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Beethoven on Beethoven : Playing His Piano Music His Way - William S. Newman

Beethoven on Beethoven

Playing His Piano Music His Way

Paperback Published: 1st September 1995
ISBN: 9780393307191
Number Of Pages: 336

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In this provocative new study, William Newman presents to the reader 'whatever intentions on Beethoven's part can be documented or can be supported by reasoning and analysis in the primary sources for his music.' His aim, in brief, is to get as close as possible to the performance practices Beethoven himself had in mind for his piano music, both solo and ensemble works.

Industry Reviews

A study of Beethoven's performing intentions that is meant as a guide to today's performing pianists, by noted musicologist Newman, author of the epic three-volume The History of the Sonata Idea and other works. Performers often put their own stamp on classical performances to the detriment of the composer's stated wishes. Here, Newman takes the entire Beethoven oeuvre for piano and, by going directly to any primary source available, attempts to direct today's pianist toward Beethoven's intentions. The ways in which a pianist can affect a composition are many, including choice of piano, tempo, ornamentation, articulation, and style of pedaling. While Newman attempts to discern Beethoven's purposes from the horse's mouth, the infrequency of the composer's written comments leads the author to resort to deductive reasoning and circumstantial evidence (e.g., Beethoven's instructions for an analogous composition might be deduced as his intention for a work at hand). The author also relies on associates of Beethoven (Ries, Czerny, Moscheles, and Schindler) who left useful comments on the composer's wishes. Newman demonstrates as well the differences between modern pianos and those of Beethoven's time; on a modern piano, certain left-hand chords are too heavy when played full out, forcing the modern performer to lighten them, "thereby reducing them to much more of an accompaniment than Beethoven conceived them to be." Newman is no hidebound traditionalist. He warns the performer to avoid the rigidity of uncomprising rules, and urges a consideration of Beethoven as a practical innovator. A fine addition, then, to a sparse literature that, in modern times, includes only the essays of Kenneth Drake, Grundmann, and Mies. (Kirkus Reviews)

Prefacep. 11
Orientationsp. 17
Definitions and Elaborations
The Scope and Plan of This Study
Some Background Information on Beethoven's Career
Beethoven's Output for Piano
The Sources of Information for This Book
Some Relevant Philosophies and Perspectives
Source Manuscripts and Editionsp. 31
Sketches and Autographs
Early Editions
Trends in Editing Beethoven Since Beethoven
Beethoven and the Piano: His Options, Preferences, Pianism, and Playingp. 45
First, Some Conclusions
A Consensus on Differences between Pianos Then and Now
A Prevailing View About Beethoven's Preferences
Beethoven's Pianos Summarized Chronologically
Actual Preferences and Ideals
The Range of Beethoven's Pianos
Piano Actions--English, French, and Viennese
The Pedals Available on Beethoven's Pianos
The Pianism of Beethoven Compared with That of Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert
Beethoven as a Performing Pianist
Tempo: Rate and Flexibilityp. 83
Its Elusiveness, Even with the Metronome
Some Previous Studies of Beethoven Tempo (Beck)
Four Other Studies of Beethoven Tempo
Applying Beck's "Rhythmic Character" to Moderate and Slower Tempos
Extending the Meaning of "Rhythmic Character"
Flexibility in the Pulse Rate
Structural and Historical Aspects of Beethoven Tempo
Articulation: The Demarcation and Characterization of Beethoven's Musical Ideasp. 121
Means, Uses, and Ways
Problems in Reading and Interpreting Beethoven's Slurs
Seven Tentative Explanations for Beethoven's Slurring
Pauses as Further Demarcators and Characterizers
Problems in Distinguishing and Interpreting Beethoven's Staccato Signs
Can Editors Help to Resolve the Ambiguity of Beethoven's Staccato Signs?
Beethoven's Signs and Uses for Accents
The Incise and Phrase as Guides to Rhythmic Grouping and Dynamic Directionp. 163
The Meaning of Incise
The Evolution of the Incise in Theoretical Writings
Beethoven's Supposed Annotations in Twenty-One Cramer Etudes
Rhythmic Grouping and Dynamic Direction as Revealed in Beethoven's Incises and Phrases
Realizing Beethoven's Ornamentationp. 189
Types, Evidence, and Studies
About Beethoven's Trills
Beethoven's Turns and Freer Short Embellishments
Short and Long Appoggiaturas
Further Expressive Factorsp. 227
Legato and Tone Production
Beethoven's Use of the Pedals
Summary of Beethoven's Use of Dynamics and Agogics
Some Broad, Structural Considerationsp. 256
Taking Larger Views Within a Movement
Interrelationships Among Movements of a Cycle
Keyboard Techniques as Both Clues and Consequencesp. 276
Beethoven's Own Technical Endowments and Attributes
His Use of the Basic Touches
His Exploitation of Idiomatic Techniques
Beethoven's Original Fingerings
A Few Afterthoughtsp. 301
Bibliographyp. 304
Beethoven's Works for Pianop. 323
Indexp. 331
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780393307191
ISBN-10: 0393307190
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 1st September 1995
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.49  x 2.67
Weight (kg): 0.52

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