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Beethoven: Sonata 21 (Waldstein) Op. 53 in C Major

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Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonatas :
Sonata 21 (Waldstein), Op. 53
Sonata 21 (Waldstein) Op. 53  in C Major by Beethoven piano sheet music
Key: C Major Year: 1804
Level: 8+ Period: Classical
piano sheet music Piano score: Ruthardt edition (6157 kB)

Posts in the piano forum about this piece by :

xx Beethoven Waldstein
February 25, 2011, 08:55:49 PM by fred792k

Hello fellow students.

Having played for 7 months, I've taught my self to read sheet music and so.
I'm half way through Liszt's Nuages Gris, og done with Traumerei and Moonlight mvt 1 (plus a bunch of other pieces).

I was thinking about learning the 2nd movement of the Waldstein sonata. I've played a minute and a half of it so far. Do you think I'm good enough to learn the whole movement?

xx Beethoven: Waldstein
February 25, 2011, 09:21:02 AM by pianisten1989

This is the sonata I'm playing atm. It's a bit too much on the metronomic side, so I'm not very happy with that. And it sounds like I am in a box, with a very old piano, in a way, so the dynamic isn't what I was aiming for.. I think it's the left pedal. It's kind of messed up. Or maybe it's me, I don't know...

Anyway, tell me what you think!

(Sorry for the messing up in the end. I was struck by the oh so famous "Finally, I'm almost finished, and I know this part.. Oh sh*t!")

The other 2 movements will come later.

question Is this peice too hard to play?
November 14, 2010, 11:56:42 PM by ivorybabe247

I really want to play the first movement of Waldstein by beethoven for my senior performance, it is quite lengthy so i would have to downsize it in some areas. I am a sophomore in high school. I'm very drawn to this peice.  I am playing scherzo by medelshon this year and Chopin's Waltz in A flat major next year. if i start on waldstien next year, playing it for two years, should i be able to pull this off??

xx Waldstein 1st mvt. or Appasionata 3rd. mvt?
July 23, 2010, 03:02:30 PM by wert718

I'm preparing for a competition, and I have all my pieces except for one. I would like to do the Waldstein's first movement or the Appasionata's last movement. Can anyone help me choose?

xx Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata (video)
March 13, 2010, 06:09:50 PM by bach_ko

1st movement

2nd movement

3rd movement

xx Beethoven Waldstein questions
November 18, 2009, 11:18:38 PM by jehangircama

I'm working on this at the moment, and was curious about a couple of things.

1. The page before the prestissimo in the 3rd mvt- how do most people play this? is it with the right hand jumping all the time (with 1-3-1-3-1-3 on each of the sets of notes) or doing something like 4-5-4-2-1-2 (with the hand staying more or less in the same position)? I personally have been trying to mix up the 2- I find it easier to keep the hand position the same except for 1 line where I need to jump (just as the left hand has to start hitting the low C). But am not sure whether the melody will come out at a higher tempo using 4-5-4 for the upper notes. The reason I'm keeping it like this is that I believe that the continuous jumps will make the whole page sound harsher than it should...not one seamless flow which is the way i believe it needs to be played.

2. In the prestissimo, do most people play the octaves as a glissando? The recording I like is that of Ashkenazy where he doesn't gliss. Further, there is no indication saying gliss on my (urtext) edition. What is the consensus on this? (and btw, how DOES one play an octave gliss? Have never really attempted it...)

fingering is everything in this piece, was surprised with some of the sections in the first mvt.  they are pretty tricky to play cleanly. but have managed to now set most of the fingering, just not sure abt this one page.

xx Fingering Issues on 3rd Mvt Waldstein
May 06, 2009, 05:34:42 PM by dapianoman32

I have been having some issues in the trill section of the third movement...it is the part when there is a trill in the right hand and while u are playing the trill there is also  a melody line playing in the top 4 and 5 fingers...if anyone has played this before and has a tip or trick on how to play this that would b great

xx Beethoven Waldstein or Haydn sonata in C
November 14, 2008, 07:53:06 AM by mingkei

I have played the first movt of Beethoven's Waldstein more than 15 years ago, then learned the 2nd/3rd movt. about seven years ago.

Indeed, the entire Waldstein is very difficult.

