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Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas (Read 2066 times)

Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
« on: September 13, 2006, 05:09:04 PM »
I cannot make up my mind which Beethoven Sonata to learn next. I have been pondering about this for the whole summer. Apparently, I am suffering from some kind of advanced Beethoven-Blockage.

To summarize my problem: There is no single Beethoven sonata of which I can say that I like ALL mvts, with the possible exception of op. 109. But here my second problem comes into play. There have been hundreds of recordings and thousands of performances of the "big" Beethoven sonatas (such as 111, 110, 109, 106, 101, 81, 57, 53, 31/2, 27/2, 13). I can not see any point in adding an additional interpretation to this suffocating mass of versions. After scanning through the remaining ones, those that I found most interesting were:

op. 10/2
op. 10/3
op. 26     (funeral march)
op. 27/1 (quasi una fantasia)

Still a decision to make ... Any thoughts about this??

PS: I should note that I already played op. 2/1, op. 2/3, op. 10/1, op. 31/2
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould

Sheet music to download and print: Sonatas by Beethoven



Offline dnephi

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #1 on: September 13, 2006, 06:23:29 PM »
Op. 79 is a great work in miniature.  it's short enough to be easily learnable.
For us musicians, the music of Beethoven is the pillar of fire and cloud of mist which guided the Israelites through the desert.  (Roughly quoted, Franz Liszt.)

Offline phil13

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #2 on: September 13, 2006, 06:47:07 PM »
Out of the ones you have mentioned, do Op.27 No.1.

Out of the ones you have not, do Op.7.

Phil

Offline sharon_f

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #3 on: September 13, 2006, 09:02:08 PM »
Op. 26 is a wonderful sonata and woefully underplayed. While I was studying it last year I listened to just about every recording I could get my hands on. (Brendel, Richter, Goode, Gilels, Schnabel, Cianni, Ashkenazy, Roberts, Barenboim....) Each was so different I couldn't believe it. There was not one single performance I found definitive. I would admire Goode's Variations, Ashkenazy's Scherzo, Brendel's Funeral March and Richter's Finale.

I think this sonata still offers the right pianist a chance to say something new and interesting.
There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.
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Offline dnephi

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #4 on: September 13, 2006, 10:22:57 PM »
I read in my big black book on piano by Ernest Hutcheson that the young recitalist who is searching for an unhackneyed number could very well revitalize the Beethoven variations on Venni D'Amore.  You may like it.  I have never heard them myself.
For us musicians, the music of Beethoven is the pillar of fire and cloud of mist which guided the Israelites through the desert.  (Roughly quoted, Franz Liszt.)

Offline burstroman

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #5 on: September 14, 2006, 04:04:16 AM »
What about Op. 90 or Op. 54?

Offline gruffalo

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #6 on: September 14, 2006, 08:01:57 AM »
If you have already learned those sonatas you stated, why learn more? especially if you see no point in adding to the countless amounts of interpretations out there. I personally wouldnt think of it that way, but i think you have learned a good set of Beethoven sonatas and you should find sonatas from other composers.

gruff

Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #7 on: September 14, 2006, 08:52:09 PM »
Op. 26 is a wonderful sonata and woefully underplayed. While I was studying it last year I listened to just about every recording I could get my hands on. (Brendel, Richter, Goode, Gilels, Schnabel, Cianni, Ashkenazy, Roberts, Barenboim....) Each was so different I couldn't believe it. There was not one single performance I found definitive. I would admire Goode's Variations, Ashkenazy's Scherzo, Brendel's Funeral March and Richter's Finale.

I think this sonata still offers the right pianist a chance to say something new and interesting.

I've heard that it used to be Chopin's favorite Beethoven sonata; perhaps due to certain structural similarities to his second sonata. Is that true?
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould

Offline Mozartian

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #8 on: September 14, 2006, 10:34:21 PM »

op. 10/2
op. 10/3
op. 26     (funeral march)
op. 27/1 (quasi una fantasia)

Still a decision to make ... Any thoughts about this??

Well, I've played through 10/2- that's a really nice one, I quite like it. 10/3 seems extremely hard to me (although it is probably my favorite of Beethoven's early sonatas). The op. 26 is amazing, I especially love the first movement with its absolutely gorgeous variations. :) 27/1 I don't know well, but I recently looked through it and it looks quite quite difficult.

I vote for the op. 26, but I'm biased (because I'm learning it!) :)
[lau] 10:01 pm: like in 10/4 i think those little slurs everywhere are pointless for the music, but I understand if it was for improving technique

Offline kriskicksass

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #9 on: September 14, 2006, 11:11:50 PM »
Opus 22 is a diamond in the rough. I learned the first movement of it last year, but I never finished the sonata because I started working on Opus 109 for my auditions. Op. 22 is a really great piece, though. It takes a little time to warm up to the figurated first movement, but it's absolutely wonderful once you get into it. And the final rondo is some of the most charming music Beethoven ever wrote. Transcendent, but not dramatic in the least. Pure serenity.

Offline dbrainiak914

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #10 on: September 14, 2006, 11:45:52 PM »
I just performed Op. 22, I agree 100% with kriskickass.  I adore it.  Definitely my favorite.  I remember reading somewhere that Beethoven considered it one of his best.
"The artist will spend months on a Chopin valse.  The student feels injured if he cannot play it in a day." - Vladimir de Pachmann

Offline brewtality

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #11 on: September 15, 2006, 12:45:28 AM »
the slow movement I found to be a bit of a bore. The outer movements are great though. How about Op 2/3? I love that one.

edit: sorry, missed your post script.

Offline demented cow

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #12 on: September 15, 2006, 08:19:26 AM »
If you're worried about playing works that are played very often (BTW respect for worrying about this, you're obviously a new Hamelin) and already play several Beethoven sonatas, why not check out his variations, as dnephi said above. The Eroica variations op. 35 are rarely played good music, and may be in your range if you can already play op. 2/3 well. Or why not try some Schubert.

Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #13 on: September 15, 2006, 08:26:38 AM »
Or why not try some Schubert.

Thanks for all these great comments and suggestions ... As for Schubert, I have to confess that in general I prefer Schubert to Beethoven sonatas and therefore I've played a lot of Schubert sonatas already. Because the Schubert/Beethoven imbalance starts to become embarassing, I thought it was about time to go back to Beethoven.
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould

Offline nick

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #14 on: September 15, 2006, 10:16:22 AM »
I cannot make up my mind which Beethoven Sonata to learn next. I have been pondering about this for the whole summer. Apparently, I am suffering from some kind of advanced Beethoven-Blockage.

To summarize my problem: There is no single Beethoven sonata of which I can say that I like ALL mvts, with the possible exception of op. 109. But here my second problem comes into play. There have been hundreds of recordings and thousands of performances of the "big" Beethoven sonatas (such as 111, 110, 109, 106, 101, 81, 57, 53, 31/2, 27/2, 13). I can not see any point in adding an additional interpretation to this suffocating mass of versions. After scanning through the remaining ones, those that I found most interesting were:

op. 10/2
op. 10/3
op. 26     (funeral march)
op. 27/1 (quasi una fantasia)

Still a decision to make ... Any thoughts about this??

PS: I should note that I already played op. 2/1, op. 2/3, op. 10/1, op. 31/2


I play the ones I like the most, not the ones I think I could "say something new".  Isn't that more enjoyable or rewarding?

Nick

Offline Mozartian

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #15 on: September 15, 2006, 10:09:01 PM »
Op. 26 is a wonderful sonata and woefully underplayed. While I was studying it last year I listened to just about every recording I could get my hands on. (Brendel, Richter, Goode, Gilels, Schnabel, Cianni, Ashkenazy, Roberts, Barenboim....) Each was so different I couldn't believe it. There was not one single performance I found definitive. I would admire Goode's Variations, Ashkenazy's Scherzo, Brendel's Funeral March and Richter's Finale.

I think this sonata still offers the right pianist a chance to say something new and interesting.

btw, have you heard Michelangeli's? It's a really beautiful performance. :)
[lau] 10:01 pm: like in 10/4 i think those little slurs everywhere are pointless for the music, but I understand if it was for improving technique

Offline arensky

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #16 on: September 16, 2006, 08:19:54 AM »
btw, have you heard Michelangeli's? It's a really beautiful performance. :)

The best.
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"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline arensky

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #17 on: September 16, 2006, 08:24:34 AM »
Op. 26 is a wonderful sonata and woefully underplayed. While I was studying it last year I listened to just about every recording I could get my hands on. (Brendel, Richter, Goode, Gilels, Schnabel, Cianni, Ashkenazy, Roberts, Barenboim....) Each was so different I couldn't believe it. There was not one single performance I found definitive. I would admire Goode's Variations, Ashkenazy's Scherzo, Brendel's Funeral March and Richter's Finale.

I think this sonata still offers the right pianist a chance to say something new and interesting.

Underplayed today but in the 19th Century this was one of the most performed of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas. Funny how things change.

Hey maybe one of those pianists is me. This is my favorite scherzo from any Beethoven Sonata. The final mvt. is very difficult, maybe I'll put this on my all Beethoven program for a couple of years from now...
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"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline pianohenry

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #18 on: September 17, 2006, 01:34:58 PM »
opus 90 (E minor) is good

Offline burstroman

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Re: Torn btw Beethoven Sonatas
«Reply #19 on: September 19, 2006, 02:15:03 AM »
Wait until the moment when you feel you have something to say about these other sonatas.  Explore other repertoire!