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 Post subject: Which Beethoven Sonata should I learn?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:09 pm 
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Hello everyone,

I am an amateur pianist who had been self taught for the last three years. Just two weeks ago, I began to take formal lessons. I completed my first piece (the Fur Elise) and now my insructor thinks I'm ready to tackle one of the Sonatas of Beethoven. I have never played a sonata before. I went and purchased the complete Sonatas (Henle Urtext) in two volumes, and now I need to choose one to work on. Do you have any recommendations?
I would like to learn one that is not too technically demanding at a fast pace (for example, I don't think I could play the 'presto agitato' of Op.27 nr.2) I like the Pathetique Op.13 first movement. Do you think this is too difficult for me? Is there any other one that you would recommend for me to "pioneer" the Beethoven Sonatas ?

Thanks for your recommendations.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:37 pm 
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Hi and welcome John.
A safe recommenation would be to try the two op.49 sonatas (which are usually called Sonatinas). From all other sonatas, only the first movements of the Mondschein and Pathetique are anywhere near suitable for the beginning pianist. I would not aim any higher for now, as far as Beethoven is concerned. But I'd recommend Mozart and Haydn sonatas which are generally a lot less demandng technically.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:58 pm 
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Mozart is usually harder than it sounds. The only 'easy' one would be the sonata no. 15 in C Major, K545

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
Beethoven is hard to play. I agree with Mr.Techneut that the "Sonatinas" are the best option.

Some Scarlatti sonatas are managable, also pay attention to the sonatinas from various "minor" composers (Kuhlau for example).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:22 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
also you should look at this

http://imslp.org/index.php?title=Catego ... +Sergei%29

The list will expand the horizons for anyone. Why should we stick to the "cliche", when there are hundreds of other sonatas which can be just as good as some of the greats? (My opinion of course)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:39 pm 
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Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
techneut wrote:
Hi and welcome John.
A safe recommenation would be to try the two op.49 sonatas (which are usually called Sonatinas). From all other sonatas, only the first movements of the Mondschein and Pathetique are anywhere near suitable for the beginning pianist.

:?: :? :shock: Surely you meant the second movement of the Pathetique?

I agree with the Op. 49 recommendations.

-Terez, knows them all now...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:28 am 
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Terez wrote:
:?: :? :shock: Surely you meant the second movement of the Pathetique?

Yeah of course I did. Just testing :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:34 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Mozart is usually harder than it sounds.

Most everything is harder than it sounds :wink:
Purely technically speaking though, Mozart is much easier than Beethoven, except perhaps the last sonata. Then again, Mozart is more vulnerable musically and you can't get away with anything.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:06 pm 
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Quote:
Then again, Mozart is more vulnerable musically and you can't get away with anything.


Yes, I know exactly what you're talking about. I thought it would be easy to learn Mozart's "Rondo Alla Turca", but I found it more difficult than I had imagined. It's intricate, and precision with each note is a must. I found a similar problem when I tried Bach's "Goldberg Variations." I got frustrated with the intricacy and the many ornamentations. Someday I will try Mozart (I like his works), but not right now.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:55 am 
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i too recomend op.49.
followed by op.10 no.2 (this one is a great one to grasp the style of beethoven's works)-i worked on it previously myself :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:37 am 
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A good alternative to the op. 49 would be op. 14 n°1. It's not usually among the most popular ones, but if it hasn't caught your attention before, just listen to Sokolov's performance. ;)

Another one that is frequently tackled by "young" piano students is the first movement of op. 2 n°1. It's a great piece to get a grasp of the "classical" style. It ended up growing a lot on me, even though I didn't like it at first.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:25 pm 
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Hi,

There's a distinction in Beethoven sonatas between the "grand" sonatas, and the "little" ones.

For the first category, I heard that we usually start with Pathétique (complete). For the second one, I don't know, but Op.49 is not so easy...

U can also start with something a more difficult, like the presto agitato of the "Moonlight", Sonata #14, if you like it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:29 am 
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I started out with the Op. 49 ones, when I was younger. They're not easy, but definitely the easiest of the Beethoven sonatas.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:08 pm 
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Terez wrote:
I started out with the Op. 49 ones, when I was younger. They're not easy, but definitely the easiest of the Beethoven sonatas.


I thinks technically, the "Moonlight", 1st mouvement, is easier...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:55 pm 
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Of course, but it's not a whole sonata. ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:27 pm 
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Yes!

And I think, the Moonlignts's first mouvement, and the Op.49 are very intresting for interpretation, plus there are not big technical difficulties in these sonatas, so it's more and more intresting for interpretation for those who are not advanced technically.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:41 pm 
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It's generally considered to be bad form to perform only one movement of a sonata, though. I'm sure all of us have played the first movement of the Moonlight before, but it's not the sort of thing you can put on a recital program.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:47 pm 
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Terez wrote:
It's generally considered to be bad form to perform only one movement of a sonata, though. I'm sure all of us have played the first movement of the Moonlight before, but it's not the sort of thing you can put on a recital program.


Well, I started with the third mouvement of the Sonata, but it's not considered so bad now, I think, to play one mouvement, you can put one mouvement in a recital program...but about Bach's music, I prefere playing the whole Prelude and Fugue, not just the prelude or the fugue alone, in a recital.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:12 pm 
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The second and third movements to the Pathetique aren't too difficult, and then you can work your way through the first (I did it at three years experience). It's very rewarding to learn a piece like that, early in your musicianship.

Moonlight's first and second are cake... but you must consider the third movement. It's very difficult...

I agree with Op.49. Not too hard, but not simple.

I don't know of any "Sonata" that's "easy"... Sonatina's, yes.... Sonatas by some non-piano composers, yes again... Playing Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, etc... all very difficult sonatas.

and I agree that Mozart is more difficult than it sounds... but I hate the way it sounds.

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