Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Piano vs. Fortepiano

  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Piano vs. Fortepiano

    You haven't really heard the Waldstein, Moonlight, Hammerklaver until you've heard these played on a piano from Beethoven's time, such as the Graf, Walter, Schantz etc. It's like seeing an old master restored to its former glory, with all the muck removed.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    [sarcasm]Rod, you dare to suggest that the great emotional depth of Beethoven should be played on weak, rinky-dink fortepianos?? Everyone knows that the period instrument craze is only appropriate for the sterile, emotionless music-box music of Haydn/Luchesi and Mozart/Luchesi. Beethoven requires a sound such as only a modern instrument can give.[/sarcasm]

    Haha sorry, I couldn't resist. But you're absolutely right. I find the Hammerklavier on fortepiano to be especially magical. It adds an entirely new dimension towards understanding just what Beethoven was doing with these sonatas, in relation to his own time.

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leporello87 View Post
    [sarcasm]Rod, you dare to suggest that the great emotional depth of Beethoven should be played on weak, rinky-dink fortepianos?? Everyone knows that the period instrument craze is only appropriate for the sterile, emotionless music-box music of Haydn/Luchesi and Mozart/Luchesi. Beethoven requires a sound such as only a modern instrument can give.[/sarcasm]

    Haha sorry, I couldn't resist. But you're absolutely right. I find the Hammerklavier on fortepiano to be especially magical. It adds an entirely new dimension towards understanding just what Beethoven was doing with these sonatas, in relation to his own time.

    Nice one, you had me going the there for a minute! I have the Paul Badura-Skoda set of Beethoven Sonatas on CD performed on genuine fortepianos (ie not copies), which is a mixed bunch in terms of recorded sound and also interpretation, but he does pretty well with the late sonatas. Though he is fairly swift with the Hammerklavier using a Graf from the 1820s I would have liked a touch more pace, a la Schnabel, but this set is no longer available in any case if you haven't got it. I think B's metronome marks should be taken seriously. But there are quite a few other fp recordings too if you look around that these at least give you a glimpse of what could be be done in the right hands.

    Paul Brautigam is currently recording the complete sonatas on the BIS label, so far up to vol 4 using a five octave Walter copy for the earlier pieces, a good copy it seems. All good reviews so far.

    I'm not really a fan of the English fps, even Beethoven's Broadwood. They sound rather brassy and mechanical compared the the Viennese. You may be aware Melvyn Tan recorded some variations and bagatelles with the Broadwood, good in places, awful in others. I have a recording from the 60s of Op 110 with B's own Graf piano that is fantastic even though the piano doesn't sound in the best condition.


    I'm waiting for a good rendition of the Diabelli Variations on fp. the recordings by Paul Komen and Edmund Battersby are pretty awful, though the potential can be seen on the occasion when they get things right.

    I think these Variations are probably the greatest challenge for the interpreter, I would say probably the greatest piano composition of all (and not just B's), if I was forced to chose one.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Corkin View Post
    I have the Paul Badura-Skoda set of Beethoven Sonatas on CD performed on genuine fortepianos (ie not copies), which is a mixed bunch in terms of recorded sound and also interpretation, but he does pretty well with the late sonatas.
    This is one of the few versions of Beethoven sonatas on fortepiano which I've listened to, and regretfully, not even all of them. I don't own them (just listened to in libraries), so I guess I'm out of luck on this set, but I am hoping soon to be able to invest in a copy of the whole cycle on fortepiano.

    Paul Brautigam is currently recording the complete sonatas on the BIS label, so far up to vol 4 using a five octave Walter copy for the earlier pieces, a good copy it seems. All good reviews so far.
    I've been following this with great interest. I will try out a couple volumes, and perhaps from there work towards the whole cycle.

    I'm waiting for a good rendition of the Diabelli Variations on fp.
    Ditto!

    I think these Variations are probably the greatest challenge for the interpreter, I would say probably the greatest piano composition of all (and not just B's), if I was forced to chose one.
    It almost seems ludicrous to choose one, doesn't it? You may just have a case though

  5. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I recommend you invest in the Brautigam set, I think pound for pound it will turn out superior to Badura-Skoda's. I have too many fp recordings already of these pieces to think about buying more (including some earlier Beethoven recordings by Brautigam), though I may yet reverse this decision...!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Corkin View Post
    I recommend you invest in the Brautigam set, I think pound for pound it will turn out superior to Badura-Skoda's. I have too many fp recordings already of these pieces to think about buying more (including some earlier Beethoven recordings by Brautigam), though I may yet reverse this decision...!
    Maybe sell one of your other versions, and use the funds towards purchasing the Brautigam?

    I will look soon into some of the Brautigam. This, combined with more music of Handel, is starting to get expensive! Not to mention trying to track down works by Luchesi, Myslivecek, and Kraus to figure out how believable this whole Mozart Jesuit conspiracy theory is.

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leporello87 View Post
    Maybe sell one of your other versions, and use the funds towards purchasing the Brautigam?

    I will look soon into some of the Brautigam. This, combined with more music of Handel, is starting to get expensive! Not to mention trying to track down works by Luchesi, Myslivecek, and Kraus to figure out how believable this whole Mozart Jesuit conspiracy theory is.
    It's not a matter of selling, it's a matter of convincing my wife! I've heard a few of Robert's Luchesi disks, early Classical period sounding, though some of it does sound very Mozartian (ooer..).

  8. #8
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Corkin View Post
    It's not a matter of selling, it's a matter of convincing my wife!
    Oh, I see. That could be much more difficult! Though I can't see why she would be unwillingly. Complete cycles of Beethoven sonatas on fortepiano is a clear case of "the more, the merrier."

    I've heard a few of Robert's Luchesi disks, early Classical period sounding, though some of it does sound very Mozartian (ooer..).
    Haha, well that's it then, I'm convinced! I've only heard a few Luchesi works, including one symphony supposedly from the 1780's that Robert sent me. So far, I don't hear a great deal of Mozart in these, but some passages are surprisingly Haydnesque!

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leporello87 View Post
    So far, I don't hear a great deal of Mozart in these, but some passages are surprisingly Haydnesque!
    Yes but if Luchesi had composed every symphony attributed to Haydn nobody here would care!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Corkin View Post
    Yes but if Luchesi had composed every symphony attributed to Haydn nobody here would care!
    Haha, yes, that's probably true -- with the exception of Handel (the forum member), who did not sound pleased last time you made that assertion.

  11. #11
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leporello87 View Post
    Haha, yes, that's probably true -- with the exception of Handel (the forum member), who did not sound pleased last time you made that assertion.
    My point is actually that this shows there are double standards about what you can say about whom....

  12. #12
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Well, that's of course true. Mozart's always a favorite -- brilliant child prodigy, first symphony at 8, scores upon scores of masterpieces in every genre, yet sadly misunderstood as Vienna allowed him to die a tragically early death in poverty, with not even a grave marker. It's a heartbreaking story that almost anyone can get behind. If Beethoven were being called a fake, you can be sure that would start a storm too. But Haydn? Who cares about Haydn? Most people can't even remember how to spell his name -- does the Y come first, or the D?

    By the way, you may be interested to know that I'm currently working on a conspiracy theory related to Beethoven and Schubert, as it turns out there is convincing evidence both composers were being supplied by an obscure composer definitely not on any radar screen.

    While there's no doubt that Andrea Luchesi is responsible for some of Beethoven's earlier work, such as the piano quartets and the Joseph/Leopold cantatas, it still remains to be shown that his later work is also faked.

    Coming to a Forum near you!!

  13. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leporello87 View Post
    Well, that's of course true. Mozart's always a favorite -- brilliant child prodigy, first symphony at 8, scores upon scores of masterpieces in every genre, yet sadly misunderstood as Vienna allowed him to die a tragically early death in poverty, with not even a grave marker. It's a heartbreaking story that almost anyone can get behind. If Beethoven were being called a fake, you can be sure that would start a storm too. But Haydn? Who cares about Haydn? Most people can't even remember how to spell his name -- does the Y come first, or the D?

    By the way, you may be interested to know that I'm currently working on a conspiracy theory related to Beethoven and Schubert, as it turns out there is convincing evidence both composers were being supplied by an obscure composer definitely not on any radar screen.

    While there's no doubt that Andrea Luchesi is responsible for some of Beethoven's earlier work, such as the piano quartets and the Joseph/Leopold cantatas, it still remains to be shown that his later work is also faked.

    Coming to a Forum near you!!
    Well a prodigy in itself means little in itself, Mozart's juvenile works make for interesting divertimenti, but little more. Though ironically I prefer some of this stuff to his later stuff, whoever composed it! I think maybe Mendelssohn was if anything a greater prodigy, but sank into mediocrity virtually the day his voice broke.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Corkin View Post
    Well a prodigy in itself means little in itself, Mozart's juvenile works make for interesting divertimenti, but little more. Though ironically I prefer some of this stuff to his later stuff, whoever composed it! I think maybe Mendelssohn was if anything a greater prodigy, but sank into mediocrity virtually the day his voice broke.
    Yes, it's really just the extent of the prodigy's skills and, more importantly, how it develops and blossoms with time. So many child prodigies just fizzle out and don't go anywhere. Mozart is a case where many different skills came together in one person and continued to mature as he got older. (At least, I think...) So that increases his appeal, but the child prodigy part of it makes it more interesting than if he simply wrote great music as an adult. I would agree that of the two, Mendelssohn was the greater prodigy, but yes -- he appears to be one of a select few whose music declined in quality as he aged!

    I notice you didn't have anything to say about the fact that Beethoven was supplied most of his great music

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 23
    Last Post: Nov-14-2018, 03:41
  2. Playing Bach at the piano
    By Rafael in forum Keyboard Instruments
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: Jun-17-2018, 06:07
  3. Replies: 42
    Last Post: Jan-24-2018, 16:44
  4. Favourite Solo Piano Works
    By Topaz in forum Solo & Chamber Music
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: Apr-23-2013, 21:14

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •