Lost Notation 2 (Internal evidence)

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John Ruggero
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Lost Notation 2 (Internal evidence)

Post by John Ruggero »

Here is an case where note placement in itself solves a text issue.

The first movement of Beethoven's Sonata op. 2 no. 2 has a number of controversial areas. One of these occurs at A in the following example.
op 2 no 2.1 note distribution and text question.jpeg
op 2 no 2.1 note distribution and text question.jpeg (161.69 KiB) Viewed 2414 times
Did Beethoven really want A to be different from B? Since everything else repeats, some editors like von Bulow, Arrau, and Casella make the two measures conform by replacing A by B.
op 2 no 2.1 Casella.jpeg
op 2 no 2.1 Casella.jpeg (105.76 KiB) Viewed 2414 times
Others, like Schenker and Schnabel adhere to the original text.
op 2 no 2.1 Schenker.jpeg
op 2 no 2.1 Schenker.jpeg (80.99 KiB) Viewed 2414 times
However, in my opinion the original note placement, which is usually modernized in later editions and therefore unknown to many players, makes it almost a certainty that the text is correct as written. At A Beethoven places the right hand tenor voice on the lower staff, isolating it to show that it should be brought out. When the measure recurs, the soprano is now the leading voice and the accompanying tenor notes appear on the upper staff.

Why else would Beethoven have notated it in this way?
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John Ruggero
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Re: Lost Notation 2 (Internal evidence)

Post by John Ruggero »

immediately after the previous passage we see the following centered beaming in the left hand broken octaves:
op 2 no 2.1 beaming.jpeg
op 2 no 2.1 beaming.jpeg (159.96 KiB) Viewed 2362 times
The passage as it is usually engraved:
op 2 no 2.1 B&H.jpeg
op 2 no 2.1 B&H.jpeg (157.02 KiB) Viewed 2362 times
Previously I considered the first notes of each left hand group of seven eighth notes, which are marked sf, to be the leading bass notes and the following six as light decoration. I played the last note in particular quite lightly as a rhythmic placeholder. Seeing the original engraving has completely changed my interpretation. Now the final note of each group is almost as important as the sf notes themselves and continue the pattern of eighth note upbeats seen throughout the previous passage, as well as being a melodic lead-in to the next group. (See arrows). The rest that follows the upbeat in the left hand only adds a jaunty syncopation that ties the passage together better.

Beethoven seems to be struggling with the the best stem direction for the three notes that follow the upbeats. Should they continue the previous down-stemmed pattern as at a or continue from the up-stemmed upbeat as at b? Since b was his final, and I think best choice, I have corrected a to conform with b in my edition. Edit: but on further thought, it seems more likely that the placement of the right hand chord notes was the determining factor, in which case, I should leave it as it stands in the first edition.
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John Ruggero
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Re: Lost Notation 2 (Internal evidence)

Post by John Ruggero »

The following fingering reflects the phrasing discussed, and to my hand feels more natural than the more commonly seen 5 5 5 5.
op 2 no 2.1 fingering.jpeg
op 2 no 2.1 fingering.jpeg (62.38 KiB) Viewed 2316 times
Schnabel's fingering shows that he had the same interpretation of the passage: 5 3 4 3
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
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http://www.cantilenapress.com

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