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Poll
Question: Which of the following sonatas is the hardest?
Grieg - 13 (21.7%)
Moonlight - 21 (35%)
Pathetique - 26 (43.3%)
Total Voters: 60

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Author Topic: Which of these is hardest?  (Read 3280 times)
nanabush
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« on: June 04, 2005, 09:04:32 PM »

Which of these intermediate-advanced sonatas is the hardest?
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Rach3
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2005, 09:38:09 PM »

Eh? Entire sonata, or first movements only? Minimum techinque to play notes, or difficulty to give accurate, moving performance?

I'm not familiar with Grieg (only superficially glanced at pdf score); it looks easier and more facile than either Beethoven. Pathetique is certainly the 'hardest'; but for an intermediate player it might be more manageable than the Moonlight 3rd mov. (at tempo).

my $0.02 (after inflation)
-Rach3
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nanabush
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2005, 09:39:51 PM »

Ok ya to perfect the piece... musically/technically...
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Rach3
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2005, 09:45:14 PM »

Pathetique.

-Rach3
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nanabush
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2005, 10:19:44 PM »

So no one find the Grieg sonata difficult?  I would like to see anyone who can't reach more than 9 keys find this easy.
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apion
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2005, 01:27:56 AM »

I voted for Pathetique.  Did Grieg write only one sonata?
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Rach3
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2005, 03:15:33 AM »

I believe Grieg wrote one piano sonata, one violin sonata, and one cello sonata. (who knows?)

-Rach3
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2005, 05:55:26 AM »

I believe Grieg wrote one piano sonata, one violin sonata, and one cello sonata. (who knows?)

-Rach3

3 violin sonatas...
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Teddybear
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2005, 11:20:47 AM »

I've only played Grieg and Pathetique, but I voted for Pathetique. The 3rd movement in Moonlight Sonata seems pretty tricky, but I think there's more work to do when you play Pathetique. Yet I think Grieg is the most difficult one when it comes to expression. Heh.

T
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nanabush
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2005, 09:30:21 PM »

I play 'easy' movement from Moonlight, probably the most well known movement in triplets, I'm tired of it but the last movement sounds pretty difficult...  The grieg is a full 10 pages longer than pathetique... the fourth movement is hell to perfect, and I'm not too fond of it... I do like the first 3 in the Grieg though, especially the second.  Pathetique I did second and third movement for grade 10 RCM, is the first movement the most difficult musically/technically out of the set?
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jhon
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2005, 07:16:50 PM »

I learned the Grieg Em Sonata before I learned Moonlight and Pathetic and it takes more stamina to play Grieg because it is longer (4-movement) - what a typical Romantic sonata is.

BTW, I think Grieg sonata is out-of-place and inappropriate in this poll.  I suggest you put "Appassionata" instead for us to compare the 3 most popular Beethoven piano sonatas. Wink
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laurenlynnette
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2005, 08:14:35 PM »

I'm not familiar with the Grieg, but i've played both the Beethoven sonatas....  The pathetique is gorgeous, gorgeous and not horribly difficult.  The last mov't of the moonlight is a challenge for most people.  And I agree with the results of the poll that it is the most techinically difficult. 
However, (I think) both the moonlight and pathetique are very comparable in beauty and technique. 
I'd like to know from someone who's played all three...
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nanabush
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2005, 08:21:13 PM »

K I just wanted to try something different, because I play the Grieg, 2/3 movements of Pathetique, and one of Moonlight, So I wanted to know which one was actually most difficult in other ppl's opinions..Sorry I'm gonna get yelled at for this, but I don't really enjoy the first movement of Pathetique, the reason why I do not play...
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2005, 01:59:45 PM »

Sorry will have to disagree with the majority here, the pathetique is more difficult, in fact its one of those pieces where the faster you play it the difficulty is raised by a huge amount, the first movement I mean. I have played most of both the difficult movements of the moonlight and pathetique, the moonlight is quite treacherous at times, especially the part in the third movment where the right hand has to play an octave whilest somehow trilling (?) the top notes using your naturally weaker 4.5 fingers, its murder to get right.

However the first movement of the pathetique requires a lot of stamina in your left hand to do those menacing alternating notes, an octave apart. At the speed I have heard on several recordings its hard to match them perfectly with the right hand notes, an important timing issue I still struggle to perfect, this agitated section sounds far more effective if played at a faster tempo than is stated. The second movement although technically not over challenging is hard to bring out the melody with your right hand on top of the other notes it plays.

The pathetique consists of two difficult movements as compared to the one in the moonlight sonata.
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jhon
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2005, 07:24:56 AM »

Sorry will have to disagree with the majority here, the pathetique is more difficult, in fact its one of those pieces where the faster you play it the difficulty is raised by a huge amount, the first movement I mean. I have played most of both the difficult movements of the moonlight and pathetique, the moonlight is quite treacherous at times, especially the part in the third movment where the right hand has to play an octave whilest somehow trilling (?) the top notes using your naturally weaker 4.5 fingers, its murder to get right.

However the first movement of the pathetique requires a lot of stamina in your left hand to do those menacing alternating notes, an octave apart. At the speed I have heard on several recordings its hard to match them perfectly with the right hand notes, an important timing issue I still struggle to perfect, this agitated section sounds far more effective if played at a faster tempo than is stated. The second movement although technically not over challenging is hard to bring out the melody with your right hand on top of the other notes it plays.

The pathetique consists of two difficult movements as compared to the one in the moonlight sonata.

I agree with this.  It takes more stamina to play "Pathetic" than "Moonlight."  The 1st movement of the former is still harder than the 3rd movement of the latter. 

That is about technique.  But as far as musicality is concerned, "Moonlight" is more pessimistic and tragic; "Pathetic" is more romantic (especially the 3rd movement.)
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Rach3
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2005, 12:36:25 AM »

Quote
he moonlight is quite treacherous at times, especially the part in the third movment where the right hand has to play an octave whilest somehow trilling (?) the top notes using your naturally weaker 4.5 fingers, its murder to get right.

It's nothing compared to the trills in the op. 111.
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tabris
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2005, 05:24:17 AM »

I am not really familiar with Grieg.  But since it's a romantic sonata it's a little hard to compare it to two Beethoven.  I played both of the Beethoven sonatas.  As far as the overall sonata goes the Pathetique is probably harder.  But the 3rd movement of the Moonlight is harder than any of the movements of the Pathetique, IMO.  The first mvt. as you know is horribly overplayed but quite difficult to play correctly.  I had the most trouble with the last movement, especially playing it up to tempo.  But the Pathetique is longer and both the 1st and 3rd movements have technically difficult passages and 2nd mvt. is as difficult, if not more so, to pull off musically than the 1st mvt. of the Moonlight.
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rob47
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2005, 05:58:39 AM »

pathetique.

However, I'd say which ever one you haven't listened  to the most will be the hardest.
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jhon
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« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2005, 06:30:17 AM »

It's nothing compared to the trills in the op. 111.

I still consider Moonlight's (3rd movement) trills as MORE difficult than Op.111's (2nd movement).  Here are some of the reasons why: 

First, Moonlight's trill is more ABRUPT in timing (primarily because of the Presto tempo) and you really need to execute it "as fast as you can" to make at sound indeed a trill; otherwise, you might end up producing a mere turn effect.  Op.111' trills are more mellow than fast. 

Second, most Op.111's trill are mere BACKGROUND as much of the melody is played on thumb; on the other hand, Moonlight's trills are crucial part of the MELODY and must be clear, distinct, and even - Op.111's trills shouldn't be necssary so. 

Lastly, Moonlight's trill fosters the difficulty of 4~5 trill wherein the former is in WHITE key while the latter is in BLACK.  You see, such kind of trill is so rare and is actually almost unpianistic (as far as fingering is concerned) - normally, by rule of thumb, we only use 2, 3 and 4 for black keys, never 1 and 5.  On the other hand, I doubt if Op.111 has trills like this as it's merely in C major. 

