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#2058488 - 04/03/13 12:09 AM Beethoven 81a "Les Adieux"-- goodness...
Piano Person16 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/11
Posts: 75
I played this sonata at the first round of the Hilton Head International Young Artists' Piano Competition this past month-- I'm not going to perform it again for a few years as it gave me SO much trouble, likely apparent in the video!
The link to the first movement is in the video description of the second and third movements-- the first is the one with the most obvious technical issues, so I made it unlisted on YouTube. Admittedly though, I struggled for quite a time on the third movement in practice.
Feedback is appreciated, because despite the performance, I do love this work!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKh5VYLHKNs
_________________________
Working on: Rachmaninov concerto 3, Mozart K488, Beethoven Waldstein, Bach Goldberg Variations, Stravinsky Petrushka, Bach Art of the Fugue, Brahms 118, Rachmaninov op. 39 no. 6 (Red Riding Hood), Chopin etude op. 10 no. 1, Chopin nocturne op. 55 no. 2, Bach Prelude and Fugue in g# minor (Book 2)

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#2058495 - 04/03/13 12:39 AM Re: Beethoven 81a "Les Adieux"-- goodness... [Re: Piano Person16]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20356
Loc: New York
I'm listening right now while I'm typing, and first of all, as I think other people might guess, it's not that bad. grin
And at least so far, it's quite good.

Just a general comment about "I love this piece so much, but I have such issues with it." I don't know if this is relevant to you or this piece, but.....

Wait a minute, I had to interrupt myself because I just got to the entrance of the last movement -- and I think it's GREAT. To me, your transition from the 'intermezzo' (or whatever it's called) is delicious, utterly perfect in every respect. The completion of the thought at the end of the intermezzo, the pause of exactly the 'right' length, the 'subito' of the entrance of the last movement and bingo being right on it as though there hadn't been any pause -- it's just perfect. And IMO the whole last mvt is terrific, even with the occasional little glitch (which I hope you're not worrying too much about).

I won't listen to the 1st mvt because of your warning ha but I bet that's not too bad either. smile

....but back to what I was about to say, about loving the piece so much and having issues with it: I sometimes have the most trouble with the pieces I love the very most, seemingly unrelated to anything that's really so hard about them. I assume that I wouldn't be prone to such things if I weren't an amateur, if I were more seriously trained and at least a bit better, but maybe people at any level can be prone to this. I think the problem might be (besides that maybe I've just played the pieces too much) that I feel so extremely strongly about everything in the piece and that I know it so thoroughly, I try to put everything into every note, and there's so much I want to be saying in every note, that the overall flow and message get obscured, plus I'm too intense and so I just screw up because of the tension. Dunno if this is relevant to you -- I didn't particularly hear anything like it in this playing for the most part, but I must admit I did wonder about it in the opening phrases. Nothing 'wrong' with what you're doing there, and this is very much a matter of opinion about what's going on, but to me, those 3-note phrases had 'too much love' in every note, at the expense of better shaping.

I know that the shaping is complex and debatable. On one hand it's a "sigh" (much like the opening of Chopin's G minor Nocturne from Op. 37 which has been discussed recently in Carey's threads) -- and a 'sigh' ends with a tailing-off. That would mean that the 3rd note is (probably) soft. But, it's a half note, which usually would mean some emphasis. I'd still do it with a 'tailing-off,' and to me, playing it your way sounds like you're putting too much love into every note. smile


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#2058661 - 04/03/13 11:21 AM Re: Beethoven 81a "Les Adieux"-- goodness... [Re: Mark_C]
Piano Person16 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/11
Posts: 75
Wow... That's so interesting. That's certainly true for me as well-- the more I think about each note in a piece, the harder it become for me to play it all and make a phrase. I noticed that recently in the second theme of the the first movement of Rach 3 as well. Too much thinking and love... I'll keep that in mind!
The opening of the second movement definitely suffers from that issue. I've also noticed that many times, my phrases don't taper the way they should. It'll be something I think about in practice. THANK YOU!!
_________________________
Working on: Rachmaninov concerto 3, Mozart K488, Beethoven Waldstein, Bach Goldberg Variations, Stravinsky Petrushka, Bach Art of the Fugue, Brahms 118, Rachmaninov op. 39 no. 6 (Red Riding Hood), Chopin etude op. 10 no. 1, Chopin nocturne op. 55 no. 2, Bach Prelude and Fugue in g# minor (Book 2)

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#2058690 - 04/03/13 12:30 PM Re: Beethoven 81a "Les Adieux"-- goodness... [Re: Piano Person16]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20356
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Piano Person16
Wow...

....and let me say "wow" back! smile

Glad you found it interesting and relevant. I wasn't at all sure it would be. But your having talked about having trouble with this music that you love so much was what made me really want to listen closely.

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#2058693 - 04/03/13 12:34 PM Re: Beethoven 81a "Les Adieux"-- goodness... [Re: Mark_C]
lisztvsthalberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 121
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
....but back to what I was about to say, about loving the piece so much and having issues with it: I sometimes have the most trouble with the pieces I love the very most, seemingly unrelated to anything that's really so hard about them. I assume that I wouldn't be prone to such things if I weren't an amateur
This is a very interesting topic and in my experience this affects pianists at all levels.

As you mentioned, this is partly a matter of having the optimal energy / activation levels in a performance situation. While professionals are generally more adept at controlling their energy levels, they are certainly not immune to becoming over-invested in the music on occasion.

I've also seen a number of famous pianists talk about pieces that they apparently rever too much to play in public. I think this is related not just to the phenomena discussed above but also to the fact that we are inherently more critical of interpretations of pieces we feel strongly about, which can occasionally distort our perception of the true quality of a performance.

Now, as to the Les Adieux here, it is superb!

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#2058732 - 04/03/13 01:35 PM Re: Beethoven 81a "Les Adieux"-- goodness... [Re: Piano Person16]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1272
PP16, as far as I was concerned, that was a thorough delight to listen to, from beginning to end! Everything clear as a bell (no hiding behind the damper pedal), beautiful phrasing and gestures, great sense of proportion. Middle-late Beethoven on full display! Thanks for sharing this!

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