sextuplet in Ysaÿes sonata 4
Some notes have a double stem.
I suppose that it means that they must be sustained longer.
However, 2 notes that share 1 flag (hence quavers), are 3 semi-quavers apart (in stead of 2).
Should the shared flag (below the bar) be split?
or should the sustained notes not be in the sextuplet rhythm?
The first "quaver" is indeed 3 sextuplet semis; The second quaver is a triplet quaver. The hanging crotchets should be non-triplet quavers.
Sorry Adrian but I can't figure out what you mean! I was going to suggest that Ysaye wants the notes with both upward and downward stems to be sounded in unison on two strings, but the second G would require an enormous stretch. Maybe he just wants those notes emphasised slightly
The double stem / diamond heads are just pointing out the passacaglia notes that are repeated throughout the entire movement (which you can then choose to bring out and emphasize). It's not a polyrhythmic notation and they're not meant to be doubled or played as double stops with the following notes - it's intended to indicate that the structure of the bar is the same as in the beginning pizz section.
It's an interesting marking: "canto, poco marcato."
Many thanks Irene for educating us. I suppose there is literature on this, would appreciate pointers, but naively, can we be sure that Ysaye did not mean this to be doubled? After all that ostinato theme is doubled throughout the movement, just not in this section. Has anybody ever heard a performer who plays this doubled?
I don't think the theme is ever doubled anywhere in the movement - the stems are always printed separately but off the top of my head I don't think you ever play the notes as unisons. A lot of what we do in Ysaye sonatas seems to be a living performance practice - one of the most prolific teachers of the 20th century, Josef Gingold, studied directly with Ysaye, and passed his interpretation of Ysaye's intentions onto his students.
Sorry for the confusion, what I mean by doubled is playing the ostinato theme as a second voice, for example in the section that precedes the section we are discussing here:
I would have thought that the downward stems denote a long duration. I.e. right at the beginning you play g, then g an octave above. Then follows b but the g from the second voice should still sound (it is noted twice as long as the sextuplet sixteenths), i.e. now you are playing a third. Then, analogously b, f, f/g. Again in the second sixtuplet: a, c/e, c/e, e, a. This would result in the theme being highlighted not through accents but through longer duration.
@Albrecht - yes, that does seem to rule out the double-stop theory, but there's no way the downward-stemmed E can sound for a full crotchet when the E must be played again a quaver later! I think Irene is correct, that the downward stems are simply to remind the player to bring out the passacaglia theme and rhythm by whatever alchemy may be contrived
The way I see it you play the arpeggio but you just keep the e sounding while you play the two cs. What you suggest is generally marked with accent signs (Prokoffief solo sonata, second movement, second to last variation for example would be quite similar). Why would Ysaye write it this way when accent signs would do? And why give the down stem notes different values? That has to mean something.
Ysaye wrote it as he thought fit. Notation has it limits.
I thought I remembered having a recording of Ysaye himself playing his sonatas.