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Re: Early Advanced Romantic to 21st Century Piano Sonatas [Re: Midlife_Piano] #2744197
06/13/18 05:02 PM
06/13/18 05:02 PM
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by Midlife_Piano
While there are some easier pieces within Brahms Op.118, I think Brahms Op.118, as a whole, is harder than Schubert Sonata and Grieg Sonata. It's also more difficult to make Brahms Op.118 sound good and interesting.

It's worth remembering that Brahms's sets of piano pieces can be mixed & matched, unlike sonatas, where the composer conceived the movements as part of the whole. In fact, there is currently an excellent ongoing recording project where the pianist makes his own selection of pieces from Op.10, Op.76, Op.79 and Op.116 -119 in his own order to fill up each CD, and it works very well, shining new light on his late piano music in particular when heard in a different juxtaposition from the published sets.

In other words, one wouldn't normally play Schubert's D664 second movement as a standalone piece (nor indeed Grieg's Sonata slow movement), but the famous Op.118/2 is very frequently played by itself - by both concert pianists as well as amateurs. Many students only ever learn No.2, in fact. There is no reason why anyone should feel obliged to learn all the pieces from Op.118 (or indeed, Op.117 - of which No.1 is by far the most popular too) for performance purposes.

Whereas with a piano sonata, one wouldn't normally hear a concert pianist play a single movement, except as an encore.

As for styles, it is good to become familiar with different composers' piano writing, which is a very good reason for someone who's never tackled Brahms before to play him.......


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Re: Early Advanced Romantic to 21st Century Piano Sonatas [Re: JDRPiano] #2744204
06/13/18 05:53 PM
06/13/18 05:53 PM
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Posts: 275
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Midlife_Piano Offline
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Hi Bennevis,

I hear you. Actually at the same program where I played Grieg Sonata this year, the other performer played Brahms Op.118. She played 1,2,3 and 6. It worked very well as programming but I would say her workload was at least as much as mine if not more. While Brahms Op.118-2 is often played by itself, I am not so sure this is what OP wants. If he tries to add 1-2 more Brahms pieces, the workload can quickly add up to the level of Schubert or Grieg Sonata. I do hear Schubert A major 1st movement played by itself quite often at recitals. I am curious to see what OP decides to do.

Yes, Brahms Intermezzi (Op.116-119) are great works. Lots of pieces to choose from. Maybe I will give Brahms another try later. (Op.119-2 in E minor comes to mind)

Re: Early Advanced Romantic to 21st Century Piano Sonatas [Re: JDRPiano] #2744213
06/13/18 06:34 PM
06/13/18 06:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 219
Maryland, USA
scriabinfanatic Offline
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JDRPiano: My suggestions for sonata-type pieces I have learned which are on about the same level of difficulty as the Beethoven Op. 2 no. 1.... 1) the already-mentioned Dello-Joio Sonata no. 3 (with the caveat that I only have played the first movement theme and variations, because that's the only movement I really like, but it's terrific!), 2) Khachaturian Sonatina (1958), 3) Kabalevsky Sonatina No. 1 in C, Op. 13 (one of my all-time favorite piano pieces by any composer, and all three movements are equally good and filled with opportunities for expressivity).

Re: Early Advanced Romantic to 21st Century Piano Sonatas [Re: JDRPiano] #2744268
06/13/18 11:14 PM
06/13/18 11:14 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 80
Northern California
JDRPiano Offline OP
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JDRPiano  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 80
Northern California
I'll have to see what my professor will say, just so I can come up with more options to add to his list and see what he says about all of your suggestions. Also, just got a wonderful suggestion from my close friend who is also a piano performance major. I was messaging him and he brought up the idea of playing a selection from Bartok's Sketches Op. 9 for the Contemporary-era as it supposedly is a good enough amount of work for me (he says). Again, thank you for all your suggestions! If you have more, please, fire away! smile


“It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.”
― Johann Sebastian Bach
Re: Early Advanced Romantic to 21st Century Piano Sonatas [Re: JDRPiano] #2744270
06/13/18 11:28 PM
06/13/18 11:28 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 80
Northern California
JDRPiano Offline OP
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JDRPiano  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 80
Northern California
In response to Midlife_Piano, the fourth movement of the Grieg Sonata looks pretty difficult in terms of technical skill and sheer power. But I can see why the second movement could also be hard to interpret and convey as musically as possible. I may suggest the Grieg Sonata to my professor just to see what he says, although, some of Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words also look very appealing as I have played Jaegerlied and boy did that give me a bit of a workout.


“It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.”
― Johann Sebastian Bach
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