And my question is: I am planning on entering a competition next year, and I need to play a classical sonata. The waldstein seems to be good candidate since, as I already said, I played the whole thing and am very familiar with it. But still, I must say that all 3 movts are very difficult. (The 1st is extremely tough, but I have performed and competed in competitions and know that I can do fine. But then, the 3rd...full of challenges...yes, I played it through, but I think there're lots of room for improvement, and some of those improvments seem to be impossible to bring about...I mean, the challenges with trills everywhere, with how the Left/right hands should go together so to sound satisfactory, in a definite demand of an extremely good quality of touch, and with the big section before "Prestisimo", etc, etc...

Because of the concern I have for a satisfactory performance of the Waldstein, I started looking around for other classical sonata. I find Haydn's C Major Hob. 50. You know that light-hearted 1st/3rd movt, with a gorgeous 2nd movt??

I just want to hear people's opinion. Do you think I should work on the Haydn instead of the Waldstein for the competition? I know the Haydn should also have its challenges. But they seem more manageable. Of course, i don't think the Haydn is "easy", but considering that I don't have a teacher now to work with me in polishing the 3rd movt of Waldstein or giving me advice for the overall sonata, the Haydn seems to be something I have enough experience to make it sound very good on my own, but the Waldstein...I don't know. The only advantage of the waldstein, is I am familiar with it--I know the 1st movt so well that I won a scholarship for it, but that was 15 years ago.   

So, what do you think?

xx Beethoven's Waldstein
December 08, 2007, 01:02:07 AM by gregh87

I just started this piece, and I remember my teacher saying something about a difficult glissando somewhere in this piece.  So do you play the fast octaves in the Presto part of the third movement like you'd play a glissando?  They sound pretty ridiculous in the Ashkenazy recording I've listened to.  Are they like octave-glissando's for one hand?

xx [youtube] Beethoven - "Waldstein" Sonata op.53 (complete)
November 11, 2007, 08:21:31 AM by classical pianist

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSAz80a9AxE (part 1 of 3) 11mins
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyhczjbLLo8  (part 2 of 3) 11mins
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmOVcHXvcKU (part 3 of 3) 1 min.

VDO was divided by the camera software.... so they look quite awkward. (11+11+1 mins)..

welcome all comments and critisms.  Smiley

sad Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata 1st movt left hand tremolos, I NEED YOUR HELP!
October 23, 2007, 04:31:43 PM by winningpianist

Hi guys,

I have big trouble in the left hand tremolo part from bar 14 to 22 (especially bar 22) of the Waldstein Sonata 1st Movt, I just can't get my left hand up to speed, whenever I speed up, my left hand get tired and tense, I have already tried practicing the left hand part slowly with relax wrist with the right hand or just by left hand, but I get tense and tired whenever I play that bit in full speed, my right hand get tired,too, but not as strong as the left hand. What should I do? How should I practice them to get them up to speed? My recital is 1 month away. Please give
my some suggestions. Thanks a lot!!


xx Waldstein 3rd mvt -- Glissando
September 04, 2007, 03:21:31 AM by hwangs

This question has probably been asked before, but I didn't want to look through the whole forum to find it... haha. My hands aren't small (I could reach 10ths comfortably) but not that big either.

Anyone have suggestions of practicing this glissandi??

xx beethoven Waldstein Sonata Part I
August 06, 2007, 01:05:39 PM by mkaykov


xx Good Waldstein
August 04, 2007, 08:47:36 AM by mikebechstein


Can anybody help me?

I have never yet found a recording of Walstein that fully satisfies me and it is one of my favourite pieces. My favourite interpretation, that I have, on disc is Walter Gieseking (despite his rushed first movement.) I also have copies of Arrau (fairly modern recording but I can’t remember the date), Brendel (digital), Kempff (last recording), and Paul Lewis.

