Talk:Piano Sonata No. 14 (Beethoven)

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Audio[edit]

It says that it's a MIDI recorded on a digital piano. When I thought I heard some mistakes, I checked the audio on Musopen and found nothing that said it was a MIDI. On the contrary, it seems to suggest that Paul Pitman was the one who played it. So unless anybody can find a reason not to, I'm removing that part about the MIDI. Light Peak (talk) 01:46, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


Notation[edit]

Why does the new music notation look so garrish compared to the examples I had made previously for the page? Older version of the page with mentioned music Craigsapp (talk) 01:19, 7 February 2014 (UTC) \new PianoStaff <<
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    \override Score.NonMusicalPaperColumn #'line-break-permission = ##f
    \key cis \minor
    \time 2/2
    \tempo "Adagio sostenuto"
    \times 2/3 { gis8^"Si deve suonare tutto questo pezzo delicatissimamente e senza sordini"
                 cis e }
    \repeat unfold 7 { \times 2/3 { gis,8[ cis e] } } |
    \times 2/3 { a,8[( cis e] } \times 2/3 { a, cis e) }
    \times 2/3 { a,8[( d! fis] } \times 2/3 { a, d fis) } |
    \times 2/3 { gis,([ bis fis'] } \times 2/3 { gis, cis e } \times 2/3 { gis,[ cis dis] }
    \times 2/3 { fis, bis dis) } |
  }
  \new Dynamics { s4^\markup { \italic sempre \dynamic pp \italic "e senza sordini" } }
  \new Staff \relative c {
    \clef "bass"
    \key cis \minor
    <cis cis,>1 | <b b,> |
    <a a,>2 <fis fis,> | <gis gis,> q |
  }
>>
Compared to

Beethoven piano sonata 14 mvmt 1 bar 1-4.svg
I agree that yours looks nicer. It also matches the original edition (on IMSLP, linked from article) more closely in leaving out the numeral 3 over triplets. Both figures err in rendering Beethoven's "sordino" as "sordini", which it would be nice to fix. Opus33 (talk) 02:00, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
 Done Now the LilyPond example in the article shows "sordino". Double sharp (talk) 14:16, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

I'm personally OK with the font (although the old one does look more elegant). What bothers me a lot more about the new notation example is the insufficient space between barlines and the notes immediately succeeding them. Double sharp (talk) 14:22, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

That's what you get from a free notation program. I think the repeated triplet numerals are rather unprofessional and distracting. The explicit sharp for the D# in the last bar should be provided as a courtesy. As for "sordini/sordino": I think published scores use the plural, "sordini". Why should we use "sordino"? -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 14:46, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
The urtext edition of the sonatas I own (Schirmer) gives "sordino". Editors (both of interpretive editions and of WP) do seem to have an urge to correct Beethoven's Italian here. I don't know for a fact whether Beethoven's Italian is ungrammatical; maybe a musically inclined native speaker could help? But in general terms I feel better if WP, which aspires to be a scholarly source, reproduces what the composer wrote as exactly as possible.
Re. the actual point at hand, I'd be happy to go back to the old figure; no one here seems to object. Opus33 (talk) 20:06, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
On further inspection, I now find "sordino" in the 1st edition (Cappi 1802), but its appearance makes it not really suitable as a score example here. Maybe the change by later editors to "sordini" deserves a footnote, although this discussion here could serve as such for the really interested reader. For the record, I agree that the version File:Beethoven piano sonata 14 mvmt 1 bar 1-4.svg should be restored. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:50, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
PS: The images File:Beethoven piano sonata 14 mvmt 2 bar 1-8.svg and File:Beethoven piano sonata 14 mvmt 3 bar 1-3.svg should also be restored. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 04:42, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Hello. I'm the editor who created the versions of the incipits using the Score extension, and I wish that someone would have let me know before reverting all my work. That being said, there are two separate issues to address here. First, I have a couple points to make about the "sordino vs. sordini" debate:

