Right now I’m writing a magazine article that returns to a topic I was discussing in print half a year ago, so I’d like to give readers of this blog a chance to ‘catch up’ with one or two of the issues involved, if they care to.
For this, I need to post clips of three different performances of the same movement — which is the famous first movement of Beethoven’s famous Piano Sonata in C minor, the so-called Pathétique (1798-9) — yes, that’s right: the famous one.
As always, my firm and sincere preference is that people should hear and experience the music before it gets discussed in detail, so I’m going to post the clips and then get back to my article. All three performances are different in major ways — just look at the timings of the last two! And it isn’t just tempo: they actually present different structures — as a result of a couple of musicological disagreements that my article examines (and which this blog will also discuss, once everyone has heard all the clips!). And, no, I’m not going to tell anyone what they ‘need to listen out for’: you’ll just have to use your ears — like people used to…
Anyway, that’s enough talk; here are the clips…
One structure (and a score to follow, if you care to…):
A different structure:
And another different structure:
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