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#2141072 - 08/30/13 12:29 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Polyphonist]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Actually, I found his Mozart quite beautiful as he got older. But he took some obvious liberties, some to very great but obviously 19th-century effect.

You'll have to decide for yourself. But I will tell you that critics, concert presenters and audition judges will expect you to take them in a public recital but not at the audition.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2141073 - 08/30/13 12:32 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Although I tend to agree with stores on most subjects, I think what he often misses is the fact that there is a large spectrum between no good and excellent. So either he deeply admires something, or it's awful. Usually, it's awful. grin

And it's more than that. It's not just that there's a lot of room between those things, but also that there's such a thing as "This isn't how I think it should be and I think it stinks, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's not good or great, even if I have no clue how that could be possible." smile

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#2141075 - 08/30/13 12:35 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Kuanpiano]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Always take [Beethoven's repeats]. Always, all of them. Never ignore them.

I generally agree, but I have a hard time stomaching those occasional Development-Recap repeats. I'm working on op.2/2 right now, and it just feels too repetitive. In that sonata, the Recap is already so similar to the Exposition; I just don't think we need to hear this material four times!

-J
_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#2141077 - 08/30/13 12:36 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Although I tend to agree with stores on most subjects, I think what he often misses is the fact that there is a large spectrum between no good and excellent. So either he deeply admires something, or it's awful. Usually, it's awful. grin

And it's more than that. It's not just that there's a lot of room between those things, but also that there's such a thing as "This isn't how I think it should be and I think it stinks, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's not good or great, even if I have no clue how that could be possible." smile

Well, this just comes down to understanding the barrier between opinion and fact. There are certain things that you think are bad, and it's just your opinion, and there are things that are just wrong. In this case, stores is clearly stating an opinion and not trying to pass it as a fact, and so he hasn't done anything wrong yet. Where he does go wrong is when he starts labeling people as ignorant because they have a different opinion.
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Polyphonist

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#2141078 - 08/30/13 12:37 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: beet31425]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Always take [Beethoven's repeats]. Always, all of them. Never ignore them.

I generally agree, but I have a hard time stomaching those occasional Development-Recap repeats. I'm working on op.2/2 right now, and it just feels too repetitive. In that sonata, the Recap is already so similar to the Exposition; I just don't think we need to hear this material four times!

-J

I'd leave out the second repeat. Beethoven went a little over the top there.
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Polyphonist

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#2141080 - 08/30/13 12:38 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
....is clearly stating an opinion and not trying to pass it as a fact, and so he hasn't done anything wrong yet....

....but that's just it: I guess you missed it, but he said it's NOT just an opinion.

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#2141084 - 08/30/13 12:41 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
....is clearly stating an opinion and not trying to pass it as a fact, and so he hasn't done anything wrong yet....

....but that's just it: I guess you missed it, but he said it's NOT just an opinion.

So let him think what he wants to think. Don't tear your hair out over it. It's not like he's forcing you to share his opinion. I happen to agree with him, but I think in this particular instance it's less black-and-white than he's making it out to be.
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Polyphonist

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#2141085 - 08/30/13 12:42 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Polyphonist]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Always take [Beethoven's repeats]. Always, all of them. Never ignore them.

I generally agree, but I have a hard time stomaching those occasional Development-Recap repeats. I'm working on op.2/2 right now, and it just feels too repetitive. In that sonata, the Recap is already so similar to the Exposition; I just don't think we need to hear this material four times!

-J

I'd leave out the second repeat. Beethoven went a little over the top there.

And yet, it's interesting that he also puts a second repeat in the first movement of op.10/2, but not in op.10/1. So at least by op.10, he's not just doing it automatically (as perhaps Haydn does), but, rather, makes a conscious decision to include the repeat in one sonata and not the other. I don't like it in op.10/2 either.

-Jason
_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#2141086 - 08/30/13 12:44 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: beet31425]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Always take [Beethoven's repeats]. Always, all of them. Never ignore them.

I generally agree, but I have a hard time stomaching those occasional Development-Recap repeats. I'm working on op.2/2 right now, and it just feels too repetitive. In that sonata, the Recap is already so similar to the Exposition; I just don't think we need to hear this material four times!

-J

I'd leave out the second repeat. Beethoven went a little over the top there.

And yet, it's interesting that he also puts a second repeat in the first movement of op.10/2, but not in op.10/1. So at least by op.10, he's not just doing it automatically (as perhaps Haydn does), but, rather, makes a conscious decision to include the repeat in one sonata and not the other. I don't like it in op.10/2 either.

-Jason

The reason I don't like those repeats is because they destroy the natural format of a sonata, with the development bridging the outer expositional sections. The exposition repeat does not do this.
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Polyphonist

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#2141105 - 08/30/13 01:07 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Polyphonist]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The reason I don't like those repeats is because they destroy the natural format of a sonata, with the development bridging the outer expositional sections. The exposition repeat does not do this.

Exactly: I agree. But if we are to act on our intuition here (as I think we should), we have to have the courage to say: Here is a specific thing that Beethoven unambiguously tells us do, and we are choosing to ignore him.

Assuming you worship Beethoven as I do, that does take some courage. smile


-Jason
_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#2141113 - 08/30/13 01:21 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: beet31425]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The reason I don't like those repeats is because they destroy the natural format of a sonata, with the development bridging the outer expositional sections. The exposition repeat does not do this.

Exactly: I agree. But if we are to act on our intuition here (as I think we should), we have to have the courage to say: Here is a specific thing that Beethoven unambiguously tells us do, and we are choosing to ignore him.

Assuming you worship Beethoven as I do, that does take some courage. smile


-Jason

Leaving out repeats is a lower level crime than changing or redistributing notes (which I would NEVER do, unless it was absolutely necessary) and I think there can be no objection. After all, we're not even leaving out the exposition repeat, just the long, weird one.
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Polyphonist

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#2141121 - 08/30/13 01:32 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Polyphonist]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The reason I don't like those repeats is because they destroy the natural format of a sonata, with the development bridging the outer expositional sections. The exposition repeat does not do this.

Exactly: I agree. But if we are to act on our intuition here (as I think we should), we have to have the courage to say: Here is a specific thing that Beethoven unambiguously tells us do, and we are choosing to ignore him.

Assuming you worship Beethoven as I do, that does take some courage. smile


-Jason

Leaving out repeats is a lower level crime than changing or redistributing notes (which I would NEVER do, unless it was absolutely necessary) and I think there can be no objection. After all, we're not even leaving out the exposition repeat, just the long, weird one.


I think how we order the crimes is a matter of personal taste. For me, redistributing notes is a minor crime, because it doesn't alter which pitches are played when. While ignoring a repeat in Beethoven-- Beethoven, who thought a lot about things like structural cohesion and overall balance-- is a major crime indeed. Nonetheless, I do it with these particular repeats.


-Jason
_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#2141123 - 08/30/13 01:41 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
....redistributing notes is a minor no crime

Pardon the 'correction.' grin


(Provided that neither the music nor the musical effect is compromised.
Like, I doubt I'd ever feel that cheating the opening of the Hammerklavier is OK -- not because of violating the indicated distribution per se but because the music suffers.)

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#2141133 - 08/30/13 02:05 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: beet31425
....redistributing notes is a minor no crime

Pardon the 'correction.' grin


(Provided that neither the music nor the musical effect is compromised.
Like, I doubt I'd ever feel that cheating the opening of the Hammerklavier is OK -- not because of violating the indicated distribution per se but because the music suffers.)


That's a slippery slope-- especially to those who say that certain hard passages are "supposed" to sound hard, and redistributing them can have the negative musical effect of making them sound too easy. We can argue whether that's really a "musical" effect, but in some cases it is.

For instance, the famous broken octaves of op.2/2. Most people follow Czerny and use two hands; Beethoven not only wrote it for one hand, he gave a fingering for it. Charles Rosen says: "The difficulty of playing the passage with one hand reveals itself audibly in performance even on one of Beethoven's pianos with its narrower keys. The effect of the performer's having to struggle even slightly with the passage gives it psychologically greater force with the public."

-Jason


p.s. But I basically agree with you.

_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#2141134 - 08/30/13 02:09 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
That's a slippery slope....

Indeed! Life is full of them, and it's up to us to decide where the lines are.

Quote:
p.s. But I basically agree with you.

Can't argue with that. ha

BTW I'm totally with that quote about the broken octaves.

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#2141135 - 08/30/13 02:10 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Mark_C]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1280
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: beet31425
....redistributing notes is a minor no crime

Pardon the 'correction.' grin


(Provided that neither the music nor the musical effect is compromised.
Like, I doubt I'd ever feel that cheating the opening of the Hammerklavier is OK -- not because of violating the indicated distribution per se but because the music suffers.)


One can double the the opening low B-flats an octave lower, especially as the music was written out for pianos that only go down to the C above the lowest B-flat . . . about repeats, wouldn't the repeat in the first movement of Chopin's Op. 58 sonata be much more demanding to execute than the repeats in the early Beethoven sonatas?

I think that would be one repeat performers would be much more tempted to avoid!


M.

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#2141138 - 08/30/13 02:11 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: JoelW]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3704
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
People can be so precious when it comes to Mozart, in particular.

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#2141141 - 08/30/13 02:14 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: JoelW]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5429
Loc: Europe
Well about Horowitz: I can understand how his playing of Beethoven and Mozart should not be a role model to younger pianists, but at the same time I find that it's my little guilty pleasure to listen to his recordings of such works! wink

On the question at hand: I'm currently working with a Canadian composer who has a couple of repeats on her works. From the manuscript, she has a phrase like "repeat mandatory" or something like that.

