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Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591029
01/13/05 04:25 PM
01/13/05 04:25 PM
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Ballyhoo Offline OP
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I'd like to know how these movements of Beethoven sonatas compare in difficulty:

- Pathetique 1st movement
- Moonlight 3rd movement
- Appassionata 1st movement
- Les Adieux 3rd movement
- Hammerklavier 1st movement
- Op. 110 1st movement

I've learnt about half of the Pathetique 1st movement, and about half of the Les Adieux 3rd movement. I found the Pathetique much harder - those broken octaves really tire my left hand.

I'm thinking of starting either Hammerklavier or Op. 110.

Thanks!

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Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591030
01/13/05 04:44 PM
01/13/05 04:44 PM
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Beaver Offline
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I would say:

1. Hammerklavier 1st Movement
2. Les Adieux 3rd Movement
3. Appassionata 1st Movement
4. Moonlight 3rd Movement
5. Op.110 1st Movement
6. Pathétique 1st Movement

On a purely technical basis.

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591031
01/13/05 06:03 PM
01/13/05 06:03 PM
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aznxk3vi17 Offline
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If you've found the Pathetique to be difficult in the least... don't start the Hammerklavier. To jump from the Pathetique to the Hammerklavier is not a wise move. There are much more difficult things to deal with in that one; the Pathetique's broken left hand figures are weak in comparison.

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591032
01/13/05 06:33 PM
01/13/05 06:33 PM
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Ballyhoo Offline OP
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Thanks for your reply, Beaver. I'm assuming your list is from hardest to easiest. For some reason the Hammerklavier 1st movement doesn't really sound that hard to me. Moonlight 3rd sounds much harder.

Thanks for the advice, aznxk3vi17. I'll probably give Hammerklavier a try anyway, and see how it goes.

I've read that the 3rd movement of Les Adieux is really difficult, but I thought I'd give it a try, just because I like it so much. It turns out that I find it easier than the Pathetique, unless the second half of Les Adieux is much harder than the first.

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591033
01/13/05 07:22 PM
01/13/05 07:22 PM
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8ude Offline
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Just my opinion

Hardest...
- Hammerklavier 1st movement
- Op. 110 1st movement
- Moonlight 3rd movement
- Appassionata 1st movement
- Les Adieux 3rd movement
- Pathetique 1st movement
Easiest...

As was mentioned - if Pathetique is at all giving you trouble, I would not venture into the Hammerklavier. The difficulties in that work are considerable - not just as far as the notes, but in musicality. As for the Les Adieux movement, I wouldn't call it easy, but compared to a lot of the ones you listed, I don't personally think it is quite as difficult as the rest.


What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.
Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591034
01/13/05 11:41 PM
01/13/05 11:41 PM
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madman_with_octaves Offline
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You should pick an easier sonata than any of these. op. 14, 49, or 79.

If Pathetique is giving you trouble, all the ones you mention are totally out of the question.

Especially the Hammerklavier.

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591035
01/14/05 01:17 AM
01/14/05 01:17 AM
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Ballyhoo Offline OP
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Thanks for the advice.

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591036
01/14/05 01:23 AM
01/14/05 01:23 AM
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op.110 is not hard at all, if you have strong hands, you can pull it off easily.


Perfection itself is imperfection- Horowitz
Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591037
01/14/05 08:06 AM
01/14/05 08:06 AM
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kcoul058 Offline
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I just about finished the Moonlight and Pathetique (never bothered learning the 3rd movement of the Pathetique because I thought it was rather showy and mostly fluff... and then I played a concert where a pianist played that movement alone, and sure enough, it was the showiest thing i've seen in a long time, I felt like walking out of the room but I had to play next!).

What would you all recommend as a good Sonata to start looking at after those two, especially considering I really enjoy the particular sound of the Moonlight 3rd and Pathetique 1st?

Thanks!

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591038
01/14/05 08:32 AM
01/14/05 08:32 AM
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pianoanne Offline
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op. 26 the last movement or op. 27 no. 1 the last movement

A lot of you are talking about op. 110 like it is easy to play. I think it is one of the most difficult Sonatas to pull off well. All of the late sonatas in general are like this including Hammerklavier. The people here asking these sort of questions to me sound like young students (high school) and if this is the case I would advise not to play (in performance) any Beethoven later than op. 79, especially if you've only played the Moonlight sonata and Pathetique sonatas.
It is ok, if you want to learn op. 110 or any late sonata just to see what it's about with the intention of bringing it back in the distant future. If this is the case though, make sure you can handle the technical demands of it, the 2nd movement of op.110 has a difficult middle section and the Hammerklavier is out of the question for most students, even graduate students at most universities.

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591039
01/14/05 08:37 AM
01/14/05 08:37 AM
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Mikester Offline
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Don't do the Hammerklavier. As you will find out very very very very quickly after trying it, this is one of those pieces that will take five, ten years, a lifetime to get right.

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591040
01/14/05 09:41 AM
01/14/05 09:41 AM
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Posts: 33
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madman_with_octaves Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by apianonne:
op. 26 the last movement or op. 27 no. 1 the last movement

A lot of you are talking about op. 110 like it is easy to play. I think it is one of the most difficult Sonatas to pull off well. All of the late sonatas in general are like this including Hammerklavier. The people here asking these sort of questions to me sound like young students (high school) and if this is the case I would advise not to play (in performance) any Beethoven later than op. 79, especially if you've only played the Moonlight sonata and Pathetique sonatas.
It is ok, if you want to learn op. 110 or any late sonata just to see what it's about with the intention of bringing it back in the distant future. If this is the case though, make sure you can handle the technical demands of it, the 2nd movement of op.110 has a difficult middle section and the Hammerklavier is out of the question for most students, even graduate students at most universities.
good post. agreed.

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591041
01/14/05 11:24 AM
01/14/05 11:24 AM
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Ballyhoo Offline OP
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Mikester and apianonne, thanks for your advice. I play purely for my own enjoyment. Because my only goal is to have fun, I'm happy to attempt difficult pieces which it would be unwise to attempt at this stage if I had more serious ambitions.

So I'm going to give Op. 110 and Hammerklavier (first movements only) a try, just because they're two of my favourite Beethoven movements. I would rather play them somewhat inadequately than not to play them at all.

After reading how difficult the third movement of Les Adieux is, I decided to give it a go, not expecting to do very well with it. But I did much better than I expected to, and I'm glad I tried it.

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591042
01/15/05 01:17 PM
01/15/05 01:17 PM
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andy71 Offline
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Ballyhoo, if the op13 first movement is giving trouble might i suggest getting something like Hanon's virtuoso pianist exercises and putting yourself on a strict diet of doing those once a day for a long time, say months at least, whatever else you do. You must have time on your hands if you are thinking of being able to do the first movement of op106/ also go and invest some money, if you havent got them, in the associated board (RSM) editions of the Beethoven which have lots of performance notes in them

hanon's tremolo exercise in particular will give you definitions of the word "knackered " that you never knew existed, but once learned you'll never look back..............
if you then come back to op13 i think you will find suddenly its a lot easier. play through op 13 dead slow to half speed at the same time until you can get it up to speed and without any forcing of the volume, that way the tone of your tremolo will improve as well

but if you are going to try op 106 i don't think you will be able to give any account of it that pleases you in a short time frame. feel free to call me wrong, but my guess is that you will jsut get discouraged...

another piece that is good for tremolo is "con mortuis in lingua mortua " from pictures at an exhibition, although the tremolo must be quiet....

picees like op53, op 57, 0p106 need among other things a fair degree of pure physical fitness to bring them off.... i'm two thirds of the way through op53, octave glissandos and all, and i wouldn't dare go near 0p106 in ernest yet, and i'm not a pro pianist either, although i do have some plans to do some basic teaching...

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591043
01/16/05 12:33 AM
01/16/05 12:33 AM
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Ballyhoo Offline OP
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Thanks for your suggestions, Andy. Plenty of people believe that Hanon is useless, but I'll give it a go since you recommended it.

I've started Op. 110, so won't be trying Op. 106 for a while.

It's strange though - based on listening to recordings and following the score, and trying to play little bits at the piano, I would've guessed that the 3rd movement of Moonlight is much harder than the 1st movement of Hammerklavier. (Note: I've only been talking about the 1st movement of Op. 106, not the whole thing.)

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591044
01/16/05 01:10 AM
01/16/05 01:10 AM
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aznxk3vi17 Offline
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Sorry, but that's just ridiculous.

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591045
01/16/05 07:08 AM
01/16/05 07:08 AM
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andy71 Offline
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HI Ballyhoo
well my piano teacher at school seemed to swear by Hanon, and he hadnt done badly for himself being a fellow of two royal colleges

i guess it depends though, hanon is largely scales and coordination and finger/wrist dexterity so if you want fistfuls of chords you will need somethig else, but for the sort of music we're dealing with its good training...

i realise you were only talking of the first movement of op106, more of that in a mo

i'm feeling too lazy to go and get both from downstairs, but the 3rd movement of the Csharp minor is as you know largely based around that arpeggiated figure, which thankfully Beethoven never put in the left hand until the very end, but which is mainly difficult because of the key and having to break out of it to play the chord at the top.. there are one or two difficult chord passages in it and you need fluent scales here and there, but its not difficult difficult.

now take op106. the whole thing lasts about 40 minutes at least, depending on how slow you play the slow movement, which lasts anywhere from 15-25 minutes and apart from the technical aspect has all sorts of dynamic effects taht you cant get on a modern upright. and the fugue probably shouldnt be the first ever fugue anyone ever learns....

but just concentrating on the first movement,. you have lots of broken octaves, thirds, juxtaposition of the hands, the Csharp minor is almost a doddle by comparison

the order of difficulty of the last 5 is generally reckoned to be( i believe)
op106
op101
0p111
op109
op110

some other passages in beethoven worth trying

the broken octaves in op7(1)
the finale of op 10 no2
the finale of op10 no1 ( which is a good allround sonata to learn)

why not try op54 as well... that'll get your wrists going... ???

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591046
01/16/05 01:57 PM
01/16/05 01:57 PM
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Ballyhoo Offline OP
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Thanks for the information and suggestions, Andy. I'm not even familiar with Op. 7, 10/1, and 10/2 because I don't have recordings of them. I'll have to buy a complete set of the Sonatas.


Quote
Originally posted by aznxk3vi17:
Sorry, but that's just ridiculous.
I wasn't claiming that the 3rd movement of Moonlight is more difficult than the 1st movement of Hammerklavier. I was just saying that to me, it sounds and looks more difficult.

Re: Relative difficulty of these Beethoven movements #591047
01/16/05 02:07 PM
01/16/05 02:07 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Ballyhoo:
Quote
Originally posted by aznxk3vi17:
Sorry, but that's just ridiculous.
I wasn't claiming that the 3rd movement of Moonlight is more difficult than the 1st movement of Hammerklavier. I was just saying that to me, it sounds and looks more difficult.
ROTFLMAO


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