"...I agree with you about the difficulty of slow movements and of this one in particular, when played slowly. I was always taught that it is easier to go through the Revolutionary Etude at 240 mph than to takle this adagio. After all, as long as one does not stop no one will notice a wrong note or a muddled passage, now, miss one of those triplets in the Beethoven!..."
I really did not think that consciously about the tempo in the first movement. I just wanted to be sure the melody line came out.
I've heard it played faster and have played it faster, but for some reason, when I recorded it I played it very slowly. Perhaps
it was the beauty of the piano that prompted the tempo. I wanted the sound to linger more.
As far as the second movement goes, I just like it like that. It feels like a song with lyrics like "The sun is out, today, today". Perhaps
this is as unscholarly as it gets, but this is how I played it in my classroom while glancing out the window.
It is very pastoral to me and very nature like and I did not feel like rushing through it. The whole sonata seems like three
panels of nature. The first is the night with the moonlight, the second is a nature scene on a mountain and the third is a terrible storm.
That is how I simplify the sonata.
I like also a slow tempo for the first movement but here it is too slow for me, although I do not care much about the fact that according to alla breve
sign at the beginning of the score, the exact tempo should be much faster : it is adagio
(56-76) when counting the half notes (not the quarter notes).
Anyway, congratulations to you, Kaila !
For me, it is about the balance between the left and right hands and the lyricism. It is an interesting argument you present for a faster tempo.
You may be absolutely correct about this, but I have no real definite opinion about the tempo of the first movement.