Markings in Mertz

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Mogenson
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Markings in Mertz

Post by Mogenson » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:54 am

I am learning Mertz's Op. 1 and noticed some repeated high 12th fret E's with dots under them in the Adagio Patetico. Are they to be played staccato? I feel this passage sounds better smooth and not staccato so maybe these dots mean something else... I know that sometimes in 19th century music a scale has dots to indicate that it's plucked not slurred, but this is different since it's a series of repeated notes. Also later in this set of pieces there are lots of sideways V accent signs. I'm wondering if anyone knows the correct way to play these for a period performance of Mertz's music. Thanks.

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Tonyyyyy
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Re: Markings in Mertz

Post by Tonyyyyy » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:10 am

Thanks, nice set of pieces

I agree that regular equal staccato seems too rigid. Some kind slightly rubato feel? - maybe just a hint of staccato, with some of the repeated notes joined more smoothly than others?
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Last edited by Tonyyyyy on Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Philosopherguy
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Re: Markings in Mertz

Post by Philosopherguy » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:12 am

Mogenson wrote:I am learning Mertz's Op. 1 and noticed some repeated high 12th fret E's with dots under them in the Adagio Patetico. Are they to be played staccato? I feel this passage sounds better smooth and not staccato so maybe these dots mean something else... I know that sometimes in 19th century music a scale has dots to indicate that it's plucked not slurred, but this is different since it's a series of repeated notes. Also later in this set of pieces there are lots of sideways V accent signs. I'm wondering if anyone knows the correct way to play these for a period performance of Mertz's music. Thanks.
The odd thing, and I have never seen this, is that in the version of this piece from the Boije online is that there is the staccato marks and also a slur across these notes. So, I'm not sure exactly what he is getting at. I'm sure others know. But, I just thought I would make you aware that there is another version out there that isn't just staccato.

If I was going to guess, I would say he meant to play the notes with slight separation, but maybe just very brief and with a flowing feel. That is my guess. I have listened to a version of it I have from Graziano Salvoni and he doesn't seem to give the notes too much separation. He definitely doesn't make it staccato in any significant way. But, if you just leave your finger down and pluck, maybe Mertz wanted more of a distinction in the notes rather just running together too much.

Just my speculations! Play it how it sounds good to you. It's likely a particular interpretational thing of Mertz.
Last edited by Philosopherguy on Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tom Poore
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Re: Markings in Mertz

Post by Tom Poore » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:36 am

Philosopherguy wrote:The odd things is, and I have never seen this, is that in the version of this piece from the Boije online is that there is the staccato marks and also a slur across these notes. So, I'm not sure exactly what he is getting at. I'm sure others know. But, I just thought I would make you aware that there is another version out there that isn't just staccato.
What you’re describing is called “portato.” It’s fairly common in 19th century piano music. And since Mertz’s wife was a pianist, he would’ve been familiar with it. Here’s an explanation:


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Tom Poore
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USA

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Mogenson
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Re: Markings in Mertz

Post by Mogenson » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:37 am

Thanks for the input guys.
Here's a picture of it so people can see what we're talking about:
mertz screenshot.png
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