M. Clementi :: Sonata 'Macabre' opus 13 n°6 in F Minor
in "real" 18th c. temperament
I know, I know, I know, I'll have things to explain to you! Sonata 'Macabre'?? Real 18th century temperament??? Are you kidding, Wim? Have a little patience.
First the index of this sonata opus 14 nr3 in F Minor:
0:17 Allegro Agitato
8:30 Largo e sostenuto
Edition: Breitkopf & Härtel "Sonaten für das Pianoforte von Muzio Clementi. Neue sorgfältig revidirte Ausgabe. Erster Bandt N°1_24, 11347.1"
And then a bit of advertising (we live in modern times, with modern media):
-- ding dong dang -- (like those irritating sound on airports or railway stations, announcing something of that anyway will be not understandable)
(voice: the surprisingly over-optimistic female voice that comes through your car's loudspeakers, minutes before the 8 o'clock news, while standing still for more than 30 minutes, missing your next important meeting , she, advertising something you don't need in a way as if the sun is shining even through your car's roof. Why that voice? Well, it's cheap, and we have to control our budget):
Here it is:
""Dear music lover,
We highly appreciate your visit at the Authentic Sound channel and hope that you have a good time. You are all good people (HEY! that wasn't in the script!!) We would like to introduce to you two new vlog series of which we are sure that they will both be of interest to you. The first one is called 'afterthoughts', in which your host (wow, that wasn't in the script either, but anyway...) talks to you about the musical work that has been recorded minutes before. The second one is called 'The Studio Project', in which you can follow the adventure of the building of an own professional recording studio, and everything that comes with that.
As with the music video's, the vlog series will have a regular publication date. 3/12/22 for Afterthoughts, 7/17/27 for The Studio Project. As long as your host doesn't get crazy (WHAT?? That was just said in an informal conversation, damned!!).
So please go check it out on the main page of Authentic Sound. Thank you very much.""
Welcome back after this short break.
Of course, I know that this sonata is not called like that. But... to me, it has something of the feel of a (even) dance macabre. The first movement especially, where a real dark feel has a hard time to take off, one moment hesitating, the other moment trying to proceed fluently, ending up in an attempt to dance, but out of rhythm and terminating always soon. The atmosphere of this part is really sombre, frightening even.
Check out the Afterthoughts on this the 12th, I'll talk about passages in this part that are completely taken over by Beethoven!
Second part is breathtaking. I mean, really breathtaking. This is 1784!
And the third part: such a tender, fragile, sad beginning, with huge contrasts, outbursts of emotion. Virtuosity, novelty, expression, announcing with big drums the giant of the late 18th century: Beethoven.
And then the temperament...
You probably have seen the beautiful room in which we played? Well, this sonata was recorded after a private concert (again : see the Afterthoughts, I'll show you the building). So the instrument was transported, played, tuned, played during the concert, and tuned again. But as can happen, it started to change, react, certainly to the warm halogen lights... and where the first movement was... well... ok, it changed more, and during the third movement, the bass was really ... difficult. And not only the bass... some fifths were impressionable small... so I thought, well, that is how it undoubtedly often must have been in the 18th century... instruments, probably certainly the ones that stood in castles, monasteries, in the houses of those who not often played, or did play but not too professional, ... I can imagine that many of those instruments seldom were tuned to perfection.
And so, I thought, having read so many discussions about the 'real' old temperament, the one pleading for a strong tempered tuning, the other advocating the use of equal temperament, most often with severe fights on paper or computer screens,... what do we actually know about all that, I mean, in the daily reality of those old days? So yes, an instrument that is somewhat out of tune, might present a real situation, and in that perspective, I'm proud to bring you a performance on an instrument, carefully tuned to the probable imperfection of the 18th century!
I hope you enjoy this version, and the environment in which we made the recording.