Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 4
This sonata's first movement has a tempo indicator of Presto. This appears unusual to me as I have not come across any sonata or symphony that began with a Presto tempo. Does anyone else find this unusual? Why do you think Beethoven chose a Presto tempo instead of Allegro?
Maybe he wants it extra fast.
I have to agree with Ella, he probably wants people to play it quickly. ;)
I'd say forget the tempo marking and go instead for what makes sense musically.
Beethoven was a piano virtuoso. When the metronome was invented during his time he was delighted
Czerny, who was a pupil of Beethoven provided tempo markings for the piano and violin sonatas.When I was doing performances of all the sonatas in 3 recitals, I looked at them. When I did them playing on a Classical violin and a reproduction of Beethoven's Graf piano they made more sense than when I played on a modern violin (with modern piano).
I think 130 to 140 BPM (dotted quarter note) is a fine professional tempo - that's what Rosand did in his wonderful recordings of B's sonatas. I think it also works at 120 for those with more time to spare - and it still retains the "bounce." And if you do start out playing something "too slowly" you can always have hope for the future.
Thanks everyone for your contributions. I rehearsed the first movement yesterday with my partner and we found that using a quick tempo and maintaining that same tempo throughout helps bring out the tension or push or pull between the instruments. If it drags just a little bit you can lose the forward momentum.