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#2038490 - 02/24/13 02:59 PM Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique
Alpha Spartan A Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 1
Loc: United States
Hey, guys. I have a question regarding the Allegro di molt e con brio section of Beethoven's 8th piano sonata. I have reviewed various transcriptions of the same sonata, and in some editions, measures 12 and 20 have a Sfortzando on the E natural - C, and some don't. I'm wondering if there's an officially accepted version of the Sonatas, and if so, what it says to do.

Thanks, guys!

- Alpha Spartan A
_________________________
"Music enriches the mind and the soul." - My Grandfather

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#2038566 - 02/24/13 05:04 PM Re: Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique [Re: Alpha Spartan A]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Your best bet is to assume that the sf is for real.

There are varying degrees in which those chords might be "sforzando'd" but I don't think I've ever heard any high-level performance that didn't "sforzando" them, and when I played it, I sure sforzando'd them (moderately). smile

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#2038578 - 02/24/13 05:18 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: Alpha Spartan A]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6112
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Cooper doesn't have them, and it is the most reliable edition.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2038580 - 02/24/13 05:21 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: ChopinAddict]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Golly, maybe I better delete my post.... grin

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#2038589 - 02/24/13 05:39 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: Mark_C]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Golly, maybe I better delete my post.... grin

Nah, it's Beethoven. Bang away! laugh
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2038607 - 02/24/13 06:06 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: Derulux]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Golly, maybe I better delete my post.... grin

Nah, it's Beethoven. Bang away! laugh

Old joke (don't remember from where -- probably the National Lampoon):

If it's too soft, it's Schubert. If it's too loud, it's Wagner. If it's alternately too soft and too loud, it's Beethoven. ha

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#2038944 - 02/25/13 10:32 AM Re: Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique [Re: Alpha Spartan A]
HNB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 73
Loc: Australia
My old Schirmer edition has those sforzandos in the recapitulation only - with a pompous editorial footnote (von Bulow & Lebert I think) pointing them out.

I always refer back to the first editions and/or autographs when studying Beethoven sonatas, most of which are available on IMSLP.

Just had a quick look at the first edition of the Pathetique and it's the same as my edition - the sforzando you mention is NOT in the exposition, but IS in the recapitulation.

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#2038965 - 02/25/13 11:26 AM Re: Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique [Re: Alpha Spartan A]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18136
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Alpha Spartan A
Hey, guys. I have a question regarding the Allegro di molt e con brio section of Beethoven's 8th piano sonata. I have reviewed various transcriptions of the same sonata, and in some editions, measures 12 and 20 have a Sfortzando on the E natural - C, and some don't. I'm wondering if there's an officially accepted version of the Sonatas, and if so, what it says to do.
[...]


In my edition (Schnabel) which is very heavily edited, there are sfz markings in several places throughout this movement, so my edition can't have an authority on the question. However, in measure 12 I see no E/C nor do I in measure 20. In measure 11, there is an E-flat/C on the first beat followed by an E-natural/C on the following half-beat, where Schnabel puts a wedge (under the E-natural/C). I can find nothing close to this notation, however, around measure 20.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2038993 - 02/25/13 12:17 PM Re: Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique [Re: Alpha Spartan A]
prenex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Minnesota
In my Peters edition it is an editorial suggestion [square bracket.]

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#2039166 - 02/25/13 04:59 PM Re: Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique [Re: BruceD]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: BruceD
....However, in measure 12 I see no E/C nor do I in measure 20. In measure 11, there is an E-flat/C on the first beat followed by an E-natural/C on the following half-beat, where Schnabel puts a wedge (under the E-natural/C). I can find nothing close to this notation, however, around measure 20.

The measure numbers confused me too, so I mostly ignored them and just tried to figure out what he meant -- and it seems he's sort of counting from the beginning of the whole movement.

He means m. 3 and m. 11 of the Allegro.

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#2039176 - 02/25/13 05:12 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: ChopinAddict]
GeorgeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Cooper doesn't have them, and it is the most reliable edition.

Debatable.

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#2039179 - 02/25/13 05:17 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: GeorgeB]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: GeorgeB
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Cooper doesn't have them, and it is the most reliable edition.

Debatable.

Good -- glad I didn't really delete my post. ha

HOWEVER....

In such a situation, I would tend to believe that the absence of the indication is more authentic, because I think editors would be far less inclined to remove an indication of the composer's than to add one of their own. I'd love to have been right grin but I have a feeling that Cooper has it right, at least on this.

Even though I never heard of that edition before and have no idea what it is. blush

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#2039186 - 02/25/13 05:39 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: Mark_C]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6112
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

Even though I never heard of that edition before and have no idea what it is. blush


It has actually been mentioned several times here at PW, particularly by stores, who I think was the first to recommend it. I basically trusted him when I chose to buy this edition, and I am happy. smile

But it was also mentioned in the NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/arts/music/20whit.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0

And the ABRSM site:
http://shop.abrsm.org/shop/prod/Beethoven-The-35-Piano-Sonatas-Volumes-1-3/2003376
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2039190 - 02/25/13 05:49 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: ChopinAddict]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
It has actually been mentioned several times here at PW, particularly by stores....

