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Appassionata (Read 3372 times)

Offline lagin

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Appassionata
« on: December 29, 2005, 07:00:30 AM »
Tell me if I'm dreaming, but break it to me nicely, ok?  Beethoven's Appassionata - are we talking like impossible to learn after the Pathetique?  How hard is it say compared to the Pathetique being 1 and the Hammerklavier (sp?) being 10?  Where does it fall?
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piano sheet music of Sonata 23 (Appassionata)


Offline kreso

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #1 on: December 29, 2005, 07:12:46 AM »
I would say 5.

You know Appassionata is of course very diifficult musical piece, but I would say that it is more technicaly difficult. When you play her,y ou have to be ready to play big gigant piece for which you must have good concetration and huhg amount of energy (you'll need that in
in finall momvment-especialy in Prestissimo).

I would suggested you to learn about 2-3 sonatas (but not just read them, try to mastered them). The op.2/2,3, op.7 and op.10/3 are extremly difficult if you play theme as it should be played. Then you can try some of middle sonatas like op.22 or op.26 (or if you want opp.27). And also one of this two sonatas-op.31/2,3 or op.90 or even op.81a.

So be very carefull in choosing your repertoar. Be pacient and practice alot, and the results will come!!

Goodl luck! ;)

Offline lagin

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #2 on: December 29, 2005, 07:24:05 AM »
Actually, I'm trying to pick a Beethoven sonata for my exam in two years time.  I am playing the first 2 movements of the Pathetique sonata for my exam in 6 months, but then I need another Beethoven sonata for the next exam, the whole sonata this time, though.  Naturally I don't want it to be too hard because they grade you on how well you play whatever you pick.  You aren't graded on the difficulty of the piece itself.  They expect you to know your own limitations.  So that's why I was wondering where the Appassionata fell in terms of difficulty.  I agree that I have much music to learn, but I need to just pick one sonata for right now, and work on it over the next 2 years.  This exam will be my last one and will be the grade I carry with me, so I really want to do a good job. 

So since at the moment, I can only have one sonata, and that will be my focus for 2 years, which do you think I should pick?  Should I leave the Appassionata for a few years down the road when I'm done my exams or do you think I could use it for the next one? 
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Offline kreso

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #3 on: December 29, 2005, 07:34:07 AM »
Actually, I'm trying to pick a Beethoven sonata for my exam in two years time.  I am playing the first 2 movements of the Pathetique sonata for my exam in 6 months, but then I need another Beethoven sonata for the next exam, the whole sonata this time, though.  Naturally I don't want it to be too hard because they grade you on how well you play whatever you pick.  You aren't graded on the difficulty of the piece itself.  They expect you to know your own limitations.  So that's why I was wondering where the Appassionata fell in terms of difficulty.  I agree that I have much music to learn, but I need to just pick one sonata for right now, and work on it over the next 2 years.  This exam will be my last one and will be the grade I carry with me, so I really want to do a good job. 

So since at the moment, I can only have one sonata, and that will be my focus for 2 years, which do you think I should pick?  Should I leave the Appassionata for a few years down the road when I'm done my exams or do you think I could use it for the next one? 


Well my favourites are Soanata in C-major op.2/3 and op.31/3 Eflat major.
On both sonatas you can and have to work 2 and probably more years.
On them you'll develp your tenique very much; althaught at the first look they don't look so tricky, when you'll try to mastered them you'll see how hard it is to play Beethoven.

This is my opininon, but decision which sonata to play is your..




Offline quantum

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #4 on: December 29, 2005, 10:23:10 AM »
I wouldn't say impossible to learn, just it will take you a long time to learn.  5 is probably a good number in your rating. 

While my other classmates at university decided to learn a complete sonata or concerto per year I devoted 4 years to learning and mastering this work.  All that detailed learning payed off at my recital.  This is one work I find you can study more and more and still not get bored of it. 

I'd say, if you are not in a rush to learn it and really feel a connection with the music go ahead.  The best results will probably come if you let the piece mature after several practice performances.  Since your really aiming to give a good performance, it's better you pick a sonata that you feel you can connect with the music. 