Anyway, this all is just a humble opinion. Smiley  In fact, I do not yet play Op.111 but I've sight-read it lots of times.  But I've been playing Moonlight for almost 3 years and I still admit this trill is still killing me! Angry  It's indeed a "killer" trill though it merely occurs twice!     
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Rach3
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« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2005, 07:13:39 AM »

Hmm... now I'm not sure. I play op. 111 but not Moonlight... the double trills in Moonlight, do you actually hold down the bottom note? I'd take 1-34(or 45)2323.. if not. Anyway, the op. 111 double trill is very fast, very quiet, and lasts for minutes on end, so it still looks harder to me.
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jhon
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« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2005, 06:17:38 PM »

Hmm... now I'm not sure. I play op. 111 but not Moonlight... the double trills in Moonlight, do you actually hold down the bottom note? I'd take 1-34(or 45)2323.. if not. Anyway, the op. 111 double trill is very fast, very quiet, and lasts for minutes on end, so it still looks harder to me.

Rach3, it's good that you can play Op.111.  I'm still merely studying it and I can't wait to arrive at the 2nd movement.  This movement always makes me cry!  For me, it's sounds like Beethoven is trying to bid "farewell" to the piano as it's his last piano sonata - absolutely not his last composition.  Let us not forget he is already completely deaf when he composed this and I just can imagine how it hurts to not hear your own musical creation.  I specifically like Richter's rendition of this.     

Going back to the topic, yes, you can do 1~34 as long as you can manage a 1-3 octave (which I think would just add up to the difficulty).  But definitely, a simple 2323 is impossible for the trill is within an octave.
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2005, 02:09:11 AM »

So far ive heard a lot of people saying they are not familiar with the Grieg (which is understandable, since its not played much), but i happen to be working on it for a junior recital so i feel the need to defend it... ive played the other two beethoven like, 5 years ago too... admittedly, the grieg is not terribly difficult technically, except for the stretches, but it is very hard to make music out of this overly loud, overly romantic sonata.  its just a little too eminor if you know what i mean, and it gets very tiresome.
anyone inclined to agree?
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jhon
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« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2005, 10:00:28 PM »

BRSMpianist,

I agree whne you said "...But it is very hard to make music out of this overly loud, overly romantic sonata..."  It's true, its musicality is hard to interpret since it's NOT that lyrical.  But I don't when you said "...The Grieg is not terribly difficult technically..."  Definitely, you would need more stamina and good memory to play Grieg than Pathetic and Moonlight.  (The finale/4th movement alone might just get you tired especially in the development/middle section).

BTW, the Grieg sonata is the first sonata I learned - even before I learned a Mozart or a Beethoven.     
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klavier920
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« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2005, 11:42:05 PM »

Pathetique. Moonlight's cool. I don't know the Grieg sonata. Hey, I'm learning the Pathetique for my senior recital, and dang! That last movement's a killer!
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Bouter Boogie
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2005, 07:00:17 AM »

Pathetique I guess.
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nanabush
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« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2005, 02:09:48 PM »

Ya Grieg is I think 29 pages, and even the first movement alone is a pretty crazy workout...try getting two somewhat easier movements, then one killer at the end.  And you find the third movement of pathetique harder than first?  I'm not contradicting you saying your wrong, but I find first much more difficult.
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« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2015, 09:32:46 PM »

WTEH OBVIOUSLY THE GRIEG
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« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2015, 04:50:56 PM »

WTEH OBVIOUSLY THE GRIEG

  ANOTHER RANDOM POST FROM 2005  !!   STOP
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schumaniac
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« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2015, 07:41:46 PM »

WTEH OBVIOUSLY THE GRIEG
10-year bump game is strong
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rubinsteinmad
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« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2015, 07:44:11 PM »

  ANOTHER RANDOM POST FROM 2005  !!   STOP
Well, I mean, if it used to be considered easier...
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