Beethoven was showing signs of romanticism in his middle period. Beethoven left the sonata form but the freedom he gave each movement is typically Romantic. The Piano Sonata N° 27 is a beautiful piece of music which has been interpreted in many different ways. The Sonata has three movements: adagio sostenuto, allegretto and presto. It can take anywhere from 12 minutes to 15 minutes to perform depending on the interpretation. Beethoven composed it in 1801. He personally put the title as Quasia una fantasia or almost a fantasy. This means that it can be played as the artist sees fit. In listening to the difference of performance, it can be said that Beethoven's title is more accurate than Moonlight Sonata. A fantasy gives more freedom to perform the music as the performer wants. The name "Moonlight Sonata" was given as a publishing trick. Some say it was given after Beethoven's death. Others say Beethoven gave it as a tribute to his student, Guicciardi. Beethoven had fallen in love with her, a countess. He knew he could never marry someone of that social class. It is unlike him to have been so open as to name a sonata after someone who was paying the bills. This sonata was composed in his middle period. He was not composing romantic music. The title was misplaced (5). His music was steadily leaving the classical form (Waltz). In this Sonata, you see a difference between each performer, which is contrasting. Beethoven would have been heavy in his interpretation. He was already affected by his deafness. The loud pounding of the keys in the last movement enabled Beethoven to hear the vibrations. I listened to many different interpretations in order to get the right feeling for the Sonata. In my research, I saw that the Moonlight Sonata was one of his most famous sonatas. I was surprised at seeing that it could be played so differently by such artist. I chose two artists to explain the three movements (the whole Sonata) in order to have a comprehensive feeling of the dynamics and tempo: Bareboim and Gould. Their interpretation is so different. Then I chose two other artists in order to compare their first movement: Horowitz and Brendel in addition to Bareboim and Gould. I think my favorite of them all was Gould because I felt he was the closest to how Beethoven would have liked the Sonata to be played. In terms of the first movement, I felt it was a classic to hear Horowitz. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpOb5NxtG-w Baremboim played the first movement with emotion and slowly. He was sad or pensive. His expression was sad. The dynamics were softly played piano. There was, too, much of a difference with the two hands. The bass continued to have the same level of sound during the whole movement and the treble would have crescendos and be too loud. He used a little bit of the rubatto effect. The timing of the first movement was 6.55. Only towards the end did the two hands converse with each other. The end was slow. There was too much conflict between the three note motif and the left hand. His left hand dominated the right only one time during the movement. Towards the end of the movement, he increased in volume and there was a slight crescendo of the left hand which tapered off in the final measure. His bass and treble were blended and not articulate. The Allegretto of the 2nd movement was still slow. It was happy.
The paper "Beethoven Interpretations " describes different interpretations of The Piano Sonata N° 27. Gould is the most constant in his playing. The dynamics make the movements more logical. Baremboim has too much of his own personality in each movement. There is no continuity or feeling that the movements tell a story. Brendel takes over a minute to perform the first movement…
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