While analyzing the sonata I was also doing literature research and among others read the book by Pieter Bergé about the Beethoven’s Tempest Sonata2 and the famous article by Janet Schmalfeldt3 on analysis and performance. It seemed to me very difficult to make a new point about this subject. First of all it is already widely documented and secondly it seemed difficult to avoid the point where theorists and performers have critiqued Schmalfeldt: the analyst explains to the ‘poor’ performer how the work should be played. As a player it has never been my experience that an analysis is a leading factor in making real time decisions during a performance. It is very true, in my opinion, that an analysis can yield important ideas, but a real-time implementation of an analysis in a performance is not my idea of a successful interpretation. An element of surprise always remains a crucial factor in any live performance to bring the music to life. Furthermore the speculative element remains ever present in most of the sources I consulted. Joel Lester4 discusses an analytical matter in the Minuet of Mozart’s A major sonata (KV 331). In measure 40 and 41 the performer can choose to play m.40 as a half cadence (as Vladimir Horowitz does in his 1966 Carnegie Hall recital) or – as analysed by Schenker5- in the way where m.41 is a phrasing elision: it is the ending of the main theme- group (authentic cadence) and the beginning of the subordinate theme-group (Lili Kraus in a recording form 1966)6. It remains a matter of interpretation of the performer ánd the analyst that one of these options will be chosen. So given the complexity of the subject (analysis and performance), the vast amount of research already done on this subject and the lack of clarity about possible outcomes of a research dedicated to this subject it did not appear to be a good topic for my research.
So around November it became clear that I wanted to focus on a different aspect of the outcome of an analysis. What could this bring to the practice room? Not specifically in the sense of an interpretation but in the sense of assimilating all the notes in a more exciting way. By exciting I mean a way of practicing where there is room for improvisation and in this sense for discovering the actual content of the piece instead of having it all right in front of you. In the next chapter I will bring forward the subject of this research. But before diving into the topic, let me explain my personal background, since I believe this is relevant to how this research came about.