Are you finding any difficulties with Pathetique at the moment?  Do you have any other prospective sonatas in mind?
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline lagin

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #5 on: December 29, 2005, 04:42:14 PM »
Well, the only difficulty I'm finding is keeping my technique nice and clear as I get faster and faster at it, but I just really started working seriously on this recently and it's getting better every day so I can't say I've hit a "wall" yet.  The trickiest bit for me would be the bars with the left hand tremolo and the right hand sixteenths marked piano that leads up to the right hand trills.  I don't have a problem with the trills, but I'm finding it hard to keep the hands together, but it's always improving. 

And sadly, I'm aiming to take my last exam only a year and a half after this one, so no, I don't want to spend a long time at it.  I've been listening to other sonatas, and well, I'll probably get in trouble for saying this, but they strike me as rather boring.  I mean, individual movements are good, but when I think, "Am I going to enjoy playing this whole thing for the next year and a half,"  I'm not left with much.  I haven't listened to them all yet.  Just part of that easy one in G Major, which i did the first movement of last year, but it's too easy to use for a final exam,  the Moonlight, which I could use, but which might be too overplayed, the Waldenstein, which is too hard for me right now, the Pathetique which I'm already using this year and which is also too easy to be in the syllabus for the final exam, the one in Ab with the funeral march as the last movement which is easy enough sounding, but kinda of boring for my dramatic taste, and I think I listened to the Hunt, but it didn't turn me on either.  But I still have alot to listen to.

Edit:  I forgot, I've also heard the one in E major, which is too easy for this level (they put it on the same level as Pathetique), and the Temptest which is okay, but I don't really know if I'd want to learn it for this.
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Offline presto agitato

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #6 on: December 29, 2005, 05:20:02 PM »
Lagin: The sonata in Eminor Op 90 would be a perfect choice. Once you learn it, you can try  to play the BIG Piece: Appassionata.
The masterpiece tell the performer what to do, and not the performer telling the piece what it should be like, or the cocomposer what he ought to have composed.

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Offline lagin

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #7 on: December 29, 2005, 05:50:06 PM »
Thanks presto, for the referral.  Anyone else feel free to contribute an opinion as well.  I need lots of help here. 

For the record, I've checked the syllabus and F minor, op. 2, no.1, C minor, op.10, no. 1, C minor, op. 13, E major, op. 14, no.1, G major, op. 14, no. 2, and E flat major, op. 27, no.1 are all considered one grade below the one I need.

And G major, op. 79, is two grades below.

And G major, op. 49, no. 2 as well as G minor, op. 49, no. 1 are three grades below.

The other 23 sonatas are free for me to pick from.
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Offline etudes

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #8 on: December 29, 2005, 08:56:24 PM »
i would suggest op.78 first before appassionata
becoz its short and some of furious stuff to help your technique
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Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #9 on: December 29, 2005, 11:02:57 PM »
The Appassioinata is LOOOOOOONG and really fun to play, but may take you a long time to learn depending on how many techniques you already have down.  The first movement in particular has several that were new to me when I learned it - walking octaves, a LOT of finger-switching in the right hand, which I was not used to, repeated notes that have to be very even, yet with a pulse, and of course, lots of trills - some with 4-5!  ow!

Depending on how many of these little tricks you already have up your sleeve, the time it takes to learn the piece will vary.  It's a lot to memorize, and there really isn't an easy measure in the thing - there's some trick popping out almost everywhere.  So be prepared to spend lots of time on it. 

So much music, so little time........

