Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Klarinet Archive - Posting 000747.txt from 1997/09

From: "Lou Polcari" <>
Subj: Re: Brahms 2nd Sonata question
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 03:02:07 -0400

> >I have a question regarding the 2nd movement of the Brahms 2nd Sonata.
> >
> >The first third of the movement is marked Allegro appassionato.
> Well, not exactly. The Weiner Urtext edition says "Appassionato, ma non
> troppo Allegro", and I think there's a difference. Any Brahms experts who

> can enlighten us about this difference would certainly be appreciated by
> me. Alas, my edition of the Eb sonata appears to have grown legs!

I would agree with the Idea behind the Appassionato, ma non troppo Allegro.
I feel that most clarinetist are inclined to rush through this section of
the movement. I would say that finding the tempo as it relates to the
Sostenuto section and indeed the tempo choices for the first movement and
third as well, is the art of playing this sonata.

> >The middle
> >section is marked Sostenuto. Then back to Tempo I. In rehearsing this
> >movement with my pianist, she had posed a question that I could not
> >She wished to know if there is as relationship between the Allegro tempo
> >and the Sostenuto tempo.

Although Sostenuto, may not mean literally to slow the tempo, I think it
does mean to sustain the sound beyond normal values and in that slowing the
tempo slightly. In this movement the slight tempo change to the slower can
be very powerful. Ask your pianist to consider it. This is just my

> >Her interpretation of the Sostenuto section is a little faster than
> >performed, but I like the way she plays it. The problem is, she wishes
> >relate the two different tempos somehow. I have always thought (prehaps
> >nievely) that the Sostenuto was completely new music and should be
> >as such. But, it is the piano alone that establishes the tempo in the
> >Sostenuto section. Any thoughts on this subject would be very much
> >appreciated by both of us.

If I could climb out on a limb here. Remember that this was a very
emotional time for Herr Brahms and this movement seems to be an inner
conversation between melancholy and a powerful urge to get on with life.
Although the two sections may not be related musically, they may be related
on an emotional level. I must say that I share this with great trepidation
as I am sure that my colleagues on the list will want to know kind of reeds
I have been using. So, this is just my thought after my own research and
time spent reading the composers letters, and letters written about him by
others. Having said that, I would say find the best tempo for you and your
pianist. One thing about this sonata I have played a three times in
recital and each time, I felt different about it.

Lou Polcari

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact