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Mozart Piano Sonatas question

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by pianolady, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm looking for a list that shows the level of difficulty in Mozart's Piano Sonatas. I have looked online but so far have not been successful. If anyone knows, please post a link.

    Or - does anyone here have Hinson's Guide to Piano Repertoire? I just need to know about a couple sonatas - what level they are ranked. Maybe you can look it up for me?
     
  2. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I have a Hinson. I only have it with me because I tried to sell it at the campus bookstore, but the new keyboard lit prof doesn't require it, so the bookstore won't buy it.

    Easy, Intermediate (Int.), Moderately Difficult (M-D), and Difficult (D).

    K279 - M-D
    280 - M-D
    281 - M-D
    282 - M-D
    283 - M-D
    284 - M-D to D

    309 - M-D
    310 - M-D
    311 - M-D
    330 - M-D
    331 - M-D
    333 - M-D
    457 - D
    494/533 - D
    545 - M-D
    547a - M-D
    570 - M-D
    576 - D

    I think that is all of them.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you so much, Theresa! :D A couple of those surprise me a little.

    And if you still wish to sell the book, I can buy it from you. (I'll give you a better price than the bookstore, plus pay for the shipping.)
     
  4. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Do they surprise you because they are rated too hard? There are a lot of them I think would be less than 'moderately difficult', but Hinson emphasizes in the beginning of his Mozart section that he thinks playing Mozart on piano 'requires a special sensitivity and grace that most young students do not have.' I have heard that opinion elsewhere, too, but I'm not sure I agree with it.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, that is what I meant. I know that playing Mozart is not as easy as it looks. I'm glad to know that the one I'm going to work on is rated M-D, because at least I can probably get the notes and rhythm fairly easily. Just have to work hard on the style and technique. Although, I feel that the 'style' is already built in, as long as you pay attention to the articulation, rests, and phrasing. Guess that is what 'technique' is all about.
     
  6. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    My belief is that all music is extremely difficult no matter if it is Bartok's "10 Easy Pieces" or Balakirev's "Islamey" or Cziffra's arrangment of the Flight of Bumble Bee. Trying to play a twenty note composition convincingly and with emotion is very hard, in my hyper-inflated two cent opinion
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well, I don't think all music is extremely difficult, but I am changing my mind about what I said about playing Mozart. Of course adhering to the articulation, rests, and phrasing is important, as it is in all music. But I now also wonder about the pedaling - how much is acceptable and all that. I've never really researched what the ideas are currently about how to play Mozart.
     
  8. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Who died and made "masters" the power to decide how to play Mozart? The way, say, Brendel plays Mozart is not absolute. We cant revive (or find for that matter) Mozart and ask him. So deciding the correct way is somewhat arbitrary: we just have to play as written, the way Mozart (I think) intended it to be.
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I do not trust myself in judging how to play certain music because I am only an amateur who has not had the training like that of the pros. They've had the top teachers in the world, they've studied music for many years, and have also been playing it for many years. Plus, they've been around other musicians who belong in that upper echelon of musicians, so I think they know a thing or two about how to interpret classical piano music.

    To play Mozart just the way it is written is probably a safe bet, though, because I'm finding that the recordings I have listened to recently (I've only listened to three so far - Brendel, Uchida and Barenboim), they play basically the same way - just following what is on the score. Although I was happy to hear all of them do this one thing with dynamics in this one spot in the music that I myself do and it's not written in the score.
     
  10. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    My dear madam, I believe you just answered your own question. Now play your piano and make beautiful,beautiful Mozart music :D
     
  11. jtattoo

    jtattoo New Member

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    Mozart

    IMHO, I think playing Mozart "well" is very difficult. For one thing, there is the nature of the two pianos involved. The one he composed for and the one we play today. So interpreting his works just by definition is almost like apples to oranges. His music is so boundless in energy and yet requires a certain amount of control and simplicity that is quite difficult. From my point of view, I love to hear gifted pianists play Mozart. It is somewhere close to heaven.........
     
  12. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Mozart

    I agree that there is nowhere to hide when playing Mozart. I am not an expert in his music, so I wonder if there is as much debate about pedaling as there is when talking about Bach's music. Since Mozart came later, I would think it okay to just 'do your own thing, but I don't know if that kind of attitude is acceptable nowadays.
     
  13. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica, may I ask you which sonata of Mozart you're going to work on?
    (BTW thank you for the email!)
     
  14. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member

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    Hey If it means anything I have this cool mp3 at home of Eunice Norton talking about and playing mozart sonatas.

    She talks about phrasing, pedal, bass, limited use of rubato, endings, etc. She told this funny story about Arthur Shnabel who would say never use any pedal in Mozart. In reality if you watched his feat, he used pedal all the time in mozart sonatas. I guess the key was he used very limited pedal and in key spots only :) Admittedly there is usually more then 1 way to do things :)

     
  15. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    In the Rosen Beethoven Companion, he tells how Beethoven thought that Mozart's playing was too "choppy" which Rosen takes to mean that Mozart used very little pedal.

    If this is true, we can also take it to mean that there were varying ideas of pedal usage within the "Classical Style".

    Remember also that most of the pianos that Mozart used did not have pedals but rather knee levers. To lift all of the dampers would require you to activate the levers for both knees. It may well have been more difficult to apply subtle pedaling.

    IMHO, one has to make the music sound on the instrument at hand. Modern pianos (or is the plural "piani") are substantially different and therefore if the resources available truly help to convey the music, use them.

    Scott
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    It's K570 - I thought it was easy to sight-read when I played through it the first time. That's why I asked about its ranking in terms of difficulty-level. But according to the book I recently purchased from Terez, it is considered M-D (moderately-difficult). I was surprised be this and felt I must be doing something wrong if I think the piece is easy to play. Then I listened to the pros play it and know now that it goes at a pretty quick tempo, which makes some passages a little tricky. Still, this Sonata is easier than many of the others, but all three movements have a nice feel and style - I like them.


    Thanks, Stan - that's a funny story!

    That sounds like a kind of sandwich. :lol:

    I didn't know about pianos in Mozart's day having levers for the dampers. Interesting... And it makes me wonder why Shnabel said that about not using any pedal when playing Mozart. If Mozart had some sort of damper-lifting mechanism, then he himself must have used it - at least somewhat. (maybe his knees got tired)
     
  17. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member

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    That's kind of funny :)

    Even if the piano had a knee lever I understand the sustain power wasn't very strong. I always assumed that people only used that pedal in rare occasions for 'special effects'. I could be wrong though.


     
  18. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    My piano instructor at Eastern Ill. University had a Stein piano of the Mozart period. It was an experience to play.

    Schnabel was right -- Never use pedal in Mozart, use only knee. :roll:

    Scott
     
  19. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    For unknown reason (I never ask her) my teacher in my childhood let me learn many many Mozarts sonatas and I found them nearly always boring :lol: But I'm not sure that I played that K570, too (I quit taking her lesson at the age of 13 and after that I bought a CS recordings, so I cannot decide which I really learned and which I just heard from those recordings). I just saw your artist page on the main site and noticed that you never recorded a Mozart so far, even though you have already made so many recordings! I'm looking forward to hear your Mozart :D (By the way I'm planning to learn a Mozart sonata as a next piece, too. It is listed also as M-D like yours - K310.)
     
  20. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ahahahaha - good one! :)


    I know - I have been meaning to record some Mozart for a long time, but just never got around to it. Probably because I have been so hung up on all my 'regular' guys. :wink: Plus, this may sound strange, but I really don't like having to learn and record a whole sonata. I don't even like to listen to them that much. They have so many repeats and sometimes go on and on. Some of them I like, but I much prefer shorter pieces or at least pieces that are just one movement. Having said that, I do plan on recording the first movement of the sonata I'm working on and then later I'll do the second and third. I have to first finish up the Kabalevsky Sonata.

    I'm looking forward to hearing your Mozart too! :)
     

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