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Beethoven Sonata No 30 - Opus 109

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by mwyman1, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. mwyman1

    mwyman1 New Member

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    Hello all! I've been working on Beethoven's E major Sonata Op 109 off and on casually for a year or so now, and am planning to begin a more focused practice on it soon for eventual recording. I'm posting today for help developing sort of a "strategy" for my efforts, which for me would qualify as ambitious but I feel within my reach.

    I'd be very interested and appreciative of any thoughts or suggestions from those familiar with this piece or have played it. Thanks in advance!

    1st movement - Vivace, ma non troppo - Right now this movement is in the best shape, and it really has grown on me over time. I love the short bursts of drama throughout, yet overall it is quite introspective and even sad I think. Technically I haven't had too much difficulty, but am still working out the shaping.

    2nd movement - Prestissimo - Needs the most work, since for some reason I've neglected it in favor of jumping over to the 3rd movement. :oops: I think I need to rework some of the fingerings here to maintain clean articulation. Musically I must admit I find it hard to reconcile with the 1st and 3rd movements, but maybe I'm overthinking it.

    3rd movement - Andante molto cantabile ed expressivo - This movement is really what I most love about this sonata. A very beautiful theme that returns at the end, with lots of interesting variations along the way. I do find the final variation with the sustained trills technically tricky, and plan to work hard on this. Would be interested in potential "pitfalls" or ideas about any particular variation or the overall phrasing/shaping of this movement.

    Thanks again for reading! :)
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Sorry Matt,
    I know something of No.31 and have performed No. 32, but No. 30 is an absolute blackhole to me (I think I've heard it once). My score has not the slightest pencil mark in it, which tells me that it wasn't addressed in a year-long Seminar in Classicism of about a dozen DMA students wherein we each had to discuss and play two sonatas of Beethoven, two of Haydn, and one Mozart sonata and Concerto: brings back great memories! I will look forward to your posting when the time comes. Certainly, this work is a difficult and very challenging one. Practice hard!

    Eddy
     
  3. mwyman1

    mwyman1 New Member

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    Thanks for taking a look Eddy. Yep, this one is certainly not as well known as a lot of others, but it has in it some really wonderful moments. I'm in no hurry with it; just planning ahead a bit. As usual I probably have too many things "in progress!"

    That's great that you've performed No 32! Sounds like you've had some impressive training - I'm jealous. :mrgreen:

    I'm not completely in the dark on No 30, since I did study it for a bit with a very good teacher some years back and the score is nicely marked up. But I really wasn't ready for it to be honest. I believe my teacher humored me mostly as a learning exercise while studying other pieces better suited for me at the time. We'll see how it turns out, but I feel I've grown a quite a bit as a pianist since then and am ready to make another run at it anyway.

    Have a great rest of your weekend Eddy!
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've read through it and did consider learning it properly for a recital at one point. My teacher, who has considerable performance experience, advised against it, on the grounds that it has "ethereal qualities" and is consequently hard to put across successfully. I presume you've spent more time with the music than I have, but I've quoted him on the off-chance that his comments ring any sort of bell with your thinking about the piece.
     
  5. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    What a strange comment for him to make, implying that he thought ethereal qualities were just not your scene. Not enough kitsch in this piece, I suppose. :)
     
  6. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Haha, it was nothing to do with me. He specifically said he'd played all of the last three sonatas and that Op. 109 was the one he had had most trouble putting across to an audience.
     
  7. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    Interesting. I've always felt it's the most natural and comfortable of those three, and I'm surprised it isn't performed more often. I guess it all comes down to personal taste.
     

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