Beethoven sonata op. 49, no. 20

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Beethoven sonata op. 49, no. 20

Postby tommyy » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:46 am

Hi all.
Here's the first movement of Beethoven sonata op. 49, no. 20. It is a simple structured piece,considered as the easiest of all the Beethoven piano sonatas.It was most likely composed by Beethoven as pedagogical piece,which is given to his friends and students.
The first movement,Allegro ma non troppo is in sonata form, and the main theme is mainly based on a G major triad.

I'm working on the piece since January.It's my first upload.Any comments,suggestions,critics are welcomed.Thanks.

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Re: Beethoven sonata op. 49, no. 20

Postby pianoman342 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:58 am

Hi Tommy,

I don't think you have introduced yourself! In fact I am not sure your name is Tommy, correct me if I am wrong. Are you studying piano in school? How many years have you been playing?

I had a listen to your piece. I am somewhat familiar with it because one of my friends in my piano studio class played it last semester. She had trouble with the piece, and judging by me listening to this piece, you played just awful. And I mean awful. I wish I could say better, but welcome to the school of hard knocks :evil:

If you want some feedback here it is; first, there are many read errors in your performance. If I could recommend you a strategy, it would be to practice this piece. Not once, not twice, but make a routine of it, every day for x number of hours etc....

I thought your contrast in dynamics were good in some parts, but your tempo and phrasing could been a heck of a lot more consistent. If I were you I would practice this piece with a metronome. It may get boring, but it's the school of hard knocks

One question is, are you playing this on a digital piano? It sounded like distortion in some places and I wonder how you recorded this?

Hope this helps,

"I don't know what music is, but I know it when I hear it." - Alan Schuyler
Riley Tucker

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Re: Beethoven sonata op. 49, no. 20

Postby techneut » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:04 am

I have to agree with Riley on this. You will need to practice this slowly and deliberately, concentrating only on playing all the correct notes in strict time and absolutely even. Especially your LH triplets are littered with (read) errors. Do take the score in hand and scrutinize every bar. Listen to recordings on YT and make note of all you are doing wrong. Take care the LH does not drown out the RH. By all means take lessons (so you pay somebody to tell you all that I've just told you :lol: )
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer

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Re: Beethoven sonata op. 49, no. 20

Postby rainer » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:50 pm

Yes, it really is pretty bad, but nevertheless I get a feeling that you have plenty of musicality and talent within you, just bursting to come out, but you haven't yet reached the technical ability to let this happen.

One easy problem to fix is that the poor performance is made even worse by the poor quality of the recording. The input levels are set far too high, giving much clipping and hence distortion.

Also, if this is a cheap digital keyboard, on which the keys don't have the solid feel of those on a proper piano, stop now and get a real piano. You're doing yourself no favours otherwise, as far as gaining decent control over dynamics is concerned. It is possible that some of the lunges I mention below may be the result of this.

But let's look at some more simple things to fix, and dive straight in at the beginning.

Bar 1: The first chord is made up of minims (half notes). You play them as crotchets (quarter notes), i.e. you give them only one beat when they need two. As a result the whole bar only has three beats but wants four.

Bar 2: You lunge at (give too much weight to) the third beat. Observe the phrasing. The three notes beginning with the 2nd note of bar 2 should lead to (and very gently grow towards) the first note of bar 3, and then continue to grow even more to the little climax at the beginning of bar 4.

Bar 3: The 2nd RH note should be an A, not a B.

Bar 4: You fail to make the climax on the 1st note, and instead place a huge unwelcome accent on the 2nd note (the one with the trill). See my comment on bar 8 regarding the trill itself.

Bar 5: Same mistake as bar 1 in terms of the first chord being a beat too short.

Bar 6: You play this bar quite nicely. Now observe the similarity with bar 2. All the notes are the same except that in bar 6 they are an octave up, the only difference is that a few extra notes are added in the LH. So try to play bar 2 in the same style as you played bar 6, without the lunge I mentioned.

Bar 7: Same mistake as bar 3: you play the RH middle two notes as B B, they should be A B.

Bar 7: You lunge at (put an unwanted accent on) the 2nd last LH note (F).

Bar 8: You play the trill differently from the way you do it in bar 4. It's nice the you don't lunge at it, but here I'm talking about the actual notes you play. In bar 8 you play the trill as four semiquavers (16th notes) D C D C before arriving on the B of the 3rd beat, but in bar 4 I'm not sure what you're doing, it comes out as a bit of a blur. I think you're also playing 4 notes, but faster, and arriving at the B too early. You're failing to observe the small printed grace notes B C squeezed in between the trill and the 3rd beat B. The recommended way to play this trill including the two grace notes is as 5 notes CDCBC. Once you get better you could consider playing them as 7 instead (CDCDCBC). But you should certainly start on a C, not a D, because the previous note is a D, which you don't want to re-take, bearing in mind the legato context.

Bar 10: You lunge at the RH high D on the 2nd half of the 2nd beat.

Bar 14: There are 3 Es in the RH. The middle one should have less weight, because the 3rd on is on a more important beat and should be given the chance stand out a bit more.

Bars 15 to 19: This sounds a bit too mechanical because you are giving too much emphasis to the first note of each of the RH triplets. Although this piece is in 4/4 time, it might help you here to think of it more like 2/2. Each of the triplets should lead to and grow towards the following main note. di da da DUM, di da da DUM, not DI da da DUM, DI da da DUM.

Bars 20 to 35: This is much better than what we've had so far.

Bar 37: You really hammer away at this. Play it more like you do bar 41.

I that's about enough "free lesson" feedback for now. Hope it helps.

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Re: Beethoven sonata op. 49, no. 20

Postby pianolady » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:21 pm

Hi Tommy and welcome to Piano Society.
You've already gotten enough feedback that tells you that you need much more practice on this piece. But there are some places here that sound good - some of your runs are nice a clean. I do think whatever piano you are playing on is hindering your playing; there is a lot of unevenness in your attacks. If this is the piano you normally play on, then it's also hindering your practicing. You won't be able to improve your technique until you get on a better piano. Anyway, keep at it, you're off to a good start. :)
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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Re: Beethoven sonata op. 49, no. 20

Postby techneut » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:20 pm

I should have mentioned also that there is musicality in this recording; not all is bad by half. It just needs a lot more careful and meticulous work, with the metronome and the score as drill sergeants. Best to keep interpretation at bay until a certain level of accuracy is reached. I've found that you can treat almost any piece as an etude and learn a lot from trying to perfect it. Good luck, and try to get a decent piano !
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
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