Standardization part 2

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John Ruggero
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Standardization part 2

Post by John Ruggero »

Here is a counter example, also from Beethoven's Sonata op. 7. The last measures of the last movement:
op 7A.jpeg
op 7A.jpeg (83.46 KiB) Viewed 143 times
op 7B.jpeg
op 7B.jpeg (295.56 KiB) Viewed 143 times
At A there are no staccato dots for the broken octaves. At B the staccato dots suddenly appear on all the broken octaves until C. There are no dots at D.

Clearly, the differences can not be explained as part of the unwritten simile practice of the time, or of progressive correction, because the dots occur not at the beginning or end of the passage, but in the middle. Some editors starting with the B&H Complete Works have standardized the passage by placing staccato dots on all the broken octaves at A, B and C, probably feeling that they were omitted through carelessness.After all there are several obvious errors in the passage. Others, like Schenker place dots only on the eighth notes throughout, not the quarters, probably feeling that staccato dots are not appropriate for the more sustained second broken octave.

In this case, however, I don't feel that standardization is in order and will leave the passage exactly as it stands in the first edition, because the change of articulation exactly matches the extraordinary transformations of character within the ending.

At A the music starts dolce, increases in feeling and then subsides. At B the music starts in a forceful and triumphant way, but becomes more sustained at C and suddenly ebbs back to a dolce. At D the music starts dolcissimo and dies away to nothingness. This must be the most poetic piano sonata ending to have been written until that time and the articulation is just as exceptional. This convinces me that it is intentional.
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