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 Post subject: Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 no. 2 in A major
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:04 pm
Posts: 67
Location: East Yorkshire, England
Hello,

I've attached my recording of Beethoven's piano sonata opus 2 number 2 in A major.

The piece seems to be absent from the Piano Society section of Beethoven sonatas so I hope it's good enough to fill the gap.

The piece is a bit of a handful to say the least but well worth the effort.

I hope you enjoy it.

Regards
Mark

Beethoven - Sonata Op. 2 No.2 - 1: Allegro vivace (7:52)
Beethoven - Sonata Op. 2 No.2 - 2: Largo appassionato (7:09)
Beethoven - Sonata Op. 2 No.2 - 3: Scherzo - Allegretto (3:35)
Beethoven - Sonata Op. 2 No.2 - 4: Rondo - Grazioso (7:15)

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http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2459
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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 no. 2 in A major
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Hi Mark,
Your playing is overall quite competent. I think your best job is in movements 4 and 3. The first movement is mostly quite good but unfortunately suffers with the very obvious tempo changes where the LH part gets very "notey" with the triplets (e.g, at 0:30, 1:34, 2:30 etc.). The second movement just does nothing for me -- no matter by whom or how it's played. Thanks for the post. That was a lot of work!

Best,
Eddy

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


Last edited by musical-md on Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 no. 2 in A major
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:04 pm
Posts: 67
Location: East Yorkshire, England
Thanks for the comments Eddy.

The LH triplets are difficult to execute at speed.

I like the slow movements of Beethoven's early period sonatas but of course they're not all to everyone's liking.

Thanks again.

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 no. 2 in A major
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Posts: 302
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Well done, a veritable tour de force. This would benefit from a few improvements, but on the whole it's very nice.


Beethoven's metronome marks are widely considered to be questionable, and for the first movement 132 verges on the ridiculous, 120 is plenty fast enough, and even that is not necessary when it would be a struggle. It's more important to find a speed at which the semiquaver triplets (at about 0:30 and similar places) are reasonably comfortable, and then not to play the rest of the movement any faster.

I don't know what it is in the section from about 0:57 where the semiquavers start in the LH, but they seem to press a feeling of urgency upon the relative calm of the espressivo melody in the RH; maybe the LH is just a bit on the prominent side here.

This movement is quite long and IMO would lose very little by omitting the exposition repeat. You'll need to avoid that audible page turn noise at 4:03, especially since it comes again at 4:05.

In the 17th bar after the repeat, at about 4:20, there is an unexpected, and no doubt unintentional, prominent accent on the second semiquaver. At about 5:28 there must have been a lapse of concentration leading you to play all four of the upper notes as G#, instead of A and B for the middle ones, as indeed you do correctly four bars later.


The second movement, which I rather like, exposes what seems to be a curious tone quality of part of the register of your piano: I get the impression of a kind of resonant cavernous sound affecting the low notes which begin the movement, especially the E. Does it really sound like that in the room or could it be a side effect of where and how the microphones are placed? The somewhat comical quality of this sound jars slightly with the solemn, almost funereal, character of the movement (I did actually play it at a funeral once).

These plodding notes, by the way, are a little too long. The part is clearly marked "tenuto sempre" above (applying to the upper three voices) and "staccato sempre" below (for the plodding notes), and these bottom notes have staccato dots on them in addition to being written as semiquavers with semiquaver rests inbetween, the implication being that they should last roughly a demisemiquaver, but it sounds like you are playing them at pretty well full semiquaver value (as though they were staccato quavers).

In bar 17 the LH notes are slurred in octaves, but you seem to start the slurring already in the last beat of the previous bar (about 1:25), where the last two notes ought still to "plod".

At the coda (about 5:06) your ff is sudden, I have a hairpin crescendo in the previous bar and a half building up to it, but that may just be editorial. However, you have allowed your tempo to creep up too much before you arrive here, so that when you play the return theme at the right speed (relative to the beginning) one really notices that the brakes have come on. It might almost be an idea to play the whole movement a notch or two faster if this were to eliminate the temptation to speed up in the lyrical bits.


In the scherzo, I reckon the first notes of bars 1, 2, and 3 (and all similar places) need to be shorter, given that they are marked staccato even though still within the slur from the semiquaver group which announces them. You may not be aware of doing it, but you're lengthening the first chord of bars 4 and 8 by about half a beat, despite sticking to the correct rhythm in equivalent bars 12 and 16.

You insert an unwritten crotchet rest into the last bar of the scherzo (1:04). Naughty! A gap before and after the trio is quite all right, of course, especially if the trio is going to be a touch slower, but there shouldn't be one on the scherzo repeat.


The last movement is pretty OK, really. Occasionally a little too much pedal blurs what's going on. I like how you manage to fit in all those notes in the 1st bar after the second change of key back to the major (3:50) without getting behind much, or at all in the 5th and 13th bars (4:00 and 4:18), but take care not to celebrate these successes by speeding up in the 7th and 15th bars (4:04 and 4:22).


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 no. 2 in A major
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9496
Location: Netherlands
I listened to parts of the 1st and 4th movements (I find Beethoven sonatas always far more fun to play than to listen to). Clean and solid playing as we are used to from you. Little need to pick on details, you already had your master class from Rainer. I agree that your slowing down for the difficult runs in mvt 1 (and I thought I heard similar, if less obtrusive, in the 4th mvt) is a bit too much. Maybe it's better to keep the thrust and momentum at all times, even if it means taking risks. I believe Beethoven would have done that, being no man of compromises.
The piano sound seems a bit dull and constricted. IIRC your previous recordings sounded better (e.g. the Griffes). It this an acoustic ?

But these are certainly more than good enough for the site (I hadn't expected otherwise). I am in the process of putting them up.
The ID3 tags were not quite up to standard, I've fixed them for now, but next time please refer to
http://pianosociety.com/new/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5115&p=51530
In particular the "Title" tag needs to be 100% correct. See attached image for how that should look.


Attachments:
File comment: How the ID3 tags should have looked...
id3.jpg
id3.jpg [ 28.4 KiB | Viewed 2672 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 no. 2 in A major
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:04 pm
Posts: 67
Location: East Yorkshire, England
Thanks for the replies Rainer and Techneut.

Sound : the room is very dull and using directional microphones also reduces any reverberation picked up. I need an extra microphone or two to sort that out. For my previous recordings I added some reverberation using Adobe Audition. I will add some to make it sound warmer and resubmit the recordings if that's okay - (sorry about the ID tags).

Triplets : I tried recording the first movement at a lower speed to accommodate the LH triplets but it just seemed to drag a little too much.

Risk : I tend not to risk and err on the side of caution which I agree is not necessarily the best approach with Beethoven.

"E sound" : I didn't pick up the cavernous sound you refer to - it could be the position of the microphones. I felt that playing the notes too staccato in a dry room wasn't the best approach as it seemed a little too harsh so I used some pedal on each note - maybe too much in this case.

Page turn : the page didn't turn immediately so I had to hit it twice, hence the two noises within 2s.

Rainer wrote :

Quote:
but take care not to celebrate these successes by speeding up in the 7th and 15th bars (4:04 and 4:22).
. Yes, I was celebrating alright !

Thanks for the detailed comments Rainer I'll bear those in mind.

Regards

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http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2459
Videos : http://www.youtube.com/user/MarkBPiano


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 no. 2 in A major
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:51 am 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 715
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Nicely played; a few nit-picks here and there, but nothing significant. Enthusiasm and care for the music comes across in this performance. I must however say a few things about this sonata. I truly believe it is one of the weakest Beethoven sonatas, even when compared to its op.2 companions. The F min seems like Beethoven being a Beethoven version of Haydn, the C maj like Beethoven being young Beethoven, and this one is like inexperienced pre-Schubertian prolixity with very little Beethoven at all (cf op.90 last movement, where he does know how to do it). I played the op.2 set many years ago, and could just never agree with this sonata! The first and second movements I have particular problems with; the slow movement in op.2 no.1 is rather beautiful, but this one just seems dull and over-long (no fault of yours, I can't imagine anyone rescuing it). The third movment and fourth movements you make the best of I think; a certain lightness in the Scherzo, and I really liked the expressive and musical way in which you handled the ascending arpeggio gestures in the fourth.


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 no. 2 in A major
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:04 pm
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Location: East Yorkshire, England
I've added some reverberation to make a more resonant sound and so these could replace the earlier ones.

Attachment:
beethoven-2-2-1-budd.mp3 [9.01 MiB]
Downloaded 99 times

Attachment:
beethoven-2-2-2-budd.mp3 [8.19 MiB]
Downloaded 92 times

Attachment:
beethoven-2-2-3-budd.mp3 [4.12 MiB]
Downloaded 101 times

Attachment:
beethoven-2-2-4-budd.mp3 [8.31 MiB]
Downloaded 97 times


Thanks for the comments Andrew. I'm surprised at the general antipathy to the 2nd movement - I must say I'm very fond of the early sonata slow movements but then each to ther own I suppose. But without doubt the 3rd and 4th movements are the strongest of the 4.

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Regards MarkB
http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2459
Videos : http://www.youtube.com/user/MarkBPiano


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 no. 2 in A major
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:04 pm
Posts: 67
Location: East Yorkshire, England
Chris,

I should have asked with my previous post, please can you replace the uploaded movements with the ones from my previous post. They sound a lot better with the reverb' added I think.

Also, I noticed on the site : http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=105 that the sonata is labelled as No. 1 in A major rather than No.2.

Thanks.

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 no. 2 in A major
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9496
Location: Netherlands
Ok Mark, I missed these. Will replace them tonight and correct the error. Have you got the ID3 tags all correct ? If not please redo them first.

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 Post subject: Re: Beethoven Sonata Opus 2 no. 2 in A major
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:04 pm
Posts: 67
Location: East Yorkshire, England
Thanks Chris.

The tags are set in the same way as those that you uploaded originally.

Regards
Mark


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