeo
Doublel7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 9
Got a new youtube channel, here's the link to a little performance with a violist. This isn't my actual level though wink

Pieces: La Campanella, Franz Liszt
3rd Movement of Sonata Pathetique, Beethoven
Op 32 no 1, Chopin
Working on: Lieberstraum no 3, Franz Liszt

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#2000768 - 12/17/12 04:49 PM Re: Check my viedeo [Re: Doublel7]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20472
Loc: New York
I only listened to the beginning and then stopped -- not because it wasn't good (sounds good!) but because the way the two of you were playing it made me wonder about a detail of the score.

I heard both of you do a 'break' (however slight) before the last note of the 1st phrase -- i.e. before going down to the A; likewise in the answering phrase.

That sounds terribly unmusical.

I assumed that the reason for the 'break' was the violin's bowing -- the A is taken with a 'new' bow -- and I figured that maybe this bowing is marked in the score. And often, if not usually, such a new bowing does imply a slight 'break.' However, even if it's marked that way, I wondered if this is a case where the bowing doesn't necessarily mean that -- because of how unmusical it seems; maybe it just means to give the A a slight oomph, and that's all.

And guess what: I saw something in the score that seems to confirm that.

Perhaps this is something that varies between editions, but in the edition I found on IMSLP, the violin part indeed shows the bowing/phrasing that I suspected. But check out the piano part!

The piano part shows the phrase continuing all the way through the A.

There is absolutely no way that Schubert meant the two instruments to be phrasing it differently, and indeed you two did play it the same way. But, the piano part obviously indicates that there should be no perceptible 'break' before the A (which is what I think our ears would tell us) -- and I would say it implies that the violin shouldn't do a break either.

Sorry to put all the focus on just the first phrase -- but it's important! Including because it affects how the whole piece is played.

It's an interesting example of apparently different phrasings appearing in the different instruments -- but one is a phrasing and the other is just (IMO) a bowing; and an example of how apparent phrase markings sometimes aren't really phrase markings -- perhaps especially in scores of string instruments. Above all, I'd say it's an example of how our ear plays a big role in telling us how to interpret expressive indications.

Thanks for posting it. I love this piece and have played it too. I didn't remember how the phrasings were marked, maybe because I played it mostly before I ever thought much of things like this. But I doubt that I or my partners ever did a 'break' before that note. Have the two of you played this for teachers or coaches, and if so, did they not say anything about that 'break,' or about the unusual aspect of apparently different phrasings appearing in the different instruments?

#2000781 - 12/17/12 05:16 PM Re: Check my viedeo [Re: Doublel7]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20472
Loc: New York
P.S. I checked several other performances. For what it's worth, it seems that everyone plays it without any 'break' before the A.

Good rule, IMO: No matter what a score ever seems to show, never fail to use your ear! smile

#2000870 - 12/17/12 08:33 PM Re: Check my viedeo [Re: Doublel7]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
You can tell just as much about a pianists 'actual level' by how they play easy pieces as by how they play hard ones.

#2000903 - 12/17/12 10:21 PM Re: Check my viedeo [Re: debrucey]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20472
Loc: New York
I honestly didn't know what he meant by not his actual level -- but sounds like you did. smile

BTW I agree 1000% with what you said.


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