Oh OK -- no wonder I never heard of it! grin

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#2039191 - 02/25/13 05:49 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: ChopinAddict]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3815
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict

From the article, here's Barry Cooper on including additional early sonatas in his edition: “I can find no reason why they shouldn’t be counted... if they lack something in quality, you could say the same of some of the Opus 49 Sonatas, and you surely wouldn’t exclude those from the canon."

Yes I would! Let's start a petition to remove op.49/2 from the canon! There should only be 31 sonatas. (Op.49/1, you can stay.)


-J
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#2039225 - 02/25/13 07:01 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: beet31425]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5279
Originally Posted By: beet31425


Yes I would! Let's start a petition to remove op.49/2 from the canon! There should only be 31 sonatas. (Op.49/1, you can stay.)


-J


Personally, I believe we should follow Beethoven's wishes and remove both Op.49 Sonatas (which are really juvenile Sonatinas) from the canon - they were published against his wishes.

There is already one integral recording of all thirty Beethoven's Piano Sonatas from which the Op.49 were expunged....... wink
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2039226 - 02/25/13 07:03 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: bennevis]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
But in that case I would suggest adding Mozart's C minor sonata and Haydn's E-flat (Hob. 52). grin

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#2039229 - 02/25/13 07:04 PM Re: Debatable Sforzando in Pathétique [Re: Mark_C]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5279
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
But in that case I would suggest adding Mozart's C minor sonata and Haydn's E-flat (Hob. 52). grin


They are certainly more Beethovenian than Beethoven's Op.49.... grin
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2039233 - 02/25/13 07:10 PM Re: Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique [Re: Mark_C]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18136
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: BruceD
....However, in measure 12 I see no E/C nor do I in measure 20. In measure 11, there is an E-flat/C on the first beat followed by an E-natural/C on the following half-beat, where Schnabel puts a wedge (under the E-natural/C). I can find nothing close to this notation, however, around measure 20.

The measure numbers confused me too, so I mostly ignored them and just tried to figure out what he meant -- and it seems he's sort of counting from the beginning of the whole movement.

He means m. 3 and m. 11 of the Allegro.


OK; I'll buy that, which is logical since we usually start counting from the beginning of a movement. Except that it now makes the measures in question 13 and 21, at least in my Schnabel.

My above remark pertains: Schnabel has a wedge on the E-natural/C both times, but no sfz, although there are other sfz's.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2039267 - 02/25/13 08:10 PM Re: Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique [Re: BruceD]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: BruceD
....Except that it now makes the measures in question 13 and 21, at least in my Schnabel....

Right -- that's why I said "sort of" when I said he seemed to be counting from the beginning.

I tried to clarify it by giving the measure counts from the start of the Allegro, because that's something everyone can count pretty easily, including if their scores don't have measure numbers, which most don't.

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#2039409 - 02/26/13 02:19 AM Re: Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique [Re: Alpha Spartan A]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
The “sf” is a preface to the unusual peaking “p” of the
climatic upward surge in the opening measures.

Why all the fuss? ... “sf” means
“hold your horses, chaps” ...
I clatter over “sf’s” by the furlong without
a single lash of the whip.

But always an eye out for a sudden change in dynamics.

According to Wikipedia sf means

"Sforzando, used in musical notation as an instruction to play a note with sudden, strong emphasis (Italian, literally "forcing")"

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#2039966 - 02/27/13 03:46 AM Re: Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique [Re: Alpha Spartan A]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 778
Loc: Dorset, UK
Tovey's view is: "Beethoven does not give sforzandos in bars 3 and 11. Editors have supplied them on the analogy of bars 187 and 195; but Beethoven probably meant this as a variation. Of course the syncopation will of itself produce a slight accent if clearly expressed."

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#2040666 - 02/28/13 09:45 AM Re: Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique [Re: Alpha Spartan A]
prenex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Minnesota
Do you think the sforzando is implied by the music? If so, could you folks please explain to me why because I don't see it as cleary the case just from the music.

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#2040706 - 02/28/13 10:50 AM Re: Debatable Sfortzando in Pathétique [Re: prenex]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: prenex
Do you think the sforzando is implied by the music? If so, could you folks please explain to me why because I don't see it as cleary the case just from the music.

Certainly not in the middle of bar 3, if that's the one everyone's referring to. There are other places in the opening marked with sf, most at the tail end of a long crescendo, which seems to indicate to me to give it a "little extra umph", but not something over the top. I think this is a case where subtlety is sublime, and overstatement is hokey.
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Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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