Trill in Mozart K 545, m. 15

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UKPiano1
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Trill in Mozart K 545, m. 15

Post by UKPiano1 » 03 Dec 2011, 19:15

In measure 15 of Mozart's piano sonata K 545, there is a trill mark on the note G at the beginning of the measure. All editions I have show an A-G-A-G trill as 32nd notes.

I have tried playing this up to tempo, and listened to MIDIs of it, and it sounds wrong.

I have listened to recordings of well-known pianists (Uchida and Perahia) play this trill, and it sounds different than my playing and the A-G-A-G MIDIs.

Are there any alternatives? How are the pros like playing it?

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Trill in Mozart K 545, m. 15

Post by Colin Nicholson » 06 Dec 2011, 18:32

The trill markings are editorial only, and subject to slight variations according to taste. The recordings you hear are very good, and "everyone to their own".... like adding some more spice in your curry!

Forget using MIDI.... this just gives an exact mathematical solution to the trill - not a musical one. In most cases for a shortened trill (almost like a mordent), the last remaining notes are often 'starved' of their true value. For example in bar 4, some start the trill on the F because this is the melody note, and the remaining 2 semiquavers then become blended with the trill into demisemiquavers..... this is a similar situation with bar 15.

The last G (which should be tied) is best lengthened very slightly, then the F# performed slightly shorter than a semiquaver - this is a more musical approach. Although most ornamentation has a mathematical equivalent in its writing out of the notes, this is just as a guide to performance & not to be taken too literally.

Have a look at the score below...... extract C is better to play, but the F# is then too short - so it has to be somewhere in the middle. Like Chopin trills & some of his rhythms - dotted rhythms are often exaggerated.......

See below .....
K545.JPG
K545 trill bar 15

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Re: Trill in Mozart K 545, m. 15

Post by UKPiano1 » 08 Dec 2011, 18:17

Hello Colin,

Your detailed reply was greatly appreciated.

Regarding the trill on the F in measure 4, one edition has a semiquaver or 16th note quintuplet f-g-f-E-F, blending the melody (E-F) into the trill as you suggested.

I've done more listening to recordings of recognized players, and it still sounds as though the trill in measure 15 starts on G: G-A-G-A-G.

By your musical examples of A-G-A-G trills, are you indicating that I'm hearing this trill incorrectly, or that the pianists on the recordings are playing them incorrectly?

Also, what specifically is unmusical about the mathematical A-G-A-G trill?

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Re: Trill in Mozart K 545, m. 15

Post by dancarney » 09 Dec 2011, 22:12

Take a look at a Barenreiter Urtext, should be the most impartial, editorially. Listening-wise, probably can't go wrong with Alfred Brendel. Usually plays like an Urtext! 8)
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Re: Trill in Mozart K 545, m. 15

Post by Colin Nicholson » 10 Dec 2011, 02:54

Perfoming a trill in a piano lesson and getting your teacher to analyse it in detail is one of the most difficult aspects of musical interpretation.... Dan will know what I mean.
I have provided hopefully a reasonable "technical" overview of the shape of the trill.... but I regret it goes well beyond a normal chat on this forum. I strongly recommend that you seek a good piano teacher (or concert pianist) to play the trill for you over & over & over again.... then when you attempt it, they will probably spend another 15 - 20 minutes on it further to get perfection.

I am presently teaching an 8 year old a grade 3 piece (Prelude in C - List A), and the left hand consist of around 3 bars or lower mordents...... after 3 weeks, we are just about getting there.... ensuring the mordent is light in texture, doesnt drown out the hand hand, and also making sure it is "on the beat" .......

Generally speaking, on my on-line tuition emails (separate to this).... if anyone says "on this piece of music I have" .... or "this edition says" .... etc etc .... I need to see exactly what you mean - so what you are looking at, I must see also. There is no way I can comment on a few letter names with hyphens between - there is no sense of rhythmic value here. I also often need to hear various MP3 recordings of trills/ ornamentation etc.... but again, this can only be relayed by an email - not a 100% reliable source of information.

Hope that helps....
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Re: Trill in Mozart K 545, m. 15

Post by UKPiano1 » 18 Dec 2011, 20:17

Thanks for all your help. I'll try an easier question in my next post.

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