Piano Forum



International Piano Day 2024
Piano Day is an annual worldwide event that takes place on the 88th day of the year, which in 2024 is March 28. Established in 2015, it is now well known across the globe. Every year it provokes special concerts, onstage and online, as well as radio shows, podcasts, and playlists. Read more >>

Topic: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements  (Read 18948 times)

Offline airasia

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 63
10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
on: May 16, 2006, 05:03:38 PM
I know there's enough of these "hardest" topics, but this one hasn't been done (to my knowledge) and I would like to see a general consensus.  Remember, I'm talking about individual movements here.

Offline kelly_kelly

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 831
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #1 on: May 16, 2006, 07:50:11 PM
Maybe Hammerklavier 4th?
It all happens on Discworld, where greed and ignorance influence human behavior... and perfectly ordinary people occasionally act like raving idiots.

A world, in short, totally unlike our own.

Offline rob47

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 997
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #2 on: May 16, 2006, 07:54:00 PM
the last movement of op. 2 #3

true.
"Phenomenon 1 is me"
-Alexis Weissenberg

Offline apion

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 757
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #3 on: May 16, 2006, 08:48:56 PM
All the ones with fugues, plus Waldstein mvts 1 and 3.

Offline airasia

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 63
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #4 on: May 16, 2006, 09:15:26 PM
no one can provide a list of 10 in order? 

Offline mikey6

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1406
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #5 on: May 17, 2006, 01:28:12 AM
no one can provide a list of 10 in order?
Why? Hardest how? In terms of notes, or musicality or stamina? what's hard to one person?
probably hammerklavier 4th for notes, waldstein 3rd for stamina (although, you generally don't perform 1 movt, so over the whole sonata, probably again op.106), musically, probably op.111 2nd movt.
Never look at the trombones. You'll only encourage them.
Richard Strauss

Offline mrdaveux

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #6 on: May 17, 2006, 02:21:13 AM
Let me try that one (from hardest to easiest) :

1- Hammerklavier 4th
2- Hammerklavier 1st
3- op.111 2nd
4- Appassionata 3rd
5- op.109 3rd
6- Waldstein 3rd
7- op.111 1st
8- Appassionata 1st
9- op.110 3rd
10- op.3 3rd

Offline airasia

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 63
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 02:28:11 AM
Let me try that one (from hardest to easiest) :

1- Hammerklavier 4th
2- Hammerklavier 1st
3- op.111 2nd
4- Appassionata 3rd
5- op.109 3rd
6- Waldstein 3rd
7- op.111 1st
8- Appassionata 1st
9- op.110 3rd
10- op.3 3rd

thank you for the straightforward response, like i said i just want to see a general consensus cause I've never seen one of this category before.  Of course people find different things difficult, and I know the whole sonata is usually played, and there's musical difficulty opposed to technical difficulty, etc.,  but I'm just asking what movements you find hardest, plain and simple.

Offline soliloquy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1464
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #8 on: May 17, 2006, 09:20:50 PM
I'd say the 3rd-4th-5th movement (also referred to as the third movement) of the Op. 109 in E Major is the second hardest.  Obviously the fugue from the Hammerklavier is the toughest.

Offline bflatminor24

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 313
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #9 on: May 17, 2006, 09:32:48 PM
I would say every movement of the Hammerklavier. It is so difficult musically and texturally, and the technical challenges are present in every moment except the Adagio. Next I would say the entire Op. 110 in A flat major. The fugue in this piece is insane!

Late Beethoven is very complex and I would probably group the last four sonatas together in terms of difficulty. Not quite there yet myself...
My favorite piano pieces - Liszt Sonata in B minor, Beethoven's Hammerklavier, Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, Alkan's Op. 39 Etudes, Scriabin's Sonata-Fantaisie, Godowsky's Passacaglia in B minor.

Offline etudes

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 809
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #10 on: May 19, 2006, 08:01:06 AM
not really in order
1- Hammerklavier 4th
2- Hammerklavier 1st
3- op.111 2nd
4- last movement from op.101
5- op.109 3rd
6- Waldstein 3rd
7- op.111 1st
8- Appassionata 1st
9- op.110 3rd
10- op.2 no. 3 3rd



first movement of op.81a is difficult to play good (i get bored with many of my friends who play it)
Piano = my life
My life = piano

Offline kriskicksass

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 387
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #11 on: July 31, 2006, 03:49:02 AM
I'd say the 3rd-4th-5th movement (also referred to as the third movement) of the Op. 109 in E Major is the second hardest.  Obviously the fugue from the Hammerklavier is the toughest.

I'm learning this sonata and I'm curious as to why you say that the third movement is actually three movements in one. Granted, Beethoven does use quite a few double bar lines (I think 5, but my score is upstairs and I'm too lazy to go check), but these don't divide the movement into smaller movements. This movement is cast too perfectly into the form of a baroque theme and variations for something as trivial as a double bar line to break its unity.

(Also, it's comforting to know that people consider this one of the hardest movements in the Beethoven sonatas. It's been giving me loads of trouble and I've been getting flack from my teacher for not learning it as quickly as he thinks I should.)

Offline desordre

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 388
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #12 on: July 31, 2006, 04:11:39 AM
 Hi there!
 As far as I know (cause I didn't play yet all the sonatas), the list by Mr. Mrdaveux is made just of very hard pieces of music. Anyway, I have to agree with Mr. Mikey:
(...)what's hard to one person?(...)
The point is difficult: we're talking about a very advanced repertory. Two pianists who can actually play it will never have the same background (both knowledge & technique) and physical apparatus, and so will probably never have the same opinion about a rank.
 To myself (and this is not an original answer at all) the most hard sonata is the opus 106, especially (as mentioned) its 1st and 4th movements. On the other hand, I never found opus 53  that difficult, even its 3rd.
One remark, to Mr. Mrdaveux : "easiest" is a far from appropriate term for these movements, don't you think?  ;D
Player of what?

Offline verywellmister

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #13 on: July 31, 2006, 02:46:02 PM
1- Hammerklavier 4th
2- Hammerklavier 1st
3- op.111 2nd
4- last movement from op.101
5- op.109 3rd
6- Waldstein 3rd
7- op.111 1st
8- op.110 4th
9- Appassionata 1st
10- op.2 no. 3 4th or Op.109 2nd

I agree Op.81a is hard.  i don't have any experience with Op.7 (and why is this considered hard).
(\_/)
(O.o)
(> <)

This is Bunny. Copy Bunny into your signature to help him on his way to world domination

i thought i heard my washing machine playing Ondine

Offline etudes

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 809
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #14 on: September 22, 2006, 01:27:56 AM
nobody mentioned op.101?  :o  8)
Piano = my life
My life = piano

Offline verywellmister

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #15 on: September 22, 2006, 07:35:28 PM
1- Hammerklavier 4th
2- Hammerklavier 1st
3- op.111 2nd
4- last movement from op.101
5- op.109 3rd
6- Waldstein 3rd
7- op.111 1st
8- op.110 4th
9- Op.109 2nd
10- Op.101 1st
(\_/)
(O.o)
(> <)

This is Bunny. Copy Bunny into your signature to help him on his way to world domination

i thought i heard my washing machine playing Ondine

Offline Kassaa

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1563
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #16 on: September 22, 2006, 08:30:33 PM
Third movement from the Appassionata is technically more difficult than the first movement., imo.

Offline zheer

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2794
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #17 on: September 22, 2006, 08:37:20 PM
Third movement from the Appassionata is technically more difficult than the first movement., imo.

  Agreed, i was playing through the first MVT of the appassionata this morning and thinking that its a lot easiser than the 3rd MVT.
" Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends" - Tom Cruise -

Offline zheer

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2794
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #18 on: September 22, 2006, 08:38:27 PM
Third movement from the Appassionata is technically more difficult than the first movement., imo.

  Agreed, i was playing through the first MVT of the appassionata this morning and thinking that its a lot easiser than the 3rd MVT. But still difficult to play well, takes a lot of work its a big sonata.
" Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends" - Tom Cruise -

Offline pianochild

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 143
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #19 on: September 23, 2006, 08:58:57 AM
Ive always thought that moonlight 3rd movement is quite a hard one to play fast enough, and could be in the top 10 (only when played good enought though)
Piano Obsessed

Offline zheer

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2794
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #20 on: September 23, 2006, 09:22:52 AM
 The last five sonatas are among the most difficult piano  sonatas by Beethoven.
" Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends" - Tom Cruise -

Offline phil13

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1395
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #21 on: September 23, 2006, 06:05:35 PM
Ive always thought that moonlight 3rd movement is quite a hard one to play fast enough, and could be in the top 10 (only when played good enought though)

please tell me you didn't mean that.  :'(

Moonlight doesn't even come close to this stuff.

Here's my list (after the first 2 or 3, not in any particular order):

1. Op.106 4th
2. Op.111 2nd
3. Op.106 1st
4. Op.101 4th
5. Op.53 3rd
6. Op.109 3rd
7. Op.57 3rd
8. Op.110 4th
9. Op.111 1st
10. Op. 101 1st

Interesting how most of them are final movements in all of the lists so far.

Phil

Offline mephisto

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1645
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #22 on: September 23, 2006, 06:20:58 PM
please tell me you didn't mean that.  :'(

Moonlight doesn't even come close to this stuff.

Here's my list (after the first 2 or 3, not in any particular order):

1. Op.106 4th
2. Op.111 2nd
3. Op.106 1st
4. Op.101 4th
5. Op.53 3rd
6. Op.109 3rd
7. Op.57 3rd
8. Op.110 4th
9. Op.111 1st
10. Op. 101 1st

Interesting how most of them are final movements in all of the lists so far.

Phil

Laughable.

Offline phil13

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1395
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #23 on: September 24, 2006, 12:41:51 AM

Offline mephisto

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1645
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #24 on: September 24, 2006, 06:52:26 AM
Your list is wrong.

Offline phil13

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1395
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #25 on: September 24, 2006, 03:34:56 PM
Well then, since you obviously have the answer we're looking for, why don't you provide a better one?

BTW, While you're at it, note that mine is not a ranking, just a random list. Meaning they aren't in any order. Meaning your response is moot. Would you feel better about it if I removed the numbers?

I haven't played all of them, not even close. Have you? I don't think anybody here has played them all. Thus, the question is being answered by uninformed people voicing their opinions, such as myself, and no real ranking will be correct.

So go ahead and make my day, since you seem to know so much about this topic.

Phil

Offline etudes

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 809
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #26 on: September 24, 2006, 05:08:40 PM


I haven't played all of them, not even close. Have you? I don't think anybody here has played them all. Thus, the question is being answered by uninformed people voicing their opinions, such as myself, and no real ranking will be correct.

So go ahead and make my day, since you seem to know so much about this topic.

Phil

please don't underestimate pianists around here
Piano = my life
My life = piano

Offline mephisto

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1645
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #27 on: September 24, 2006, 05:31:01 PM
Well then, since you obviously have the answer we're looking for, why don't you provide a better one?

BTW, While you're at it, note that mine is not a ranking, just a random list. Meaning they aren't in any order. Meaning your response is moot. Would you feel better about it if I removed the numbers?

I haven't played all of them, not even close. Have you? I don't think anybody here has played them all. Thus, the question is being answered by uninformed people voicing their opinions, such as myself, and no real ranking will be correct.

So go ahead and make my day, since you seem to know so much about this topic.

Phil


First mwt of 101 is not among the 10 hardest mwts of any Beethoven sonata.

Offline verywellmister

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #28 on: September 24, 2006, 06:20:35 PM
Op.109 3rd mvt is def harder than any movement of Op.57
(\_/)
(O.o)
(> <)

This is Bunny. Copy Bunny into your signature to help him on his way to world domination

i thought i heard my washing machine playing Ondine

Offline fiasco

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 75
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #29 on: September 24, 2006, 07:20:28 PM
Did Beethoven write this thing they call the OC because I hear that's the hardest piece ever written ha ha ha

Seriously though, there's nothing laughable about 3rd movt Moonlight sonata, it takes an incredible amout of stamina and concentration to play it right.  I've never played Waldstein or Hammerklav but they certainly sound more difficult.  I have played the Pathetique, Tempest, and 3rd movt Appasionata and would say the Moonlight has given me more trouble than those.

Offline nanabush

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2081
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #30 on: September 24, 2006, 08:27:30 PM
K fine, the Moonlight [may] be harder than the others you mentioned... that still doesnt rank it as one of the top 10, not by a longshot  :P
Interested in discussing:

-Prokofiev Toccata
-Scriabin Sonata 2

Offline phil13

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1395
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #31 on: September 24, 2006, 08:49:00 PM
First mwt of 101 is not among the 10 hardest mwts of any Beethoven sonata.

I'm still waiting for a ranking...I suppose I could put Op.2 No.3 there instead.

Phil

Offline mephisto

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1645
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #32 on: November 06, 2006, 09:37:12 PM
I'm still waiting for a ranking...I suppose I could put Op.2 No.3 there instead.

Phil

Sorry for this late answer.

But yes op.2 No,3 should be there instead.

Offline phil13

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1395
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #33 on: November 06, 2006, 10:03:16 PM
Okay, that's settled then.  :)

Phil

Offline transitional

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 423
Re: 10 hardest Beethoven sonata movements
Reply #34 on: November 01, 2023, 01:51:37 AM
Haven't played many, so this is mostly speculative.

1. Hammerklavier 4th
2. Hammerklavier 1st
3. Op. 101 4th
4. Op. 111 1st
5. Op. 109 3rd
6. Waldstein 3rd
7. Grand Op. 7 1st
8. Op. 110 3rd
9. Appassionata 3rd
10. Op. 101 2nd
Advanced pianist and beginner composer. The Schubert sonatas are amazing and I want to learn all of them eventually!
For more information about this topic, click search below!
 

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert