The development in the first movement is short, and has some interesting points. One of them being the trills at 0.43 on the mp3-stream below.
They are very hard to play on a modern piano with a heavier touch than Beethoven’s piano. And in a way, they tend to determine the tempo a bit, since you can’t just slow down right there (it’s actually an especially bad place to slow down) because there are those trills.
You could shorten the trills but I really don’t like the character it gives. So, to try to get those trills in a tempo that is still acceptable is a challenge.
Another place is the syncopations at 0.30, I think they can be brought out a lot and almost violently, I think I’m too “nice” in this take actually. This would probably be the top note of the rocket as a motive played off beat, no? One has to watch out not to let the accents spill over to other notes, which is not completely easy.
At 0.54, I try to have a percentage of a constant pedal…I think it could give, again, the effect of Beethoven’s piano with less exact dampers, giving the sound a little “glow” instead of being too dry.
When the first theme comes back, there is no question that this time there SHOULD be a real accent on the top note, it’s in the score. But I think it’s good to wait until this moment to really have it come out. I also think the arpeggio should start on the beat, but with a kind of “schwung” up, so that one is not stuck on the low note (thumb). It certainly helps to make sure to follow the movement with wrist, followed by elbow in a round upwards movement.
Actually, sometimes there can be a “clash” technically between movements needed to get a
good sound on a modern piano, and the time those movements might take, and make the music slower and heavier. There are constant judgement calls to be made.
What doesn’t come for free in this movement and even less in the slow movement, is the legato: to make the slurs heard, or avoid the chip-chop playing when the harmony, character and intervals need vertical playing. The second theme is a good example. I try to “melt” my hand slightly, to sink into the keys with a light hand. You need to be lighter in your hand as the figure is going down:
As the hand is built, the thumb-part is heavier and one needs to offset that with lifting the hand ever so slightly with the help of the wrist on the way down.
If you play that too “fingery”, there will be bumps and it will sound too much like chopping cucumber.