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Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata (Read 10494 times)

Offline charmsjr94

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Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
« on: August 25, 2014, 05:04:05 AM »
Hi guys,

I've been assigned "Les Adieux" as one of my sonatas for the semester. I will be going over some of this stuff with my teacher most likely and I've researched a little myself. I know the basic history and have listened to some recordings but I would like to hear:

- any history/ background of the sonata or interesting stories.
- tips, advice, or warnings for the piece
- any important recordings
- general thoughts that you have on the piece.

I think knowing the piece is half the battle!
Thanks in advance

piano sheet music of Sonata 26 (Les Adieux)


Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 05:11:01 AM »
Have a go at using the "search" function on pianostreet. I do remember asking a similar question to this years ago here is the link:
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=5632.0

You can also search many other threads about this sonata.
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Offline amytsuda

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 06:10:32 AM »
One of my favorite Beethoven sonatas!  Here is the lecture by Andras Schiff:


Offline lelle

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 11:26:41 AM »
I haven't played it myself but everyone I have heard studying it have struggled with playing the fast chords in bar 32-33 and 123-125 without stumbling, and it seems like a well known problem area among teachers.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 10:36:28 PM »
Hi guys,

I've been assigned "Les Adieux" as one of my sonatas for the semester. I will be going over some of this stuff with my teacher most likely and I've researched a little myself. I know the basic history and have listened to some recordings but I would like to hear:

- any history/ background of the sonata or interesting stories.
- tips, advice, or warnings for the piece
- any important recordings
- general thoughts that you have on the piece.

I think knowing the piece is half the battle!
Thanks in advance

Two things:  1) Any great composer, with the exception of Chopin, who was fiddler, has inspiration for most of their great works, and Beethoven (with the exception of the last three sonatas) was no different.

2) Accordingly, this sonata is a love song dedicated to his young (16) student/benefactor, Archduke Rudolph, who musicologists often euphemistically describe as his "special friend."

Please go online and read the translations of the daily letters from Beethoven to him, if you question what I just said.

Well, Napoleon was about to invade Vienna, and Archduke Rudolph and his family had to leave town.  Beethoven was devastated and accordingly wrote this sonata.  If the introduction does not say:  I love you and I miss you, then I am deaf.

I have Barenboim's recording of this, but I just found his live performance of same.  Enjoy.


Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #5 on: September 01, 2014, 10:44:48 PM »
Two things:  1) Any great composer, with the exception of Chopin, who was fiddler, has inspiration for most of their great works, and Beethoven (with the exception of the last three sonatas) was no different.

2) Accordingly, this sonata is a love song dedicated to his young (16) student/benefactor, Archduke Rudolph, who musicologists often euphemistically describe as his "special friend."

Please go online and read the translations of the daily letters from Beethoven to him, if you question what I just said.

Well, Napoleon was about to invade Vienna, and Archduke Rudolph and his family had to leave town.  Beethoven was devastated and accordingly wrote this sonata.  If the introduction does not say:  I love you and I miss you, then I am deaf.

I have Barenboim's recording of this, but I just found his live performance of same.  Enjoy.



Which letters? What dates and where are they found? Why not quote the passages that supposedly suggest this?

Offline j_menz

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 10:59:20 PM »
Accordingly, this sonata is a love song dedicated to his young (16) student/benefactor, Archduke Rudolph

Rudy was 21 in 1809, which is both when it was started to be written and when the events it allegedly commemorates takes place.

 If you're going to make thinks up, do get at least the verifiable facts right.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #7 on: September 01, 2014, 11:14:02 PM »
Rudy was 21 in 1809, which is both when it was started to be written and when the events it allegedly commemorates takes place.

 If you're going to make thinks up, do get at least the verifiable facts right.
Their "relationship" started when he was sixteen!  The letters which followed later are not an accurate record of said date line.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #8 on: September 01, 2014, 11:17:48 PM »
Their "relationship" started when he was sixteen!  The letters which followed later are not an accurate record of said date line.

So what is? That's the only evidence you've cited and you're dismissing your own evidence as unreliable? What on earth is this nonsense founded on? Provide links or quote the relevant passages.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #9 on: September 01, 2014, 11:33:41 PM »
Their "relationship" started when he was sixteen!  The letters which followed later are not an accurate record of said date line.

If by "their relationship" you mean that that is when he started lessons with Beethoven, you are correct - though it is not what you originally stated. That they became friends is not, I think, disputable. That they became anything more (either in fact or in desire) is pure speculation on your part, and not supported by any evidence elsewhere.  Beethoven's letters are published, and it takes quite fervid imagination to read into them what you imply.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline mjames

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #10 on: September 02, 2014, 12:33:23 AM »
beethoven aint homo yo

he loved elise

INB4 "Um, actually..."

Offline j_menz

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #11 on: September 02, 2014, 12:57:01 AM »
he loved elise

INB4 "Um, actually..."

Um, actually "Elise" may not actually exist - it's likely a typo (yeah, I know)  for Therese (of which he is purported to have loved two).
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline mjames

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #12 on: September 02, 2014, 02:07:35 AM »
Um, actually "Elise" may not actually exist - it's likely a typo (yeah, I know)  for Therese (of which he is purported to have loved two).

*Beethoven's not homo

He loved Therese

And

Therese

Offline symphonicdance

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #13 on: September 02, 2014, 03:46:52 PM »
If my memory serves me correctly...  In a master class coached by Cristina Ortiz, she commented (not exactly, but roughly like) many points of course, I could off-head remember the following:-

- The first 3 chords / notes almost tells whether you know the piece or not.  They must be very well expressed and played.
- Keep the tempo / rhythm steady.
- Understand the structure and the background story of the piece.  Plan how you would play.
- Careful use of right pedal.  Also consider to use finger pedal.

Good luck!







Offline kalirren

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Re: Beethoven "Les Adieux" Sonata
«Reply #14 on: September 28, 2014, 07:52:06 PM »
1) This sonata is very chamber-music like, compared to many of the other sonatas surrounding it.  There are very few passages in this piece that could not be played by a string quartet, and I took extensive inspiration from textures used in chamber music when I decided how to execute the marked (and unmarked) articulations.

2) (My pet peeve) In the first movement, please don't play measure 21 and its analogous passages forte.  It's marked crescendo from piano, not forte, yet nearly everyone on Youtube plays it forte, including professionals young and old. It drives me up the wall. The only time a passage with the three ascending octaves (a sort of "Le-be-wohl!" in reverse) is marked forte is in the coda, the very last time in the movement.  And that one is obviously different and unique.

3) When I revisted this piece last, I too was saying goodbye to a very dearly beloved friend who was suddenly leaving.  I found that the suddenness of her departure was very important for my understanding of this piece.

Best of luck.  The Andras Schiff lecture that was linked in lostindiewonder's thread is very good.
Beethoven: An die Ferne Geliebte
Franck: Sonata in A Major
Vieuxtemps: Sonata in Bb Major for Viola
Prokofiev: Sonata for Flute in D Major