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Luis
11-05-2000, 11:48 PM
The other day a saw a CD with a Mahler orchestral arrangement of B’s string quartet No. 11, op.95. I didn’t listen it because I was running out of time but I have some curiosity on this issue now. Do you know some other good or interesting arrangements of B’s work?

Peter
11-06-2000, 12:12 AM
The only acceptable arrangement is B's own arrangement of his Sonata in E Op.14 for string quartet - No others should be tolerated ! (I'm not particularly fond even of B's own arrangement of the Violin concerto for piano).Mahler also 'touched' up the orchestration of the symphonies and I think even the 'Hammerklavier' Op.106 may have been orchestrated. The Violin Concerto has also been arranged for Clarinet - really nothing is to be gained and much lost by these arrangements - Beethoven should be left alone - after all, he gave us perfection and no one really has the right to tinker about with the original.

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'Man know thyself'

Michael
11-06-2000, 02:36 AM
Don't forget B's arrangement of his Second Symphony for piano trio and his four-hand arrangement of the Grosse Fugue - both well worth a listen.
Michael

chrisg
11-06-2000, 03:29 AM
Originally posted by Peter:
The only acceptable arrangement is B's own arrangement of his Sonata in E Op.14 for string quartet - No others should be tolerated <snip> - Beethoven should be left alone - after all, he gave us perfection and no one really has the right to tinker about with the original.


Another I find more than tolerable is the Charles Alkan solo piano arrangement of the first movement of Piano Concerto #3. For those not familiar with Alkan, he was Chopin's friend and next door neighbor for a time. Lizst knew him and his music well, and once remarked that Alkan was the only pianist in the world he felt intimidated by. The guy's music shows why; some of the most hair raisingly difficult piano music ever written.

Back to the arrangement. Alkan remains very faithful to the original for the most part, and somehow manages to get everything out of ten fingers. I say "for the most part" because Alkan tosses in an extended cadenza, complete with a thrilling passage from the finale of the 5th Symphony. This is available as part of a staggering recital by Marc-Andre Hamelin, "Live at Wigmore."

Adding the obvious, all of the Liszt transcriptions of the symphonies make for wonderful listening. Cyprien Katsaris gets my vote for these.

ChrisG

Luis
11-06-2000, 04:03 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Peter:
[B]The only acceptable arrangement is B's own arrangement of his Sonata in E Op.14 for string quartet

I have it. I like it.

- No others should be tolerated !

I don't agree.

(I'm not particularly fond even of B's own arrangement of the Violin concerto for piano).

Neither do I!

- 'Hammerklavier' Op.106 may have been orchestrated.

(Yes, by Weingarter, but I haven't find it yet)

- really nothing is to be gained and much lost by these arrangements -

(yeah, maybe)

Beethoven should be left alone - after all, he gave us perfection

(I can't discuss the last part!!!!)

- and no one really has the right to tinker about with the original.

(Personally, I don’t like conductors/performers that are supposed to be conducting/performing a “Beethoven work” and are actually doing another thing, because people who are listening or buying their interpretations are expecting to hear just “Beethoven”. But if the particularity of the interpretation or arrangement is explicit, I would let the people who are listening to it to determine if they like it or not. Maybe nothing is to be gained and probably they would like the original more, but the terms “more” or “less” don’t mean much here. If so, you would only listen only ONE version (which one you have considered the BEST) of a symphony; or you would think as Rod about period instruments -Because there is no doubt that is more “Beethoven”-). As I said on another thread, I can enjoy music without the comparison point (the “best” version or the “most” authentic) become absolute.

If there is an ethical issue behind this (respect to the composer original intentions), I don’t care so much. I my opinion the occasion while I’m listening to music is more an event of personal delight than a ritual in honor to the absolute geniusness of the composer.

Regards, Luis.

chrisg
11-06-2000, 04:41 AM
Luis,

I'm new around here, so I'm not positive how literally to take Peter. Maybe he could have added one of those smiley things http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/wink.gif.

Looks like neither of you likes the Piano arrangement of the Violin Concerto. I'm curious as to which recordings you've heard of it.

cg

Luis
11-06-2000, 05:14 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by chrisg:
[B]Luis,

I'm new around here, so I'm not positive how literally to take Peter. Maybe he could have added one of those smiley things http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/wink.gif.

I sometimes sound http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/frown.gif but I have a total http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/smile.gif attitude here and don't have any kind of trouble with nobody. It's just my English (which is awful) that makes me not understand this http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/smile.gif http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/frown.gif kind of things or express myself more clearly.

Looks like neither of you likes the Piano arrangement of the Violin Concerto. I'm curious as to which recordings you've heard of it.

Well, about the Piano arrangement of Op. 61. I think the expressiveness of the piece is can only be reached by the violin and neither it sounds like a piano concerto. My version might be not the best (Béla Drahos conducting the Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia with Jenö Jando at the piano, for Naxos) but I doubt another could surpass that problem.

Greetings, Luis.

Peter
11-06-2000, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by chrisg:
Luis,

I'm new around here, so I'm not positive how literally to take Peter. Maybe he could have added one of those smiley things http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/wink.gif.

Looks like neither of you likes the Piano arrangement of the Violin Concerto. I'm curious as to which recordings you've heard of it.

cg

My views are always very clear ! One has to remember why arrangements were originally made - for the music loving public to perform and hear great works in there own home and as a source of extra revenue for the composer - as almost everyone has access to either recordings or concerts these day they really are redundant.When B arranged the sonata in E for quartet, he said he was convinced that no one else could have done it - those words should be enough to warn others from unnecessarily (and that is the point - it is unnecessary)tampering with the original. I don't recall the version of the arr. violin concerto I heard (it was a while ago) but remember B was specially asked to write it by Clementi as he felt that as a violin concerto it would recieve few performances in England - No one can possibly say that the piano version is preferable to the original - nor are Liszt's transcriptions (no matter how fine) of the symphonies - Liszt lived in an age when it was considered quite acceptable to virtually rewrite a composer's work - Chopin was frequently horrified by these embellishments.

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'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 11-06-2000).]

Peter
11-06-2000, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by Luis:
If so, you would only listen only ONE version (which one you have considered the BEST) of a symphony; or you would think as Rod about period instruments -Because there is no doubt that is more “Beethoven”-). As I said on another thread, I can enjoy music without the comparison point (the “best” version or the “most” authentic) become absolute.

If there is an ethical issue behind this (respect to the composer original intentions), I don’t care so much. I my opinion the occasion while I’m listening to music is more an event of personal delight than a ritual in honor to the absolute geniusness of the composer.

Regards, Luis.

The authentic instrument argument is completely different to the arrangement issue - as no tampering with the original notes of the score is involved. We must have respect for every dot marked on the score (by any composer) or else where do you draw the line ? - do you say 'well that performer left out half the first movement, but I liked the way he played the rest' ? do you say 'wasn't it novel to hear the opening bars of the 4th piano concerto thrashed out fortissimo' ? - NO NO NO !!!!! - Unless every detail is properly observed, you are not listening to Beethoven but a complete travesty.

------------------
'Man know thyself'

chrisg
11-07-2000, 01:30 AM
Well, about the Piano arrangement of Op. 61. I think the expressiveness of the piece is can only be reached by the violin and neither it sounds like a piano concerto. My version might be not the best (Béla Drahos conducting the Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia with Jenö Jando at the piano, for Naxos) but I doubt another could surpass that problem.

Luis,

I havent' heard this one, but I'd expect this combination to be OK at worst. I've discarded a few boring ones, and remember Barenboim as being particularly dull. The performance that changed my mind about the piano version is by Olli Mustonen / Jukka-Pekka Saraste on London. The approach is very much like the real thing with Heifetz / Munch, which is to say it's not the usual too slow finale preceeded by two slow movements. Mustonen and Co. dig into the piece like they're having a great time, and it works for me as a fun supplement to, not a replacement for, the Violin Concerto.

cg

[This message has been edited by chrisg (edited 11-06-2000).]

chrisg
11-07-2000, 02:37 AM
My views are always very clear ! One has to remember why arrangements were originally made - for the music loving public to perform and hear great works in there own home and as a source of extra revenue for the composer - as almost everyone has access to either recordings or concerts these day they really are redundant.

Why must anyone remember this to decide if they enjoy an arrangement? When skillfully done arrangements are played and enjoyed today, the reasons you cite are moot.

When B arranged the sonata in E for quartet, he said he was convinced that no one else could have done it - those words should be enough to warn others from unnecessarily (and that is the point - it is unnecessary)tampering with the original.

The necessity of making arrangements is not the point, and nobody here is trying to make it the point.


I don't recall the version of the arr. violin concerto I heard (it was a while ago) but remember B was specially asked to write it by Clementi as he felt that as a violin concerto it would recieve few performances in England - No one can possibly say that the piano version is preferable to the original -

So Clementi, famous composer and world renowned pianist, asked Beethoven to do a piano arrangement, which he would then publish in England along with the original. B says OK. What's the part you object to. As for anyone saying that the piano version is preferable to the original, no one here or in my experience ever has. What does this have to do with an excellent performance of the piano version being enjoyable in its own right?

nor are Liszt's transcriptions (no matter how fine) of the symphonies - Liszt lived in an age when it was considered quite acceptable to virtually rewrite a composer's work - Chopin was frequently horrified by these embellishments.

Correct. Liszt's transcriptions make for wonderful listening, without being preferable to the originals. When I listen to these, I hear Beethoven in a different way - not Liszt posing as Beethoven. Liszt made no secret of his supreme admiration for B's music, and to imply that his transcriptions are embellished rewrites along the lines of say, his opera transcriptions is just plain wrong. These are a homage to the master, where the vast majority of his other transcriptions were done as display pieces to show off with and get the ladies fainting in the aisles. BTW, I think they're great fun.

As for Chopin, he was pretty much a stuffed shirt generally, and was no doubt horrified by a lot of things Liszt did. I just don't think the Beethoven transcriptions were among them.

cg


[This message has been edited by chrisg (edited 11-06-2000).]

chrisg
11-07-2000, 02:51 AM
If there is an ethical issue behind this (respect to the composer original intentions), I don’t care so much. I my opinion the occasion while I’m listening to
music is more an event of personal delight than a ritual in honor to the absolute
geniusness of the composer.

Regards, Luis.

Luis,

You need to get yourself into the spirit of this discussion, and stop making sense.

cg

chrisg
11-07-2000, 03:08 AM
he authentic instrument argument is completely different to the arrangement issue - as no tampering with the original notes of the score is involved. We must have respect for every dot marked on the score (by any composer) or else where do you draw the line ? - do you say 'well that performer left out half the first movement, but I liked the way he played the rest' ? do you say 'wasn't it novel to hear the opening bars of the 4th piano concerto thrashed out fortissimo' ? - NO NO NO !!!!! - Unless every detail is properly observed, you are not listening to Beethoven but a complete travesty.

Peter, Mein Administrator - this is so good, I just don't know where to begin. Must think. Here in the US, we hear this "where do you draw the line" argument (successfully made with the proper bribes) from the likes of our National Rifle Association. Basically, take away my Uzi, anti-tank rocket launcher, etc., and next you'll be outlawing my kid's BB gun.


So what are your favorite Furtwangler recordings?

Regards,

cg




[This message has been edited by chrisg (edited 11-06-2000).]

Michael
11-07-2000, 03:36 AM
One of B's most intriguing arrangements is that of the Wind Octet Opus 103 for string quintet (two violas as in Opus 29). The octet is an early work - the opus number is misleading - and here is a clear case of the arrangement being superior to the original. In fact, the string version amounts to a recomposition - just check the number of bars in each and the quintet emerges as a more expansive work. But it's just one more of those great works that have been ignored by performers and record companies.
If anyone has read Vikram Seth's recent novel "An Equal Music" - about the lives and affairs of a string quartet - you will find the quintet mentioned (it's actually opus 4)
along with another Beethoven arrangement, Opus 104, which is Opus 1 No. 3 arranged (again) for string quintet. Quite a large portion of the novel deals with one of the characters trying to track down a recording of those two pieces - and he had quite a job!
Since the novel came out, Supraphon have actually released on CD the exact recording mentioned by Seth, with these two works on it. (SU 3447-2111 if anybody is interested. Well worth listening to, but you'd better have a treble control on your amp - it's an early digital - 1977 - and a bit fierce in tone.)

Michael

Peter
11-07-2000, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by chrisg:

Peter, Mein Administrator - this is so good, I just don't know where to begin. Must think. Here in the US, we hear this "where do you draw the line" argument (successfully made with the proper bribes) from the likes of our National Rifle Association. Basically, take away my Uzi, anti-tank rocket launcher, etc., and next you'll be outlawing my kid's BB gun.


So what are your favorite Furtwangler recordings?

Regards,

cg




I really don't see what your ridiculously alluding to nazi attitudes has to do with respect for a Beethoven score - my remarks were made in response to Luis saying 'If there is an ethical issue behind this (respect to the composer original intentions), I don’t care so much.' - well as a musician and a piano teacher, that is simply a position I do not agree with, even though you obviously do . If Beethoven asks for Forte /legato/ Staccato etc.. the performer should do it don't you think ? If he asks for Allegro Vivace, we shouldn't get Moderato - Beethoven was one of the first composers to give precise indications as to how his music should be played, I'm only saying that they should be faithfully observed.

P.S. For my favourite Furtwangler recordings see the recommended recordings on this site !
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'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 11-07-2000).]

Peter
11-07-2000, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by chrisg:
Liszt made no secret of his supreme admiration for B's music, and to imply that his transcriptions are embellished rewrites along the lines of say, his opera transcriptions is just plain wrong.
cg




I didn't imply that - I said 'however fine' implying that they are very well done.
Liszt's admiration for B didn't prevent him from embellishing the sonatas in performance.

------------------
'Man know thyself'

Rod
11-07-2000, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by Michael:

...Since the novel came out, Supraphon have actually released on CD the exact recording mentioned by Seth, with these two works on it. (SU 3447-2111 if anybody is interested. Well worth listening to, but you'd better have a treble control on your amp - it's an early digital - 1977 - and a bit fierce in tone.)

Michael

It is interesting that B published op4 as his preffered version and that the original octet was published much later. This would imply that op4 was B's preference, yet it is almost never played (it would make a good cd accompaniment for op29). Whereas recordings of the octet are plentiful. I have this disk by Supraphon and the sound is a problem, and is exasserbated by the awfull steel string tone. I believe op104 may be a re-arrangement by B of someone elses arrangement, and is certainly the less interesting of the two works on the disk - I have listened to it only once, and much prefer op1/3.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

chrisg
11-08-2000, 01:59 AM
If Beethoven asks for Forte /legato/ Staccato etc.. the performer should do it don't you think ? If he asks for Allegro Vivace, we shouldn't get Moderato - Beethoven was one of the first composers to give precise indications as to how his music should be played, I'm only saying that they should be faithfully observed.

P.S. For my favourite Furtwangler recordings see the recommended recordings on this site !

Peter,

It looks like the "line" you draw regarding faithful observation of the score is much wider than I thought. Furtwangler's recordings are filled with what I thought were blatant deviations from the indicated tempos, unspecified tempo variations within movements, exaggerated dnymanics, unmarked pauses - you would know better than I would. Fans of the score and only the score approach hold up Furtwangler as one of their poster boys for unauthorized deviations from Beethoven's intentions.

I realize we've drifted off the validity of arrangements, but I'm reading your comment above to refer to interpretation. Here are some timings from your recommended Furt list vs. some other conductors.

Sym #3: Gardiner 15:34, 12:41, 5:32, 10:42
Norrington 15:13, 12:31, 5:43, 10:02
Savall 15:16, 12:42, 5:25, 10:49
all the above take the 1st mvt. repeat - WF skips it.
Furtwangler 16:18, 18:49, 6:31, 12:46 (BPO 12/8/52)


Sym #5/1: Gardiner 6:30, Zander 6:23, Norrington 6:33, Mackerras 6:43
Furtwangler 8:19 (BPO '54)

Sym #6/1: Gardiner 11:14, Mackerras 11:18, Zinman 10:21 http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/eek.gif - all with the repeat.
WF w/o repeat 11:50 (VPO '52) which must be by far the slowest on record.

Sym #9/3: Norrington 11:08, Gardiner 12:05, Mackerras 11:55
WF 19:32 ! (Philharmonia '54)
WF 20:08 !! (BPO '42)

Now Peter, somebody's not being faithful to Beethoven's clearly indicated intentions as per the scores. I'm not a musician so I can't be sure, but I think it's Furtwangler.
BTW, some of the above are collecting dust in my discard pile, and some are great - including all of Furt's, though I prefer his '44 VPO Eroica.

Is Furtwangler a good example of a conductor that remains faithful to the printed score, or do you just like the results he got? Perhaps there is hope for you.

cg

Michael
11-08-2000, 02:45 AM
Originally posted by Rod:
It is interesting that B published op4 as his preffered version and that the original octet was published much later. This would imply that op4 was B's preference, yet it is almost never played (it would make a good cd accompaniment for op29). Whereas recordings of the octet are plentiful. I have this disk by Supraphon and the sound is a problem, and is exasserbated by the awfull steel string tone. I believe op104 may be a re-arrangement by B of someone elses arrangement, and is certainly the less interesting of the two works on the disk - I have listened to it only once, and much prefer op1/3.

Rod



Yeah, you're right about Opus 104 - the piano trio is much better. Although Vikram Seth apparently believes the transcription to be pure Beethoven there is a lot of doubt about it. According to the Beethoven Compendium it was originally done by an unknown composer called Kaufmann and B. got hold of it and improved it. He wrote on the copyist's manuscript "Trio arranged as a three-part quintet by Mr Goodwill (Herr Kaufman) and ...... raised from the most abject misery to some degree of respectability by Mr Wellwisher (himself)".
Opus 4 is a far better arrangement/composition but seems to be a real black sheep in the Beethoven canon. One of the FAQ's on the DGG website was why it was left out of the Complete Beethoven Edition and the compilers couldn't supply a very satisfactory answer.

Michael

Luis
11-08-2000, 05:37 AM
Please all forgive me for having provoking such a discussion and stop participating on it. I'm having some REALLY tough exams and I barely have time to read your comments. At least It seams I have an ally in CG since I can agree with this 2 statements:

works for me as a fun supplement to, not a replacement for, the Violin Concerto.
(CG.)

As for anyone saying that the piano version is preferable to the original, no one here or in my experience ever has. What does this have to do with an excellent performance of the piano version being enjoyable in its own right?
(CG.)

Which are completely according to…

If there is an ethical issue behind this (respect to the composer original intentions), I don’t care so much. I my opinion the occasion while I’m listening to music is more an event of personal delight than a ritual in honor to the absolute geniusness of the composer.
(Luis)

[I sustain this and I don’t think this makes me admire Beethoven less. As it was implied on my comment, if one wants to hear “Beethoven”, fine. If one can enjoy some variations on the original, well, why not allowing him/her to doing it?!]


Some more things to add that make the arrangement valid. I always thought the two first movements of the violin concerto are a bit melancholic, not matching the third with this. (I’m not saying this is a negative or “contradictory” point). While, at least on my version for piano of op. 61, the mood of the concert is much “lighter” and less “solemn”; the second movement instead of being melancholic, has some sweetness (given by the piano) like some second movements of Mozart’s concertos and that matches better with the third. This is an enjoyable aspect that makes the arrangement, as CG said, a “fun supplement” or “enjoyable in its own right”, despite of some other aspects (in some parts one can really miss the violin, the concerto lacks of any piano virtuosism, the cadenzas are.. well, let’s just say they aren’t among the better endings written by B http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/smile.gif, and so on )

PS: thanks for the recommendations!


Luis

Peter
11-08-2000, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by chrisg:


Is Furtwangler a good example of a conductor that remains faithful to the printed score, or do you just like the results he got? Perhaps there is hope for you.

cg




Thanks cg for going to the trouble of finding all those timings ! - Now when I mentioned Furtwangler, I was actually being a little flippant myself in response to your provocation ! - With the recommended recordings I have tried to include 3 categories - Historical, Authentic and Modern - To be honest, I do not now possess the Furtwangler recordings, and I did hear them many years ago when I was suitably impressed . I still think it is important to offer these historical performances so people can compare them with those of today and make up their own minds - You see I'm actually being quite democratic in my selections and not quite the demagogue you make me out to be ! - Anyway, I would be happy to hear your recommended selection for the symphonies, particularly historical.When it comes to timings, that is really a matter of interpretation, and I'm not saying that every performance should be exact to the second - that would be ridiculous - after all there is quite a wide scope within an Allegro marking - but we have all heard performances which we would regard as lamentably slow or fast.Interpretation is one thing, but turning crotchets into quavers or staccato into legato, or Allegro vivace into moderato is quite another - That is my position on this issue and I shall say no more.

On your Alkan recommendation, I have not heard it - I'm sure the performance is wonderful, and doubtless Alkan (who as a composer of piano music outdid even Liszt in technical wizzardry)achieved marvels by arranging Concerto 3 for 2 hands - but I can't for the life of me see the musical justification of a cadenza using material from the 5th symphony, no matter how brilliant.

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'Man know thyself'



[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 11-08-2000).]

chrisg
11-09-2000, 02:16 AM
On your Alkan recommendation, I have not heard it - I'm sure the performance is wonderful, and doubtless Alkan (who as a composer of piano music outdid even Liszt in technical wizzardry)achieved marvels by arranging Concerto 3 for 2 hands - but I can't for the life of me see the musical
justification of a cadenza using material from the 5th symphony, no matter how brilliant.

Well, the only justification I need or can offer is that I enjoy listening to it. I am curious how you'd react to it though. If you could temporarily forget about trying to justify it and give a listen as one pianist hearing another, who knows - you might even like it. Even if you didn't the rest of the disc is incredible, with the main work being Alkan's 'Trois Grandes Etudes, Op. 76 for the hands separately and reunited.' 1st mvt. is 9+ minutes for left hand, 2nd is 15+ for the right (both defy belief), ending with a whirlwind finale for both hands that alone is worth the price of the disc. That all this is part of a live recital is beyond belief.

Are you familiar with Hamelin? The guy is awesome, with the kind of technique that can only be compared with the likes of Richter,Horowitz, Cziffra, etc.. His Godowsky Studies on Chopin's Etudes make them sound easy.

For the curious: Marc-Andre Hamelin
Live at Wigmore Hall
Hyperion CDA 66765

Back to Beethoven.

Chris

chrisg
11-09-2000, 03:04 AM
I still think it is important to offer these historical performances so people can compare them with those of today and make up their own minds - You see I'm actually being quite democratic in my selections and not quite the demagogue you make me out to be ! -
Anyway, I would be happy to hear your recommended selection for the symphonies, particularly historical.

Sorry about the provocation, but you walked right into it. I'm glad to see there is hope for you after all. Symphony recommendations gives us food for many new threads, I'll get something "historical" going. Broadly speaking, my overall favorite LvB conductors are Leibowitz, Mackerras, and Furtwangler, with Klemperer, Scherchen, Harnoncourt, Monteux, Gardiner, and some others in the mix.

When it comes to timings, that is really a matter of interpretation, and I'm not saying that every performance should be exact to the second - that would be ridiculous - after all there is quite a wide scope within an Allegro marking - but we have all heard performances which we would regard as lamentably slow or fast.Interpretation is one thing, but turning crotchets into quavers or staccato into legato, or Allegro vivace into moderato is quite another - That is my position on this
issue and I shall say no more.

I'll be picky regarding interpreting B's tempos for the symphonies, since the scores give explicit metronome markings for all the movements. Still, many people argue that for assorted reasons, these are not to be taken literally. In the fascinating commentary disc that comes with Benjamin Zander's recent recording of Sym. 5 and 7, he talks about the kind of differences in interpreting tempos you describe. Zander plays the 5th's opening 'Allegro con brio' to the metronome in 6:23, the fastest I've heard. He uses an excerpt from Carlos Kleiber's famous VPO 5th to illustrate a tempo for this movement that is "in the tempo catagory" consistent with the spirit of the score. Kleiber times in at 7:22. He defines "in the catagory" as a tempo that doesn't in itself significantly alter the character of the piece. The size of that range would depend on the listener, but I think you'd agree in principle.

As an example of being well outside the catagory, he plays an excerpt from a Furtwangler 5th. Zander is not really being critical of Furtwangler's results, but uses him to illustrate a Beethoven performance tradition that evolved (devolved?) over many years, going back at least to Wagner, and to some extent, Beethoven's lifetime. In all the examples I gave of various Furt timings, the differences with those close to the indicated tempos are HUGE, and very definately alter the character of the music. Unlike a true Furtwangler fanatic, I won't claim that all this makes Beethoven better (how's that for provocation), I just think that WF was such a great conductor and imaginative musician that he brought it off superbly well. Besides, I just like variety. In lesser hands, the result would no doubt be, as you said earlier, a travesty.

cg

[This message has been edited by chrisg (edited 11-08-2000).]

Peter
11-09-2000, 11:20 AM
'He defines "in the catagory" as a tempo that doesn't in itself significantly alter the character of the piece. The size of that range would depend on the listener, but I think you'd agree in principle.'

Absolutely.

'Besides, I just like variety. In lesser hands, the result would no doubt be, as you said earlier, a travesty.'

No problem with that either - I'm all for different interpretations providing they don't blatantly go against what is written.
It is amazing how once the emotion and sarcasm is stripped out of an argument, much common ground can be found - the problem with this medium of communication is that it is often hard to pick up on the nuances and the exact meaning a person is trying to convey .
I think we set off on the wrong foot with regard to arrangements, and really here I just feel that there are few successful arrangements of Beethoven (done by others)- Reducing an orchestral score to piano probably works best and serves more purpose particularly for students. I haven't heard the orchestral version of the Hammerklavier, but I have read that it doesn't really work. I should imagine that the very opening chords of Op.106 don't work with orchestra - maybe you disagree. I haven't heard Mahler's arr. of Op.95 either - I don't see the point personally as it isn't Beethoven - Orchestrating a work is bound to introduce notes,parts and new elements that were never intended.

I would have no problem listening to the Alkan - but it would be Alkan not Beethoven ! and I would be listening only because it is for piano - Obviously as a pianist I would be fascinated to hear a brilliant performance.

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'Man know thyself'



[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 11-09-2000).]

Rod
11-09-2000, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by Michael:
Yeah, you're right about Opus 104 - the piano trio is much better. Although Vikram Seth apparently believes the transcription to be pure Beethoven there is a lot of doubt about it. According to the Beethoven Compendium it was originally done by an unknown composer called Kaufmann and B. got hold of it and improved it. He wrote on the copyist's manuscript "Trio arranged as a three-part quintet by Mr Goodwill (Herr Kaufman) and ...... raised from the most abject misery to some degree of respectability by Mr Wellwisher (himself)".
Opus 4 is a far better arrangement/composition but seems to be a real black sheep in the Beethoven canon. One of the FAQ's on the DGG website was why it was left out of the Complete Beethoven Edition and the compilers couldn't supply a very satisfactory answer.

Michael


Your version of events regarding op104 makes sence to me. Other 'arrangements of arrangements' by Beethoven such as op41, whilst possessing some degree of B's input, still do not sound very Beethovenian - the overall quality is not so high. I would like to know what the unsatisfactory answer was from DG!

Whilst on this subject, I will worry about performances of the piano arrangement of op61 AFTER I have stopped worrying about the fact that hardly anyone can interpret the VIOLIN version correctly!!

Rod


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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Michael
11-09-2000, 09:13 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Your version of events regarding op104 makes sence to me. Other 'arrangements of arrangements' by Beethoven such as op41, whilst possessing some degree of B's input, still do not sound very Beethovenian - the overall quality is not so high. I would like to know what the unsatisfactory answer was from DG!
Rod


DG replied that they decided to include only one "definitive" version of each work by Beethoven. I think the fact that B gave his quintet arrangement an Opus number (4) should indicate which version B thought was "definitive".
DG contradicted themselves as well because in the Complete Edition they have issued more than one version of several works, notably the first version of Opus 18 No. 1. the piano trio arrangements of the Septet and the Second Symphony and (back to square one) the piano arrangement of the Violin Concerto, and a few others as well. In fairness to DG, these were all genuine arrangements by B himself.
Michael

Roehre
11-15-2009, 02:27 PM
DG replied that they decided to include only one "definitive" version of each work by Beethoven. I think the fact that B gave his quintet arrangement an Opus number (4) should indicate which version B thought was "definitive".
DG contradicted themselves as well because in the Complete Edition they have issued more than one version of several works, notably the first version of Opus 18 No. 1. the piano trio arrangements of the Septet and the Second Symphony and (back to square one) the piano arrangement of the Violin Concerto, and a few others as well. In fairness to DG, these were all genuine arrangements by B himself.
Michael

The DGG edition doesn't contain opus 42 (Nocturne after serenade opus 8), opus 63 (piano trio after the quintet opus 4 [sic!]) or opus 64 Cello sonata after trio opus 3), though these works actually do bear an opus number. However, these arrangements are not Beethoven's, nor is it unlikely that he was involved in the arrangements.

I do think however that the quintets opus 4 and 104 should have been included.