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#926932 - 11/09/07 01:48 AM How much do you pedal Mozart?
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5415
Loc: Orange County, CA
When I was teaching the Mozart Sonata yesterday, I surprised myself by how much pedal I intuitively use. After I wrote in my student's score, I saw pedal markings in

1) Big chords

2) Trill passages

3) "Echo" passages (legato pedal)

4) and a bunch of legato pedals all over the piece.

I'm curious to see how much pedal people use for Mozart Sonatas, in particular, K. 333 first movement.
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#926933 - 11/09/07 01:52 AM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Not much. Check out some good editions for suggestions.
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#926934 - 11/09/07 09:04 AM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11406
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
AZN: there are two sides of this argument. One side contends that they are trying to play it so it will sound like a piano in Mozart's time. But the fac to f the matter is, less pedal doens't do it. I've played on replica fortepianos and really, if you want to be "authentic" in that way, you need to play on one of those pianos.

The second side thinks what Mozart would most likely have done had he a modern piano to play on. I'm of the latter group. In such case, you pedal as much as you wish, as long as it's not mushy or in poor taste. It is very subjective.

I haven't played K. 333 to give you specifics, but from looking at it I would agree with your above pedal markings. Of course, it does depend on the particular instrument you are playing, so listening and adjusting is always necessary.
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#926935 - 11/09/07 09:09 AM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Depends on the instrument and the venue, but in general agree with keyboardklutz. For piece by piece interpretation commentary, check out this nice book: Michael Davidson, Mozart and the Pianist, A Guide for Performers and Teachers of Mozart's Works for Solo Piano

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#926936 - 11/09/07 09:13 AM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
AZN: there are two sides of this argument. One side contends that they are trying to play it so it will sound like a piano in Mozart's time. But the fac to f the matter is, less pedal doens't do it. I've played on replica fortepianos and really, if you want to be "authentic" in that way, you need to play on one of those pianos.

The second side thinks what Mozart would most likely have done had he a modern piano to play on. I'm of the latter group. In such case, you pedal as much as you wish, as long as it's not mushy or in poor taste. It is very subjective.
[/b]
There's also a third side, which studies the score/history to understand how Mozart might have played it, and then goes on to play it how the performer thinks it sounds best, even if it's not politically correct.
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#926937 - 11/09/07 10:55 AM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
Minaku Offline
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Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
Sparingly is correct, AZNpiano. When I worked on K333 (a very long time ago...) I pedaled on big chords, but not trills. In the B section of the development with the apoggiatura followed by two eighth notes, I pedaled the apoggiatura. And probably every chordal slur, just a bit. Most of this first movement was done without pedal though.
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#926938 - 11/09/07 12:33 PM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Let's see - Mozart loved opera and singing and his music reflects this. Much of his piano literature has operatic aria type writing in it. Thus, legato playing is paramount. I would recommend using the pedal where it helps maintain the legato line and judiciously use it where it adds color.
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#926939 - 11/09/07 01:51 PM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11406
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
AZN: there are two sides of this argument. One side contends that they are trying to play it so it will sound like a piano in Mozart's time. But the fac to f the matter is, less pedal doens't do it. I've played on replica fortepianos and really, if you want to be "authentic" in that way, you need to play on one of those pianos.

The second side thinks what Mozart would most likely have done had he a modern piano to play on. I'm of the latter group. In such case, you pedal as much as you wish, as long as it's not mushy or in poor taste. It is very subjective.
[/b]
There's also a third side, which studies the score/history to understand how Mozart might have played it, and then goes on to play it how the performer thinks it sounds best, even if it's not politically correct. [/b]
I think that your explanation falls under my #2, and I agree with it completely. \:\) I think it's interesting that people will take such great pains to try and sound like period instruments on a modern instrument, but then totally ignore when Mozart talked about the left hand falling behind the right hand and rubato. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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#926940 - 11/09/07 02:02 PM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
"Anyone have any thoughts on this?"

Well I do if nobody else does.

They don't really care about how Mozart played, they just want to justify their own impulses and habits. Of course they ignore such information and advice that doesn't fit their purpose.

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#926941 - 11/09/07 04:51 PM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11406
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Hehe, I agree, although I perhaps would have not have said in quite that way \:\) . But that is an accurate assessment of some people. I'm wondering about the other side of the coin, I'd like to hear from those who don't do anything with that quote or never knew about it.
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#926942 - 11/09/07 07:28 PM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
pianoexcellence Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
I think that one has to ask "why" the pedal is needed. If there is an artistic reason to use it..chord sonority, moistening effects, connection, then use it if the classical spirit is maintained. The pedal does have a way of diminishing the lightness, clarity, and contrast that is needed to communicate classical style pieces, especially when used throughout.

I think the pedal can also become dangerous to people who use it to mask poor technique.
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#926943 - 11/10/07 07:56 PM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10348
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
My son is currently learning the K333. His teacher has stripped away most of the pedal he was attempting to use as he went through the piece. She allows him to use some ....very judiciously to maintain legato, but that's it. His teacher has an academic background (Ph.D and all that) and is a fine pianist. I say that just to suggest that there may be more than her personal taste at work in how he is guided here.
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#926944 - 11/10/07 08:34 PM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Piano*Dad and others - this morning I had a chance to listen to and play on a replica of a Heilmann piano from 1785. There were no pedals, but it sounded all the world like the pianist was pedalling. There was enough residual sustain to sound like a quarter to half pedal on a modern grand. Earlier in the week, while at WPPC, Peter Takacs (Oberlin Conservatory) gave us a lecture/demo on the subject of getting into the composer's head, and specially focused on Mozart. Of course, your son must follow his teacher's guidance, but I suggest that the two of you listen to some of Mozart's operas and see if you can find orchestral and vocal similarities between his operas and K333 (hint - there are plenty). That would be a great point of departure for forming the legato line and pedalling.
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#926945 - 11/11/07 04:09 AM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
If your working on K333 you MUST check out J C Bach's Sonata no 4 op 17 (Paris 1774) (Henle do a nice edition). Mozart and Bach were good friends. Both were in Paris in the summer of 1778 and as Arthur Hutchings says, '...there can be little doubt that they met'. Bar 19 should astonish you! In fact bar 1 is nearly identical.
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#926946 - 11/12/07 08:47 PM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5415
Loc: Orange County, CA
K. 333 is highly vocal. Maybe that's why I love it so much.

John--what else should I know about K. 333? More insight, please!
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#926947 - 11/13/07 10:21 AM Re: How much do you pedal Mozart?
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7300
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
You might ask yourself which group of instruments the left hand Alberti bass patterns sound like and ditto repeated blocked chords. To me, they sound like the string section underlaying the main melodies in the vocals (or winds).
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