Piano Forum



International Piano Day 2024
Piano Day is an annual worldwide event that takes place on the 88th day of the year, which in 2024 is March 28. Established in 2015, it is now well known across the globe. Every year it provokes special concerts, onstage and online, as well as radio shows, podcasts, and playlists. Read more >>

Topic: 10 best Beethoven sonatas  (Read 105050 times)

Offline georgey

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 936
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #50 on: September 20, 2018, 03:38:03 AM
Necroposting now that I've finally listened through all the sonatas

1.   106
2.   90
3.   53
4.   111
5.   101
6.   110
7.   57
8.   109
9.   31 (no2)
10.   78

I haven't listened to much of the early sonatas, so maybe some could fit in in the future (like Op. 7 and Op. 22)
Last three sonatas are still fresh to me (only listened to each one about 5 times) so I expect them to grow in the future
For some reason, I don't like Op. 81a
I've made this list by giving points to each individual movement, then averaging over number of movements (and some corrections that benefit sonatas with higher number of movements)

I agree with op 106 being no. 1.  Op 81a - a Gem, but okay to not like this.  It would be tough to create list of top 10 list for me.  Op 101 and later would all be on the list plus I would add Op 81a, Op 57 and Op 53.  Op 7 is a great sonata.  Spend more time with this if you have time.  It's great that you are spending time to know these great works.

Offline georgey

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 936
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #51 on: September 20, 2018, 03:41:17 AM
I'm going to say this nicely, but I don't see the Sonata's as being worth ranking - I think of them as Beethovens own reflection on what was happening in his life (with the exception of Op 49, No 2)

They are a development of who he was as a person. In the beginning - he wrote pieces that tried to push the piano to greater and bigger things, in the middle was him finally becoming the more mature composer that he was, and then the final sonatas of his life were him trying to pour his heart and soul into the music he so much loved, but couldn't aurally hear (but could probably hear innately in his head... I'm presuming that he had perfect pitch given that he could compose such brilliant melodies that work out so beatifully... to do so without perfect pitch seems impossible.)

That's just may take, and yes, I know Paxxxx did necro the the sh!t out of this thread, (sorry, but it's true - although vertigoone probably takes the cake).

And yes, this is someone who has listened to them in order many times (all 32 of them)

I agree.  Beethoven wrote the 32 piano sonatas fairly evenly throughout his life.  If I remember, the biggest gap in time between writing sonatas was maybe 4-5 years (Op. 101 to Op 106 gap).  I might be wrong.

Offline georgey

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 936
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #52 on: September 20, 2018, 03:44:23 AM
*Sonatas
*Beethoven's

I'm a pretty bad typer too.  So your top 10 is??  How about top 3 if top 10 is too tough to do??  We can all agree that op 106 is #1?  Diabelli variations would be tied with op 106 but it's not a sonata.

Offline perfect_pitch

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8530
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #53 on: September 20, 2018, 04:25:26 AM
*Sonatas
*Beethoven's

I have a cold...



...give me a break.

Offline georgey

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 936
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #54 on: September 20, 2018, 04:35:21 AM
I'm going to say this nicely, but I don't see the Sonata's as being worth ranking - I think of them as Beethovens own reflection on what was happening in his life (with the exception of Op 49, No 2)

They are a development of who he was as a person. In the beginning - he wrote pieces that tried to push the piano to greater and bigger things, in the middle was him finally becoming the more mature composer that he was, and then the final sonatas of his life were him trying to pour his heart and soul into the music he so much loved, but couldn't aurally hear (but could probably hear innately in his head... I'm presuming that he had perfect pitch given that he could compose such brilliant melodies that work out so beatifully... to do so without perfect pitch seems impossible.)

That's just may take, and yes, I know Paxxxx did necro the the sh!t out of this thread, (sorry, but it's true - although vertigoone probably takes the cake).

And yes, this is someone who has listened to them in order many times (all 32 of them)

I read this again.  My prior comment was somewhat based on "They are a development of who he was as a person."  Since Beethoven wrote the sonatas evenly throughout his entire life, listening to the sonatas in chronological order shows nicely this development of him as a person and as a composer.

Ranking the sonatas is just for fun and may not be worthwhile as you say.  But we can all agree that Op 106 is the best.  ;D

Offline perfect_pitch

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8530
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #55 on: September 20, 2018, 06:18:22 AM
But we can all agree that Op 106 is the best.  ;D

Really??? Personally I think Op 109 in E Major is far more intimate and nuanced. That last movement with the theme and variations is a whirlwind of chaotic build up before it settles down at the last variation and restates the theme again - allowing for the most suspenseful ending I've heard in a while.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2934
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #56 on: September 20, 2018, 10:45:31 AM
I think op 110 and op 111 are the best tbh!

The rest of my top ten would be
Op 2/3 (a "big" sonata with a lovely slow movement)
Op 26 (the best sonata of the earlier years imo)
Op 31/2
Op 53
Op 57
Op 90
Op 106
Op 109
My website - www.andrewwrightpianist.com
Info and samples from my first commercial album - https://youtu.be/IlRtSyPAVNU
My SoundCloud - https://soundcloud.com/andrew-wright-35

Offline pencilart3

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2119
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #57 on: September 23, 2018, 12:23:00 AM
So your top 10 is??

