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Beethoven’s Pianoforte Sonatas
A Music Teacher’s Guide to Performance Practice and Editions
by Olga Kleiankina
Elements of the Classical performance The Doctrine of Affections was a theory of musical aesthetics of the first half of the 18th century. The affections, or various emotional states, provided the musical content of an entire musical piece or a section through musical techniques thatwere supposed to evoke them. One of the main promoters of this approach was C.P.E. Bach. Galant style According to J. N. Forkel, J. S. Bach’s biographer, it was a new instrumental style, in which the music expresses more subjective emotions of a composer. Comparing to the Doctrine of affections, where one main passion would determine the character of the whole movement, in Galant style, theemotions are subject to frequent changes. Forkel wrote that “music expresses the ‘multiple modifications’ of feeling through multiple modifications of musical expression…” The style galante was represented in early works of Haydn and Mozart and other early Classical composers. Characteristic elements are major keys, quick changes of contrasting elements and styles, homophonic texture. Over the Classicalperiod, the affections were gradually replaced by more subjective emotions, directed towards the early Romantic self expression. Empfindsamkeit—(German translation: sensibility) Heightened expression of the feelings, freedom in use of different, shifting elements, expressive leaps and harmonies, rhythmic and melodic unpredictability (Clementi, Piano Sonata op. 25 no. 5, movements 1 and 2) Sturmund Drang—(German translation: storm and stress) Initially was a literary movement of 1770s. The main characteristics are driving rhythms, use of syncopations, chromaticism and minor keys, dramatic, theatrical layout, including recitative sections. French Baroque dances Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue, Minuet, Gavotte, Passepied, Contredance as well as French Ouverture or March rhythms andgestures were integrated in music, however not as whole movements but serving as a rhythmic basis for separate themes.

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Metronome and the tempo choice During the Enlightment, Renaissance scholars developed a strong interest in antique Greek and Roman writers and the art of rhetoric.Baroque theorists continued this tradition, drawing parallels between rhetoric and music. The art of expressive declamation became an important element of the German musical tradition (Quantz, C.P.E. Bach). Beethoven grew up within the German rhetoric tradition. He was familiar with the works of the ancient Roman and Greek orators. He also knew the writings on rhetoric in music and had listened toperformers who incorporated rhetorical style. Authors of theoretical treatises--Turk, Mattheson and others-- saw parallels between the syntactic forms of language and musical grammar. Commas, colons, semicolons and periods influence the evolution of the discourse in real time and require fluctuation in the speed of delivery. Likewise in speech, the musical pulse cannot be exact as the beat of themetronome. The debates about the interpretation of the Beethoven’s music and the role of the metronome still continue. The main confusion draws from C. Czerny’s writings and editions. Besides the misinterpretation of the articulation, he seems to have been as inconsistent in his metronome markings and tempo interpretation suggestions. His claims about tempo giusto and the strict, unvaried metricpulse are often taken literally, while Ries and Schindler advocated Beethoven’s aesthetic approach to music as a free discourse, based on the rules of declamation and expression. Beethoven was not consistent in his opinion about the metronome. There is evidence of his excitement about the new device. However, in Biographie, Schindler described one of composer’s anger moments, when he exclaimed:...