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#2079095 - 05/08/13 02:11 AM Appassionata: development: pedal
beet31425 Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 4102
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I'd like to know what people think about releasing the pedal at measure 132 of the first movement of op.57, at the end of the development section, as indicated in this score:




My whole life I've "heard" the pedal released there in my mind (and I'm not talking about just *changing* the pedal there; I'm talking about releasing it and not bringing it back until measures later).

But I'm not sure under whose influence this sounds so familiar to me. The release is marked in my Henle urtext. But it's not in the first edition, nor in many other editions. My teacher had never heard it that way, and hates the release. And I can't find any recordings that honor it. I'd have thought Barenboim does it, just because (again) I've always thought of that passage with the release, and I got to know the piece through him. But I don't have the old recordings anymore, and he doesn't do it in more recent recordings on YouTube.

Does anyone know the history of this pedal release? Why do I think I've always heard it that way, when I can't find any corroborating recordings now? And what do people think about it musically? (I'm starting to lean away from it myself.)


-Jason
_________________________
Bach: Goldberg Variations
Chopin: Nocturne op.48/1

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#2079100 - 05/08/13 02:34 AM Re: Appassionata: development: pedal [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20551
Loc: New York
I'm with your teacher. I'm surprised you've 'heard' it this way in any respect -- either in actual performances or in your imagination. I can't reasonably 'hear' it like that in any way, I doubt I ever have, and the idea seems frankly (sorry!) close to bizarre.

Maybe your notion came from seeing that marking in a score, and it just stuck? If so, it's reasonable, but it gets into what pedal markings and the absence of pedal markings mean and don't mean. I'd say in this case that at most, it means a slight change of pedal.

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#2079102 - 05/08/13 02:43 AM Re: Appassionata: development: pedal [Re: beet31425]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19172
Loc: Victoria, BC
Donald Frances Tovey :

"The point of bars 123-131 lies in Beethoven's pedal mark. He wishes the whole pianoforte to be filled with the chord. An even fortissimo, unpricked (and therefore undeflated) by accents, accumulates power through the unchanging pedal. when Beethoven and Mendelssohn (who follows him closely in this matter) say sempre ped., they mean not merely "always with pedal," but precisely "with unchanged pedal." The modern pianoforte here realises Beethoven's purpose as he might have enjoyed it in dreams. We might even venture to extend it by continuing the pedal through 132-133. The blur would be Beethovenish; he prescribes it himself in bars 235-237."

Schnabel indicates a release followed by an immediate re-engagement of the (damper) pedal at that specific point with pedal changes on the first beat of the next two measures.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2079104 - 05/08/13 02:55 AM Re: Appassionata: development: pedal [Re: BruceD]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20551
Loc: New York
Bruce: I think we better try to clarify what Tovey seems to mean about the specific place Jason is asking about (since it isn't explicitly clear).

I think he's implying that the pedal is at least to be "re-engaged" at that point, if not to be just sustained; it seems he doesn't even consider just releasing it and leaving it released to be a possibility.

Edit/addendum: Jason -- Upon further review grin ....meaning, having had this rolling in my mind for these few minutes, I don't think your original way is "bizarre" at all; I think it could be an interesting interpretation, depending on exactly how it's done, and perhaps depending on the piano and the space.


Edited by Mark_C (05/08/13 03:00 AM)

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#2079105 - 05/08/13 03:01 AM Re: Appassionata: development: pedal [Re: beet31425]
beet31425 Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 4102
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I'm telling you folks: not only have I always heard it in my head with the pedal released, but I've always *loved* that moment. I've thought about it, and looked forward to playing it exactly *that* way. Now it turns out that perhaps I just made it all up... or maybe not, since it really is in Henle.

It's got to be from that Barenboim recording: I listened to them over and over back then. The 1980's complete DG recordings, if anyone happens to have them handy to verify. I'd buy the track from Amazon to verify myself, but it happens to be one of the small handful of tracks you can't buy separately.

-J
_________________________
Bach: Goldberg Variations
Chopin: Nocturne op.48/1

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#2079106 - 05/08/13 03:03 AM Re: Appassionata: development: pedal [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20551
Loc: New York
BTW, see my above edit

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#2079114 - 05/08/13 04:02 AM Re: Appassionata: development: pedal [Re: beet31425]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Listen to Schnabel chaps.

Appassionata m123-124

Listen to Schnabel chaps.


My Schirmers Edition shows the same pedal marking ...
But the dotted Bb in m124 is not for real ...
being jollied along (lost) in the very racy tempo ...
dividing the measure into 24 bits.

My edition says
“More virtuosity than is commonly
demanded for the representation of this elemental thunderstorm.
The rising and falling python like writing
of the bass passages from Db to the high treble
and back into the lower most depths,
require most energetic accentuation,
to bring out the lines of the
melodic contours with the necessary clearness.”

However, I’m not going to break my fingers.

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#2079151 - 05/08/13 06:56 AM Re: Appassionata: development: pedal [Re: beet31425]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13527
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: beet31425
I'm telling you folks: not only have I always heard it in my head with the pedal released, but I've always *loved* that moment. I've thought about it, and looked forward to playing it exactly *that* way.

-J

Then this is all the reason you need to do it this way. Never go against your musical instincts to suit another's.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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