Could anybody suggest any great recordings, bearing in mind that I like Gieseking’s approach (in a way similar to Cortot in Schumann in that the music and its meaning are more important than the notes.)



xx waldstein sonata 3rd movement
April 01, 2007, 01:29:17 PM by tds

i can't complain about the piano, coz i was using the best one i could possibly find in the province. though i will upgrade the video quality later this week. it is too small a compression.


comments are welcome

teguh sukaryo, aka tds ( spa manager )

ps. concert was from a while ago. i play differently now.

xx Last mvts Moonlight, Waldstein, Appassionata
March 20, 2007, 06:26:35 AM by cloches_de_geneve

I am just curious to collect some opinions on this question. Apart from the ratings, I am particularly interested in the pianists' descriptions of the particular difficulties they encountered.



xx waldstein (first mvt)
February 22, 2007, 03:23:44 AM by pianistimo

this is a run through tonight.  it's better than the last one - but probably not my best yet.  i'm posting it just because i like it.  the piece.  it's one of my favorite beethoven sontatas. 

xx beethoven's waldstein
January 27, 2007, 11:14:32 PM by pianistimo

this is for a laugh.  i haven't played it in awhile - but decided tonight to make a go of it again.  the second slower movement might be better.

xx Can you grade difficulties of these pieces from easiest to hardest?
November 10, 2006, 07:39:31 AM by redrum232

   Chopin: Ballade no 1, Ballade no 2, Ballade no 3, Scherzo no 3, Scherzo no 2, Berceuse, Polonaise Heroique  , Beethoven: Waldstein movement 1, movement 3; Appasionata movement 1, movement 3. Huh Huh Huh
I'm searching for next repertoire. I' m quite sure that the Berceuse is significantly easier than the rest, but i don't know the distance of difficulties between that one and the others( for example: ballade 2 or scherzo) if i learn both of them at the same time...

xx Waldstein
October 20, 2006, 08:04:46 PM by aaron_ginn

Before I die, I want to be able to play the Rondo from Beethoven's Waldstein sonata.  As a beginner I can't even fathom what it would take to play a piece at that level and make it sound right.  That movement is largely the reason I decided to start playing piano.  The mere thought of one day possibly being able to play it is more than I could ever hope for.

If anyone here has played this piece, I'm wondering what kind of effort was required to do so.  Of course, I understand a work of this magnitude takes years of practice.  More specifically, I'm wondering what works I should start with in order to work my way up to this piece.  What techniques should I focus on perfecting?  What are the really difficult aspects of this movement that will require many hours of effort to master?

I've only been playing seriously for under five months, so I'm nowhere near being able to attack a work of this complexity.  Still, playing this piece is one of my life goals.  What will it take to accomplish it?

smiley Beethoven - Sonata op.53 "Waldstein" - Prestissimo from 3rd Mvt
October 01, 2006, 04:47:56 PM by doxy

My rec of Beethoven - Sonata op.53 "Waldstein" - Prestissimo from 3rd Mvt

xx appassionata / waldstein
September 30, 2006, 12:29:13 PM by paoloo

i'm am working on appassionata, and first it was going good. But now i don't
feel good about it. I have to performe over 6 months. And my teacher and i must
choose between Waldstein or Appassionata. What do you think is better. Is waldstein
easier in technique. Waldstein is also maybe not overplayed as appassionata is.
which one should i choose


xx Re: Music that has brought tears to your eyes
September 19, 2006, 01:50:15 AM by leucippus

To me, it's not the piece of music that does it, but rather it's how it's performed.

I don't recall the performer unfortunately, but I once heard Beethoven's Waldstein played so beautifully that I will never forget it.  It was quite emotional.  I forgot the name of the pianist because at that time in my life I wan't really into piano, I was just moved by that particular performance.

I also heard someone play a very simple elementary Bach Prelude (the first one in the Well-Tempered Book I), but it was played with such feeling that it was almost unrecognizable as the simple piece that so many beginners start out playing.  I think most people never really learn to play that prelude well.  They learn it early, and then put it behind them as a "beginner's piece".  But it can be extremely beautiful when played by an accomplished pianist who puts sincere emotion into it.

So for me, it's definitely in the performance, not the piece.

xx Waldstein, first movement
June 23, 2006, 11:49:39 PM by fnork

One of my major recent projects has been to learn the complete Waldstein sonata. Last week I participated on a course in Stockholm for young pianists and played the first movement on one of the concert. I've been working on this movement for a while now and it has been a lot of fun working on it, it has been very rewarding for my technique. The concert performance wasn't exactly perfect - I had practiced all day and was quite tired at the performance, plus, when I started playing I noticed that it was difficult to get the pianissimo that I wanted in the beginning. There are some tempo changes too which I have to fix.

Anyway, please listen and give comments - tips possibly, if you've worked on the sonata yourself.

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