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#583983 - 08/15/01 10:13 AM 0p.111, or any other beethovan
sandman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 605
Loc: toronto
hey everybody...in the not too distant future im going to begin working on beethovan's sonata #32 in C-minor for my ARCT exam...(royal conservatory of toronto's grading system)...its my absolute favorite peice by any composer for any instrument..i cant think of another peice more sublimely beautiful, or another piece that i would rather learn, have any of you spent time with this sonata, or could give any advice or thought on your impressions of it or your experiences in learning it...is it every bit as difficult as it sounds?...is there another sonata you would suggest over this one, and for what reasons? (a beethovan sonata is required...so it must be by beethovan)
i would appreciate your thoughts...thanks

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#583984 - 08/15/01 11:20 AM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
I am hesitant to give recommendations as I don't know your skill level. I am not familiar with the specific exams you're preparing to take. Someone else here will undoubtedly be more knowledgeable. But, yes, this is a difficult sonata (not only in respect to technical demands, but also because, imho, it requires a great deal of maturity to really be played well --especially the final movement which is so sublime). It is a favorite (though I am more fond of the op110 and op109 of the late sonatas). As to recommendations for a specific sonata, I think that really depends on your abilities (current level of achievement). I would think your own piano instructor is your best resource for this question. Good luck with your exams.

[ August 15, 2001: Message edited by: netizen ]
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

#583985 - 08/15/01 11:38 AM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
sandman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 605
Loc: toronto
this sonata is listed in the syllabus for the royal conservatory where i study ( along with all beethovan sonatas except the "two easy sonatas") as being of ARCT difficulty...i realize of course that even among the sonatas there is a wide spectrum of difficult, and i am aware that it is very difficult both technically and emotionally....although ive had no direct experience playing it... im confidant that im at a level where im ready to learn it...its certainly not far beyond me...even though i know and expect it to take quite a long time to learn (typically 2-5 years of study is recomemded prior to doing the ARCT exam...its the highest level at the royal conservatory)and ill need every minute i would imagine

#583986 - 08/15/01 12:32 PM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
Vid Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 1446
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Well, you know your capabilities and skill level. How long have you been playing the piano? I don't know if Op. 111 is necessarily a wise choice for an ARCT exam. I think your asking for trouble. Its not only a difficult piece technically, but musically as well. To really pull off it takes the maturity of a seasoned performer and then some. On the other hand far be it from me to to discourage you from taking the challenge.

What else are you working on BTW? You have 50 minutes to perform all your pieces so that's another consideration in your selection of your 'B' piece.
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

#583987 - 08/15/01 01:14 PM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
sandman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 605
Loc: toronto
i've been playing most of my life..since i was seven...but only really started takeing serious lessons for the last 5 years or so...im 21 now, im just finishing up gr.10...i have some memorization of pieces to do then ill take the exam..im in no hurry at all...its just for personal enjoyment, ill take as long as it takes for me to learn everything well..if i feel im not ready ill wait a bit.... i have the rest of my life to become a great piano player...so im really in no hurry...thats why i'd really like to learn this piece..its my favorite, and it wouldn't bother me if it takes me forever cause it really would be a labour of love

right now im learning...

Bach prelude and fugue in F#major...book 1 of WTC
Mozart sonata K332
Chopin prelude Op.45
Chopin etude op.10 # 3
Scriabin Etude Op. 2 #1
Shoshtakovitch preludes #1, and another one...i dont remember the number....its one of the last ones..fast one, allergro agitato...i think.
Debussey, Dr. Gradus ad parnassum, or Rachmoninov prelude in C#m.. i know both...for the exam ill probably do the debussy, its a lot easier..less chance to screw up

#583988 - 08/15/01 02:53 PM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
ZeldaHanson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/01
Posts: 276
Loc: Cape Cod, MA, USA
beethovan = beethoven =0))
Glenn Gould in regards to music:

The problem begins when one forgets the artificiality of it all, when one neglects to pay homage to those designations that to our minds-to our reflect senses, perhaps-make of music an analyzable commodity. The trouble begins when we start to become so impressed by the strategies of ours systematized thought that we forget that it does relate to an obverse, that it is hewn from negation, that it is but a very small security against the void of negation which surrounds it.

#583989 - 08/15/01 02:59 PM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
BruceD Online   content

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 20192
Loc: Victoria, BC

Who is this Beethovan guy? And, what a coincidence, he seems to have at least one soanta with the same Opus number as Beethoven!
- - - - -
Estonia 190

#583990 - 08/16/01 02:49 AM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
meltone1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/01
Posts: 41
Loc: Wichita KS
hmm..very interesting..i'm going to have to check him out! Why, with as high of praise as you speak of his work Sandman, I would be a fool not to! \:\)

#583991 - 08/16/01 08:35 AM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
sandman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 605
Loc: toronto
ha, lol...emabarssing little typo..sorry for my shody proof-reading abilities

#583992 - 08/16/01 08:39 AM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado

Let me echo the thoughts shared by netizen and Vid. Your teacher should be a much better person to answer the Qs in your original post. Op.111 IS that difficult technically and musically. That's for sure!

I looked at the pieces you're currently working on. None is, IMHO, even close to the demands of the magnificent Op.111. I played the Op.111 about 24 years ago. Believe me this is the pinnacle of piano composition. I'd certainly recommend, if I may, try Op.109 or 110 before tackling 111.

For auditions/exams Op.110 is more manageable and tend to be better accepted than Op.111 unless you absolutely know what you're doing. Just my .02.

Best wishes to your pianistic endeavors.


#583993 - 08/18/01 05:45 PM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
yok Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/01
Posts: 497
Loc: New Zealand
Hey sandman,

This is a bit off-topic, but I was listening to Edwin Fishcer's recording of WTC last night and I noticed that in the F# Prelude from Bk 1 he plays no ornament at all on the tied notes. He also uses a very quick tempo.

On the topic of Op 111, you don't say how many Beethoven sonatas you've studied so far. It probably wouldn't be a good idea to try Beethoven's last great statement on that form without being familiar with his earlier essys in it. If the exam syllabus allows any Beethoven sonata (except the Op 49s?), I would play as many of them as possible in the next few years including Op 111. You may find that a different sonata suits you better, or if you do choose Op 111, the study of the other sonatas will improve your understanding of it.

BTW, I played Doctor Gradus in an exam once and I think it is an effective piece.

#583994 - 08/18/01 07:10 PM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
To echo yok's reply, I also think it is essential to learn Beethoven's earlier sonatas before tackling his late works. Many of his earlier sonatas are still quite hard, but those difficulties are more easily overcome. I would recommend the following, thse are also some of the more 'popular ones: Op. 2 no 1, Op.13 "pathetique", Op 27 no 2 and Op. 28, Op. 31 'the tempest' and Op. 81a 'les adiex'. These are all doable, and give you a lot of experience which you will need on his later works. You can then tackle harder works like the Op. 53 'Waldstein', Op57 'appasionata', and his late sonatas. But if you find that you really like Op 111 more than these, go ahead and do it, because sometimes you must put fun before convinience or difficulty! Good luck! ;\)

#583995 - 08/18/01 08:13 PM Re: 0p.111, or any other beethovan
PianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 902
Loc: Philly, PA
Sandman..do the Dr. Gradus. this is really funny, because i had to choose between those two peices for a student recital. I picked the Dr. Gradus as it was easier to control in performance. it turned out fantsastic..hopefully it will for you, too

[ August 19, 2001: Message edited by: PianoMuse ]
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff


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