\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Mozart K545, easy!? (Read 45471 times)

Offline feddera

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
Mozart K545, easy!?
« on: April 11, 2008, 10:46:52 AM »
I haven't played any Mozart, and I'm looking for a piece to start with. After reading around the forum, I got the impression that Mozart's sonata in C major, K545, is considered an "easy" piece. (grade 5, or whatever)

Judging from the score and a recording (Gould's), this doesn't look or sound easy at all! The tempo of the first movement has to be around 120 bpm, with nonstop 16th-notes and long trills. And everything has to be super-even. In fact, to me this looks harder than Beethoven's op2.1. Is it just my technique that is weird, or am I missing something else? Exactly what is making this sonata easy?

Offline teresa_b

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 603
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #1 on: April 11, 2008, 11:29:23 AM »
First of all, throw out that recording!  Gould was the worst Mozart player in the world, as far as I'm concerned.  I don't know his rendition of K545, but I'm willing to bet it's weird and unbecoming to Mozart. 

There is nothing really easy about Mozart except the sight-reading.  The notes of K545 should be pretty accessible.  You don't have to go at breakneck tempo.  The difficulties lie in the transparent quality, the required smoothness, and the fact that every bad note sticks out like a sore thumb. 

Practice at slower tempos and be sure you play those runs and arpeggios as evenly as possible, and be careful to play the LH Alberti bass softer than the melody so no one hears chunka-chunka.  ;) 

Mozart requires more grace than Beethoven, but never so delicate that he sounds anemic. 

Have fun!
Teresa

Offline camstrings

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 83
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #2 on: April 11, 2008, 11:35:17 AM »
You might wish to hear this performed by other pianists. The Adagio in Gould's recording is 2'19 while played by Uchida it's 7 minutes! Much as I  love Gould in most things, this recording is perhaps quite irreverent &  humorous.
The sonata while simpler than others of Mozart, still requires a good clear scale technique & "easy" is not a description I would apply to it. Worth the effort though.

Good luck.

Offline feddera

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 04:02:39 PM »
Thank you both.

I didn't know Gould's Mozart was considered bad, that could explain why it didn't sound like a grade 5 piece. Who do you recommend for Mozart then?

Having played lots of ragtime, and not so much classical, smooth scale-runs and trills are my biggest weaknesses. Maybe some Mozart can do the trick. And of course, I'm still struggling with my loud left hand, but it's getting better. :P

Approximately what metronome-mark should I aim for at the first movement? Sure, I can play a C-major scale four octaves up and down at 160 bpm+ if I let my fingers fly. Controlled up and down like this, however, I don't think I can do more than 100 bpm. Guess I have some practising to do!

Offline camstrings

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 83
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 04:45:11 PM »
Gould's Mozart contains some wonderful recordings. Concerto No 24 & the Cminor &  Aminor sonatas are worth a listen IMO.

For the complete sonatas you might try Mitsuko Uchida.

The tempos for K545 are perhaps best determined by good phrasing.
My personal rule is if you lose the shape of the music, then try a slower tempo.
Hope this helps.

Offline feddera

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #5 on: April 11, 2008, 05:29:46 PM »
This is how fast I can do some of the scale-runs without losing control. Still not even enough though. I agree about the phrasing, but I should be able to get it a little faster if that is a more proper tempo. Thank you for for answering, I will check out Mitsuko Uchida.

Offline danny elfboy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1049
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #6 on: April 11, 2008, 05:40:14 PM »
Mozart is everything but "easy"
And the musician who snob his music claiming it is easy, are clearly going to offer horrible renditions in the illusion that all you have to do is play the notes you read on the sheet.

Offline slobone

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1059
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #7 on: April 11, 2008, 05:41:46 PM »
Mozart's sonatas were (with a few exceptions, of which this isn't one) deliberately designed to be easy enough for a home player to play. They were intended to make money by selling sheet music. Professional pianists didn't perform them in public -- that's what the concertos were for.  Which is not to say that they're not beautifully composed, just not as ambitious as some of his other works.

So just use common sense. I think a metronome mark of 120 is perfectly reasonable -- if it's to the eighth note! (You could work it up to a little faster tempo if you wanted to...)

PS: And yes, it's painful to hear Mozart played badly, but it's also painful to hear Bach played badly, Beethoven played badly, Scott Joplin played badly... I fail to see what's so precious about Mozart's notes that they have to be treated with greater reverence than anybody else's.

If he were that hard to play well, there would most likely be a lot of really terrible recordings, considering how popular he is. But I rarely hear one. As opposed to terrible Chopin recordings and Bach recordings, which are all over the place...

Offline slobone

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1059
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #8 on: April 11, 2008, 05:53:35 PM »
There is nothing really easy about Mozart except the sight-reading.  The notes of K545 should be pretty accessible.  You don't have to go at breakneck tempo.  The difficulties lie in the transparent quality, the required smoothness, and the fact that every bad note sticks out like a sore thumb. 

I hope you're not saying that other composers (Liszt for example, or Debussy) are easier because nobody will notice if you hit a wrong note?

Offline danny elfboy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1049
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #9 on: April 11, 2008, 06:43:24 PM »
I hope you're not saying that other composers (Liszt for example, or Debussy) are easier because nobody will notice if you hit a wrong note?

Not easier, Mozart is as hard as them though.
I think we're all advanced enough to have dicthed the idea that the main work for a pianist is hitting the right notes at the right time. What really make a piece hard is the rendition, the interpretation and the musicality. So each composer has its own paculiar difficulty. In Debussy for example is the super legato continuative spatial sound. With Mozart is the contrast between the dynamic of the different voices (expecially within the same hand) So the point I'm making is not that Mozart is harder than others but that considering him easier than others for the simple fact that there's little blankness in the sheet and the "notes are easier" is pure nonsense.



Offline teresa_b

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 603
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #10 on: April 11, 2008, 10:39:30 PM »
I hope you're not saying that other composers (Liszt for example, or Debussy) are easier because nobody will notice if you hit a wrong note?

No, I'm not saying the others are easier at all.  They are not!  And I play Mozart with wrong notes here and there, because nobody's perfect!  I just meant that because Mozart is so transparent a wrong note sticks out worse, thus adding to the challenge of playing it smoothly and convincingly.  You can generally get away with a bit less precision in some other composers, but if you are a good musician you strive for precision anyway! 

Teresa

Offline slobone

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1059
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #11 on: April 12, 2008, 06:39:52 PM »
Not easier, Mozart is as hard as them though.
I think we're all advanced enough to have dicthed the idea that the main work for a pianist is hitting the right notes at the right time. What really make a piece hard is the rendition, the interpretation and the musicality. So each composer has its own paculiar difficulty. In Debussy for example is the super legato continuative spatial sound. With Mozart is the contrast between the dynamic of the different voices (expecially within the same hand) So the point I'm making is not that Mozart is harder than others but that considering him easier than others for the simple fact that there's little blankness in the sheet and the "notes are easier" is pure nonsense.

I agree with that last statement. But again, don't you need to bring out the different voices in Debussy as well? I hope you don't just cover everything up with the pedal  :)

But to clarify what I think we're all saying -- it's not that other composers are more permissive about wrong notes or sloppy playing, it's that they leave more room for individual interpretation. Mozart certainly allows you to express yourself, but it has to be done more subtly than with Chopin. And the sheet music doesn't give you much help.

You can't use the same dynamic range because it was written for a smaller instrument. You can't use the pedal as much. So you have to be more observant of differences in articulation.

As for rubato, agogic accent, slowing down at cadences etc., I'm sure they did all that in the 18th century, but they would have had different rules than the 19th century used.

In other words, it's not necessarily harder to play accurately, but it may be harder to play well. Although, as I said, there's not a lot of terrible Mozart out there. Not quite sure why that is.


Offline clintonjohnson9606

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 4
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #12 on: October 27, 2008, 11:25:16 PM »
No, K. 545 is not as easy as it looks. The notes may be easy; however, the tempo and dynamic details to make the piece beautiful and interesting are FAR from easy. I won't compare composers, as such would be akin to comparing Buckingham Palace to the White House.

Glen Gould's recording demonstrates a tendency to play Mozart too fast, as if we are showing off how fast we can play scales. As I tell my students, keep your left great toe tapping evenly and slowly so you don't rush the first bars of the first movement and have to play like the howling wind in the scale areas. I also tell my students: "Slow and accurate is always better than fast and wrong."

As far as performing the piece goes, most University libraries have the entire collection of Mozart works ("Der Mozart Samtlicher Ausgabe" or something to this effect). With these works come the composers own notes about how the piece should be performed including a tempo range. When learning the piece, I would recommend the ever safe "clock pace" of 60BPM for quarter notes or slower.

AND ABOVE ALL: Have fun!

Offline concerto_love

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1201
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #13 on: October 28, 2008, 11:46:34 AM »
I say NO. just look at those trills, I try this one few months ago because I thought it was easy.But it ends up because I'm still lack of technique, especially in the scales, trills, the tempo, and the dynamics....
when dignity, love, and joy meet...

OMG, it's spa time!!! ;D

Offline communist

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1100
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #14 on: October 28, 2008, 12:22:15 PM »
well dont worry about the tempo speed because its not reallly supposed to be that fast of a piece, and its basically repeating the same sixteenth notes, and its not a hard piece at all.
"The stock markets go up and down, Bach only goes up"

-Vladimir Feltsman

Offline db05

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1908
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #15 on: October 28, 2008, 02:22:24 PM »
I think it's just called easy because it's short. That means anyone can hack through it since it is easy to sight read. A classmate and I also made the mistake of trying this in less than 1 year of lessons. I gave it up, but my classmate switched to the 2nd mvt and now she can play it!  :o It took months, but you can try if you really want...
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea,
I'm burning like a bridge for your body

Offline pianowolfi

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5658
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #16 on: October 30, 2008, 10:43:15 AM »
According to Brendel it's one of the most delicate pieces to play in the whole piano repertoire. Sure, not everybody would agree with this, of course.

Offline nyonyo

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #17 on: November 01, 2008, 03:40:11 AM »
If just to play, this piece is doable for most people.
But to play beautifully, this piece is very difficult. I think most of Mozart's sonatas fall into this category...Very very hard to play beautifully.

Offline xpjamiexd

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #18 on: November 21, 2008, 09:28:30 PM »
This is one of the most evil and deceitful pieces I have tried :P. It looks very simple but don't be fooled it's not.

Offline revolutionaryetudein2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 12
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #19 on: November 21, 2008, 11:17:21 PM »
I noticed this thread was started a long time ago. Feddera, did you ever finish the piece?

I'm working on this right now, and it seems harder to play than you would be led to believe from how it sounds.

Offline feddera

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #20 on: November 22, 2008, 12:04:20 AM »
Lot's of good advice here, thanks everyone. I got halfway through the first movement, then I changed my teacher. He had me drop everything I worked on to focus only on new stuff, so it's been a while since I've played this.

I've since completed Beethoven's sonata op2no1, and almost his sonata op10no1. This Mozart sonata will be the first thing I'll learn next year for sure, can't wait to get started. Oh, and I also learned rondo alla turca since starting this thread, so I got to play something by Mozart at least.  :P

Offline alpacinator1

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 197
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #21 on: November 22, 2008, 02:59:27 AM »
This is one of the most evil and deceitful pieces I have tried :P. It looks very simple but don't be fooled it's not.

Agreed. Actually, it is very simple but some of the passages in the second movement are quite difficult to get right. Simple, but I still end up playing them wrong every time.
Working on:
Beethoven - Waldstein Sonata
Bach - C minor WTC I
Liszt - Liebestraume no. 3
Chopin - etude 25-12

Offline gyzzzmo

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2210
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #22 on: November 22, 2008, 10:08:32 AM »
Sonata 'facile' is anything but easy, as with alot of Mozart. You have to put detail in every note and you need very good fingercontrol to be able to play that detailed.
But ofcourse, you learn Mozart by playing mozart and you have to start somewhere.
So good luck with this piece and get rid of that '130 bmp scales', its rediculous and has nothing to do with playing piano. You need control first. Speed comes later, IF that corresponds with your interpretation.

gyzzzmo
1+1=11

Offline pianisten1989

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1525
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #23 on: November 22, 2008, 09:55:28 PM »
He gave it the name itself. It was meant to be some sort of exercise to beginners, so was the twinkle twinkle-variations. But the sonata is not that hard, techniqually.. But since everyone sais Mozart is the hardest composer to play well ever, I guess it's a hard piece anyway...

Offline gyzzzmo

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2210
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #24 on: November 23, 2008, 08:47:34 AM »
He gave it the name itself. It was meant to be some sort of exercise to beginners, so was the twinkle twinkle-variations. But the sonata is not that hard, techniqually.. But since everyone sais Mozart is the hardest composer to play well ever, I guess it's a hard piece anyway...

Did i say that? :p
1+1=11

Offline communist

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1100
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #25 on: November 24, 2008, 01:14:21 PM »
it is not the hardest piece but nor is it the easiest piece
"The stock markets go up and down, Bach only goes up"

-Vladimir Feltsman

Offline angelislayer

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 11
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #26 on: December 16, 2008, 09:09:50 PM »
I have never heard so much self-absorbed, holier-than-thou, judgmental piety!  Blah, blah, blah...transparent phrasing...blah, blah, blah...super legato continuative sound...blah, blah, blah...contrast between dynamics...blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

You will find that the hardest thing about learning any piece, Mozart or otherwise, is listening to puffed up players tell you how it SHOULD be played.

Sit down at your piano, learn the piece note by note in as much time as it takes to do so, listen to as many interpretations of it as you can so you can find your own unique interpretation, and be true to the way the piece evokes emotion from within YOU and try to get that message across when you play it for others.  Take as much time as you need to play it as beautifully as YOU will play it when you pour yourself into each note.  Don't let anyone tell you it should be done this way or that.  Don't let anyone tell you that you don't play as beautifully because you don't do this or that.  Just let yourself experience the joy and let that joy flow through to your craft of playing.  Have fun and share it with others by playing with integrity and love of the art.

The only wrong way is the way that will cause pain or injury so pay attention to technique insofar as it keeps you from injury and allows you to play with ease and efficiency.

Offline jdbfield

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 1
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #27 on: June 12, 2009, 02:35:15 AM »
It really isn't that difficult.  The recording on PianoStreet is performed poorly; the pianist should have tried a metronome!  He/she terribly rushes through the sixteenth note sections, making it sound more difficult than it really is!

Offline beef12345

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 1
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #28 on: November 07, 2011, 01:38:46 AM »
very easy took me 2 1/2 weeks to finish

Offline hermanberntzen

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #29 on: November 07, 2011, 06:46:26 AM »
As far as i know Gould wasn't very found of Mozart neither compared to the composer's he loved like Gibbons and Bach.
I personally ain't good at playing Mozart i don't know why , but Gould is always playing in a funny way.
I find it more inspiring learning Bach's Contrapunctus 1 -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhU9Ld1NNZg that i am working on.

Regards,

Offline parishrut

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 6
Re: Mozart K545, easy!?
«Reply #30 on: November 07, 2011, 10:00:27 AM »
Hey! I am doing the same piece right now. 
First of all this is a beautiful piece, especially the second movement.
The most difficult, and probably more cheerful than the dreamy and romantic second movement, is the first. Easy on the looks, this is far more difficult to execute and requires practice.
This sonata is installed in my DP. I did finish off with the first movement in less than a fortnight, but when I heard my DP play it, did I realize how much  more beautiful this piece can be played! Then I sat down and played the trills slowly along with my DP, timing them to perfection, & the sound which came out was completely different!
This is easy yes, but a real test of your timing, and in some places the LH & RH are difficult to time together.     
This piece IS for beginners. Advanced players aren't going to have many problems with this.