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Beethoven Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 - 1st Movement - Advice please! (Read 578 times)

Offline liszt123

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Hi all, I plan on reviving the 1st movement of the Beethoven Appassionata for a piano competition in 3 months. Attached is a recording I made before. Any advice is appreciated!

Piano Street's Digital Sheet Music Library

Beethoven: Sonata 23 (Appassionata), opus 57
piano sheet music of Sonata 23 (Appassionata)


Online lelle

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Here are a few reactions:
- I think you really need to think through the first page or two. You'll make your first impression here and if you don't hold it together it'll be more difficult for you to recover in the ears of the listeners. It's very easy to make it sound disjointed. However, it does have a few simple, long lines that you can grab onto. So make sure you know exactly what the harmony is and where it is going. Sure there are small phrases made up of various different ideas but together they make up larger harmonic gestures that happen in one flow and it needs to be clear that you hear and follow those gestures.
- Tempo on the first page. On the upbeats, for example in the very first bar, you clearly set up one tempo, but then you suddenly change the tempo in the next bar. I would practise the first page with a metronome and counting out loud until you can do it perfectly in time, and then decide where tempo fluctuations are appropriate (ends of phrases maybe).
- It occasionally feels like you rush the ends of the trills in the opening motif and where they reoccur late rin the piece.
- Tone: overall it sounds like you got technique to burn and can handle the piece without a problem. I do think your tone gets a bit rough/harsh at the loudest dynamics so I would investigate that and maybe work on orchestrating the loudest parts better. I would prioritize quality of sound slightly more than quantity if that is what it takes. The sonata is such a noble portrayal of fury and sorrow; the loud parts cannot be coarse and rough. Loud, yes, glowing, yes, electrical, yes, despairing, yes, but not coarse and rough.

Hope that helps!

Offline liszt123

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 12
Here are a few reactions:
- I think you really need to think through the first page or two. You'll make your first impression here and if you don't hold it together it'll be more difficult for you to recover in the ears of the listeners. It's very easy to make it sound disjointed. However, it does have a few simple, long lines that you can grab onto. So make sure you know exactly what the harmony is and where it is going. Sure there are small phrases made up of various different ideas but together they make up larger harmonic gestures that happen in one flow and it needs to be clear that you hear and follow those gestures.
- Tempo on the first page. On the upbeats, for example in the very first bar, you clearly set up one tempo, but then you suddenly change the tempo in the next bar. I would practise the first page with a metronome and counting out loud until you can do it perfectly in time, and then decide where tempo fluctuations are appropriate (ends of phrases maybe).
- It occasionally feels like you rush the ends of the trills in the opening motif and where they reoccur late rin the piece.
- Tone: overall it sounds like you got technique to burn and can handle the piece without a problem. I do think your tone gets a bit rough/harsh at the loudest dynamics so I would investigate that and maybe work on orchestrating the loudest parts better. I would prioritize quality of sound slightly more than quantity if that is what it takes. The sonata is such a noble portrayal of fury and sorrow; the loud parts cannot be coarse and rough. Loud, yes, glowing, yes, electrical, yes, despairing, yes, but not coarse and rough.

Hope that helps!

Ah I see what you mean, especially when I shorten the upbeats/elongate the dotted notes in the first theme and rush the repeat of the first theme. I think I'm supposed to emphasize the between the tonic and neapolitan, and although I know that's important, I'm not exactly sure how bring that out (maybe a fix in the tempo/phrasing will help?). Yeah perhaps I should save my "banging" for the climaxes (if at all). Thanks for the help!