Each piece is unique and has its own qualities. Even if we were just listing the top 10 for each of us individually, what do we base it on? The ones that make us feel the most emotion? The ones with greatest structure? The ones we listen to the most? The ones that have enduring popularity? The ones we just happen to like at the moment?

Ones that aren't really the greatest, but we feel aren't recognized enough, so we list them anyway to be hipsters?
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline paxxx17

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 35
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #58 on: October 05, 2018, 11:44:05 AM
Really??? Personally I think Op 109 in E Major is far more intimate and nuanced. That last movement with the theme and variations is a whirlwind of chaotic build up before it settles down at the last variation and restates the theme again - allowing for the most suspenseful ending I've heard in a while.

For me personally, op 110 has the absolute best ending

Offline transitional

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 423
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #59 on: May 21, 2023, 07:42:26 PM
Another necropost now that I'm here.
1. Tempest (legendary and moving and whatever else that you say that's good.)
2. Op. 109 (The first movement blows me away.)
3. Waldstein
4. Op. 2 No. 3 (Such fun!)
5. Leichte No. 2 (Yes, the easy sonata. Please don't judge. It's quite fun for my taste.)
6. Hammerklavier
7. Pastorale
8. Appassionata
9. Leichte No. 1 (Another easy one.)
10. Op. 2 No. 1 (Simple/interesting, but Beethoveneque nonetheless.)
Advanced pianist and beginner composer. The Schubert sonatas are amazing and I want to learn all of them eventually!

Offline lelle

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2222
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #60 on: May 23, 2023, 11:22:21 AM
Another necropost now that I'm here.
1. Tempest (legendary and moving and whatever else that you say that's good.)
2. Op. 109 (The first movement blows me away.)
3. Waldstein
4. Op. 2 No. 3 (Such fun!)
5. Leichte No. 2 (Yes, the easy sonata. Please don't judge. It's quite fun for my taste.)
6. Hammerklavier
7. Pastorale
8. Appassionata
9. Leichte No. 1 (Another easy one.)
10. Op. 2 No. 1 (Simple/interesting, but Beethoveneque nonetheless.)

Just sat and giggled for a minute at the word "necropost". Love me some necromancy.

Anyways, 10 best Beethoven sonatas? Difficult to pick/rank, but I'll go with:

1. Appassionata
2. Moonlight
3. Pathetique
4. Tempest
5. Waldstein
6. E flat major Op. 27 no. 1
7. F major Op 10 no 2
8. F minor Op 2 no 1
9. C major Op 2 no 3
10 G major Op 79

Offline transitional

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 423
Re: 10 best Beethoven sonatas
Reply #61 on: October 03, 2023, 10:34:51 PM
Interesting how things can change so much over time. I went and re-listened to all the sonatas, and here's my new ranking:

1. Op. 110 (no words for it)
2. Les Adieux (that transition between slow to fast in the 1st mvt!)
3. A Therese (structure was great, I'd call it a perfect sonatina though the name sonata should be reserved for many many things)
4. Appassionata (for the same reasons as everyone else)
5. Tempest (always loved the 3rd movement)
6. Hammerklavier (as fast as possible even in you make mistakes works for the 1st movement, as no one plays it fast enough and that's kind of the point for the hammer klavier)
7. Waldstein (magical 3rd movement right after sparse 2nd movement. allegro con brio has a nice classical sound)
8. Op. 101 (how it goes from e major and continues from the last movement! and the fugue is magical)
9. Op. 7 (early beethoven on steroids which frankly really works) (grand sonata)
10. Op. 2 No. 2 (It's all cause of Schnabel's magical recording)

ugh I want to keep ranking!

11. Op. 14 No. 2 (pinnacle of g major beethoven)
12. Pastorale (the title says it all)
13. Op. 31 No. 1 (that 2nd movement... brings this one up many notches)
14. Op. 54 (not that popular and too "simple" but it works very coherently)
15. Op. 111 (i mean that arietta? the 27 min recording by ugorsky is breathtaking)
16. Op. 109 (I've always found the 1st movement quite fun followed by an amazing fast 2nd movement and those masterful variations)
17. Leichte No. 2 (you can't help but love those easy sonatas even though they're pretty ... simplistic)
18. Op. 22
19. Pathetique
20. Op. 2 No. 1 (little appassionata)
21. Op. 2 No. 3 (little waldstein)
22. Op. 90
23. Cuckoo
24. Op. 10 No. 2
25. Leichte No. 1
26. Op. 10 No. 3
27. Op. 26 (funeral march)
28. Op. 27 No. 1 (quasi una fantasia)
29. Op. 31 No. 3 (the hunt)
30. Op. 14 No. 1
31. WoO 47 No. 1
32. WoO 47 No. 2
33. Moonlight (don't attack me for not ranking the most popular Beethoven sonata highly. it's ridiculously simple and overplayed, though I quite like the 2nd mvt)
34. WoO 47 No. 3
35. Op. 10 No. 1 (those bare swingy notes at the beginning just make me want to turn away) (little pathetique)

Now I really want to rank them along with the Mozarts and Schuberts...
Advanced pianist and beginner composer. The Schubert sonatas are amazing and I want to learn all of them eventually!
For more information about this topic, click search below!
 

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert