(recorded in concert in 1980)
Piano, Christine Hartley-Troskie
Violin, Jean-Claude Féret
Beethoven: Sonata n°3
1) Allegro con spirito
2) Adagio con molt'espressione
3) Rondo (Allegro molto)
Beethoven: Sonata n° 2
1) Allegro vivace
2) Andante piu tosto allegretto
3) Allegretto piacevole
Beethoven: Sonata n°4
2) Andante scherzoso , piu allegretto
3) Allegro molto
Beethoven: Sonata n° 1
1) Allegro con brio
2) Andante con moto
3) Rondo Allegro
Beethoven: Sonata n°10
1) Allegro moderato
3) Scherzo (Allegro
4) Poco allegretto
Beethoven: Sonata n°8
1) Allegro assai
2) Tempo di minuetto, ma molto moderato e grazioso
3) Allegro vivace
Beethoven: Sonata n°9
1) Adagio sostenuto–Presto
2) Andante con variazioni
3) Finale (Presto)
The critics of the time, on hearing the first 3 sonatas of Beethoven for piano & violin, even if they admitted the greatness of the works, said however that they had the feeling of risking their life on a path of pits and ambushes … and true, if one tries to forget the modern fashion of playing that one is used to, and that tends to moderate all excesses, things could then appear under quite a different light!…
Recovering the true speeds indicated by Beethoven, applying without any concession every dynamic mark as written, not obscuring the melody with a modern vibrato, trying to apply simply and as much as possible everything in the way it was done around 1800, and foremost trying to comply with what can be known of Beethoven's way of doing it, all, suddenly takes a new appearence, the answers between the piano and the violin, the violent interventions, the syncopes, suddenly become more real, clearer, the contrasts grip you with more strength, well in agreement with these sudden changes of moods, abrupt anger, characterizing Beethoven, and also, in total contradiction, his enormous laughter and his overflowing carisma.
The music then becomes something else than just a magnificent work, I mean, added to that, it becomes a real slice of life, with its battles, its wins, its despairs, its loves.
To support all that, the compilation of a multitude of theoretical texts and musical parts from that period. This included my practicing studies from that period in following the teaching advice accompanying them, studying data from Beethoven himself of course: musical scores where more indications were written (also from others), not only the usual Allegro con brio, or Andante, or Largo, and so on, but also, next to it, the metronomic indication… the metronom just invented by Maelzel and that Beethoven was so fond of, that he even published afterwards in musical revues, all metronomic marks for his first symphonies published before its invention.
As a result, one can find (for all composers) and with a remarkable constancy, a certain range of speeds corresponding to each term. In my theory I published a table with several pages of them.
Other sources were also helpful in refining that search, not only for tempo, but for the style in general, the particular ways used by Beethoven to express himself in his music, in such or such phrase or run, or type of melody…
That was the description, meticulously precise, note by note, and also gesture by gesture, from the way Beethoven interpreted two of his sonatas for piano, his changes in speed (very dramatic some times, and not written !), his suspensions, his retards, the notes that he hold longer, his way of making the piano "speak", etc… all written by the hand of a professional musician, close friend of his, a violinist called Schindler.
Of course, such realization and research could just as well stay without any musical interest, be only pure archeology, the main thing being after all to see if it can contributes something in playing at a concert.
For my part, I think that YES, absolutely, it contributes!… and I must acknowledge that, when trying to apply it for the first time in rehearsal, I had (we had) that creepy feeling to be suddenly facing a huge personnality, that of an great being named Beethoven.
To create no surprise nor undue interrogations, I owe you one more explanation, and to say that at the last concert (comprising the last three sonates and so starting with number eight), I let my self follow the impulse of the moment, and in doing it, not only the general custom of the time, but very particularily Kreutzers habits, so, tuning my instrument, I directly continued with a sort of short improvisation in past centuries called a prelude, and that was supposed to be in the same key and to fit with the character of the following piece... of course, being already in the next piece by thought, what would get into my fingers but the first theme of it!...
Beethoven : Sonate n°5
2) Adagio molto espressivo
3) Scherzo, Allegro molto
4) Rondo, Allegro ma non troppo