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Author Topic: 'Easy' movements in Beethoven sonatas?  (Read 2844 times)
larapool
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« on: October 07, 2011, 03:31:01 PM »

I'm currently working on the Op. 49 sonatas - I've learned the first movements to both of them, and am currently working on the second movement for each.  I'm wondering if there are any other Beethoven sonatas with movements around this difficulty level?  I know the first movement of the Moonlight is pretty easy and I can play that.

For example, I just learned the first 30-ish seconds to the second movement of the Tempest sonata... those first few bars are absolutely incredible - so beautiful!
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49410enrique
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 01:28:20 AM »

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lorditachijr
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 03:23:25 AM »

Are you taking from a teacher? If so, I would ask his/her opinion on the matter. The next step for me after the Op. 49ers was Op. 2 No. 1. It's a really neat piece, and is really one of the most orchestral sonatas Beethoven wrote. This adds a lot of difficulty in voicing and tone beyond just what's on the page, but it can sound really magical when done right. Give it a listen, and see what you think. I've heard of some going to Op. 79, but I don't really see this as a good option unless you have great musical maturity (just my opinion since I haven't actually played the piece). The mid-to-late sonatas really require a lot of emotional depth. Have you done any of his smaller works as well (sonatinas, bagatelles, etc.)? If not, I also recommend doing a couple of them as well. These are just suggestions, however. Really the only people who know what is the next logical step is are you and your teacher.

Good luck!
John
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larapool
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 06:57:19 PM »

none of the Beethoven sonatas are easy. 

Yes, hence my liberal usage of the word 'easy' - in my original post, I was asking for movements that are on a similar level to the ones I mentioned.

lorditachijr - sonatinas and bagatelles, I completely forgot about those, thank you!  Those are probably what I should be looking into instead.  I can play Fur Elise quite well, of course, but I do not know how it compares to his other bagatelles.  Will be interesting to see what the others are like - thank you!
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werq34ac
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 04:31:44 AM »

I recommend Op. 79!
For the audition requirements for Indiana University, they require 1 complete Beethoven sonata NOT INCLUDING Op. 49 and Op. 79, due to their lack of difficulty. Note how Op 2/1 is still difficult enough to audition with.

However Op. 2/1 is a valid choice as well. Also you could do the 2nd mvt of the Moonlight sonata. POSSIBLY the 2nd movement of the Pathetique Sonata, but that would be a huge stretch from Op. 49
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49410enrique
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2011, 11:19:36 PM »

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pianoplayjl
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2011, 01:14:53 AM »

Op 14 no 1 second mvt. that piece is only around 5th grade standard. however, that piece is hard in terms of musicality.
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brogers70
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2011, 02:14:41 PM »

Op 14 no 1 second mvt. that piece is only around 5th grade standard. however, that piece is hard in terms of musicality.

Amen to that. I've spend the last two weeks playing the first phrase over and over, trying to get the tone and phrasing right. For a piece with so few notes it's musically really hard. And a great piece - I love the understated ending.
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scottmcc
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2011, 09:19:51 PM »

as others have stated, there is no such thing as truly easy beethoven, but in terms of movements that I have played and found more manageable, here goes:

op 13 Adagio cantabile (the famous pathetique 2nd mvt).  have someone show you the fingering, because it's not intuitive based on the way the score is written (specifically how the hands are distributed)
op 14 #1, mvts 1 and 2.  certainly some challenges to be had here, hand crossings, octave passages in the first mvt, but one of the easier fast movements to play.  the second movement is not technically challenging, but as others have mentioned, difficult musically.  Andras Schiff called the whole sonata "frightfully difficult."
op 27 #2, mvts 1 and 2.  doesn't need much explanation here, discussed exhaustively elsewhere.
op 28 pastoral, mvt 1...some of it.  the development section is quite challenging, with some difficult contrapunctal work, but the main theme is really quite fun and you can dabble with this for a while without getting frustrated.  just save the tougher bits for later.
op 31 #2, mvt 2...some of it.  once that broken arpeggio figure enters, it's pretty challenging, especially balancing the hands.
op 57 mvt 2...the theme and first 2 variations.  the 3rd variation is significantly harder.  but it's pretty fun to play in my opinion.

I would say that all of these are more challenging than op 49, and that several have moments that are quite challenging by most standards.  the question is, do you want to play some, but not "finish" the piece?  I actually find it enjoyable to dabble with the easier bits of a hard piece of music, but for completists that's not a good way to go about life.  anyway, good luck with it.
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haydnseeker
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2011, 09:46:42 PM »

The first Beethoven movement my childhood teacher got me to play was the Scherzo of Op. 2/2.  I'd recently passed ABRSM Grade 5 then.
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felipe717
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2012, 12:27:49 AM »

Let's see...
I think that none of Beethoven Sonatas is easy... Each one has a certain point of technical difficulty that can discuss the performance. The one that is consider the easiest (No.20 in G major, Op.49 No.2) has the first movement reasonably fast and the second movement considerably more dynamic. It's considered the "easiest", but, for any pianist, there are a lot of passages with a big difficulty level - big or small. But, anyway, a difficulty.
Of course, there are some movements of the sonatas that are relatively easier than other ones - just like the first and third movements of Moonlight. But "relatively easier" don't means that they are "easy". I think that "easy" is the piece you can play perfectly at first sight - with no errors. And "relatively easy" is the piece that, with very dedication, you can play well after passing by a lot of problems that could be big or small.
The sonatas Op.49 are considered easy. But any person will - absolutely - take some time to play them without errors. After this, the sonatas would seem to be "easy". This is why they are considered like that.

So, I think you want to know the sonatas without a level too difficult. Not easy sonatas.
OK, let's see. The second movement of Sonata No.19, that you are practicing, is pretty complicated because it's the fastest of Op.49. But with a good train you'll play that. The second movement of No.20 is pretty easier.
Sonata No.25, G major, Op.79, is another "easy" sonata. All the three movements are relatively simple, but the first and third are more complicated. The second is very easy.
You can hear the sonaas at YouTube - see that, in the mostly part, the second movements of the sonatas are very simple.
Just hear the sonatas - you'll find out what you are looking for.
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(Sorry about my English, I'm from Brazil :x)
werq34ac
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2012, 01:26:44 AM »

Let's see...
I think that any of Beethoven Sonatas is easy... Each one has a certain point of technical difficulty that can discuss the performance. The one that is consider the easiest (No.20 in G major, Op.49 No.2) has the first movement reasonably fast and the second movement considerably more dynamic. It's considered the "easiest", but, for any pianist, there are a lot of passages with a big difficulty level - big or small. But, anyway, a difficulty.
Of course, there are some movements of the sonatas that are relatively easier than other ones - just like the first and third movements of Moonlight. But "relatively easier" don't means that they are "easy". I think that "easy" is the piece you can play perfectly at first sight - with no errors. And "relatively easy" is the piece that, with very dedication, you can play well after passing by a lot of problems that could be big or small.
The sonatas Op.49 are considered easy. But any person will - absolutely - take some time to play them without errors. After this, the sonatas would seem to be "easy". This is why they are considered like that.

So, I think you want to know the sonatas without a level too difficult. Not easy sonatas.
OK, let's see. The second movement of Sonata No.19, that you are practicing, is pretty complicated because it's the fastest of Op.49. But with a good train you'll play that. The second movement of No.20 is pretty easier.
Sonata No.25, G major, Op.79, is another "easy" sonata. All the three movements are relatively simple, but the first and third are more complicated. The second is very easy.
You can hear the sonaas at YouTube - see that, in the mostly part, the second movements of the sonatas are very simple.
Just hear the sonatas - you'll find out what you are looking for.

Did you use google translate? Just wondering whether poor English speakers use Google translate or actually attempt to type in english.

Anyway, Just because it's slow doesn't make it easy at all. In fact, slower movements are much more exposed than faster movements and so they require much more control. It might just be your lack of English, but simple is the wrong word for these movements. In fact, I would consider most 3rd movements much simpler than the 2nd movement and the complexity of the 1st depends from piece to piece.
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pianoplayjl
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2012, 06:02:33 AM »

Did you use google translate? Just wondering whether poor English speakers use Google translate or actually attempt to type in english.

Anyway, Just because it's slow doesn't make it easy at all. In fact, slower movements are much more exposed than faster movements and so they require much more control. It might just be your lack of English, but simple is the wrong word for these movements. In fact, I would consider most 3rd movements much simpler than the 2nd movement and the complexity of the 1st depends from piece to piece.

I consider the slow movements to be mentally challenging because somehow they remind me of some of Bach's Fugues. There are many notes you have to sustain and while at the same time you have to play other notes and stuff. Also, musically speaking, I think some slow movements are right up there with the other movements from the same sonata. What makes them 'easier' to play is perhaps they are more faster to learn and often shorter than the faster movements.

JL
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felipe717
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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 07:38:43 PM »

Did you use google translate? Just wondering whether poor English speakers use Google translate or actually attempt to type in english.

Anyway, Just because it's slow doesn't make it easy at all. In fact, slower movements are much more exposed than faster movements and so they require much more control. It might just be your lack of English, but simple is the wrong word for these movements. In fact, I would consider most 3rd movements much simpler than the 2nd movement and the complexity of the 1st depends from piece to piece.
Hey xD Sorry, I'm Brazilian, so I don't speak English very well... :x I didn't use Google Translate, but my English would get bad anyway... .-. Sorry about that, I wouldn't type in Portugese xD So I'm sorry, because my English really isn't good. Sorry :x
Yes, I agree, most of the 2nd movements are quite tricky, but I think that most of the 1st and 3rd movements can be much more complicated. Of course, I'm generalising, because each Sonata has its own carachteristic. Surely, the 2nd movements may be very harder musically, like 2nd from Op.31/2, maybe?
But, technically I think that the 1st and 3rd ones can be (of course, not all cases) harder. Imo, the 2nd movements are often faster to learn (I mean, learn the notes, not the expression and depth), which can make them simpler. But yes, now I was thinking, the 3rd movements can be much "simpler" - of course, generalising. The slow movements can be very difficult technically too, but of course there are some 3rd and 1st movements, which are faster, that are even harder. So, imo, the 2nd movements can be easier technically, that was just my opinion! Grin
I apologize once again for my English! xD
Thank you! u.u
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(Sorry about my English, I'm from Brazil :x)
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