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Beethoven: Sonata 23 (Appassionata) Op. 57 in F Minor

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Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonatas :
Sonata 23 (Appassionata), Op. 57
Sonata 23 (Appassionata) Op. 57  in F Minor by Beethoven piano sheet music
Key: F Minor Year: 1805
Level: 8+ Period: Classical
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext (1023 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: Ruthardt edition (5715 kB)

A cry of desperation

Beethoven’s Sonata in f minor op. 57 was composed when Beethoven was coming to terms with the fact that he was going deaf, and the frustration that he felt can be heard throughout the piece. After Beethoven’s death, it was given the unofficial title Appassionata, as it is considered one of the most emotionally tempestuous of Beethoven's piano works.

The first movement begins with a slow, mysterious melody, played in unison. But soon the restrained atmosphere gives way to loud, intense outbursts that convey a sense of emotional intensity. Dark and ominous sounds dominate this movement, and a sense of restlessness remains even during the brighter moments.

Things quiet down in the second movement. It is based on a theme in D-flat major, which undergoes a couple of predominantly rhythmic transformations. This movement is much simpler than the first, and is more introspective where the first movement was fiery and intense.

The third movement returns to the emotional intensity of the first movement with a fast, rather chaotic exercise in perpetual motion, and ends with a tumultuous, almost violent coda. The sense of frustration and anger that Beethoven felt when composing this piece will be evident to every player and listener.

Posts in the piano forum about this piece by :

xx Appassionata 1st movement
October 20, 2013, 01:01:33 PM by andrewkoay

hehe this is the only piece I recorded properly (with a good mic!) a few years back... before the university and job. Sad the good recordings really expose all your weaknesses LOL....

xx Is Appassionata more technically demanding than La Campanella?
July 08, 2012, 04:45:10 AM by rachmaninoff_forever

I know Appasionata is more musically demanding, but is it more technically demanding?  And if so, then why?  You don't have to worry about exhausting yourself in Appasionata like you do in La Campanella do you?

xx Appassionata
February 19, 2011, 10:26:00 PM by punkpianist360

Hello Everybody!

     I want to develop myself to play this sonata because I think, as do others, that it is a rewarding and beautiful piece.  I learned Beethoven's Op. 2 No. 3 Sonata already, but want to learn a Schubert Sonata that would be beneficial to acquire the techniques that are demanded in the Appassionata.  I am choosing a Schubert Sonata just to do something out of the ordinary for a change.

So, any suggestions?

xx Beethoven Appassionata
February 01, 2011, 06:03:50 AM by monkeydudexd

My number one piece I want to learn for the piano has been (for quite a while) Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata Op. 57 Mvt 3. I would most likely start it in June or July because of other pieces I am learning for competitions and recitals right now. I was wondering you all think I'm ready for such a monstrous piece based on my current repertoire. Just as a note, I never move on from a piece until I can play it to absolute perfection.

Significant pieces I have played:
Beethoven Sonata No. 8 Op. 13 Mvt 1, Pathetique
Beethoven Sonata No. 17 Op. 31 No. 2 Mvt 1, Tempest
Beethoven Sonata No. 27 Op. 90 Mvt 1
Bach Italian Concerto Mvt 3
Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 17
Mozart Sonata K. 284 Mvt 1
Mozart Sonata K. 310 Mvt 1

If you think I'm not ready yet, please recommend a piece of lower caliber but maybe of similar style. Thanks!

xx VIDEO: Beethoven Appassionata 3rd Mov
December 18, 2010, 05:44:42 PM by cubsfan334


xx final recital next summer (program)
September 13, 2010, 11:10:43 PM by thorn

I was supposed to learn this over the holidays though I've been a bit bad at focusing on just a few pieces. So now I'm in a bit of a bad place with term starting in a couple of weeks and I was supposed to have the pieces learned, nowhere near perfect just able to play through them comfortably. So my first question is how would people suggest I go about reaching this level over a short period of time? I am able to practise for a riduculously long time per day but don't see the point in just sitting there messing with them all of the time so any tips?

Secondly, my teacher was really vague with what she asked for: a Classical sonata= fine, a modern piece= fine then she said something "beautiful", which is really vague and I've been having trouble deciding and sticking to this third requirement.

So far, my program is this:

Beethoven: Sonata op 57
Ligeti: Automne a Varsovie

For the 'beautiful' piece, I chose Chopin Ballade 4, but I recently realised that although I would easily be able to pull it off by next May, I probably won't get that high mark for it as it's a really difficult piece to please anyone with. So I've been looking at the Szymanowsky Metopes instead.

So, which Metope do people think would be the best to put in there? Or would it be wiser to stick with the Ballade or at least play it to my teacher and see if she agrees with my views on it or thinks it will be alright?

With the Metopes, I'm thinking Nausicaa would be the best contrast but it is in my view the most difficult of the three. Isle of the Sirens definitely fits "beautiful", but it's pretty similar to Ondine which I played last year. Calypso is the same kind of mood as the Beethoven and the Ligeti so I don't think it would be THAT much of a contrast.


question beethoven appassionata 3rd mov. RH fingering
August 22, 2010, 09:26:05 AM by okoie

Which fingering do you use for the right hand in the last movement of BTV op.57( bar 72 and following,bar 262 and following)??Thank  in advance.

xx HELP - Sonata Appasionata problem with Sheet
August 12, 2010, 04:11:26 PM by kristinazx

Hello. I downloaded Sonata Appasionata Sheet but recordings on Youtube or when I play 1st Movement looks totally different. 1st and 2nd Page are the same Sheet like recordings on Youtube, but 3.rd Page is totally different and after.
In recordings it has about 3 Tremolos and in Sheet does not have. ( 3rd Page)

My 3rd Page look like in this Sheet. Does 2 Versions of Sonata Appasionata exists, because I am totally confused, why Recordings on Youtube are different of these Sheet.


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 Appassionata Movement 1?
July 17, 2010, 08:53:35 PM by extremelyfatchicken

I was going to play the 3rd movement of the Les Adieux sonata but now I heard the first movement of this sonata and I love it.  How difficult is this sonata?  I haven't played beethoven for while, and the last sonata I've played by him was the moonlight 3rd movement, but that was over a year ago.  I've played Chopin etudes op 10 no 12 and op 10 no 1 and his 2nd scherzo.

Can anyone inform me about the difficulty of this piece?  I'm okay with challenges.

question Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata
June 01, 2010, 09:22:08 PM by emma92

I just heard Beethoven's Appassionata sonata a few days ago for the first time and I love it I like it better than the pathetique and moonlight sonatas.
I especially like the third movement and I want to learn it, but apparently it's past grade 8 and diploma standard so I think it might be too much of a challenge for me.
I'm on grade 8 now and I'm learning the 3rd movement of the pathetique sonata and the most difficult thing I can play is the fantasie impromptu.

So I'm just wondering what do you think, is it too challening?
And if anyone can play it how difficult was it to learn?

Here's the link to Valentina Lisitsa playing it, she's absolutley brilliant

xx Beethoven Appassionata 1st mov. Video
December 19, 2009, 11:09:16 AM by nick



xx Fingering for beginning of Appasionata 3rd movement coda
November 12, 2009, 01:31:22 AM by joeplaysthepiano

I was wondering what fingering people use for bars 309 & 310 (Right after the two huge half note chords that mark the beginning of the presto coda) in the RH.  My edition says to use 125, 125, 123, 125, 124, 12, 124, 125.  I'm just not sure that is the best fingering to use when trying to play it presto.  Does anyone use anything different?

xx new rec. appassionata beethoven 2nd and 3rd mvt
August 31, 2009, 01:54:44 PM by jehangircama

today's rec. of the appassionata 2nd and 3rd mvts. worked on cleaning them up a bit, since the last rec. i posted. any comments? again, recorded on my yamaha upright, using my laptop and audacity.
some inputs on these mvts would be appreciated. i do play the 3rd mvt slower, i believe in what schiff says in his lectures...

xx new rec. appassionata beethoven 1st mvt
August 31, 2009, 01:50:56 PM by jehangircama

today's rec. of appassionata- this is the 1st mvt. again on upright yamaha, using laptop mike and audacity. at abt 5.05 or so there's a sudden blip, i think that's when the comp. screen went off.

hope this one gets a few more comments than its predecessor...am posting the rest of it in another post.

xx Beethoven Sonata No. 23 Appasionata (3rd mvt)
August 07, 2009, 04:39:03 PM by jehangircama

here's the 3rd mvt. it needs the most work...imo
any comments?

xx Beethoven Sonata no. 23 Appasionata (1st and 2nd mvts)
August 07, 2009, 04:31:24 PM by jehangircama


I am performing the appasionata in my first formal solo reictal on the 17th of september. I have been working on it for a while, but it still needs some cleaning up (technically) which I am working on. I would like to know what you all think about it. Any comments would be appreciated.
I'll upload the first and second mvts here, and the third in another post as it exceeds the 20MB limit when put together.
The recording was done on my Yamaha upright, btw.
I will put up some other pieces from the programme soon. Need inputs and opinions. Thanks

question Help~~Beethoven op.57 "Appasionata"
June 20, 2009, 08:16:22 PM by twiltot

I have a question about "Appasionata" finger numberings... when in the beginning it comes

c-f-a flat-c-d flat-c-b flat-a flat-b flat-a flat-g-f-g-a flat- f           

can anybody suggest some finger numberings?

xx appassionata question
May 25, 2009, 09:47:36 PM by neardn

i'm having trouble playing the following melody:

in these measures:

i don't understand how to emphasize the melody correctly, perhaps i don't understand the rhythm... can someone suggest a fingering and also explain how to emphasize the melody properly?

xx interpreting Beethoven
March 27, 2009, 11:48:08 PM by nick

Can someone tell me why some editors are putting all kinds of marking on the music that was not there from beethovens writing? I am working on the appassionata and see the urtext having so much less markings than other editors, and many concert pianists are playing it according to the editors markings. Did Beethoven assume the performer would follow certain unwritten rules, like an accent on the dissonant portion of the first notes of a 2 note phrase followed by the following note/s softer?


xx When can I reach Appassionata/Islamey?
November 24, 2008, 03:49:43 AM by rihyun

I've been playing piano for about a year and a half, and I recently finished Fantasie Impromptu after about a week of hard practice (prior to Fantasie Impromptu, I've played mostly nocturnes, waltzes, and mazurkas by Chopin and some Bach). I practice around 1.5 hours to 2 hours on weekdays, and I practice 3-4 hours on weekends.

So I have two questions:
1) Would beginning Beethoven's Appassionata be too big of a jump from the impromptu (I'm aware that the pieces are on way different levels)? If it is, what would be intermediary works that I could go through before attempting Appassionata?

2) And this one is probably far fetched...but down the road, when would be the most reasonable time for me to attempt Balakirev's Islamey?

Thanks. Smiley

xx Appasionata and Ballade No.4
September 03, 2008, 09:46:18 PM by chopianist123

In your opinion does the Appasionata Sonata by Beethoven or the Ballade No.4 by Chopin express more inner emotions when being played ?

question Schumann Fantasy or Beethoven Appassionata
August 25, 2008, 10:33:02 PM by bballpianist

Hey everyone.

Could you please tell me which piece you prefer and for what reasons. I have been trying to choose one but I can't pick. I like both of the a lot.

thanks Smiley

xx Recordings with my brand new SAMSON C01U Mic (Rach, Chop, Beet)
April 21, 2008, 04:17:11 PM by hummel

I've just recorded Rachmaninoff - Prelude in G Sharp Minor with my new mic on the recently tuned piano at my parents'. In addition, I recorded some snipplets of Appassionata and Chopin Ballad #4 and so I am curious about whether you think that I've improved my playing since my concert I gave in Spring 2007 (see http://www.youtube.com/user/hummelalkan).

(Please forgive me the occasional mistakes and the background noise)

Thank you and all the best,

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