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The Piano Visions recital series at the Art Academy in Stockholm welcomed British Pianist Imogen Cooper for two recitals in November 2021. The program offered a glimpse into her earlier life, by including repertoire by Ravel and Liszt, which she worked on during her student years in Paris and Vienna. Read more >>

Topic: Which Beethoven's sonata I should pick?  (Read 1751 times)

Offline suoyung

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Which Beethoven's sonata I should pick?
on: August 20, 2017, 12:50:36 PM
Hello! I am preparing for an audition, where I must play Beethoven's sonata. But I can't decide which one... My favorites are 30th, 31st, 21st and 28th. Which one do you think will show technichal skills and musicality most if I play that sonata properly(I hope I will :D)? Another choice is 23rd, which I already have played many times, but I would like to play one of the mentioned.
Thank you!
... le plaisir delicieux et toujours noevau d\'une occupation inutile...

Offline j_tour

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Re: Which Beethoven's sonata I should pick?
Reply #1 on: August 20, 2017, 04:59:35 PM
Well, I think "32nd" is much easier than 30th and 31st, so I would probably do that.

Did you mistype, and mean to write Op. 31?  Because I would do the first or third of that opus, which is a little more within the ability of the student/amateur.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline suoyung

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Re: Which Beethoven's sonata I should pick?
Reply #2 on: August 20, 2017, 05:39:07 PM
No, I didn't. I'm sorry for misunderstanding, in my country we are used to call the sonatas by their order, not by opus number.
 I don't like 32-nd, actually. Well, I don't hate it, but I wouldn't want to play it.
The difficulty is not my concern. I think, Appasionata is not an easy sonata, but I managed to play it. I also played Beethoven's 5th concerto. If you mean technical aspect. And if you mean musical aspect, I really hope I will manage to understand those sonatas and interpret them correctly, because I really love Beethoven's late style. It reminds me of Schubert. But I don't know which one is more appropriate for an audition.
... le plaisir delicieux et toujours noevau d\'une occupation inutile...

Offline j_tour

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Re: Which Beethoven's sonata I should pick?
Reply #3 on: August 20, 2017, 08:48:37 PM
My mistake.

However, the sonatas you listed are some of the most difficult in the piano literature, by any standard.  I would say if you chose any of those, you would not be auditioning, but a tenured academic holding an emeritus position, without teaching duties.

But, that's just like my opinion, man.

ETA in fact, why would you be begging some idiots at some school to let you study with them at all, if you already can play?  You should rather be studying something you don't already know, like mathematics or languages.  You don't automatically get "super music job" because you have some degree; rather, you get it because you are good, and, obviously, you can play some of the most difficult music there is for piano.  So, you don't need a degree.  So, you should learn something else, while you're young.  EEETA j'ai de ce moment remarqué ce petit mot au-dessous, comme "signature," bien j'ignore qu'une grande tradition française soit un peu "special" au moins à ce qui concerne les traditions bien convoluées.  Ben, sauf qu'une certaine traditio on n'en aurais tels gens qu'un Berlioz, et même génies q Debussy.  Le maître est allé puiser pleurs au Styx.

EETA or learn to play/compose/improvise in a different style than early romantic period.  Even if you can rattle off late Beethoven, I doubt you can do everything in music, like improvise a cogent fugue, improvise coherently in various idioms, or compose as intelligently as Berg.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline pianoworthy

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Re: Which Beethoven's sonata I should pick?
Reply #4 on: August 20, 2017, 10:13:40 PM
31st is one of those pieces I think any concert pianist should learn before they die. It's also the least difficult out of the ones you mentioned.

Offline suoyung

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Re: Which Beethoven's sonata I should pick?
Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 05:53:18 AM
j_tour, oh, I am really sorry again, I am not French either :D It's just a quote from Ravel's Valses nobles et sentimentales. I liked it very much, so I putted it in my signature.
Thank you very much for your advice. But the school that I am willing to apply is a good one, and I am certain that many of appliers will be at least my level. I have so much to learn yet.
What about improvisations, no, of course I can't, unfortunately. My music improvisations skills progress is only by experimenting on my own, and it is very slow.

pianoworthy, thank you for your opinion! I think every of his late sonatas are worth playing before dying. And how would you put them from easiest to the most difficult? 
... le plaisir delicieux et toujours noevau d\'une occupation inutile...

Offline j_tour

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Re: Which Beethoven's sonata I should pick?
Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 06:00:04 PM
j_tour, oh, I am really sorry again, I am not French either :D It's just a quote from Ravel's Valses nobles et sentimentales. I liked it very much, so I putted it in my signature.
Thank you very much for your advice. But the school that I am willing to apply is a good one, and I am certain that many of appliers will be at least my level. I have so much to learn yet.

Glad you weren't offended -- anyway, you would certainly know better than anyone else what you can do and what's expected.  FWIW, I've been fooling with the Op.109 (that would be no. 30, I suppose) a little bit, even though it would take me a long time to really learn it.  The contrapuntal elements are fascinating, all throughout mature Beethoven, for me, and from just having read through some of these as a hack, it seems a little more manageable from the point of view of raw technique of the last three sonatas.  That's my current favorite of that bunch, primarily because it's pretty concise in structure, but that's just my opinion, so it doesn't really matter so much.

I think you're wise to steer clear of No. 32 -- while the first movement is something I enjoy fooling around with, the variations have some moments of internal trills that, while you may be able to play easily, for me are kind of ridiculously laborious.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline danielo

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Re: Which Beethoven's sonata I should pick?
Reply #7 on: August 21, 2017, 11:33:59 PM
My personal favourite is no 30....Op109. Last movement, with the variations, something just mesmerisingly beautiful. Playing a late Beethoven sonata in an audition is very ambitious, if you don't pull it off you may still be able to do enough to show the panel that you have talent and the ability to progress. My advice to you would be to choose something that you love, and put all your passion or feeling for the piece into your performance. I think the ability or potential to communicate the sense of the music is crucial to the success of a performance, and ultimately to the success of the performer.
Learning:

Rachmaninov Preludes Op10 1, 4 and 5
Chopin Ballade in G Minor
Chopin Etude Op10 No 2
Schubert Impromptu No 3

Offline suoyung

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Re: Which Beethoven's sonata I should pick?
Reply #8 on: August 22, 2017, 06:01:58 PM
danielo, j_tour, thank you very much! You have been to great help. I decided to take 30th sonata, op. 109! Actually before reading your comments I already was thinking about taking it, because it has been maybe two days already that this sonata plays in my head... And after reading your opinions and points I finally decided :)
... le plaisir delicieux et toujours noevau d\'une occupation inutile...
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