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I would like to play some Beethoven. However the arthritis has gotten so bad that I cannot play fast music anymore. Can anyone recommend any Beethoven sonatas that have beautiful slow movements? I also can barely reach an octave with my right hand and if there are notes in between I can’t play them at all unless I leave the bottom note out. Octaves only my left hand are not a problem. It is osteoarthritis just due to age. I saw an orthopedist and when he took X-rays, he said there was very little cartilage left in my right hand. He also fortunately for me said playing the piano was the best thing I could do for it. I know I played one several years ago but I can’t remember which one. Thanks for any suggestions. Judy
My favourites are the ones in 9/8: the sonata in B flat op 22 and the one in C minor op 32 no 1. Of course "slow movement" doesn't guarantee that you always move your fingers slowly, some of them involve rapid fioriture, like the D minor op 31 no 2.
Don't neglect this composer's standalone works, especially the Andante in F WoO 80 (the "Andante favori"). I also thought of the two Rondos op 51, which are not exactly "slow movements" but aren't exactly quick. They do include some faster passages and runs, however.
What about some Mozart too? Have a look at the Adagio in B minor K 540.
I would also be interested in some slow / not too hard Beethoven. I tried out several small pieces, German dances, sonatinas etc., but I don't seem to "get" him.
On the other hand, I'm doing slow movements from Mozart sonatas (K. 545, K. 332, K. 280, K. 282), and they're definitely more friendly and gratifying. There are turns, trills and 32nd notes here and there - I think it's K. 332 where you have to play 8-10 notes per second in some places - but if I managed to learn them, I'm sure most people can.
If you're looking for some slow Beethoven you could try going to the Pianosyllabus site and search on composer = Beethoven and title = adagio. That should spit out a few interesting pieces. Repeat with andante or whatever tempo you like.
It hasn't been mentioned and it's not a 2nd movement. But 1st movement of Moonlight is very doable, I'm sure a lot of purists will get upset if you don't hold the top melody note down. But for your situation, just pedal it all and you'll be fine.
My favourite slow movement of Beethoven, apart from Pathétique which is already mentioned is this one:
It's so dark and wonderful. But I think you may struggle to play this because it's a lot of big chords, although being at a largo tempo you might be able to get through it.
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I'm reading a biography of Beethoven (Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph. Jan Swafford) and find it helps me to understand him a bit better. Although I love some of his dramatic loud and fast music my musical limitations include not being able to fluently play correctly and fast. So the adagio movements of his sonatas are both challenging and achievable. I have not given up on the faster sections but may just keep them between myself and my piano room. I'm working on Op 14 No 1 at the moment.