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#2057631 - 04/01/13 02:38 AM LB Opus 10/3 largo e mesto
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Has anybody tried the Beethoven Sonata 10/3? ...
largo e mesto (58 measures)

By chance I heard this gem in the early hours on our local ClassicFM radio ... and later traced, played and recorded it ... not quite Ashkenazy but passable off-the-cuff.

Any comments?

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#2057674 - 04/01/13 07:44 AM Re: LB Opus 10/3 largo e mesto [Re: btb]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1735
Loc: Helsinki, finland
I'm not sure where you want to get with this thread, but yes, I've performed this sonata in the past. This movement is often heard performed rather too slowly in my opinion (yes, it is largo e mesto, but it's still in 6/8 - so, I'd say there are TWO slow beats in the bar rather than...six, heh). There are moments which almost anticipate Schubert - Andras Schiff pointed out how the F major section reminds a bit of the A major section in the D960 2nd movement. Fantastic music in any case.
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#2057693 - 04/01/13 09:14 AM Re: LB Opus 10/3 largo e mesto [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Thanks for that Helsinki ... I'm presently luxuriating in not taking the movement too fast.

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#2057750 - 04/01/13 11:40 AM Re: LB Opus 10/3 largo e mesto [Re: btb]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19742
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: btb
....Any comments?

Hey, you started a thread!! ha
I'm probably forgetting a thing or three but I don't remember your doing one before in all my 200 years here.

Originally Posted By: btb
....I'm presently luxuriating in not taking the movement too fast.

THAT would have been my comment. grin

People often seem afraid to play it as slow as it wants to be. One time at a master class someone played the sonata, and then everybody was commenting that the slow movement really dragged and it needed to move more. When it was my turn, I said I thought the opposite -- that it seemed to drag because it didn't have the power it would have had if she'd played it even slower. The teacher smiled, turned to her and said, sit back down and try it slower. Everyone was immediately converted. I remember it so well because I think it was the only time I ever said something smart about music. ha

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#2057756 - 04/01/13 11:51 AM Re: LB Opus 10/3 largo e mesto [Re: Mark_C]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1735
Loc: Helsinki, finland
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I remember it so well because I think it was the only time I ever said something smart about music. ha

Nonsense, and everyone who sees you contribute to this forum knows it! smile

That being said, it's hard to argue on tempo online in this way - when I say that I think it should go faster than most performances I hear (in masterclasses, recordings), I have obviously heard different performances than others here. Actually, I did have a very slow tempo playing this, and I liked feeling some kind of 'weight' or 'heaviness' on each 8th note in many places - yet, I still think it must come out as 6/8 somehow. Just look at the first bars - there's just a chord per measure in the beginning, the harmonies are moving very slowly. Pick a slow tempo, sure, but make sure it works not just for the top voice but also seems agreeable for the alto voice, the bass and the chords/doublings inbetween those.
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#2057757 - 04/01/13 11:56 AM Re: LB Opus 10/3 largo e mesto [Re: fnork]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19742
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: fnork
....That being said....

See what I mean? ha

But seriously folks.... grin ....thanks for the elaboration. We're probably not that far apart on it but I'd guess that I go for a slower tempo. In any event, I think this movement is one of the greatest instances for considering how slow something can or should be, and how playing it too fast can ironically make it seem like it drags!

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#2057762 - 04/01/13 12:13 PM Re: LB Opus 10/3 largo e mesto [Re: Mark_C]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1735
Loc: Helsinki, finland
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
In any event, I think this movement is one of the greatest instances for considering how slow something can or should be, and how playing it too fast can ironically make it seem like it drags!

Indeed! And in a good performance, the effect can be spellbinding - the audience will be holding their breaths in those silences/pauses (like in the very end of the movement) if it is played convincingly. And then the third movement comes...quite a contrast. While the whole sonata sort of centers around the slow movement, all other movements are so radically different in mood and character.
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#2058100 - 04/01/13 11:55 PM Re: LB Opus 10/3 largo e mesto [Re: btb]
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
I played the first two movements of this sonata last year, it's wonderful music. The slow movement is the reason I learned it. I absolutely loved learning it and learned LOADS about shaping my phrases and saving sound for the climax towards the end. It's glorious and somber music. When I played it, I think I was somewhere around 9minutes 20 seconds or so - pretty slowly - but like others have said with the right authority and power while shaping each phrase convincingly, slown is good. Listen to Arrau's recording if you doubt that. My teacher played it with a much more 6/8 feel, and does so convincingly, but I really felt strongly about playin this slow and well. The tricky part for me was being able to keep the slow tempo I started with - I constantly wanted to speed up. It took some work but I loved playing it. One of my favorite movements I've played actually. Such weighty and powerful music.
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#2058101 - 04/01/13 11:57 PM Re: LB Opus 10/3 largo e mesto [Re: btb]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3765
Loc: Bay Area, CA
The middle section of this movement-- one of my favorites of early Beethoven-- always reminded me of Schubert.
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Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#2058139 - 04/02/13 03:08 AM Re: LB Opus 10/3 largo e mesto [Re: btb]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7802
FWIW - Czerny studied with LvB, which make his four editions especially interesting, I think. He gives metronome markings for this movement, per eighth note, of 66, 76, 72 76. Those are in chronological order of the editions, so you could say his final word was 76.

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#2058150 - 04/02/13 04:32 AM Re: LB Opus 10/3 largo e mesto [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Thanks for that wr ... for my own part, I don’t give Czerny time of day ... his comments seem to be lumbered by the tick of a metronome ... wonder if, between his much publicized studies with the Master ... whether one of his chores was to fetch Beethoven’s grubby laundry. (Beethoven is said to have slept in his clothes ... like I do!)

Back at the ranch, I dug out my metronome (needed dusting) ... and found myself wanting to settle for a pace much slower than 76.

But then, perhaps Beethoven’s passion to get done with 10/3 and onto a fresh masterpiece Opus 13 (Pathetique) might have resulted in LB revving up the Largo e mesto to a breezy 76.

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