Thanks, Knut.The breaks are often minute in Classic style music and the actual length up to the taste and imagination of the player. They are also easily covered over with the pedal.Knut wrote: ↑25 Oct 2017, 12:18Very interesting!
I just listened to a variety of recordings of the passage, and with the exception of Wilhelm Kempff, all of them seemed to hold the long r.h. notes in the second and fourth measures by their full value. The shorter notes seemed to vary more, but, in my estimation, only due to variations in tempo, and the more recent recordings seemed to stress the full duration a bit more than the older ones.
I just listened to recordings by Artur Schnabel, Friedrich Gulda, and Richard Goode and all used good stylistic articulation. I also heard some bad ones on Youtube that ran everything together with the fingers and the pedal as if playing a Romantic piece. In this music, the pedal should stay out of the way of the melody, and only enhance the holding through of the notes by the fingers in the accompaniment
Here is a blow by blow concerning the Beethoven example.
1. It would be bad style to connect the last note of m. 1 to the first of m. 2 as I heard several pianists do. It removes all distinction from the melody and turns it into a childish mush. The C in m. 2 is an important goal note matching the G in m. 4 and must stand out on its own.
2. The holding of the C in m.2 is up to the player's sense of phrasing. There is a danger of losing continuity at this point, so the break must be infinitesimal. No break at all would be unnatural, since it is the natural place for a breath.
3. Covering over the staccato breaks completely in m. 3 with the pedal as I heard one pianist do would be a no-no because it removes the vigorous and aggressive character of the music at this point. (Note the reinforcement in the left hand which might cause a player to play the left hand with the same staccato touch as the right hand and entirely without pedal.)
4. A greater sense of closure should occur after the G in m. 4 than the C in m. 2. How this is accomplished is up to the player. Some might make more of a break, some less, and the hand might break while the pedal sustains. What is most important is that there is a sense of completion with a new section starting on the last quarter note.
5. The two note slurred groups add a jaunty flavor that is brought out by clear articulation. But the last note of each group should not be so short as I heard several pianists play it, because it is an important connective tone leading on to an important goal, the Ab.
6. The break after the D in m. 5 was too short in the Kempf. The very expressive drop of a tritone needs projection and a longish last note. However, a minute break must occur after the D to show the beginning of the next leg of the melodic sequence. Yet, this break must not destroy the melodic unity of the D leading on to the Eb and F.
This theme is particularly hard to play, and I have never hear a completely satisfactory performance in a recording. But, believe it or not, Mozart's music has even greater requirements of the type described above than Beethoven. That could explain why there are not as many fine players of Mozart as there are of, say, Chopin.