\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Schubert sonata A #20 959 andantino (Read 731 times)

Offline markjaffe

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 10
Schubert sonata A #20 959 andantino
« on: April 11, 2020, 01:16:55 AM »
Every now and then I hear something that takes hold of me and makes me want to play it. Unfortunately, these are usually demanding pieces. The andantino of op 959 is such an example. The middle section is obviously the most challenging. On the Alfred website it classifies this sonata as "Very advanced level, very difficult note reading, frequent time signature changes, virtuosic level technical facility needed."

I am at an advanced intermediate level and have played Beethoven sonatas, chopin nocturns, and Brahms intermezzi. I have also played moment musicaux by Schubert.

Anyone have an opinion on playing this piece? I like to work hard and diligently on a difficult section but sometimes there comes a point where I must walk away. any thoughts?

Offline brogers70

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 999
Re: Schubert sonata A #20 959 andantino
«Reply #1 on: April 11, 2020, 09:51:58 AM »
This is a sincere response. It's pretty common for people to ask questions like yours and I do not understand why. I'm truly not trying to be snarky or anything. Can't you tell by working on a piece for a week or two whether it's something you can reasonably expect to handle or not? Why not just go for it? You love the piece. If you hit a wall, then you just put it aside and come back to it in a few months or a year or two. A teacher who's been working with you for a while may be slightly better able to predict whether you'll be able to handle it than you will, but even so, there's no harm in just working on it for a while and seeing how it goes.

Offline ranjit

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 352
Re: Schubert sonata A #20 959 andantino
«Reply #2 on: April 11, 2020, 01:03:41 PM »
This is a sincere response. It's pretty common for people to ask questions like yours and I do not understand why. I'm truly not trying to be snarky or anything. Can't you tell by working on a piece for a week or two whether it's something you can reasonably expect to handle or not? Why not just go for it? You love the piece. If you hit a wall, then you just put it aside and come back to it in a few months or a year or two. A teacher who's been working with you for a while may be slightly better able to predict whether you'll be able to handle it than you will, but even so, there's no harm in just working on it for a while and seeing how it goes.

If you are able to handle it, how do you know you are able to handle it?

I'm not being facetious here. For instance, I thought I might be able to play the initial octave section of HR6, and bam -- I figured out how to play it. But there is no realistic way in which I can know just how subpar (or not) my playing is. Surely it can't be that easy, because everyone says it's hard? Similarly with Fantaisie Impromptu -- how does a learner know whether they are picking up bad habits or playing sloppily, in a manner which will harm them in the long run? How do they know if they are truly learning the piece, or just "hacking" it? If it really was possible to play the piece, why wouldn't the teacher themselves suggest it? Is there some hidden value in learning "slowly" and not rushing it by learning difficult pieces, even when you could?

Offline brogers70

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 999
Re: Schubert sonata A #20 959 andantino
«Reply #3 on: April 11, 2020, 04:12:36 PM »
Well, yes, the answer to every question can be "Get a teacher and ask the teacher." I agree. But I'd say that the options in decreasing order of effectiveness are:

1. Ask your teacher whether you're ready for the piece
2. Try it yourself and see
3. Ask some strangers who've never heard you play

I do think that at a certain point, you can judge for yourself whether something feels comfortable and sounds good and fluent, or not. If those octaves in HR6 feel comfortable for you, and if you record yourself playing them and they sound good to you, you're probably on the right track.