Wednesday, December 29, 2010

12/29 Different Keys/Different Strokes...No. 27 / Op. 27

One of the many great things about Beethoven's music is the basic integrity and beauty of his work can shine through (or withstand) many different interpretations.  Even Beethoven himself rarely played a sonata the same exact way each time, and on occasion he was known to remark something to the effect of "Well, I never imagined it being played in such a manner - but I like this even better!" (especially if it was an attractive young female interpreter....).  Factors such as tempo, dynamics, phrasing - these are all things which can be personalized by the performer, thereby making a performance a true dialogue between composer and interpreter.  Though I heartily disagree with Maria João Pires that the notated score is not even 1 percent of the music...

Last week I featured a set of unique interpretations by Fazil Say.  Here are a couple double performances to compare side by side - so to speak.

Sonata No. 27, Op 90, Mvt. 1

Wilhelm Kempff:

Emil Gilels:

It still sounds like the same piece - but the personality of the performer comes through quite clearly.

In this example, however it gets a bit more ..extreme.

Sonata No. 13, Op. 27, No.1 "Quasi una fantasia", Mvt. 1

Daniel Barenboim:

Glenn Gould:

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