  • I agree with User:Opus33 that we should try to reproduce what Beethoven wrote as exactly as we can. Naturally, the best way to do that would be to consult the autograph score (the version which survives in Beethoven's hand), but unfortunately, the first and last pages of the "Moonlight" autograph are missing. This means we have to consult secondary sources, i.e. printed editions.
  • The preface to my Henle urtext edition reads as follows: "In order to restore the original text of Beethoven's sonatas, free of all arbitrary editorial annotations and emendations, the authentic manuscript sources were consulted above all … There was further available for reference the original editions of the works, which—so far as Beethoven supervised them personally—can be viewed as a very important expression of his intentions." Thus, that editor (Bertha Antonia Wallner) follows the first edition which User:Michael Bednarek referenced above, and prints "sordino." This is likely the reasoning that the editor of Opus33's Schirmer edition followed as well.
  • Regarding whether "sordino" is grammatically correct, I'm no expert in the Italian language, but I am a seasoned musician and pianist, and I think that it could be read to refer to the damper pedal, rather than the dampers themselves, which would explain the use of the singular instead of the plural.

So, my position on the Italian issue is that no matter which method of rendering the score is used, it should follow the first edition and read "sordino." Which leads me into the hairier issue of which method to use to render it, the Score extension or an image file generated from a proprietary scorewriter.

Let me first offer a revised version of the incipit, correcting the other two oversights I made in creating it earlier: the missing explicit D sharp in the fourth measure, and the repeated tuplet numerals. I've also moved the first "3" to below the staff, inspired by my Henle edition, and set the dynamic marking to "whiteout" everything behind it so that it can still be read when it crosses the bar line.

\new PianoStaff <<
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    \override Score.NonMusicalPaperColumn #'line-break-permission = ##f
    \key cis \minor
    \time 2/2
    \tempo "Adagio sostenuto"
    \override TupletBracket #'direction = #-1
    \times 2/3 { gis8^"Si deve suonare tutto questo pezzo delicatissimamente e senza sordino"
                 cis e }
    \override TupletNumber #'stencil = ##f
    \repeat unfold 7 { \times 2/3 { gis,8[ cis e] } } |
    \times 2/3 { a,8[( cis e] } \times 2/3 { a, cis e) }
    \times 2/3 { a,8[( d! fis] } \times 2/3 { a, d fis) } |
    \times 2/3 { gis,([ bis fis'] } \times 2/3 { gis, cis e } \times 2/3 { gis,[ cis dis!] }
    \times 2/3 { fis, bis dis) } |
  }
  \new Dynamics {
    \override TextScript #'whiteout = ##t
    s4^\markup { \italic sempre \dynamic pp \italic "e senza sordino" }
  }
  \new Staff \relative c {
    \clef "bass"
    \key cis \minor
    <cis cis,>1 | <b b,> |
    <a a,>2 <fis fis,> | <gis gis,> q |
  }
>>

I hope from this that you can see how powerful and flexible GNU LilyPond is when it comes to engraving. That being said, there are indeed a couple of technical problems with the Score extension—that is, the implementation of LilyPond currently available for MediaWiki—which are frustrating to me: the resolution is low, the output is in PNG format rather than SVG, and a number of complicated issues prevent me from changing the "global font size" or creating more horizontal space (not to mention the fact that it doesn't accept syntax from the latest versions of LilyPond).

As a compromise, then, I propose that I could upload SVGs generated using LilyPond (increase the zoom in your browser to see how it looks at size (edit: zooming in about 5 or 6 times in Firefox is ideal for me)), and include the source code used to generate them, as a stopgap until such time as the Score extension fixes these issues. I believe this to be an improvement over similar images generated using proprietary software (e.g. Finale or Sibelius) because it's free and open source, which means anyone can make improvements on it without having to spend any money. Skiasaurus (skē’ ə sôr’ əs) 20:43, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't see any great difference between the image you suggest and the one currently in the article. Your ties are shallower (good), your stems on the eights are a bit shorter (not so good). On balance, I don't care if you upload that image to Commons and use it in this article, though the corresponding note about "sordino"/"sordini" will then need to be rewritten. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 07:52, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
The stems are sort of interesting -- somehow their "tilt" doesn't quite match the notes. Even so, I would be happy if you (Skiasaurus) went ahead and put the new image in. It's much sharper under magnification than what we now have, and it properly reads "sordino". Thanks for all the work you've put in on this problem. Opus33 (talk) 16:17, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
"I wish that someone would have let me know before reverting all my work." That's funny, there were no musical examples before I put them there on 3 March 2012, so that should be my comment. Craigsapp (talk) 03:00, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Moving this page to Moonlight Sonata[edit]

Hello. Why is it not possible to move this page to the new article's name "Moonlight sonata"? Opo Chano (talk) 10:53, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

It was that name, translation of some critic's personal impression decades after the composer's death, - unrelated to Beethoven. We had long discussions to get it right again, please see the archive. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:01, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
It's a question of balancing the considerations at WP:AT. The previous discussion led to a consensus that consistency with Beethoven's other sonatas was important. Testing that consensus would require a new WP:Requested move. Dohn joe (talk) 14:52, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
The consistency was one argument, the other the fact (!) that Beethoven knew nothing of moonlight, and a critical edition would not even mention the term. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 15:36, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, the second point is simply not true. See Cambridge University Press critical study and Bärenreiter urtext edition, among others. Dohn joe (talk) 17:13, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
I wonder how you can say "not true" to a "should not" ;) - My Henle Urtext has no moonlight or Mondschein, Cambridge UP has it in quotation marks, possibly aware that it is not a really good name, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 18:08, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, you said "would not", which would take a "not true". If you meant "should not", I'll take it back. :) But in any event, most publishers use "Moonlight" to identify the work fairly prominently. You may have an older version of Henle - they use "Mondschein/Moonlight" currently. As does Wiener Urtext, and Peters, etc.... Dohn joe (talk) 18:55, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Sorry about not typing what I meant to type ;) - Henle has "Piano Sonata no. 14 c sharp minor op. 27 no. 2 (Moonlight)", not the other way round, similar in the others. If this is going to be discussed again, I will hopefully resist the urge to participate, - the last discussion was not good for my health. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 19:49, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Hello, if you will look at the Archive pages for this article, you will see a long, yucky, acrimonious discussion about this very topic. Please, let's not do it all over again. Opus33 (talk) 18:53, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

This is a year old, but my 1975 Henle is even stranger: it has Pathétique, Appassionata, and Hammerklavier, but not Mondschein! Double sharp (talk) 13:25, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Influences[edit]

Apparently the 3rd movement of Shostakovich's sonata for piano and viola (op.147) is partly influenced by this Sonata by Beethoven. The Wikipedia article there: "The final movement of the sonata carries a substantial portion of the work’s emotional weight. Shostakovich gave the Adagio movement an unofficial subtitle: Adagio in the memory of a great composer or Adagio in the memory of Beethoven. The most explicit connection to Beethoven is Shostakovich's quotation of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata in C-sharp Minor, op. 27, no. 2 (1801). Throughout the movement, glimpses of the Beethoven sonata appear (mostly as the famous rhythmic pattern of the ‘Moonlight’ sonata), juxtaposed with the reappearance of themes and motives presented earlier within the viola sonata." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.157.242.4 (talk) 11:48, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Mozart Influence[edit]

I vaguely recall a previous version of this article noting that the triplet pattern in the first movement seems to be inspired by some funeral music from a piece by Mozart, possibly one of his operas. And that Beethoven had copied said passage into his notes while composing this. I came back to this article just now to reference that fact, only to find that the relevant section seems to have been removed. I'm wondering if anyone knows the reason for this. Or perhaps I'm remembering incorrectly and previously found that part elsewhere, in which case I'm curious — should I find the source again, would it be worth adding to this page? --Sauronjim (talk) 09:22, 2 January 2016 (UTC)