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Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Bosendorff #2871710 07/23/19 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Bosendorff
1) There are many great ones so I don't have a favorite. Depending on the mood I want to express, I will play opus 13, 27-2, 31-2, 31-3, 49-2, 53, 57, 79, 101, 109, 110 or 111.

They're all marvellous. Alas for being so out of practice.


Originally Posted by D959
My favorite is probably op. 101 in A major, but it's probably also the hardest after op. 106.

Another really nice one that's much easier is the op. 78 in F Sharp. If you can get past the annoying (to me) key signature, it's not much harder than most Mozart sonatas, and is quite rewarding, especially in the 2nd movement.

Ooooh. D'you know, I'd almost forgotten about op. 78. That might be one to try my very rusty hands on some time. Thank you!


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Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2871824 07/23/19 09:02 AM
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I'm glad a few others have mentions Pathetique. I generally avoid playing the most popular pieces, not because I'm a snob but because one can easily find half a million others who have played the popular pieces far better than I ever could.

That said, Pathetique is something special to me for a reason not related to its relative musical merits. It is the first large, challenging classical piece I attempted when I was fairly new to the piano. I didn't at all have the chops to play it in a way anyone would want to hear, but it helped me to grow as a pianist. At one point I was able to play all three movements from memory. Not necessarily at the intended tempos all the way through, or with expert musicality. Nonetheless I played it.

So when I hear it again, or go back and play through the score at this crusty calcified age, it brings back those fuzzy memories of my enthusiastic and ambitious youth.

Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2871937 07/23/19 02:05 PM
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I assume that his MOST accessible piano sonatas are be the three that he composed when he was only 12 or 13 and aren't included with the 32 (they are categorized as WoO 47). Yes, he actually wrote 35 piano sonatas total in his life. Of course, these three early sonatas aren't on the same level as the other 32, but he was so young, one can't expect them to be. They're still quality pieces that are worth playing, and I think pianists should at least read through them to see what Beethoven was doing at that young of an age. EDIT: I see someone already mentioned these above.

And someone else above mentioned the Pathetique sonata... I have heard from several people the first movement of that sonata is the first example of a piece in sonata form where the slow introduction actually comes back, and this would have been a massive shock to people at the time.

Except that's not true. Beethoven HIMSELF actually did that in the first movement the F minor sonata (WoO 47, No. 2). The slow introduction comes back in the end of the development, before the recapitulation.

I am fascinated to see that some of Beethoven's quirks that we find throughout his music were there with him the entire time, from the very beginning.

Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Orange Soda King #2871960 07/23/19 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King


My favorite earlier sonata is Op. 22, which never gets the love it deserves!



That is my favorite, too! grin In fact, it's one of the first things I'm going to re-learn now that my competitions are over.


aka Lady Arabesque
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Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2877770 08/08/19 04:16 PM
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Favorites are:
Op.106, Op.31 No.3, Op.28

Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2877972 08/09/19 06:22 AM
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I don't have a favorite sonata, but I have favorite movements. I love playing Tempest 3rd movement, just love the way it feels under my fingers. I also love Pathetique 1st movement, and the fugue in the final movement of Op. 110. These and Moonlight are complete sonatas I've learned, plus first movement only of Waldstein.
I love this movement after hearing it played here at half the speed of other recordings I've heard:
https://youtu.be/pMwkDHOHyKQ

I think Moonlight might be easiest to learn, or Pathetique. I always struggled with playing the tremolo without tension, my rotation technique isn't very good. So I find Moonlight easier.

Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
achoo42 #2877994 08/09/19 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Anne Shirley
I don't have a favorite sonata, but I have favorite movements. I love playing Tempest 3rd movement, just love the way it feels under my fingers...

Yesssss, oh yes. I see you're a kindred spirit! I love that movement and remember well playing it (alas, it was a long time ago).

I do have favourite movements too, but I can't help but see sonatas as a whole - so it just feels wrong to me to play only the first movement of Moonlight, for example (especially since the 3rd is so gorgeous as well).

Originally Posted by achoo42
Favorites are:
Op.106, Op.31 No.3, Op.28

I love how everyone has different favourites!

With all the inspiration from this thread, I've decided to set myself a new piano goal: Between now and the end of the Beethoven year next year, I'll always be practising a Beethoven sonata. At my current snail's pace, I don't think I'll get through all that many, but who cares? They're all beautiful and great practice. I'm currently sweating over the first movement of no. 25, op. 79 - it's very "classical" early-ish Ludwig van, and seems deceptively "easy" until you realise it's supposed to be Presto grin


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Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2878311 08/10/19 12:06 PM
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The first movement of No. 25 is a Laender. As Hans von Bulow noted, van Beethoven did it much better than Franz Schubert. The repeated broken chord figures go to a interweaving hand gesture between each pair of dancers, alternating three and four measures just as he wrote it. Be sure to hit the ending repeated note hard: it is the "cuckoo" figure. As for speed, it is the forerunner of the waltz and should be played fast enough to dance to, vigorously.
I still think Ludwig was drunk when he wrote the 1st and 3rd movements of the Tempest sonata. The cross-hands section in the second movement should be played without the una corda, despite what the editor may think. Of course, I have no use for that pedal elsewhere, either.
He writes "due corda" occasionally. Can that actually be done on a modern piano?
The intro to the fugue in Op. 110 shows that Beethoven could stretch a minor tenth.

Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
edferris #2878321 08/10/19 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by edferris

The intro to the fugue in Op. 110 shows that Beethoven could stretch a minor tenth.

The start to Op.2/3 shows that the young Luddy could already stretch a major tenth wink .


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2878347 08/10/19 02:52 PM
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Ahh, a favourite Beethoven sonata... I like many of his sonatas, and at any moment a different one has caught my attention. Op. 111, 90, and 53 will remain perennial favourites. There's just so much to them. Next come the Tempest, op. 31/2, and Appassionata, op. 57. I love them but not as much as the others. Op. 106 was one of the first I heard, oddly, and one of the first I really loved. Op. 81a is also quite beautiful but I like it less over time. I think I would enjoy playing almost any of them, save for the early Haydnesque ones. At the moment I'm working on op. 111 and seeing how far it would go. It's great to finally play one of your absolute favourite pieces.

As for a starter piece, the op. 49 sonatinas are fantastic, but you could also look at op. 27 no. 1.

Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2878562 08/11/19 12:52 PM
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I may not live long enough to play ANY of these myself, but I enjoy listening in on your conversation! Seattle will hear many of the 32 sonatas in Seattle during the coming year. Jonathan Biss plays at Meany Hall (University of Washington) in November and December: no. 4 "Grand," no. 5, No. 11, No. 14 "Moonlight," no. 17 "Tempest", No. 23 "Appassionata," no. 24 "a Therese," and no. 30/Opus 109. (BTW Beethoven's birthday is December 16, and there will be even more of his music than usual, especially in Germany, through 16 December 2020, the 250th anniversary of his birth in Bonn.) April 2020, back in Seattle, Steven Osborne will play the last 3 sonatas at Benaroya Hall.


Goodbye Mister Upright (Yamaha YUS5), hello Estonia L168.
Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2879193 08/13/19 11:21 AM
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We are doing the same here in Philadelphia. I will be attending the Philadelphia Orchestra performing all Nine Beethoven Symphonies (not in one sitting, of course) and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Piano Recital Series - of Beethoven Sonatas. Im ecstatic!


Barbara
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Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Music Me #2879267 08/13/19 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Music Me
... the Philadelphia Orchestra performing all Nine Beethoven Symphonies (not in one sitting, of course) ...

ha I'm trying to imagine it - you know, the way they do movie-series "marathons" in cinemas sometimes, tee hee.

Ok seriously, it sounds like you're in for a major treat. I just love anniversary years!


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Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2929579 01/02/20 09:14 PM
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Just in time for Beethoven's anniversary year, Pianist Jonathan Biss Presents Final Lectures in Free Online Course 'Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas'. Part 6, which is the last part of the free course, opens for registration on 6 January 2020 on Coursera.

The first 5 parts of his free lecture cycle are available online as follows:


Happy Beethoven's 250th this year!


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Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2929639 01/03/20 04:45 AM
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These courses were alredy available this year. I listened to most of it and it is good content. It is better if you have some good knowledge of classic sonata structure, otherwise some of the concepts might not be as meaningfull. But anyway it is a good introduction if someone wants to study some of these pieces.

Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Tyrone Slothrop #2929802 01/03/20 01:47 PM
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Thanks for the alert! I've listened to most of Biss's lectures but lately I've been waiting to hear what he has to say about The Tempest and the Appassionata until after hearing him play. A few weeks ago I got to hear him give a master class on a Tuesday, perform 5 sonatas on Wednesday, and four more on a Thursday evening (a makeup for the November performance that he had to cancel due to illness). Nine Beethoven sonatas in two successive evenings! I'm not that familiar with most of the sonatas, so it was as if I was hearing so many beautiful passages for the first time.

For the "makeup," Biss played in a small hall before fewer than 250 avid listeners. I think we were all breathing in sync with the performance. The shimmer of overtones in the recitatives of the Tempest first movement was one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.


Goodbye Mister Upright (Yamaha YUS5), hello Estonia L168.
Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sidokar #2929832 01/03/20 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
These courses were alredy available this year. I listened to most of it and it is good content. It is better if you have some good knowledge of classic sonata structure, otherwise some of the concepts might not be as meaningfull. But anyway it is a good introduction if someone wants to study some of these pieces.

Yes, Parts 1-5 were available earlier. Part 6, which is the last part, will be available in 3 days.


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Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Tyrone Slothrop #2929919 01/03/20 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Just in time for Beethoven's anniversary year, Pianist Jonathan Biss Presents Final Lectures in Free Online Course 'Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas'. Part 6, which is the last part of the free course, opens for registration on 6 January 2020 on Coursera.

The first 5 parts of his free lecture cycle are available online as follows:


Happy Beethoven's 250th this year!



Thanks Tyrone!



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Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2930158 01/04/20 02:02 PM
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Very nice, thank you so much. Bookmarked smile


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Re: Two opinion questions on Beethoven's sonatas
Sibylle #2930282 01/04/20 07:54 PM
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My favorite is A major, Op. 101. I love every movement so dearly, and the entire structure of the sonata from beginning to end. The finale is full of joy.

Most accessible to play? That's kind of hard to say, there are several. I'm sure the ones listed already are great choices.

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