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Old 08-09-2017, 02:31 AM   #1
NickMDal
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8th symphony beat

Hi. I'd really appreciate some help making sense of the opening measures of the 2nd movement. Happy to have a nephew with a new interest in Beethoven, so I'm really inspired to dig in. I've only taken very basic musical classes ages ago, and I don't play.

In the opening two measures, there look to be dotted 1/16 notes. Doesn't that make their durations each 3/32? How do 8 dotted 16ths (and an added single violin note) fit into a single 2/4 measure?

In the 7th and 8th measures, the notes are undotted, with an added cello dotted 16th. To me the rhythms sound alike, at least to my ears listening to Bruno Walter/CSO. What do the dots do and how do the notes fit in the measures?

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Old 08-09-2017, 06:33 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum NickMDal - I think you are confusing your dots! The dots above (or under) notes are staccato (detached notes) and actually this does continue over the measures you refer to (7 and 8) as Beethoven marks sempre staccato which means always staccato. It's only when a dot comes after a note that it increases its value.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:34 AM   #3
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My dots were definitely confused. I thought the regular dots just didn't fit alongside Thanks much for explaining. Oh... just got your point, sempre!

Is it okay to throw in another question here about the same piece? I ran a metronome app while listening to the Bruno Walter version of this movement. The score looks to suggest or require quarter notes at 88 BPM. The recording and metronome stayed in perfect time till about the 10th bar. It was 78, varying from around 76 to 82. This seems like a big difference from 88.

Is this just the Bruno's interpretation? At least to my ear it sounds so ideal. Do you think LVB would consider this a transgression?

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Old 08-10-2017, 06:15 AM   #4
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There has always been controversy around Beethoven's metronome markings and it wasn't until more recently that they were taken more literally by some conductors, especially John Eliot Gardiner.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:35 PM   #5
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Thanks, how interesting! I just listened to the Gardner version https://youtu.be/lnYCGF4I5vc?t=8m35s

To me, the faster tempo kind of works in the second movement. It's still enjoyable, but it feels like being rushed through an art gallery.

I lose quite a bit of the emotional connection to the gorgeous crescendo in the first movement - that starts at about 4:15. My emotions drag a few beats behind the musicians so that I don't feel it nearly as much.

BW/CSO recordings surely would have benefited from being sped up at places. Any idea why Beethoven set such a zippy tempo?
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMDal View Post
Thanks, how interesting! I just listened to the Gardner version https://youtu.be/lnYCGF4I5vc?t=8m35s

To me, the faster tempo kind of works in the second movement. It's still enjoyable, but it feels like being rushed through an art gallery.

I lose quite a bit of the emotional connection to the gorgeous crescendo in the first movement - that starts at about 4:15. My emotions drag a few beats behind the musicians so that I don't feel it nearly as much.

BW/CSO recordings surely would have benefited from being sped up at places. Any idea why Beethoven set such a zippy tempo?
"Mathematic and musical detectives have discovered that perhaps Beethovenís tempo was so strange because his metronome was broken."
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-...swXimip8o6Y.99
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:57 AM   #7
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Wow that makes me so happy!!! Thank you
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:48 PM   #8
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I thought the broken metronome theory had been more or less abandoned?
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:31 PM   #9
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And isn't there another theory that, by the time the metronome was invented, Beethoven, owing to his deafness, "heard" his music mostly in his head?
This, according to some experts, would lead him to experience the music as being much faster than in real life, thus causing him to settle on some impossibly fast metronome settings
Of course all this could be balderdash.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:25 AM   #10
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
And isn't there another theory that, by the time the metronome was invented, Beethoven, owing to his deafness, "heard" his music mostly in his head?
This, according to some experts, would lead him to experience the music as being much faster than in real life, thus causing him to settle on some impossibly fast metronome settings
Of course all this could be balderdash.
Many great composers 'hear' the music in their head and only resort to the piano to try things over, so this would be nothing to do with his deafness. Berlioz considered composing at the piano the death of all originality - Stravinsky on the other hand always worked from the piano! It has however been demonstrated with some composers that they do actually 'hear' their music in the head faster than they play it so there may be something in this - however we know tempo was of great importance to Beethoven and I imagine he would have taken a great deal more care over the matter.

I'm not sure how we can account for Beethoven's metronome markings but here is an interesting article by Benjamin Zander.
http://benjaminzander.com/recordings...et9/review/130
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