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#2631842 04/10/17 11:00 AM
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I'm working on a long term project where my goal is to learn three sonatas, one by Haydn, one by Mozart and one by Beethoven. I have already chosen the Haydn (one of the ones in E-flat major) and the Beethoven (Op 14/1), but I can't decide which Mozart sonata to play.
I would like to avoid the most difficult sonatas, and also the most frequently played ones. Any good suggestions?

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The D Major K.576 seems quite a bit harder than the others. After that I would choose the one you like the most and not worry about how popular it is. Why do you care if a particular sonata is played a lot?

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I agree, don't worry about popularity of the Mozart sonatas as they are all played frequently and are all quite popular, even the "least popular" ones.

(I understand why you are asking, though, as I make a hobby out of researching unpopular pieces by popular composers--there is some great, truly obscure Beethoven out there, for example--but I don't think you are going to find even remotely "least popular" Mozart sonatas.)


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Look at K. 283 in G major. The 3rd mvt. is devilishly tricky in spots, however.

In fact, that's the problem with Mozart--that which is not overtly hard is still devilishly tricky.

Also, look at K. 280 in F major.


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Originally Posted by Ganddalf

I would like to avoid the most difficult sonatas, and also the most frequently played ones. Any good suggestions?

All the sonatas from K310 onwards are frequently played, but probably the 'least popular' of them is K533/494.

Of the earlier ones, I'd choose K284 - simply because there's a lot of it to sink your teeth into: just the Theme & Variations can take 15 minutes wink .


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I'm fond of K. 284, too.

Also not played as much is K. 309 in C major, a written-out improvisation that has that feel to it.

K. 332 in F major and K. 333 in B-flat major are two played to death that I never want to hear--until I do, then I think, "That was great!" 😀



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K. 570, in B-flat, is not too difficult, quite pleasant, and has a violin part if you ever want to play it that way.


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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Ganddalf

I would like to avoid the most difficult sonatas, and also the most frequently played ones. Any good suggestions?

All the sonatas from K310 onwards are frequently played, but probably the 'least popular' of them is K533/494.

Of the earlier ones, I'd choose K284 - simply because there's a lot of it to sink your teeth into: just the Theme & Variations can take 15 minutes wink .


K533 is the very one I'm currently working on. smile I can't help but think there's a Bach influence in it as the hands are treated equally in the first movement.


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Actually, the sonatas I want to avoid are the A-major (K331) and C-major (K545).
I like K284 very much, bur it is a bit too substantial for my level of skill.
I feel somewhat drawn towards K309 or K311. I guess 309 is the easier one. The a-minor (K310) is also very appealing, but it looks challenging, particularly the finale.

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I'm doing 332 now - my first Mozart Sonata. I know it's overplayed, but its not overplayed by me! I'm loving it...

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I agree with the k 283. I played it years ago for college entrance. It's a nice sonata with tricky areas ( hey, it is Mozart after all), but a good one to work on and quite playable. Listen to how a master like Richter can make such "simple" music sound sublime.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uFLurzBNXuU


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Re: K310 - I find the leaps in the finale challenging, and the left hand passagework in the first movement impossible to play no matter what fingering I try. Otherwise K310 is a piece of cake. ha



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K283 in G is such a charming, sweet piece. It was the first Mozart sonata I learned - although I only ever played the first movement. K284 in D has some tricky fingering spots, but that's Mozart for you. K309 in C is also fairly "easy" and kind of reminds me of his operas for some reason - a bit of drama there. K310 in A minor also is like that, but harder to play, I think.


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K283 is very nice, and I'm going to consider it. Hopefully the last movement isn't too hard. In this case I plan to learn the entire sonatas and not single movements. Fortunately I have no deadlines, but I just want to play some classic sonatas in addition to other music I work on.

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I don't see anyone mentioning k333 in b flat. It is my favourite. Very poetic, but has some difficult bits (like all of 'm?). I enjoyed learning it!


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@Ganddalf, they only Mozart I can play straight through is K545.

I'm currently learning K309 (polished the 3rd movement, working on the first and second which seem not as difficult). It's a lot of fun, very elegant, not too hard, and not overplayed. In fact I had never heard it until my teacher introduced me to it (apologies if that offends anyone).

Here's the 3rd movement, played by Mitsuko Uchida (though she plays it a bit fast for my liking)

Last edited by cathryn999; 04/12/17 09:25 AM.

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Thanks to all of you for your suggestions and advice! At the present stage I have shortlisted a few sonatas. Not because I don't like the others, but mainly based on your suggestions combined with my technical limitations and practice time.
Presently I'm considering K283, K309 and K311. Nobody mentioned the last one, but I spent some time on it several years ago, and I find it very appealing. The third moment is challenging, but playable and I don't think the final of K283 is easier.
Compared with the Beethoven and Haydn sonatas I already have been working on, the Mozart sonata will be the most difficult one whichever one I choose.

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Originally Posted by Ganddalf
Thanks to all of you for your suggestions and advice! At the present stage I have shortlisted a few sonatas. Not because I don't like the others, but mainly based on your suggestions combined with my technical limitations and practice time.
Presently I'm considering K283, K309 and K311. Nobody mentioned the last one, but I spent some time on it several years ago, and I find it very appealing. The third moment is challenging, but playable and I don't think the final of K283 is easier.
Compared with the Beethoven and Haydn sonatas I already have been working on, the Mozart sonata will be the most difficult one whichever one I choose.


Ah, K. 311, the one with the sublime (and loooong) rondo for the 3rd mvt.! I worked on the rondo about 25 years ago (oy veh!) and recall stamina and "musical maturity" being the main issues.

For me, Mozart is not "awkward" as much as tricky and intimidating--feeling rather exposed by the thin texture of his writing.


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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi


Ah, K. 311, the one with the sublime (and loooong) rondo for the 3rd mvt.! I worked on the rondo about 25 years ago (oy veh!) and recall stamina and "musical maturity" being the main issues.

For me, Mozart is not "awkward" as much as tricky and intimidating--feeling rather exposed by the thin texture of his writing.


I just reviewed this sonata, and found that I actually remember more of it than I thought. Of course I have a job to do to to be able to play it fluently, but most important - I found that there is a lot of fine things to work with musically throughout the whole sonata. The finale is absolutely great. It is almost like a concerto movement, even containing a cadenza. And the slow second movement is soooo beautiful.

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Mozart, too easy for kids, too hard for adults. One of the toughest of composers to get his music to sound " right ".

The Bb flat sonata was mentioned. A great piece, but Bb flat can be an awkward key to play in. At least for me it has been unless composed by Chopin who understood the strengthens and limitations of the hand like no other. Be careful of the Bb flat.


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