Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
Mr. PianoWorld - the full interview
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
65 registered members (AprilE, ando, Agent88, almo82, Anticlock, 19 invisible), 1,288 guests, and 8 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Moonlight Sonata tempo #1406503
03/29/10 04:40 PM
03/29/10 04:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 166
UK
P
PhilzPiano Offline OP
Full Member
PhilzPiano  Offline OP
Full Member
P

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 166
UK
Hi everyone, I have been reading this forum for a while but not contributing to it. I have found some of the posts on here very useful indeed.

I'm currently learning Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata 1st movement and I'm wondering if anyone has any idea what the tempo should be? I'm trying to set a metronome and my sheet music gives no indication at all. Having listened to a few well known pianists playing on CD, they all seem to have different ideas. Any thoughts?


Kawai CA67
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: PhilzPiano] #1406585
03/29/10 06:34 PM
03/29/10 06:34 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,558
Roswell, Georgia
N
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
NancyM333  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
N

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,558
Roswell, Georgia
I think it is pretty slow, but you should pick a tempo that you like. I often wind up bringing my metronome to my computer, clicking on a YouTube video, and figuring out the metronome setting I like that way.

The real key to the tempo for this piece (actually, probably true for all pieces) is to set it for the most difficult measure for you. Because the piece has such a steady rhythm to it, it's especially important not to slow down when you get to the tricky measures in the second half. So I would figure out how fast I can play those, and make sure I don't start any faster than that. That's painful in this piece because it starts out so easy! I love this piece; you've made me want to go pull it out.

Welcome to the forum. What else are you working on?

Nancy


Estonia 168
Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: NancyM333] #1406679
03/29/10 08:36 PM
03/29/10 08:36 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,029
Oregon
CMohr Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012
CMohr  Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,029
Oregon
Adagio is usually 60-80 on the metronome. But as Nancy says, listen to many recordings and decide which you prefer.

That said, in my opinion, many people play the Moonlight sonata much too fast, and it is kind of easy to fall into playing it at too fast a tempo.


Think less - play more

[Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: CMohr] #1406722
03/29/10 09:52 PM
03/29/10 09:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 512
California
AnotherSchmoe Offline
500 Post Club Member
AnotherSchmoe  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 512
California
I think anywhere from 5:30 to 7:00 minutes is acceptable. Slow or fast or in-between, up to the performer, just have to find one that suits your taste or mood. I've heard famous concert pianists play it both ways (and still sound great) so I don't think anyone can legitimately say you're playing it wrong if you just prefer it at one speed or another. That said, if you were to go faster than 5:30 or slower than 7:00 I'd consider it a little excessive, but that's just my opinion. Whatever tempo you choose though, the key is to try and keep it fairly consistent throughout.

Just some examples from the pros:
Wilhelm Kempff - Moonlight Sonata Mov. 1 in about 5:40
Claudio Arrau - Moonlight Sonata Mov. 1 in about 6:50

So you see, it sounds different but still good at both tempos. Just depends on what you're in the mood for. smile

Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: AnotherSchmoe] #1406740
03/29/10 10:15 PM
03/29/10 10:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,418
Dallas, TX
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member
packa  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,418
Dallas, TX
This is always a question with a wide range of opinion. IMHO, even the Kempff tempo is a bit too slow. Keep in mind that Beethoven wrote this as alla breve (2/2), though you'd have to play it pretty fast to get much feeling of two beats per measure. Nevertheless, I guess I like it a little closer to alla breve than most.


Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718
Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: packa] #1406867
03/30/10 03:37 AM
03/30/10 03:37 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 166
UK
P
PhilzPiano Offline OP
Full Member
PhilzPiano  Offline OP
Full Member
P

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 166
UK
Thanks for the replies everyone. The answers confirmed my feelings that there is no absolute correct speed for this piece. As I don't have a piano teacher I have been using Alfred Brendel as my 'personal tutor'! He plays the piece in about 6 minutes, which feels about right.

In answer to Nancy's question I'm also working on Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C major and Chopin's Prelude No. 4 in E minor. My dream is to play the 3rd movement of Moonlight Sonata, but somehow I think I'm many years away from that! I'm also working on scales and piano theory in general with a lot of help from the internet.


Kawai CA67
Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: PhilzPiano] #1406981
03/30/10 09:20 AM
03/30/10 09:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 403
Ireland
D
Devane Offline
Full Member
Devane  Offline
Full Member
D

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 403
Ireland
Good timing. I was only listening to these podcasts yesterday.

There's an overview on the sonatas here. (Thanks to whoever posted them before)

http://music.guardian.co.uk/classical/page/0,,1943867,00.html

Direct Link
http://download.guardian.co.uk/sys-audio/Arts/Culture/2006/11/22/03_14CSharpMin.mp3

He plays it quite fast and explains why. Food for thought on this one. It'd still go with the slower version If I had to perform it.

If the file doesn't work (IP blocked) I'll upload it.

Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: Devane] #1407252
03/30/10 03:07 PM
03/30/10 03:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 527
Bristol, UK
T
timmyab Offline
500 Post Club Member
timmyab  Offline
500 Post Club Member
T

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 527
Bristol, UK
I'm more in the Schiff camp on this one which puts me in the minority I think, although his tempo is a little too extreme even for me.I play it at about 60 bpm which would bring it in at about 4 mins 45 secs, whereas Schiff's recording is 4.25.Six minutes seems to be a more normal length.

Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: timmyab] #1407394
03/30/10 06:22 PM
03/30/10 06:22 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 166
UK
P
PhilzPiano Offline OP
Full Member
PhilzPiano  Offline OP
Full Member
P

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 166
UK
Thanks for the links Devane - really brilliant. Will keep me quiet for hours!


Kawai CA67
Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: PhilzPiano] #1407405
03/30/10 06:39 PM
03/30/10 06:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 14
N
namethief Offline
Junior Member
namethief  Offline
Junior Member
N

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 14
A song book I have sets the tempo at 54.

Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: namethief] #1407593
03/31/10 03:51 AM
03/31/10 03:51 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 843
Dorset, UK
S
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member
sandalholme  Offline
500 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 843
Dorset, UK
The speed is not so important: it can work, clearly, at radically different speeds - this is up to the taste of the player. It is more important that the RH triplets do not plod (if the tempo is very slow) or pound (if the tempo is relatively fast). For this to be avoided the first note of each triplet should be slightly accented and the rest of the triplet to 'lift', i.e. the ryhthm should be slightly sprung. The difference is slight - like all great music, there are no easy pieces - but evenly played quavers kill this movement. The tempo of course has to be fast enough for the top line to be coherent, rather than a series of unconnected notes. The movement is more difficult the slower you play it, from a musical point of view.

Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: PhilzPiano] #1407601
03/31/10 04:26 AM
03/31/10 04:26 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 204
L
Ludwig van Bilge Offline
Full Member
Ludwig van Bilge  Offline
Full Member
L

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 204
It's a slow piece. I like the way Kempff does it.

Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: PhilzPiano] #1846346
02/16/12 07:13 PM
02/16/12 07:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2
California, U.S.A.
D
Dan Pyle Offline
Junior Member
Dan Pyle  Offline
Junior Member
D

Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2
California, U.S.A.
I listened to a Horowitz recording made in the 60s (A Reminiscence • Sony Classical) and he played Moonlight around 50 BPM, but sometimes gets up to 53-55 BPM. To me, the piece seems rushed if you play it above 55, but I agree with some of you, once you find the tempo you like, turn the metronome off so the piece sounds more fluidic, and alive.


Amateur Pianist and Guitarist
Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: PhilzPiano] #1846469
02/16/12 11:12 PM
02/16/12 11:12 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 120
Washington
IreneAdler Offline
Full Member
IreneAdler  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 120
Washington
Its funny that today of all days that I find this post; as I am also learning the 1st movement of Moonlight Sonata and Chopin's Prelude No. 4. I was just trying to iron out some issues with measures 12- 16 of "Moonlight", with moderate success, though measure 13 is still a trouble spot for me. I play it slow around 50 bpm; I always think of the tempo of my horse's canter, which to me seems like an good tempo for the piece.

How do you play the non-staccato left hand in Chopin's Prelude, the right hand is coming along quite well, but acheving that consistent tempo in the left hand is still eluding me.


Re: Moonlight Sonata tempo [Re: IreneAdler] #1846484
02/16/12 11:23 PM
02/16/12 11:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,900
SoCal
Plowboy Offline

2000 Post Club Member
Plowboy  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,900
SoCal
Originally Posted by IreneAdler

How do you play the non-staccato left hand in Chopin's Prelude, the right hand is coming along quite well, but acheving that consistent tempo in the left hand is still eluding me.


I just spent a year(!) on the E minor prelude. It wasn't the tempo of the chords, but the dynamics that eluded me for so long.

My teacher believes in rubato for the left hand chords. Most seem to play it that way. Though, I believe I read somewhere Chopin said rubato was for the melody not the accompaniment?

Last edited by Plowboy; 02/16/12 11:23 PM.

Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach

Moderated by  BB Player 

(ad)
Sweetwater - Keyboards
Sweetwater
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Crackling noise when recording digital piano
by Tommm777. 11/13/18 01:01 AM
Summer Camp Opportunity with orchestra
by pianofan1017. 11/13/18 12:47 AM
Pedal noise fix for Garritan CFX
by HCC. 11/13/18 12:34 AM
Hailun - Out of business?
by StevenG. 11/13/18 12:12 AM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Petrof
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics188,309
Posts2,760,584
Members91,477
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Please Support Our Advertisers
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

Sweetwater

PianoTeq Petrof
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.2