So my very first thing was to eliminate that, thinking that when you have a repeat with 1 and 2 different endings, etc (not sure how it's called in English) then it's pretty obvious that you have to do it. Because you need to play it twice, in order to get a lead/bridge to the next part. This is what the composer wanted. And thus I deleted that phrase.

The composer came back to me within minutes saying that she wants the comment back! I thought "what on earth?!?!" but she went to great lengths to explain how in Canada (and the US) because of time restrictions, pretty much NO repeat is being followed! So I gave in and the comment is there!

But in all honesty I think that I tend to follow the repeats. This is what they're there for. :-/ Perhaps we're not used to a certain repeat, or perhaps there's no time (exams), but other than that this is what the text says. And it's something absolute: you either do it, or you don't!
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#2141142 - 08/30/13 02:20 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Nikolas]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
....So my very first thing was to eliminate that, thinking that when you have a repeat with 1 and 2 different endings, etc (not sure how it's called in English)....

"first ending" and "second ending"

Quote:
....then it's pretty obvious that you have to do it. Because you need to play it twice, in order to get a lead/bridge to the next part. This is what the composer wanted. And thus I deleted that phrase.

Actually, as can be seen from this thread, there are pieces by the "great composers" with repeats that many people don't take even though 1st and 2nd endings are written in the score. (They just omit the 1st ending and skip to the 2nd ending, which then serves as the "bridge.") And I'm pretty sure it's not just a geographic thing (i.e. America vs. Europe or whatever) to view it this way; the presence of repeat signs, even with 1st and 2nd endings written in the score, is sometimes taken as just a nod to formality rather than an absolute order to play the repeat. I can well understand why she objected to your deleting the order to take the repeat -- because otherwise it wouldn't automatically be understood to be so.

MICHAEL:

Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
....wouldn't the repeat in the first movement of Chopin's Op. 58 sonata be much more demanding to execute than the repeats in the early Beethoven sonatas?

I think that would be one repeat performers would be much more tempted to avoid!

I don't think so -- not from that standpoint. It seems you're talking about repeating the Chopin being a physical challenge, or maybe an endurance thing, and I don't see it that way at all. I also doubt that this would be a significant consideration for anyone else who plays the piece seriously.

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#2141154 - 08/30/13 02:57 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: JoelW]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5429
Loc: Europe
Exactly! I was trained to at least do the repeat if there's a first and a second ending! wink She wasn't! She was trained to do the opposite: Avoid it at all cost to save us time!
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#2141161 - 08/30/13 03:43 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Nikolas]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1280
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
I don't understand this time limit issue in regard to the repeats. Isn't it standard everywhere that a recital is organized for a fixed duration, then the music is selected which fits into that time space?

So a 2hr performance (1 hr. 45 minutes of music, 15 min. intermission) might have a sonata on it.

But with a 1hr performance if a work seems to take up too much of the available time, wouldn't it just be omitted rather than truncated?

This is the first I've heard of cutting out repeats in a performance for that reason, though with recordings it happens for that reason . . . (even though for a recording one can plan out the music appropriately as well . . . recordings are so fabricated now I think one needs to hear a performer in person, likely the repeat if included would just be a re-spliced in copy of what preceded it rather than being played separately and a bit differently!).


M.

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#2141167 - 08/30/13 03:52 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Michael Sayers]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1280
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
About fabrication, I know of a pianist who recorded the entire Chopin preludes mostly one bar at a time, then all was digitally edited to fit together uniformly . . . I'm not going to say who the pianist is though!


M.

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#2141168 - 08/30/13 03:52 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Michael Sayers]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
I don't understand this time limit issue in regard to the repeats....This is the first I've heard of cutting out repeats in a performance for that reason....

Who said anything like that? I didn't notice it.

I don't think it's common for repeats to be omitted for that reason -- not in recitals anyway. But something that does happen a fair amount, which I suppose could be wrongly lumped together with that: We might just feel that a piece is too long for its own good with all the repeats and that it's more effective if we leave out some or all of them. Sometimes this really is mostly a time consideration per se -- like, "this piece is great if it's 15 minutes long but not so good if it's 22 minutes"; or sometimes it's not thought of with regard specifically to timing but it amounts to the same.

I can see how either of these things could get mixed up with "it didn't fit into the time allowed for the program" -- but they aren't really that.

Competitions are a totally different story. In those, indeed it's not uncommon for repeats to be omitted so that a piece will fit into the time limit of a round. But the players have to be careful for it not to be ridiculous or they'll pay a price.

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#2141173 - 08/30/13 04:11 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Mark_C]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1280
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Who said anything like that? I didn't notice it.


Nikolas wrote that according to the Canadian composer, in the U.S. and Canada the repeats are omitted for reasons of time restrictions . . . but I think formats are the same everywhere for piano recitals as with 2 hrs. for full length which is 1:45 or 1:50 of music and a 15 or 10 min. intermission - most venues will not pay a piano soloist to do anything less than that, I've always been told in the U.S. that it must be at least two hours with a minimum 1:45 of music . . . that was years ago so maybe things have changed . . . what are these pianists doing, 10 minute recitals with one minute intermissions? laugh


M.

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#2141174 - 08/30/13 04:11 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: JoelW]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
My teacher generally hates repeats. I've heard it said (somewhere in these forums, perhaps) that in conservatory classes and even conservatory recitals, there's a collective sigh of relief when the sonata exposition repeat is not taken. I have to confess that in my teacher's monthly masterclasses, I've started to participate in that sigh.

That didn't stop me from playing Chopin's first scherzo for the class with all its repeats intact. My teacher told the class-- in a friendly enough way-- that my performance convinced her once and for all that that piece needs to have some of its repeats removed. Not what I wanted to hear! (Though she liked the performance generally.)

One girl, influenced by this studio's anti-repeat culture, even played all of Schumann's Papillons without a single repeat. That... didn't work.


-Jason
_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#2141179 - 08/30/13 04:29 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: Michael Sayers]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Who said anything like that? I didn't notice it.

Nikolas wrote that according to the Canadian composer, in the U.S. and Canada the repeats are omitted for reasons of time restrictions....

Oh OK -- sorry!

I don't think that's true. smile
At least not to any significant extent, and absolutely not to the extent that she seems to have said.

Originally Posted By: beet31425
....One girl, influenced by this studio's anti-repeat culture, even played all of Schumann's Papillons without a single repeat. That... didn't work.

I can see why it didn't.
And very similarly: At one of the amateur competitions a terrific player did the Brahms-Handel Variations without any of the repeats. That didn't go over too well either.

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#2141181 - 08/30/13 04:32 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: beet31425]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1280
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Originally Posted By: beet31425
My teacher generally hates repeats. I've heard it said (somewhere in these forums, perhaps) that in conservatory classes and even conservatory recitals, there's a collective sigh of relief when the sonata exposition repeat is not taken. I have to confess that in my teacher's monthly masterclasses, I've started to participate in that sigh.

That didn't stop me from playing Chopin's first scherzo for the class with all its repeats intact. My teacher told the class-- in a friendly enough way-- that my performance convinced her once and for all that that piece needs to have some of its repeats removed. Not what I wanted to hear! (Though she liked the performance generally.)

One girl, influenced by this studio's anti-repeat culture, even played all of Schumann's Papillons without a single repeat. That... didn't work.


-Jason


So then the conservatory teachers see that there can be limitations with an overly-literal approach to music . . . rather than have the repeats interpreted differently they prefer the omission of the repeats (even though the repeats are in the score!) . . .


M.

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#2141196 - 08/30/13 05:44 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: JoelW]
Derek Hartwell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/09
Posts: 219
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: JoelW
How important are repeats in Beethoven's sonatas? Did he construct his sonatas in a way that the repeats are crucial, or can they simply be taken out like much of Mozart's? I'm aware that the answer is probably different depending on the sonata but in this case I would be asking specifically about op. 2/1.

Claudio Arrau (in my opinion the greatest 20th Century interpreter of Beethoven's piano sonatas) was interviewed at length about performing them. At one point the interviewer asked him : 'When do you play or omit repeats in Beethoven's Sonatas?'
Arrau's reply was prompt and unequivocal: 'In Beethoven you ALWAYS play the repeats.'
In his recording of the complete Sonatas the performance and recording are 'COMPLETE'. Nothing is left out.
It is my view that performances with a repeat omitted here and there or omitted altogether are unsatisfactory musically and philosophically.
Beethoven knew what he wanted and what he was doing. Every repeat in a sonata is part of the work's construction and any omission unbalances the structure and weakens the emotional impact. There is room for variation in Beethoven performances but the variation does not extend to destroying the structure and artistry of his creations.

rk
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#2141201 - 08/30/13 06:16 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: JoelW]
Nikolas Offline
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5429
Loc: Europe
I meant in exams, rather than recitals. Sorry for the mixup!
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#2141218 - 08/30/13 07:40 AM Re: Repeats in Beethoven [Re: JoelW]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19642
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
And I really don't think it's a question to be surprised at. If major competitions ban repeats, why should I not question the validity of certain repeats on the notion that they may be a result of pure convention?
I think competitions ban repeats due to time constraints. I've never heard a Beethoven Sonata performed in a professional recital without the repeat.


Edited by pianoloverus (08/30/13 09:05 AM)

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