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Topic: Rondo Pathétique (3rd Movement) or Tempest sonata 3rd Movement  (Read 1982 times)

Offline fredchopin

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Hello Everybody,

I would like to commence either of the 3rd movements of my 2 favourite sonatas (Pathetique and Tempest). I have played revolutionary etude, black key etude, Fantaisie impromptu, and Clair de Lune. which 3rd movement do you think will be the simplest and which one will fit under my hand the best, considering I significantly strengthened my left hand and practised meticulous precision with the black key etude.
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Offline kc_gracie

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Hello there.

I would say that the pieces you played are plenty for tackling these movements. However, despite saying that, I think just trying them is best, even if you hadn't shared your repertoire. Get an idea for the difficulties by looking through them and playing some passages. Also, there is something to be said about truly wanting to play a piece, regardless of how far along in your studies you are. The desire to play a piece will push you. And if it is too soon, which you will learn quickly, make it a long term piece and a goal in the months/year to come while you tackle other works if this is a piece that you really want to pursue.

So, with that out of the way, I love both of these movements and both fit under the hands quite well. There is nothing that is overtly difficult for either other than the work you will need put in to bring out the musicality of the movements (given the pieces you stated above). I have played both of them for many years (although not in recent months, so I will revisit this, but many times this past year). I personally enjoy the third movement of the Tempest more. There is something about the constant movement in the piece and the emotion and storm that is there. I absolutely adore it and it was a target piece for me many years ago. Now, I do find the rondo of the Pathetique easier. I wouldn't say it is leaps and bounds easier, but I learned it many, many years ago. It was a joy to play. I will say that I enjoy the entire Pathetique sonata more, but the third of the Tempest is one of my favorite Beethoven sonata movements out of them all. For the Tempest, there is constant motion, which can be exhausting if you are playing with too much tension.

Another thing to consider, have you learned any other parts of these sonatas? For me, I had learned the the second movement and then the first for the Pathetique, so there was a strong sense to complete the work. For the Tempest, I learned it 1, 2, 3 with the goal of having the entire work under my fingers. And, on a personal note, I find the first movement of the Pathetique to be the central piece for me, rather than the third. I learned the second movement first, as I was not ready for the others yet. I then learned the first and this was a major milestone in my development. The third movement, while I think it is more difficult than the first, was a welcome advance to my repertoire and skill set. On the other hand, the third movement of the Tempest is most striking and central to me for this sonata. Although, I have to say, playing the first movement is a lot of fun as well.

Anyways, sorry for a long post. Consider which you enjoy the most, that is most important. If you know parts of one of the sonatas, then I would strive to complete the work. If not, and I had to pick just one movement, I would vote Tempest. It is a joy to listen to, and even more fun to play. Perhaps dabble with them both for a week and see what you like. Don't worry about difficulty for two pieces I think you could work through. Although, tempest would be more in line with the etudes you mentioned. Choose what you love.

All the best and let me know if you have any other questions about these two pieces that will help.


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