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Which Beethoven Sonata should I learn?

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by JBurke, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. JBurke

    JBurke New Member

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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.
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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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
     
  4. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    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).
     
  5. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    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)
     
  6. Terez

    Terez New Member

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

    I agree with the Op. 49 recommendations.

    -Terez, knows them all now...
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yeah of course I did. Just testing :lol:
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  9. JBurke

    JBurke New Member

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    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.
     
  10. amelialw

    amelialw New Member

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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
     
  11. François Micol

    François Micol New Member

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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.
     
  12. Dexter00

    Dexter00 New Member

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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.
     
  13. Terez

    Terez New Member

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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.
     
  14. Dexter00

    Dexter00 New Member

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

    Terez New Member

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    Of course, but it's not a whole sonata. ;)
     
  16. Dexter00

    Dexter00 New Member

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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.
     
  17. Terez

    Terez New Member

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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.
     
  18. Dexter00

    Dexter00 New Member

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    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.
     
  19. mixah

    mixah New Member

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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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