\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata (Read 9338 times)

Offline lorditachijr

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
« on: June 15, 2011, 11:09:48 PM »
Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata is one of my favorite sonatas he wrote, and I really want to work out the most efficient route to get to where I can play it. So far the sonatas I've completed(all movements) are: Op 49 No 1, Op 2 No 1, Op 13 and Op 27 No 2. I think next I want to do the Op 10 No 3, Op 7 or Op 31 No 2. Which of these do you think would help me prepare most for working on the Appassionata? My teacher said I am ready for any of those 3, and after I finish the one I choose I would really like to go ahead to the Appassionata. I haven't played any late sonatas yet, so do you think it would be more beneficial to do something like the Op 90 or the Op 78? I would appreciate any advice on this matter.

Sheet music to download and print: Sonatas by Beethoven



Offline lorditachijr

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 11:13:38 PM »
Also some other pieces I'm working on right now are: Chopin Ballade 1, Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 11, Bach WTC 2 P&F in D Minor and Rachmaninoff's Polichinelle.

Offline bachbrahmsschubert

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 162
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 02:20:53 AM »
I hardly see why your teacher would allow you to play a Chopin Ballade and a complex Liszt rhapsody, but not the Appassionata. You clearly have the technique required, especially since you've played 4 other Beethoven sonatas.

There's nothing you're going to find in the 3 sonatas you mentioned that are going to prepare you for the Appassionata. It's difficult in it's own right, no other sonata is going to prepare you just for the Appassionata.

Best wishes,


Offline lorditachijr

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #3 on: June 16, 2011, 02:39:57 AM »
Okay thank you. I read through the first movement just a little while ago and really felt I could handle it if I really practiced it seriously. She said no when I asked her about 6 months ago, and since then I have really upped my practice time and gained a lot of technique. I'll ask again about it at my next lesson and see what she says.

Offline quantum

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5518
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 04:07:21 AM »
Really the only sonata that will prepare you for Appassionata is Appassionata.

Look over it.  Sight read it.  I'd start looking at the parts that seem the most difficult first.  As long as there are not any elements of the piece that go way over your head, you are probably ready. 
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 liszt1022

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 659
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #5 on: June 17, 2011, 04:32:39 PM »
What slowed me down in the 3rd mvt was the left-hand "inside fingers, outside fingers" tremolos. They were used in the last movement of sonata op 2 no 3, but instead of learning that why not just practice the tremolos straight from op. 57?

What's going to be important is that you really care about what you're playing. If it's your favorite sonata or at least one you feel very strongly about, you'll work toward getting the sound you want out of it.

Edit: You mentioned Op. 78, it's a nice one that I played that some years back. I don't remember it having aspects that would contribute to technique you need for the more difficult parts of Op. 57.

Offline gerryjay

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 829
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 08:36:12 PM »
Dear Itachi,
I'd suggest the following path, from where you are now: Sonata opus 31 n. 2, then opus 81a, then opus 57. Playing other repertoire is mandatory, and your current selection is nice. Nevertheless, I must disagree with BBS: if your top repertory is the first ballade, then you are not ready yet for a major Beethoven sonata. The reason is quite simple: duration and focus.
Best regards,
Jay.

Offline dtao12

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 35
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #7 on: June 18, 2011, 07:14:50 PM »
If you're talking technique, it doesn't have to be another Beethoven, does it? Technically, I think that some of the challenging passages in the 3rd mvt of Appassionata would benefit from some Chopin Etudes like opus 10#12 (for LH), and 10#8 for RH. Op. 25#8 in 6ths really stretches and works the 1-4 / 2-5 finger combinations to strengthen the weaker fingers, which will help in Appassionata which puts heavy demands upon them. But the Appassionata's challenges are not just technical but emotional, and for the stormy passion I don't think there's another Beethoven like it (Pathetique and "Tempest" have some similarities, but not nearly on the same scale in my opinion, and I am not knowledgeable enough about op 111 to compare it), so there you just need to work the Appassionata itself (it deserves its subtitle for a reason).

Best wishes. Sometimes with the pieces that we want most to play, we need patience and a progressive path to get there over months and years, rather than jumping there too quickly.
Post-recital -- looking at whole new program
Currently learning:
Schubert: Sonata in A minor, D784
Barber: Excursions
Considering new Bach Preludes & Fugues
& Chopin Sonata #3

Offline felipe717

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 11:29:52 PM »
I think that if you only play these four sonatas, you can't play Appassionata yet. Yes, Appassionata is my favorite too. But I don't even think about playing it. You must know that Moonlight is the 17th most difficult Beethoven Sonata. And Appassionata is the 27th. Yeah, I know - everybody who loves Appassionata really really want to play it. But you must wait until be prepared.  ;)
I suggest you to start from the begin. Op.49 No.2.  :) And going up until Appassionata.  :o
Hmmm... It seems that you already can play the Leichte in G minor. That's the 2nd hardest of all. Op.2 No.1 (Little Appassionata) is the 6th hardest. Pathetique is the 8th, and Moonlight is the 17th.
From these you are intending to learn, Op.10 No.3 is harder than Pathetique but easier than Moonlight - it's the 9th hardest. Op.7 (Grand Sonata) is harder than it looks, only a little easier than Moonlight - it's the 16th. And Tempest is the hardest of all you've said, the 19th.


See this list of the sonatas by difficulty:

ETUDE
1.   Piano Sonata No.20 in G major – Leicthe Sonata
2.   Piano Sonata No.19 in G minor – Leicthe Sonata
3.   Piano Sonata No.25 in G major – Cuckoo

EASY
4.   Piano Sonata No.9 in E major
5.   Piano Sonata No.10 in G major
6.   Piano Sonata No.1 in F minor – Little Appassionata
7.   Piano Sonata No.5 in C minor – Little Pathetique
8.   Piano Sonata No.8 in C minor – Pathetique

MODERATE
9.   Piano Sonata No.7 in D major
10.   Piano Sonata No.6 in F major
11.   Piano Sonata No.15 in D major – Pastorale
12.   Piano Sonata No.3 in C major – Little Waldstein
13.   Piano Sonata No.12 in Ab major – Funeral March
14.   Piano Sonata No.18 in Eb major – The Hunt
15.   Piano Sonata No.11 in Bb major
16.   Piano Sonata No.4 in Eb major – Grand Sonata
17.   Piano Sonata No.14 in C# minor – Moonlight
18.   Piano Sonata No.13 in Eb major – Quasi una Fantasia

DIFFICULT
19.   Piano Sonata No.17 in D minor – Tempest
20.   Piano Sonata No.2 in A major
21.   Piano Sonata No.22 in F major
22.   Piano Sonata No.24 in F# major – A Thιrθse
23.   Piano Sonata No.27 in E minor
24.   Piano Sonata No.26 in Eb major – Les Adieux
25.   Piano Sonata No.16 in G major

TRANSCENDENTAL
26.   Piano Sonata No.21 in C major – Waldstein
27.   Piano Sonata No.23 in F minor – Appassionata
28.   Piano Sonata No.28 in A major
29.   Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor
30.   Piano Sonata No.31 in Ab major
31.   Piano Sonata No.30 in E major
32.   Piano Sonata No.29 in Bb major - Hammerklavier


As you see, Appassionata is considered a "Transcendental" sonata. If I were you, I'd start from the "Etude" Sonatas and going up, going through the "Easy" Sonatas, "Moderate" and "Difficult". Then I'd THINK about sutudying Appassionata.
Don't worry, I hope you will! You can have all 32 ready using 2% of talent and 98% of dedication.
"The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry: 'Thus far and no farther!'"
L.v.Beethoven

(Sorry about my English, I'm from Brazil :x)

Offline j_menz

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 10150
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #9 on: January 24, 2012, 02:22:46 AM »
I'm not a great fan of these easier to harder lists of works.  Yes, the Cuckoo is easier than the Hammerklavier, but most of them have their tricky bits. If you have encountered and overcome one of these challenges somewhere else before, then that reduces the difficulty; if it's the first time you have encountered it, then it makes it harder. I don't believe there is a general list that is applicable for everyone.

The ones most like the Appassionata in terms of challenges faced are the ones you should look at for preparation if you don't want to go straight for it - your piano teacher probably has a pretty good idea what areas you may need to strengthen first and I suggest you follow her advice.

The Appassionata is hard physical work, btw. You might consider general fitness work in prep too.  ;D
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline pytheamateur

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 645
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #10 on: January 24, 2012, 10:44:03 AM »
In terms of technique preparation, what about Czerny Etudes?  They are supposed to prepare you to play Beethoven.  What about Clementi's Etudes?
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline starstruck5

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 798
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #11 on: January 24, 2012, 06:18:10 PM »
You can definitely play the notes of the Appassionata if you have enough drive and determination -
playing it like an artist is a different ball game though - perhaps that is why your teacher wants you to hold back.   You should discuss her reasons and then make up your own mind. Definitely try and discover why she thinks you are not ready though.
When a search is in progress, something will be found.

Offline lorditachijr

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #12 on: January 24, 2012, 10:41:58 PM »
I didn't know this thread got resurrected. I already made my journey into the Appassionata for the first time. I performed it a few times (just the first movement), and was told I played it very well for a student. My teacher would not, however, let me play it in any competitions due to its fame and the fact that I simply wasn't old enough or mature enough to play it like an artist. I have decided to content myself with the first half of the sonatas for the next few years (Op. 26 right now, then probably either Op. 7 and/or Op. 2 No. 3). I also completely disagree with "numbering" the sonatas by difficulty. I think it all depends on your strengths and weaknesses. If you can't do tremolos, Pathetique may be one of the hardest things you come across. On the other hand if you can't shape a phrase to save your life, the first movement of Op. 26 would be incredibly hard for you. Difficulty is entirely relative to the performer and the context. If you had to prepare Piece A in two weeks for performance, but had six months for Piece B, Piece A would probably seem like the more difficult of the two at the time. If you've practiced a certain technique to the point where it is second nature to you, then you probably will never have a lot of trouble with that technique again. The Beethoven Sonatas are works of art, and I am of the opinion now that it really degrades them in a way to order them by something as trivial as difficulty (do you think Beethoven wrote each of his students a list that said "you must play this sonata before you are ready to this sonata?"). For awhile I thought things can and should be graded on difficulty, and in reality it was just to make me feel better that I was playing a certain piece. The Sonata Op. 26 isn't as "high up on the list" as other sonatas I've worked on, but does that mean I'm not allowed to play it? I feel like these lists scare students away from the easier works that are true gems of the set. Sorry if I went on a little bit of a rant, but these sorts of things have really come to bother me. I meant no offense to anyone, and am truly sorry if any was taken.

Sincerely,
John

Offline lorditachijr

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #13 on: January 24, 2012, 10:44:42 PM »
As sort of a PS, I know what I said may have contradicted my words from last summer. My opinions have greatly changed since then, and I am much less childish in my thoughts about the importance of a piece being "hard". It doesn't matter if you are playing the easiest piece or the hardest piece, the performance is what matters.

Offline starstruck5

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 798
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #14 on: January 24, 2012, 10:48:30 PM »
I agree with your observations.

 It was Felipe who ressurected the thread - but not everyone checks the date a thread was created -
 ::)
When a search is in progress, something will be found.

Offline felipe717

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #15 on: October 27, 2012, 05:33:45 PM »
I didn't know this thread got resurrected. I already made my journey into the Appassionata for the first time. I performed it a few times (just the first movement), and was told I played it very well for a student. My teacher would not, however, let me play it in any competitions due to its fame and the fact that I simply wasn't old enough or mature enough to play it like an artist. I have decided to content myself with the first half of the sonatas for the next few years (Op. 26 right now, then probably either Op. 7 and/or Op. 2 No. 3). I also completely disagree with "numbering" the sonatas by difficulty. I think it all depends on your strengths and weaknesses. If you can't do tremolos, Pathetique may be one of the hardest things you come across. On the other hand if you can't shape a phrase to save your life, the first movement of Op. 26 would be incredibly hard for you. Difficulty is entirely relative to the performer and the context. If you had to prepare Piece A in two weeks for performance, but had six months for Piece B, Piece A would probably seem like the more difficult of the two at the time. If you've practiced a certain technique to the point where it is second nature to you, then you probably will never have a lot of trouble with that technique again. The Beethoven Sonatas are works of art, and I am of the opinion now that it really degrades them in a way to order them by something as trivial as difficulty (do you think Beethoven wrote each of his students a list that said "you must play this sonata before you are ready to this sonata?"). For awhile I thought things can and should be graded on difficulty, and in reality it was just to make me feel better that I was playing a certain piece. The Sonata Op. 26 isn't as "high up on the list" as other sonatas I've worked on, but does that mean I'm not allowed to play it? I feel like these lists scare students away from the easier works that are true gems of the set. Sorry if I went on a little bit of a rant, but these sorts of things have really come to bother me. I meant no offense to anyone, and am truly sorry if any was taken.

Sincerely,
John

John, I completely understand what you mean.
I just want to say that, when I put that list of Sonatas by difficulty, I was generalizing. I have the same idea, that everyone has their own difficulties and facilities to perform a piece, even the Beethoven sonatas. I believe that all "lists" we find - including that one - MUSTN'T be followed strictly. Even me, played Op.49/2 and then, instead of playing Op.49/1, played Op.2/1, and then, Op.13 (of course, none of these are perfect ;D). I just wanted to say that Appassionata IS hard, and that, if we played other - easier - sonatas, anyone could get better and be more prepared for those harder Sonatas - like Appassionata.

I really want to play, now, Op.2/3. It's hard, harder than all pieces I've ever played, but I think that, with my experiences before with other "easier" Sonatas, I have more confort on playing a few "hard" stuff. But, nevertheless, I'll have A LOT of difficulties, but I think that there are easier and harder sonatas, so I want to have experiences between these. Do you understand?

Still more, I disagree with lots of numerations in that list. For example, I think Op.7 is much harder; Op.2/1 is harder than Op.10/1; Op.90 is harder; etc. Of course, FOR ME. There are several people who can easily think the opposite, that's why everyone has his own style of performing, his own difficulties and his own facilities for each piece. After all, Beethoven Sonatas are so different that we just can't follow specific rules. That's why I believe that the list I put before is just a reference and must not be madly followed to the letter. :)

Thanks!
"The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry: 'Thus far and no farther!'"
L.v.Beethoven

(Sorry about my English, I'm from Brazil :x)

Offline asuhayda

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 285
Re: Beethoven Sonatas in Preparation for Appassionata
«Reply #16 on: November 02, 2012, 08:18:15 PM »
You can have all 32 ready using 2% of talent and 98% of dedication.

... and about 20 years!!  ;D
~ if you want to know what I'm working on.. just ask me!