Offline nanabush

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #10 on: December 29, 2005, 11:16:47 PM »
Lagin, are you by any chance in Canada, doin the grade 10, and then doing performer's ARCT later?  If so, I played two movements from Pathetique, and then decided to play the Grieg sonata, which did not pose severe problems.  Maybe a sonata by a different composer would be nice?  ;D or both at same time?
Interested in discussing:

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-Scriabin Sonata 2

Offline lagin

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #11 on: December 30, 2005, 01:41:54 AM »
Yes, Nanabush, I'm doing exactly that!  Lol.  Greig, eh?  I'll look into that right now.  Thanks for the tip.  (BTW, the syllabus is insane isn't it?  Like who would learn La campanella and Mephisto right after grade ten?!  And the Hammerklavier takes like forty minutes to play.  I don't even think you could use that in the exam.  You'ld run out of time before you even played half your pieces!) :o

Edit:  Okay, I just listened to the Grieg sonata.  It's okay, but I think it's kinda of hmmmm, well, I guess vertical would explain it in a way.  It doesn't have the forward drive that Beethoven has.  I don't mean speed, I mean a sense of flow.  Does that make sense?  But I will keep it in mind, none the less, because I do like how it's rather obscure.  At least I think it is.  Is it?
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Offline quantum

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #12 on: December 30, 2005, 02:51:37 AM »
I agree with presto's Op. 90 recomendation.  You will probably like it. 

Also look at Op. 10/3 -  first movement is most technically difficult, second is slow and requires detailed interpretation, third is charming, fourth is a rondo. 

Op.2/3 - verry flashy but also quite difficult.  Listen to it, but I wouldn't recommend learning it just yet. 

Sight read 1st movement of Appassionata and tell us what you think. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #13 on: December 30, 2005, 02:54:50 AM »
If they are not worried about the difficulty of the piece and they are concentrating on how well you play, maybe appassionata is a bit hard, if you have to play the whole thing. the 3rd movement is very difficulty, im working on the first movement which is a little easier. maybe you should go with an easier piece IMO.

Offline lagin

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #14 on: December 30, 2005, 04:47:25 AM »
Yes, I listened to the third movement, and I think I better not do it for my exam.  It would take me way too long to get it up to speed right now, way too long.  I want to listen to op. 90.  It's only about 12 minutes long apparently which is good for keeping me under an hour over all.  op. 10. no. 3 is 25 minutes long, but if I really like it, that won't stop me.  I can't listen to any more today because you're only allowed five free downloads from the site I use per day, and I've used them up now.  But I'll be back tomorrow ;).  Thanks guys for the suggestions.

BTW, they have some Mozart sonatas listed here too.  Generally (don't hit me), but I don't like Mozart much, but he does have some good stuff, like Fantasy in d minor, which is too easy for this exam :-\.  Anyways, do you all think Beethoven is still my best bet for this exam?
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Offline lagin

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #15 on: December 30, 2005, 05:52:15 AM »
Guys, I can hear little bits of op. 90 on Amazon, but not enough to make up my mind.  So far I'm VERY EXCITED!  I was loosing all hope of finding one that I actually like, but this has definite potential.  Does anyone have a recording they can email me now?  I don't want to wait another day ;D.  Please?
Christians aren't perfect; just forgiven.

Offline pita bread

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #16 on: December 30, 2005, 06:18:33 AM »
How big are your hands?

Offline lagin

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #17 on: December 30, 2005, 06:27:39 AM »
A nineth is really comfortable, but I can reach a tenth if I need to.  Why?
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Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #18 on: December 30, 2005, 09:22:11 AM »
beethovens the way to go, i like his sonatas better then mozart.)my teacher would kill me for saying that....).

Offline •ÇØM

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #19 on: December 30, 2005, 06:08:46 PM »
Guys, I can hear little bits of op. 90 on Amazon, but not enough to make up my mind.  So far I'm VERY EXCITED!  I was loosing all hope of finding one that I actually like, but this has definite potential.  Does anyone have a recording they can email me now?  I don't want to wait another day ;D.  Please?
I know this is probably a bad suggestion but if you can't find any recording why don't just listen to a midi file of the piece just to hear the whole piece at least. Then maybe you can look for the recording of it later.

Here's a link to a midi file of it:
http://www.classicalmidiconnection.com/cmc/ludwig.html

If you scroll down the sonata should be there. Good luck
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Offline musicsdarkangel

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #20 on: December 31, 2005, 02:15:56 AM »
Appassionata isn't only technically difficult; it's quite difficult musically as well.

Offline steve jones

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #21 on: January 02, 2006, 03:13:43 AM »
A nineth is really comfortable, but I can reach a tenth if I need to.  Why?

There are a couple of tenths in Op90, but they arent to difficult. One is a block chord for the left hand (G, E, B) which isnt too bad. The others occur in the nasty semiquaver arps of bb55 passage. This is the hardest part of the entire piece imo, but I wouldnt say a larger reach is necessary to play it by any means.

I dont believe the Appassionata has any major stretches, does it? Hammer Klavier has some ninth and a couple of tenths.

Offline contrapunctus

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #22 on: January 02, 2006, 04:15:32 AM »
Gould hated the Appassionata, he said Beethoven used a completely different method of composing on that particular sonata. Just listen to his recording and you ill hear the disgust.
Medtner, man.

Offline airasia

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #23 on: January 02, 2006, 06:15:34 AM »
Actually i was just wondering almost the same thing and was about to make a new topic, but I guess I can just ask here.  The only difference is I would like to know how much harder the 3rd movement of the Appassionata is compared to the 3rd movement of the Moonlight.  I'm almost done with the latter and I was wondering if the former would be an OK next step.  Also in case you're thinking it's strange that I don't already know, I just play for fun without a teacher and started playing random movements that I enjoy, so that's why I'm asking here.

Offline quantum

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #24 on: January 03, 2006, 01:01:00 AM »
Actually i was just wondering almost the same thing and was about to make a new topic, but I guess I can just ask here.  The only difference is I would like to know how much harder the 3rd movement of the Appassionata is compared to the 3rd movement of the Moonlight.  I'm almost done with the latter and I was wondering if the former would be an OK next step.  Also in case you're thinking it's strange that I don't already know, I just play for fun without a teacher and started playing random movements that I enjoy, so that's why I'm asking here.

Hello, welcome to the forums!

Where the Moonlight focuses on broken chord technique, Appasionata Mvt. 3 is more scale and figurative passage work. 

The main obstacle in learning the 3rd mvt. is choosing a good fingering.  There are several motifs that are constantly repeated in different keys.  I would suggest sticking as much as possible similar fingerings as opposed to wildly changing fingring depending on key.  With so many repeated motifs it is easy for fingers to forget which ones to use! 

Other key tecnical elements:  scales in 6ths, scales in both hands doing completely different things, fugato of thematic elements plus scales, unorthodox fingering may be required in some places, the LH tremolo part 32 - 51 (you'll know when you see it). 

Speed is easy, control is not as easy. 

You say you do not have a teacher.  Appasionata does have it's tricky bits and some parts may need a teacher to help you with correct technique. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline airasia

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #25 on: January 03, 2006, 02:01:03 AM »
Yeah I understand the differences between those movements; the Moonlight is all about arpeggios and Appassionata is mainly awkward scales, but is the Appassionata really that much harder?  I've just been looking over the Appassionata 3rd movement and see the section where the main theme comes in, the book I have suggests 2 1 2 3 4 and sometimes 1 2 3 5 4 on the scales.  Is it just me or can you just use 1 2 3 4 5?  I was trying just 1 2 3 4 5 and it seemed to work fine. 

Offline phil13

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #26 on: January 03, 2006, 02:08:49 AM »
Yeah I understand the differences between those movements; the Moonlight is all about arpeggios and Appassionata is mainly awkward scales, but is the Appassionata really that much harder?  I've just been looking over the Appassionata 3rd movement and see the section where the main theme comes in, the book I have suggests 2 1 2 3 4 and sometimes 1 2 3 5 4 on the scales.  Is it just me or can you just use 1 2 3 4 5?  I was trying just 1 2 3 4 5 and it seemed to work fine. 

The fingerings they have are supposed to help you maintain control when you play it up to speed.

Yes, Appassionata is harder than  Moonlight. Whereas the latter has only one truly challenging movement, the former has two, and the 3rd mvt. of Moonlight is about as difficult as the 1st movement of Appassionata, and the 3rd mvt. of Appassionata is horribly difficult. Appassionata is usually ranked as one of the top six hardest Beethoven sonatas (just beneath the 5 Op.100s sonatas)

Phil

Offline lisztisforkids

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #27 on: January 03, 2006, 02:59:35 AM »
The Appassionata is a musical work that very many of us can not relate to, this is why it also so hard musically.
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Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #28 on: January 03, 2006, 04:40:51 AM »
Just to clarify:  The Appassionata only has 2 movements:

1.  Allegro assai
2.  Andante con moto; Allegro ma non troppo


BTW, Allegro ma non troppo, means, "fast, but not too much so" which is a bunch of crap, 'cause the thing goes really fast for me!  In my case 132 (which is still not as fast as my various recordings!)
So much music, so little time........

Offline lagin

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #29 on: January 04, 2006, 02:24:00 AM »
Okay guys, don't shoot me! :o  But my teacher and I have actually decided to go with the Moonlight Sonata (I know, I know), and hopefully do a very, very, very good job of it.  She thinks it's managable for me, and since she used it for her exam, she knows it completely inside out and backwards, figuratively speaking.  It has that really nice slow opening movement, and all my highest marks on my exams so far have been for lyrical slow pieces, so hopefully it's right up my alley.  The third movement will appeal to my crazier side, though.  Thanks for all your advice, everyone.  I'm going to tackle this easier one instead, and I'm feeling rather relieved at the thought, but my favorite sonata still remains the Appassionata! ;)
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Offline presto agitato

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #30 on: January 04, 2006, 02:47:15 AM »
Gould hated the Appassionata, he said Beethoven used a completely different method of composing on that particular sonata. Just listen to his recording and you ill hear the disgust.

I guess Beethoven would have hated the way Gould played Bach´s music
The masterpiece tell the performer what to do, and not the performer telling the piece what it should be like, or the cocomposer what he ought to have composed.

--Alfred Brendel--

Offline nanabush

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #31 on: January 04, 2006, 06:55:17 AM »
My teacher almost made me play the Moonlight, I only like the third movement, and the second is quite nice, but I could not stand the first... If I had to play a sonata for an exam when I didn't like an entire movement, I would not do well at all on it.  Make sure that you actually enjoy the piece, and are not just playing it because your teacher knows it.  If you enjoy the moonlight sonata, all the better  ;D
Interested in discussing:

-Prokofiev Toccata
-Scriabin Sonata 2

Offline JP

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #32 on: January 05, 2006, 02:22:34 AM »
Okay guys, don't shoot me! :o  But my teacher and I have actually decided to go with the Moonlight Sonata (I know, I know), and hopefully do a very, very, very good job of it.  She thinks it's managable for me, and since she used it for her exam, she knows it completely inside out and backwards, figuratively speaking.  It has that really nice slow opening movement, and all my highest marks on my exams so far have been for lyrical slow pieces, so hopefully it's right up my alley.  The third movement will appeal to my crazier side, though.  Thanks for all your advice, everyone.  I'm going to tackle this easier one instead, and I'm feeling rather relieved at the thought, but my favorite sonata still remains the Appassionata! ;)

Good call.  Appassionata is very risqué for an exam. Especiall RCM ..  :P

Offline lagin

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #33 on: January 05, 2006, 02:35:18 AM »
Thanks JP.  Have you done RCM exams before?  Don't worry, Nanabush, I actually love the first movement, and the second is cool, too.  And of course the third is really fun sounding. So I do like the whole sonata, which is more than I can say for most sonatas.  Even with the Appassionata, I didn't like the beginning of the second movement.
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Offline quantum

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Re: Appassionata
«Reply #34 on: January 05, 2006, 10:48:28 PM »
Good call.  Appassionata is very risqué for an exam. Especiall RCM ..  :P

Why do you consider it risqué?
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach