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Juan Diego Florez - "Quell'alme pupille" G. Rossini | La pietra del paragone (The Touchstone) - Vienna, 20 Jun 2020

The Peruvian tenor sings in Italian, so I don't have a fluffing clue what he is signing about but it is clearly an excellent performance.


 
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Yuja Wang plays chopin ballade 1 From Yuja Wang 's graduation recital on 16 October 2006 at the Curtis Institute of Music.

 
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VERY well played indeed.
One thing is sure, I'll never play it even close to that well.

But I do prefer to hear it played at a slightly slower tempo.
My sheet music states Adagio sostenuto "sustained".
Most tutorials I have used to learn to play the first movement,clock in at around 6-7 minutes. And at that tempo I feel I get enough time to really saviour some of the most amazing chords.
And to me Adagio means slow.
Why would he add sostenuto to the Adagio if he didn´t want it played sostenuto?
But many other great pianists like Barenboim also play at a similar faster tempo once the March theme begins.
But Beethoven also wrote Marcia funebre for his Eroica and that's a very slow March.
My guess is both from listening and playing the first movement of the Moonlight that he had an almost similar tempo in mind as for the Eroica?
And in spite of a imho, painfully slow Appassionata recording ,Glenn Gould played the Moonlight way too fast imho.
But I am happy to have bookmarked his superslow Appassionata ,very helpful when learning.
GG's Moonlight no thanks.
Levit's yes indeed.
Cheers CC

Good points as usual, Christer.

What tempo did Beethoven indicate on the autograph manuscript?
With His symphonies, there has been a recurring "controversy" over "literal" interpretations of His tempo markings (when there are any).
It may be something similar with his sonatas?

cheers
CM
 
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Nadine Sierra – Bernstein: West Side Story: Somewhere (Live/Opus Klassik 2019)


Giuseppe Verdi, La traviata - Sempre libera degg’io - Nadine Sierra and Matteo Lippi

 
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Christer

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Good points as usual, Christer.

What tempo did Beethoven indicate on the autograph manuscript?
With His symphonies, there has been a recurring "controversy" over "literal" interpretations of His tempo markings (when there are any).
It may be something similar with his sonatas?

cheers
CM
Hello CM,I don't think there is any reason to suspect that he indicated another tempo in his manuscript than in the first published version which was in 1802 which has both Adagio sostenuto and tutto siempre senza sordino. But apparently the first page of the manuscript is lost.
Oh yes lots of discussions around tempos and metronome indications regarding the symphonies. My only personal take in most cases is that too many conductors ignore the imho very important 1st violins on the left and 2nd violins on the right seating.
There are lots of dialogues between 1st and 2nd violins both in his symphonies and concertos that get lost with modern seating ie both together on the left.

And I prefer to hear the last movement of the 7th at whirlwind speed.
The only major problematic tempo choices in my collections is Klemperer whose Beethoven can sound embarrassingly slow to me.
"Schlafwandlerisch", at times.
But on the other hand no other conductor stressed Beethoven's sforzatos in the Eroica with such force and power as Klemperer.
Very powerful indeed.
His HMV Philharmonia Eroica is one for the ages imho.
But I suspect Beethoven originally intended it for Napoleon. I've seen that orginal mauscript in Vienna and the force with which Beethoven had rubbed out the dedication on the cover leaves me in no doubt at all that he was indeed upset when Napoleon had made himself Empereror.
Anyway,
few orchestras can cope with the last movement of the 7th at top speed. But Karajan whipped up his BPO to intoxicating speed from the 70s and on.
He said, now they can play it at the tempo I could hitherto only hear in my head,or something similar.
Back to the Moonlight sonata 1st movement, imho there is such an abundance of rich sonorous chords to indulge in there, that I don't want to hear or play them in a hurry.
The indication "tutto siempre senza sordino" also strenghtens my argument, not to hurry.
Too fast with pedal it can tend to become a bit blurred.
None of that from Levit though, he plays with a clarity and pulse that is really enviable.

And like my old favourite pianist Wilhelm Kempf he plays both without sheet music and with closed eyes almost thoughout,amazing.
I only get to bar 20, or there around, and then my memory still fails me most times.
And from there, there are still over 40 wonderful bars to play.
PS .Did you notice that Die Salzburger Festspiele 2020 did allow an audience at some concerts at the Centenary in August.
If I had known, I would have gone there.
It's been too many years since last time.

Cheers CC
 
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Hello CM,I don't think there is any reason to suspect that he indicated another tempo in his manuscript than in the first published version which was in 1802 which has both Adagio sostenuto and tutto siempre senza sordino. But apparently the first page of the manuscript is lost.
Oh yes lots of discussions around tempos and metronome indications regarding the symphonies. My only personal take in most cases is that too many conductors ignore the imho very important 1st violins on the left and 2nd violins on the right seating.
There are lots of dialogues between 1st and 2nd violins both in his symphonies and concertos that get lost with modern seating ie both together on the left.

PS .Did you notice that Die Salzburger Festspiele 2020 did allow an audience at some concerts at the Centenary in August.
If I had known, I would have gone there.
It's been too many years since last time.

Cheers CC
Hi Christer,

Fully agreed on the violin division! I recently acquired the hi-res of Blomstedt's recent Leipzig cycle, where he preserves the divided violins, like Klemperer so long ago (in fact, Blomstedt had reintroduced this to the Gewandhausers many years ago, and they happily kept it, even when Chailly took over). That makes a big difference in my enjoyment of these warhorses.

Damn shame that so many concerts had to be cancelled worldwide. But at least there are some signs of a return to normalcy, as you stated with the Salzburgers.

cheers
CM
 
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