Thursday, November 21, 2013

What is the Point of Control?

Back to Beethoven Op. 10 #3, the Minuet and Trio:  Start with the proposition that easy is boring.  Repeating triplets in the right hand against quarters in the left has not much to recommend it.  Unless you play the triplet figures in duples, in which case it becomes a kind of rhythmic conundrum, much more difficult than one likes to imagine, especially since the left hand has to articulate clearly AND cross over the right into uncomfortable territory.

Try it.  Let it happen.  Hard as it is, it explains the several beats notated rest at the end of the Trio before resuming the Minuetto:  Now look what happens: the three to one ratio still prevails, threes in the right hand, ones in the left, but this time the terms have changed and the shorter value is the quarter note.  Notice that this minuet is marked dolce.  After that turbulent cross-rhythmed trio the fragility of all rhythmic values is there for the expressing of receptive minds and bodies.

Who is more likely to be receptive in this magical way?  An amateur player, one whose fingers are not pre-conditioned to play always in a certain, secure manner.

I heard it happen this morning when my young adult student who does not have time to practice produced a transparency I have never heard in the opening of the minuet upon return after the trio.