\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best (Read 9088 times)

Offline kd

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 98
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #50 on: June 05, 2007, 07:19:13 PM »
Or perhaps that was an intentional joke? Say, like, "there are 10 types of people, those who know binary etc." thing?

Offline liszt1022

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 659
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #51 on: June 07, 2007, 12:13:43 AM »
I've played op. 2 no. 3, I felt it talks like an orchestral reduction most of the time. The first and fourth mvts are pretty concerto-like, the second is small-ensemble like, maybe a string quartet, and the third wouldn't be too out of place as the scherzo in a symphony (the fast triplets section is just a way to spread one harmony out over a larger range of the keyboard)

What was hard for me was trying to figure out just what parts in I and IV would be the solo vs the ensemble, and how to play them differently. Also the LH in the first mvt B section (of the expo) is pretty densly layered contrapuntally, so keeping lines straight and connected in that part was a challenge for me.

In II, I had to keep my ears on the "big picture" of the melodies made by the LH octaves so as to not make it sound punchy.

For the fast triplet part of III, the same thing applied: making sure I was getting the LH octave melodies out, and using the RH's strong beats as counterpoint to it.

The thing about IV was that it had plenty of unpianistic writing in it that I needed to sound relaxed and flowing. But the sonata as a whole is fun to play, and it's my favorite early sonata. Maybe one day I'll bring it back up and share it with the board- though I am wary of being flamed.

Offline keyofc

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 635
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #52 on: June 08, 2007, 11:01:21 PM »
I think the hardest one is whichever one I'm working on at the time!
Everything seems easy after learning it....

Offline elevateme_returns

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 757
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #53 on: June 11, 2007, 05:05:40 PM »
id say the last one was the hardest. not technically.
elevateme's joke of the week:
If John Terry was a Spartan, the movie 300 would have been called "1."

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #54 on: June 11, 2007, 06:26:07 PM »
106 and 111 are the hardest.

Offline opus10no2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2157
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #55 on: June 12, 2007, 02:02:35 AM »
106 and 111 are the hardest.

Depending upon speed.  :-*
Da SDC Piano Forum :
http://www.dasdc.net/

Offline elevateme_returns

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 757
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #56 on: June 12, 2007, 11:42:24 AM »
Depending upon speed.  :-*

id say 111 didnt matter about speed, just about how musically you play it
elevateme's joke of the week:
If John Terry was a Spartan, the movie 300 would have been called "1."

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #57 on: June 12, 2007, 11:47:23 AM »
Depending upon speed. :-*

Yeh only to peoplelike you with crap techniques and no musicality

Offline phil13

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1399
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #58 on: June 12, 2007, 08:01:28 PM »
Yeh only to peoplelike you with crap techniques and no musicality

Do you have to start an argument wherever you go?

Depending upon speed. :-*

Do YOU have to provoke an argument wherever you go?

Btw, don't get me wrong, Comme, you do have a point. Both sonatas are insanely hard, and it really does depend on the speed you play them at.

That said, I'd say the Hammerklavier would beat out Op.111 through sheer technical difficulty, both through that incomprehensible fugue and the 1st mvt's sheer virtuosity and complexity, ESPECIALLY when taken at Beethoven's own tempo, half note = 138.

Phil

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #59 on: June 12, 2007, 08:19:45 PM »
OMG!!!!!

The speed is totally irrelavent!!!! If you are playing op10 or 111 you should have a pretty good technique. And about the metronome mark of 106...thats a load of rubbish. The pianos were different then, articulation etc was easier. It sounds bad if you try it at 138. But possible.

The difficulties of these sonatas is not in technique at all. And to anyone who even suggests it, then just stay away from them. And don't even go near them, becasue you are insulting the greatness of the music by talking about speed!!

Speed in music like this is obvious, you would never ever go out and seriusly perform op111 at a faster speed than needed unless you are an idiot. 

Offline phil13

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1399
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #60 on: June 12, 2007, 08:53:27 PM »
Listen...

Today, I heard Artur Schnabel's recording of the Hammerklavier. He is, as far as I know, the only person to have recorded it at Beethoven's tempo. At that speed, there is an impetus to the first movement that blew me out of the water. It was like no other interpretation I've ever heard.

So, that clearly negates your remark about it sounding 'bad' at 138. I think it sounds best at 138.


Speed in music like this is obvious, you would never ever go out and seriusly perform op111 at a faster speed than needed unless you are an idiot.

I don't recall having said that one should.

Speed is one of the most important factors, along with figuration and fingering, in the technical aspects of piano playing. Hence, it is not irrelevant. Why else would one begin to learn a piece by practicing slow? If speed were irrelevant to the technical difficulty of a piece, would you not just start at performing tempo? Try that, and let me know how it works out for you.


Phil

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #61 on: June 12, 2007, 08:59:49 PM »
Schabel's hammerklavier is not great at all. And if the speed was all the caught your attention about it, then this debate should stop untill you give me a decent answer. I doubt he played iot like that so people call it impetus.  His articultion his no clean, the pedalling is not clean, it's out of control and it rushes. It is widley accepted that hammerklvier should not go this speed. Listen to his other recordings and look at his editions. I love these recordings a lot, and they are my favourites, but his hammerklavier is not my favouite at all.

How does that negate my remark? You've given me no evidemnce other that Schabel plays it fast!

Does one really begin practicing a piece slowly? Why is speed such an issue? Does your teacher not teach you better ways of starting a piece?

Offline elevateme_returns

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 757
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #62 on: June 12, 2007, 09:51:30 PM »
Do you have to start an argument wherever you go?

Do YOU have to provoke an argument wherever you go?

if you hate arguments, why bother arguing with franz.
elevateme's joke of the week:
If John Terry was a Spartan, the movie 300 would have been called "1."

Offline soliloquy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1464
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #63 on: June 12, 2007, 10:38:34 PM »
106 technically, 109/110 interpretively.

Offline elevateme_returns

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 757
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #64 on: June 12, 2007, 11:00:06 PM »
106 technically, 109/110 interpretively.

i'd agree with that. add 111 to interpret list.


by the way i just saw brendel play 110 at sage gateshead!! amazing!!!!
elevateme's joke of the week:
If John Terry was a Spartan, the movie 300 would have been called "1."

Offline phil13

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1399
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #65 on: June 12, 2007, 11:24:28 PM »
Schabel's hammerklavier is not great at all. And if the speed was all the caught your attention about it, then this debate should stop untill you give me a decent answer. I doubt he played iot like that so people call it impetus.  His articultion his no clean, the pedalling is not clean, it's out of control and it rushes. It is widley accepted that hammerklvier should not go this speed. Listen to his other recordings and look at his editions. I love these recordings a lot, and they are my favourites, but his hammerklavier is not my favouite at all.

How does that negate my remark? You've given me no evidemnce other that Schabel plays it fast!

Does one really begin practicing a piece slowly? Why is speed such an issue? Does your teacher not teach you better ways of starting a piece?

You're impossible.

First of all, the speed was most decisively NOT what caught my attention. I don't generally look at interpretations for how fast they are played, but rather for whether they capture what I consider the 'essence' of the piece- i.e. whether it captures a spirit which is not present in most other recordings. In other words, whether the music is captivating and beautiful to ME.

IN OTHER WORDS, MY F*CKING OPINION IS THAT SCHNABEL PLAYED THE HAMMERKLAVIER THE WAY IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLAYED, AND I REALLY RESENT YOU FOR CALLING MY ANSWER 'INDECENT'.

The fact that he made mistakes should, ideally, show you 2 things:

1. You're being rather thick saying that a recording is bad because the pianist made errors.

2. Schnabel would not have lost control in a few places if he were playing it at the speed others typically do, which further reinforces the argument that speed is relevant to the technical difficulty of a piece.



As for this last comment....wow. A personal attack upon my teacher. Not that I'm really expecting anything better from you at the moment. I'll underline this, so that maybe you'll read it:

I am no omnicient being, but if you asked all the people in this community whether they started playing a piece that was challenging at a slow tempo, and then progressed to the performing tempo, I would bet money that at least 90% would agree.

If you're some kind of freak prodigy and can learn something like the Hammerklavier by practicing it at concert tempo from the very beginning, fine. Go do it. Prove me wrong. The rest of us would prefer to learn in such a way that we'll actually have a chance of playing it.

Phil

Offline elevateme_returns

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 757
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #66 on: June 13, 2007, 02:49:10 PM »
of course speed is relevant to the difficulty of a technically demanding piece. but there are limits . and for someone that says "oh, do you HAVE to start an argument wherever you go??"  youre certainly not keeping your side of the deal

also, of course the recording is bad when the pianist makes errors. in studio recordings there should be no room for error!

i dont think franz was referring to the difficult parts in the hammerklavier when he said should one really start A (emphasis on a) piece slowly
elevateme's joke of the week:
If John Terry was a Spartan, the movie 300 would have been called "1."

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #67 on: June 13, 2007, 06:28:39 PM »
I didn't say I practice it at concert tempo. I said I'd practice other ways. Opeing leap...I wouldn't play it slowly, I'd use methods. 1st page in total, I'd start by playing it in chunks, harmony, positions etc...see how it feels, and finger it. Then I'd play it, things will go wrong, I'll fix them. There you go!!!

I do practice slowly, but I don't start it slowly. I only believe in slow practice AFTER you know how it feels fast. Slow practice is usless if you don't know what you are working on.

Offline desordre

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 388
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #68 on: June 15, 2007, 04:18:45 AM »
 Dear fellows:
 If you let me propose a refreshing point, I would suggest listening to the second part of Paul Lewis' complete cycle, live and loud. Just follow the link below. Notice that the programs will be available only for a week, so hurry up!

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/performanceon3/pip/archive/

 Mon, jun.11: Opp. 2 (1, 2 & 3) and  57;
 Tue, jun.12: Opp. 7, 27 (1 & 2) and 54;
 Thu, jun.14: Opp. 10 (1, 2 & 3) and 81a;
 Fri, jun.15: Opp. 109, 110 and 111

 Well, I did listen to the first part of the cycle and to this monday program, and the guy is cool. Now, I'm looking forward to tonight's recital: what a perfect choice...
 Best wishes!
Player of what?

Offline amelialw

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1106
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #69 on: June 15, 2007, 06:06:34 AM »
"everyone forgets op. 2 no. 3 in c major which is extremely difficult"

Oh, i just started learning that one, I did'nt even realize that Op.2 No 3 is one of the hardest ones. Lol, no wonder when my teacher asked me to pick a Beethoven Sonata and actually it was my 1st choice almost instantly, I showed it to my teacher and she stared at me and said that It would be a really tough 1 to cope with. Probably the hardest movement is the 4th movement.

One thing that is really funny though is that I always learn a Mozart sonata before a Haydn/beethoven sonata, so somehow it feels like a bucket of cold water has been just been thrown over my head and the Haydn/Beethoven sonata feels so easy after the mozart.
J.S Bach Italian Concerto,Beethoven Sonata op.2 no.2,Mozart Sonatas K.330&333,Chopin Scherzo no.2,Etude op.10 no.12&Fantasie Impromptu

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #70 on: June 15, 2007, 08:40:43 AM »
op2no3 is nothing compared to the later sonatas.

Offline elevateme_returns

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 757
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #71 on: June 15, 2007, 03:27:30 PM »
also, isnt the argument that beethoven didnt intend it to be at 138 ? because he didnt know how to use the metronome, and also got it wrong in the last symphony
elevateme's joke of the week:
If John Terry was a Spartan, the movie 300 would have been called "1."

Offline jabbz

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 272
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #72 on: June 15, 2007, 04:49:58 PM »
It's doubtful that Beethoven got his marks wrong by 30%. I would be interested to hear if the marks for the sonata were changed by himself or his publisher.

Offline elevateme_returns

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 757
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #73 on: June 15, 2007, 06:37:50 PM »
actually i read somewhere he got the 9th symphony wrong by 50 %!! it was corrected later in his life when he realised. is that true?
elevateme's joke of the week:
If John Terry was a Spartan, the movie 300 would have been called "1."

Offline pita bread

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1137
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #74 on: June 18, 2007, 01:55:16 AM »
Those tempi markings...
























...belong at da SDC  8)

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #75 on: June 18, 2007, 10:18:57 AM »
Those tempi markings...
























...belong at da SDC 8)

and thats why I disagree with them  ;)

Offline jabbz

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 272
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #76 on: June 18, 2007, 01:07:33 PM »
as far as I'm aware Beethoven never personally revised his metronome marks, I think it was done by either his pupil or his publisher, eitherway, the character of Beethoven's music survives, the performance speed is entirely up to the performer, and that requires no justification.

Offline pita bread

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1137
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #77 on: June 18, 2007, 07:18:10 PM »
and thats why I disagree with them  ;)

Do you disagree with Schnabel's SDC-approved tempi markings too?

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #78 on: June 18, 2007, 07:30:26 PM »
If you follow the metronome marks in Schabells edition you are insane. They are hillarious. I honestly think he had a faulty metronome. Even he doesn't stick to them. Remember metronomes are NOT always reliable perfectly

Offline pita bread

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1137
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #79 on: June 18, 2007, 07:34:13 PM »
If you follow the metronome marks in Schabells edition you are insane. They are hillarious. I honestly think he had a faulty metronome. Even he doesn't stick to them. Remember metronomes are NOT always reliable perfectly

Eh, Schnabel wasn't known for his technique.

I don't think quarter=152 is all that unreasonable for mvt 2 in Op. 101

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #80 on: June 18, 2007, 07:51:03 PM »
Where did I say he was for his technique? You've mentioned pone mvt from one sonata that you think is reasonable. What about les adieux? The last movement is insane at the speed he sets. Not technically before people add that. It just sounds to fast. He changes the metronome half way through 1st mvt and this sounds stupid.

I admire him a lot, but dissagree totally with his metronome marks, and he deosn;'t follow them himself. Point prooven

Offline demented cow

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 132
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #81 on: June 19, 2007, 09:28:09 AM »
Is it really true that NOBODY else has tried the Hammerklavier 1st movt at Schnabel's tempo? Kempf, Gulda, Arrau, Pollini all do it slower, but I don't know any others.
I think the above debate about whether Schnabel's tempo was a good idea would be settled more easily if a better technician tried it.
I love some of Schnabel's stuff (e.g. his Waldstein), but I found his op.106 1st movement hard to listen to (even though I am pretty tolerant of wrong notes).

Offline elevateme_returns

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 757
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #82 on: June 19, 2007, 10:28:21 AM »
its virtually impossible at the tempo marked. and also beethoven got his last symphony markings wrong, which is why people think the hammerklavier might be wrong
elevateme's joke of the week:
If John Terry was a Spartan, the movie 300 would have been called "1."

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #83 on: June 19, 2007, 07:59:20 PM »
It must be noted...Beethoven hated metronomes, and a publisher probab;ly pestered him so he just wrote down something.

Offline pita bread

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1137
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #84 on: June 19, 2007, 08:18:21 PM »
It must be noted...Beethoven hated metronomes, and a publisher probab;ly pestered him so he just wrote down something.

Beethoven: "I hate metronome markings"
Publisher: "C'mon, I need some metronome markings to publish this"
Beethoven: "Grr... fine! *scrawls out quarter=144 in HammerK fugue* LETS SEE YOU PLAY IT NOW BOY!"
Publisher:  :o

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #85 on: June 19, 2007, 08:47:14 PM »
Very true. I have evidence to support my claim.

Offline jabbz

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 272
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #86 on: June 20, 2007, 08:34:19 AM »
Where does history document that Bethoven hated metronomes? Mazel was a personal friend of Beethoven, as far as accounts seem to point, Beethoven was extremely pleased with the metronome.

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #87 on: June 20, 2007, 01:37:03 PM »
prove it? Chopin was friends with liszt, doesn't mean he liked how he played.

Offline jabbz

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 272
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #88 on: June 20, 2007, 02:13:14 PM »
Chopin in a personal letter said he envies how Liszt plays his own (op 10 & 25) etudes.  :P

I'm not trying to disprove anyone here, or start an argument, I'm just exploring the various possibilities.

Edit: discovered this quote:
"But it was above all the metronome which helped evolve music and Beethoven, who had taken interest straight away, noted scrupulously the markings on his scores, so that his music could be played how he wished." from www.lvbeethoven.com

Dunno if it's true, but I thought I'd throw it in there.

Offline mcgillcomposer

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 839
Re: Most Difficult Beethoven Sonata and who played them the best
«Reply #89 on: June 20, 2007, 03:43:52 PM »
Where does history document that Bethoven hated metronomes? Mazel was a personal friend of Beethoven, as far as accounts seem to point, Beethoven was extremely pleased with the metronome.


True.

As far as I understand, he was pleased because he could finally deviate from the accepted markings (Allegro, Allegretto, etc.), which at the time had specific tempi associated with them; however, he was displeased with the rigidity that often resulted in a performer's playing due to strict adherence to a metronomic pulse.
Asked if he had ever conducted any Stockhausen,Sir Thomas Beecham replied, "No, but I once trod in some."