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#2310770 - 08/03/14 09:36 PM Brahms Intermezzo op117 no1: Articulation
M. Martin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/14
Posts: 4
Loc: USA
Hello folks. I've recently dived back into classical piano after quite a long absence. I've been studying the aforementioned Brahms Intermezzo and have just noticed that the bottom eighth notes of the first two measures of the middle section are marked staccato. This indications returns when that melody is revisited two lines later. I've never heard it played staccato (it sounds to me like most people pedal), and when I try it this way, it sounds disjoint and out of place. Anybody have any ideas as to what Brahms might have wanted from us?


Edited by M. Martin (08/03/14 11:20 PM)
_________________________
Tickle the ivories!

Working on:
Brahms: Intermezzo opus 117 no1
Bach: 2 Part Invention no13
Schuman: Kinderscenen no1-4 (the rest to come)
Chopin: Preludes op28 no13, 15

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#2310771 - 08/03/14 09:42 PM Re: Brahms Intermezzo op17 no1: Articulation [Re: M. Martin]
hreichgott Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1270
Loc: western MA, USA
Staccatos can be pedaled.
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Working on: Schumann/Kinderszenen
Daily 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 2, Pischna
I love Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

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#2310774 - 08/03/14 09:47 PM Re: Brahms Intermezzo op17 no1: Articulation [Re: M. Martin]
M. Martin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/14
Posts: 4
Loc: USA
Maybe I'm just a newbie, but I don't hear a tremendous difference between pedal-staccato and just plain pedaling. Is it just a question of the attack?
_________________________
Tickle the ivories!

Working on:
Brahms: Intermezzo opus 117 no1
Bach: 2 Part Invention no13
Schuman: Kinderscenen no1-4 (the rest to come)
Chopin: Preludes op28 no13, 15

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#2310781 - 08/03/14 10:17 PM Re: Brahms Intermezzo op17 no1: Articulation [Re: M. Martin]
Pathbreaker Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Massachusetts
That type of notation, in my unqualified opinion (having not played this piece), could be considered more of a type of accent than specifically staccato. Observe that note in conjunction with the rest in the bass clef. Also observe how that note echoes the melody in the right hand. The point is for that note to be detached from the rising left hand figure. Don't necessarily accent it, but don't blur those lines either. It's mostly an idea for how to phrase there but I think the main idea is to connect what's going on with the right hand melody and left hand accompaniment on that note. It has a complex role which is described by that staccato mark.

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#2310792 - 08/03/14 10:48 PM Re: Brahms Intermezzo op17 no1: Articulation [Re: M. Martin]
hreichgott Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1270
Loc: western MA, USA
Originally Posted By: M. Martin
Maybe I'm just a newbie, but I don't hear a tremendous difference between pedal-staccato and just plain pedaling. Is it just a question of the attack?

Both attack and release are different in staccato than in legato. Pedal means you don't get the same release, but release also affects the attack on the following note. And as Pathbreaker said, pedaled staccato comes out sounding more accented anyway, and you can take advantage of that for musical reasons.
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Working on: Schumann/Kinderszenen
Daily 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 2, Pischna
I love Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

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#2310797 - 08/03/14 11:01 PM Re: Brahms Intermezzo op17 no1: Articulation [Re: M. Martin]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18290
Loc: Victoria, BC
I presume you mean Op. 117, No. 1?

Otherwise, as others have said.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2310800 - 08/03/14 11:13 PM Re: Brahms Intermezzo op17 no1: Articulation [Re: M. Martin]
Pathbreaker Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: M. Martin
This indications returns when that melody is revisited two lines later.

Not sure if you see it this way, but the idea might be maintained for the duration of the section even though it's not made explicit.

The reason it is indicated again a couple lines later is because it's a new group of phrases (the rit. suggests a period).

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#2310806 - 08/03/14 11:26 PM Re: Brahms Intermezzo op17 no1: Articulation [Re: BruceD]
M. Martin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/14
Posts: 4
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: BruceD
I presume you mean Op. 117, No. 1?



Good catch! Thank you. Edited.

As far as everything else, thank you for all of the perspective. I'll have to mess around with the articulation there and see how I can explore the sound of those notes. I definitely agree that the effect should continue throughout. There is even "sempre ma molto espressivo" written near it in this edition (I thought that it was referring to the pianissimo mark at first.).
_________________________
Tickle the ivories!

Working on:
Brahms: Intermezzo opus 117 no1
Bach: 2 Part Invention no13
Schuman: Kinderscenen no1-4 (the rest to come)
Chopin: Preludes op28 no13, 15

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#2310834 - 08/04/14 01:01 AM Re: Brahms Intermezzo op17 no1: Articulation [Re: M. Martin]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
A true pedaled staccato should not and does not sound like a pedaled legato.
_________________________
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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#2310842 - 08/04/14 01:47 AM Re: Brahms Intermezzo op17 no1: Articulation [Re: M. Martin]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18290
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: M. Martin
Originally Posted By: BruceD
I presume you mean Op. 117, No. 1?



Good catch! Thank you. Edited.

As far as everything else, thank you for all of the perspective. I'll have to mess around with the articulation there and see how I can explore the sound of those notes. I definitely agree that the effect should continue throughout. There is even "sempre ma molto espressivo" written near it in this edition (I thought that it was referring to the pianissimo mark at first.).


Another interesting anomaly(?) in this work also occurs in this section :

In measures 21, 23, 29, the alto or inner voice in the right hand is stemmed as quarter-notes while the upper voice is in eighth-notes. Yet in measures 22, 24, and others, the upper voice is stemmed as quarter-notes and the inner voice is in eighth-notes. This is consistent in both editions I have of this work, one Urtext.

I wonder if anyone who plays this actually plays the top voice notes as eighth-notes in the measures in question or whether almost everyone plays all the top notes as quarter-notes and as one legato melody line (except the last note of each measure which is, of course, an eighth-note.

When I asked one of my teachers about this, she claimed that it was simply careless writing on the part of Brahms. Really?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2310986 - 08/04/14 12:36 PM Re: Brahms Intermezzo op17 no1: Articulation [Re: M. Martin]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1280
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
Often in Brahms' piano music one "hears" pizzicato strings and other effects, very often the writing feels more orchestral than pianistic (though usually his piano music is performed "as" piano music). To be allusive of string pizzicato with a piano needs practice. The right piano helps too (at least a grand, not an upright or a digital).

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#2311116 - 08/04/14 06:17 PM Re: Brahms Intermezzo op17 no1: Articulation [Re: M. Martin]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 780
This particular rendering was recorded live, at Juilliard, by Carl Friedberg. His coach on this piece was the composer.

You will notice that he plays/asychronizes the bass note slightly ahead of the soprano. And, you will also notice that he spreads/arpeggiates his chords the way Brahms taught him to.

Enjoy. And for the record, he taught it this way at Juilliard for 23 years!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4-oOizOgVU

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