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piano vs fortepiano

  • piano

    Votes: 12 66.7%
  • fortepiano

    Votes: 6 33.3%
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"The frustration with playing Mozart, and I think the problem that many performers on the modern piano face - is that there is this constant battle between the instrument that we have at our disposal, let's say the Steinway, and the music in question.

And so as a young pianist, you grow up playing these pieces, and everyone yells at you all the time about playing "mezzo piano", and gracefully, and "grazioso", and not too heavy here, and don't bend too hard, and phrasing and all this..
And it was very clear to me early on that this couldn't be right. The man who is precocious, and full of attitude, and has all these strong ideas, and a very high opinion of himself as well, could not be the same person who plays this kind of constant "mezzo piano" on the Steinway.

So when I discovered the fortepiano, I suddenly could play in an unbelievably visceral, dramatic style. I could play very "fortissimo" and very "pianissimo", and the scale of the piano didn't go too far. It went just far enough that one could recapture this sense of Sturm und Drang and tempestuousness that I'm sure is present in Mozart's music and that he would have wanted.."
I think the "masses" are "brainwashed" into thinking the terrible run-on sentences they hear in non-HIP Mozart performances are what Mozart actually intended.


"there is the famous D minor Concerto, which has this theme in the piano... ( A-A'-C# ) ( E-D-D ) ... As we can see, in the score, these connecting slurs, are very, very clearly marked by Mozart, and they separate this...( A-A'-C# )... from this...( E-D-D )... In my opinion, that's what the expression is.

Let's play it over here on the Steinway. I don't believe it's really possible to do this here because if I separate... Those separations sound very artificial. The reason again that they do, is here is this large powerful instrument that is endeavoring to carry the tone for a long time and I'm cutting it off in the middle of its singing.

I'm sure there are people who think ( A-A'-C#-E-D-D ) is more expressive than ( A-A'-C# ) ( E-D-D ). But it's absolutely there in the score, and it really is, in my opinion, the essence of Mozart. You know there are sketches of Mozart, incomplete scores of Mozart. In Piano Concerto K537, he didn't even bother to write in the left hand, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Concerto_No._26_(Mozart)#The_unfinished_keyb oard_part but there's never a single bar without these articulation slurs - because they are what makes the music speak - and that's what they thought in the 18th century. "Music is like speech and it must be inflected properly.""
"People sometimes say that if Mozart or Beethoven knew the Steinway, let's say, that they would have preferred it. I would say that there's no way that we could prove that one way or another, but one thing is rather clear- to the extent that masters such as they would have written exactly the pieces they wrote, for the Steinway rather than the instruments which they had, to that extent- they would be rather poor composers. Because one writes for the acoustical and aesthetic properties of the instruments at hand and one cannot separate the master works of music from the forces and the instruments and the vocal training, which is associated with these things."
"It doesn't mean that we can be sure that everything we do will be identical with that which was done 200 years or more ago but it certainly gives us a sense of what is expected because every instrument wishes to be played in a certain way, and you either learn that, and you get the instrument to sound the way it wants to sound, and then it will do anything for you. Or you fight it and if you fight it, you will lose the battle."
 
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