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 Post subject: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:26 am 
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Hello all,

The next installment in my Haydn recording project. From this point onward, the sonatas increase relatively in importance and are IMO unarguably great, although this one is perhaps not as well known as it should be (there is no recording on the site yet). The first movement is rather spiky and dramatic (and my definite favorite of the three), the Adagio contemplative, and the third has a gypsy-ish melodic theme in the right hand accompanied by an almost incessant stream of Alberti bass passagework.

Thanks for listening,

Joe

Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34, I: Presto (4:00)
Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34, II: Adagio (4:10)
Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34, III: Vivace Molto (3:18)

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:06 pm 
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Very well played. I have several comments to make, but most of them are down to personal taste or editorial differences.

First movement:

I find in general that most of the pauses are too long.

In bar 8 (at about 0:10 and 1:15), I think a small subtle rit is permissible (despite none being marked in my edition (Martienssen)), but I find yours too much.

In the last bar of the first repeated section (both times, 1:03 and 2:10) you make a pause which isn't marked. Perhaps it is in your edition, but in the absence of such instruction I think it really should continue in strict time, both when going back and when going on.

In the half dozen bars from about 2:43, you play the LH notes staccato, my edition has them slurred (despite the RH being staccato).

Similarly, at about 3:32, you play this bar all staccato, my copy marks both of the ascending chromatic scales as (first 4 notes slurred with a stacc on the 4th, then 5th and 6th slurred), while the repeated Es have no marks.

Although nothing is marked, I do like the way you phrase off the very last 3 notes of the movement with only a hint of rit.

I have never previously been particularly aware of the dissonances of C# against D at about 2:22, and D# against E at about 3:00, where in both cases the LH note resolves to the note an octave below the RH note. When listening to you, the second of these two kind of jumped out at me whereas the first went by almost unnoticed. I'm wondering whether you're perhaps making too much of the second one.

Second movement:

In bar 1, I have the last 4 notes stacc. I don't think a very short stacc is meant, but merely that the notes should be shortened a little. You don't seem to be shortening them much at all, and are almost slurring the last note over the barline to the F# in bar 2.

In bars 3, 5, and 6, I have the last 8 notes as 5 stacc plus 3 slurred, but you slur the last 4.

At about 0:41, you tie the last note of bar 12 (a G) to the first note of bar 13. My copy has no such tie, and indeed has a stacc mark on the former.

At about 0:55, in the 4th last bar of the first section, where the RH has the long trill, the timing is incorrect. You are giving the 1/4 note rest in the LH a duration of 3/8. You also seem to be stretching the last beat of the bar, with the trill resolving late, and the first note of that next bar being consequently delayed. This happens both times.

At about 2:22, the last bar of the first section, the 3rd beat rest again seems to get 3/8 instead of 1/4, so the second section begins late. This only happens the 2nd time. When you repeated earlier, bar 1 began again more or less exactly when I expected it to.

In bar 2 of the next section, at about 2:27, there is again an extra 1/8 rest inserted.

In bar 10 of this 2nd section, at about 2:54, I have piu Adagio marked on beat 2 (i.e. 1/4 before the pause).

In the following bar, I have the pause on the first note (C#), you seem to be making it instead on the rest of the 3rd beat.

3 bars later, around 3:15, same comment as I made above for bars 3, 5, 6, although curiously in this case my copy does have all 4 notes slurred (possibly a misprint).
2 bars later, this time you do slur only the last 3 (as printed here), but in the next bar again you slur all 4.

Third movement:

In bar 1 (the first complete bar) what I have is the first 3 RH notes slurred and the 4th stacc. The tradition of the time was, or so I have been given to understand, that where the first note after a slur is shortened by a stacc, then the last of the slur should be similarly shortened. You aren't doing this, but in the 1st bar after the first change of key to 4# the phrasing is similar (0:34 and 0:43) and this time (and also 4 and 5 bars later) you do shorten the 3rd note. I think you should be playing bar 1 of the movement the same way.

In the next section (still 4#), at about 0:50 and 1:03 I have a turn (like 4 bars later) which your edition apparently hasn't because you aren't playing one, i.e. you play the RH the same as 2 bars earlier. My turn here has a "(#)" printed underneath, and consequently a printed natural sign on the E (2nd last RH note of the bar).

In the next section (change of key back to 1#), at about 1:20, looking at the last note of bar 6 and the first 2 notes of bar 7 in the RH, my edition has A tied to A, then stacc F#, but you play A slurred to F# followed by F# stacc.

Too much rit at 1:38 leading up to the pause, and also this pause feels a bit on the long side, especially as you are pausing on both chords. I think this bar should be played in one of two ways. Either a very short pause on the first (GCA) chord (as if it were an appogiatura with rit) leading swiftly to the second (GBG) chord which takes most of the duration of the pause. Or else play the first chord as a long pause but then play the 2nd chord as though it were a 1/4 note at the beginning of the bar. In both cases insert a 1/8 rest before the G upbeat to the following bar.

Moving on past the next change of key to 4#, 2nd section. The pause at 2:13 and again at 2:31. These are again a little longer than I would like, but not much. I'm wondering, given that you are repeating this section, whether it might be an idea to omit the pause first time round.

After the final change of key back to the minor, you play a turn at bar 9 (2:48) which my edition does not have.


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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:59 pm 
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Joe, these are on the site. I trust that they're are as good or better than all the others. I guess you'll be having a complete set before long.


Edit - Thanks for doing the ID3 tags. Apart from the missing "Album" tag (required value: http://pianosociety.com) they are perfect.

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:39 pm 
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Rainer,

Thanks for your articulate comments as always. To respond to your general comments, regarding slurs, my edition, which is Wiener-Urtext Universal, has very few, so many are my own editorializing (such as the staccati). On that note, I guess I would say I don't particularly like the Peters editions in general, because they often seem to make a bit of a stretch regarding the composers' intentions (if indeed we can even know what those really are). I find this particularly true for classic-period music like Haydn and Mozart, which in true Urtext form tends to be sparse with markings and dynamics (especially up until ca. the mid to late 1780s, with some added later as in the case of the great 1773 C minor sonata).

I agree that the "pauses" may not always be justified but in a couple of places, such as in measure 8 and toward the end of the exposition, there are fermatas (at least in my edition), so the rits are to accentuate those a bit.

I will look at all your specific comments carefully tonight with score and consider them for the future.

Thanks again,

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:44 pm 
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Quote:
Joe, these are on the site. I trust that they're are as good or better than all the others. I guess you'll be having a complete set before long.


Edit - Thanks for doing the ID3 tags. Apart from the missing "Album" tag (required value: http://pianosociety.com) they are perfect.


Thanks very much, Chris. I will include the "Album" tag from now on. Not to niggle, but I actually don't see this mentioned in the tagging rules (unless I missed it), where it says "This brings up the properties sheet – click the info tab. The ID3 tags we actually use are Name and Artist. We also recommend filling in the Year, Composer, and Genre." Maybe you should include to make sure that others see it as well.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:07 pm 
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jlr43 wrote:
Not to niggle, but I actually don't see this mentioned in the tagging rules (unless I missed it)
Well spotted. I have put it in. We'll need to do some more work on these rules for them to be absolutely clwear.

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:05 am 
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techneut wrote:
Apart from the missing "Album" tag (required value: http://pianosociety.com) they are perfect.
By the way, Chris, there is a bug in whatever automated procedure you use to add tags to your own recordings. :o
Your album tags come out as "http://pianosociety,com", with a comma instead of a dot before the "com". Of course it might not be a bug, it might be a deliberate act just to see how long it would take for anyone to notice. Well, now you know. :wink:

While on the subject of tags, may I ask why you want the composer tag to be surname-only? It seems to me that if the composer's surname already appears as part of the title tag, then there is no point in requiring a separate composer tag to exist as well, if all it is going to do is provide the same surname, unless (at least optionally) additional information (such as forenames) can be included there. I don't see why, if the artist is allowed to include forenames, the composer should not be accorded the same privilege. I would recommend saying that presence of the composer tag should be optional, and that if it is present, then the only restriction should be that it be consistent (in whatever way is appropriate) with whatever information is provided in the title tag, bearing in mind that the "surname" which appears there may well not be an actual pure surname, but disambiguated to show which Bach (or Schumann/Strauss/Mozart/whatever) is meant.


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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:43 am 
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rainer wrote:
Your album tags come out as "http://pianosociety,com", with a comma instead of a dot before the "com". Of course it might not be a bug, it might be a deliberate act just to see how long it would take for anyone to notice. Well, now you know. :wink:

That is courtesy of iTunes' autocompletion and history feature. I once made that mistake and now forever punished for it. Sometimes I notice and
sometimes I don't - the default font in iTunes makes it hard to distinguish. I have never been able to find out where iTunes stores that history so that I could delete it.

rainer wrote:
While on the subject of tags, may I ask why you want the composer tag to be surname-only? It seems to me that if the composer's surname already appears as part of the title tag, then there is no point in requiring a separate composer tag to exist as well, if all it is going to do is provide the same surname, unless (at least optionally) additional information (such as forenames) can be included there. I don't see why, if the artist is allowed to include forenames, the composer should not be accorded the same privilege. I would recommend saying that presence of the composer tag should be optional, and that if it is present, then the only restriction should be that it be consistent (in whatever way is appropriate) with whatever information is provided in the title tag, bearing in mind that the "surname" which appears there may well not be an actual pure surname, but disambiguated to show which Bach (or Schumann/Strauss/Mozart/whatever) is meant.
There is no point, it is just what we've done from the start, and change is NOT my friend. Obviously if a composer name is ambiquous we do add the initials but I've not been bothered to put that in the notes yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:28 am 
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Hi Joe,

I had a listen to your 34th Haydn Sonata in three movements. Your playing is to my ears is quite accomplished. I hear clarity in your passage work and you manage to outline the alberti bass chords cleanly and the tempo is very consistent which I think is rare to find in amateur pianists. That said, I don't think you are an amateur pianist, you couldn't be to have recorded these as well as you have!

Enjoyed listening to these,

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:03 pm 
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Ah, an old friend of mine: te only Haydn sonata I have learnt and so I know it more than somewhat. I enjoyed your playing and, if at fisrt being overwhelmed byyour speed, I soon adjusted and realised it semms quite adequate. I like the way you observe all repeats, which so often on commercial recordings are ommitted. You also do not fall into the common trap that all repeats must be different somehow from the first statement.

I own two volumes of Henle Verlag's selection of Haydn sonatas and this is the first of volume II. To avoid being branded as one who makes mistakes while playing, I still believe pianists ought to sumit also the publishers of their particular edition. Take for example the middle movement, of which Rainer observes (my comments in bold refer to the Henle Edition:)

Second movement:

In bar 1, I have the last 4 notes stacc. I don't think a very short stacc is meant, but merely that the notes should be shortened a little. You don't seem to be shortening them much at all, and are almost slurring the last note over the barline to the F# in bar 2.

I have staccatissimo.

In bars 3, 5, and 6, I have the last 8 notes as 5 stacc plus 3 slurred, but you slur the last 4.

In bars 3 ad 5 I have the same slurs, but with staccatissimo where you have staccato. Bar 6 has slurs on each group of 4.

At about 0:41, you tie the last note of bar 12 (a G) to the first note of bar 13. My copy has no such tie, and indeed has a stacc mark on the former.
I have the same tie.

At about 0:55, in the 4th last bar of the first section, where the RH has the long trill, the timing is incorrect. You are giving the 1/4 note rest in the LH a duration of 3/8. You also seem to be stretching the last beat of the bar, with the trill resolving late, and the first note of that next bar being consequently delayed. This happens both times.

At about 2:22, the last bar of the first section, the 3rd beat rest again seems to get 3/8 instead of 1/4, so the second section begins late. This only happens the 2nd time. When you repeated earlier, bar 1 began again more or less exactly when I expected it to.

In bar 2 of the next section, at about 2:27, there is again an extra 1/8 rest inserted.

In bar 10 of this 2nd section, at about 2:54, I have piu Adagio marked on beat 2 (i.e. 1/4 before the pause).
I have the same marking on the last beat, after the fermata.

In the following bar, I have the pause on the first note (C#), you seem to be making it instead on the rest of the 3rd beat.

3 bars later, around 3:15, same comment as I made above for bars 3, 5, 6, although curiously in this case my copy does have all 4 notes slurred (possibly a misprint).
2 bars later, this time you do slur only the last 3 (as printed here), but in the next bar again you slur all 4.

Last I take exception at Riley's comments that seem to equate amateur with amateurish. There are plenty of concert pianists who make a mess of anything they touch, while there are superb "amateurs" around from whom we would do well to learn.

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:17 pm 
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Quote:
Hi Joe,

I had a listen to your 34th Haydn Sonata in three movements. Your playing is to my ears is quite accomplished. I hear clarity in your passage work and you manage to outline the alberti bass chords cleanly and the tempo is very consistent which I think is rare to find in amateur pianists. That said, I don't think you are an amateur pianist, you couldn't be to have recorded these as well as you have!

Enjoyed listening to these,


Thanks much for listening, Riley, and for your praise. I am an amateur pianist but one who practiced scales and arpeggios fairly diligently in my youth, or teenage years to be more precise. 8) :P

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:35 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Take for example the middle movement, of which Rainer observes (my comments in bold refer to the Henle Edition:)

In bar 1, I have the last 4 notes stacc. I don't think a very short stacc is meant, but merely that the notes should be shortened a little. You don't seem to be shortening them much at all, and are almost slurring the last note over the barline to the F# in bar 2.

I have staccatissimo.

In bars 3, 5, and 6, I have the last 8 notes as 5 stacc plus 3 slurred, but you slur the last 4.

In bars 3 ad 5 I have the same slurs, but with staccatissimo where you have staccato.
There is not actually any editorial difference here as far as staccato vs staccatissimo is concerned. That is to say my edition also has those dagger-like wedge-shaped staccato marks everywhere, but I have simply called them staccato and not staccatissimo, on the grounds that in this period the various styles of staccato marks were often used interchangeably without any intention that the dagger-staccatos were necessarily to be played any shorter or more accented than the plain dot-staccatos. Dot-staccatos don't seem to occur in the piece at all, except within slurs to give slight separation (for example bar 12, the two syncopated G#s). I think one needs to exercise judgement about staccato note lengths, and in my view bar 1 would sound horrid and crass if really played staccatissmo. I guess in this whole movement all the stacc marks mean little more than non legato.
Quote:
Bar 6 has slurs on each group of 4.[/b]
Interesting that our editions agree in bars 3 and 5. Thinking about it, I prefer your version of bar 6 to mine.
Quote:
In bar 10 of this 2nd section, at about 2:54, I have piu Adagio marked on beat 2 (i.e. 1/4 before the pause).
I have the same marking on the last beat, after the fermata.
Looks like a mistake in my edition. It does seem to make more sense to have the marking after than before the fermata.


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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:05 pm 
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Quote:
Ah, an old friend of mine: te only Haydn sonata I have learnt and so I know it more than somewhat. I enjoyed your playing and, if at fisrt being overwhelmed byyour speed, I soon adjusted and realised it semms quite adequate.


Thanks, Richard. Good that you learned this one too. I was thinking it was odd that it wasn't on the site before I recorded it, but I guess while it is a very great sonata (IMO), it is somewhat unsung.

Quote:
I like the way you observe all repeats, which so often on commercial recordings are ommitted.


Actually, I do omit one -- for the second half of the first movement as I often do for a classical sonata movement in regular exposition-development-recap form.

Quote:
avoid being branded as one who makes mistakes while playing, I still believe pianists ought to sumit also the publishers of their particular edition.


Possibly, although to be honest I don't much believe in the sacrosanctity of the score. After all, the composers themselves who played their own works all the time, like Mozart and Chopin, would often play many different versions of the same pieces in performance with different touches, dynamics, and even notes in some instances. I don't think that a mere performer has leeway to change such "fixed" elements as notes and rhythms, but I think dynamics and touches surely fall under the umbrella of "interpretive elements." That is, once one has studied the score, one has some leeway in adjusting such elements to suit one's own conception (as long as one can justify it) because I think the composer himself only put them in as a guideline to his own conception of his own work. Dangerous territory perhaps nowadays, but I believe it is the only honest approach. Otherwise one would only be doing something one didn't believe in, and such an attempt risks failing to be convincing to listeners. Sorry if this is a bit of a diatribe but I think you raised an important and interesting issue here.

I also do admit that when I examined the score more closely (I was at work when I saw rainer's comments before), I saw that rainer was in fact right about many of the details he raised (i.e., they were my oversights rather than conscious decisions, although I actually don't like the slurs on those thirds to end the development in the first movement and would probably still play them staccato :P ). Always good to have a second set of eyes reviewing the nitty-gritty, and sometimes things tend to go a bit sour in the memory after a while.

Quote:
Last I take exception at Riley's comments that seem to equate amateur with amateurish. There are plenty of concert pianists who make a mess of anything they touch, while there are superb "amateurs" around from whom we would do well to learn.


Absolutely, and I definitely agree with this in principle. "Professional" becomes a loaded term when one attempts to apply it to anything other than what it, of course, literally means: one who does something for money. Yet such is the danger with the nature of words like adjectives: they take on a qualitative sense that is a bit hazy compared with the nouns from which they are often derived (it's why, IMO, they should be the words that good writers question more than any others). No one, I believe, could convincingly argue that there is just simply a rift between amateur and professional playing that in all cases makes "professional" playing better than "amateur" playing. In fact, you're right, it is often the reverse.

However, that said, I also believe there is a dangerous trap that some amateurs fall into (I'm certainly not saying you do) to think that because they or others seem to find their playing interesting or artistic, there are no basic standards for tempo, rhythm, evenness of touch, control, polish, freedom, etc. I think it is best to think of the word "professional" in this light. That these are standards that anyone, professional or amateur, should be striving to attain. And that, too, there is a general difference (but always individual exceptions) between the level of amateur playing and professional playing in these respects, no matter how much one may disagree with the player's interpretation. This is why the only thing in what you say I would take issue with is that professional pianists make a mess of anything they touch. Even professionals have their bad days, of course, and occasionally may even make messes, but they wouldn't survive in the market if they did this too often.

I would end with a disclaimer by saying that I in no way think I have ever met "professional" standards but that I always examine what they are and attempt to achieve them because in the end, it is what helps me improve.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:39 pm 
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I am aware that in that period very often staccato and staccatissimo are synonymous but at the same time I wonder what Haydn really wrote on the score.

I did not say all concert (a term I prefer to "professional" - a term I reserve for members of a profession, such as lawyers, physicians and so on) pianist always make a mess of everyuthing: I said some concert pianists sometimes make a mess of some of the things they play. That follows when you consider that you, as an amateur, can choose what to play, while very often the concert pianist must play works from the standard repertoire for which he might have little affinity.

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:19 am 
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Beautifully played and interpreted! Even my 12 year old daughter appreciated it (more into pop/rock) as we listened to it while eating breakfast. Couldn't resist advertise it on Twitter ;).

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 Post subject: Re: Haydn - Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI/34
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Quote:
Beautifully played and interpreted! Even my 12 year old daughter appreciated it (more into pop/rock) as we listened to it while eating breakfast. Couldn't resist advertise it on Twitter.


Thanks very much, Robert. And thank your daughter for listening too, even though it is not her cup of tea. :P

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