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#1032826 - 07/17/06 02:03 AM Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
Here's the list from June:
AdagioM, LudwigLives072, MaryAnna, Octavia, Pianolina, sheepdip

How's it going? I'm just reviving the second movement, not ready for the other two. I had an epiphany moment tonight: the melody was coming out really well. Maybe a little more than I wanted, but it was the first time that it was so clear. Ahhh.

The hardest part for me in this piece is the section with the huge chords.

Onward!
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#1032827 - 07/17/06 07:54 AM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1817
Loc: Connecticut
As far as I knew, the group hadn't started yet.

Is this the official Pathetique Learning Group thread?

Mel
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#1032828 - 07/17/06 02:54 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
Let's make it so! The Raindrop group has been going strong from the beginning, so I think we just need to run with it.

I'm only going for the Adagio Cantabile; the other two movements are beyond my reach at this point.
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#1032829 - 07/17/06 06:21 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
Pianolina Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/06
Posts: 204
I sort of remember how to play this piece and would love to polish it back up. Does that count?

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#1032830 - 07/17/06 07:31 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
I think reviving a piece is as valid as learning it the first time around. Maybe better; we know where the pitfalls lie!

Let's go!
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#1032831 - 07/19/06 10:10 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
MaryAnna Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 400
Loc: Florida
I've been playing through the second movement a bit, though I've been slowed down by an illness. I find the sections with the main theme are going pretty well, but that I'm having trouble with the other parts. The ornaments are hard to play in rhythm with the left hand. And my hands feel just a little too small to sustain LVB's vision. But I'm enjoying the effort.
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#1032832 - 07/20/06 02:14 AM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
The second movement was my dream piece for a long time, and several years ago I could only pluck out the first few bars of the main theme, excruciatingly slowly. But I loved the way the harmonies sounded, and I just waited a couple years before really starting it. It was worth the wait.

I want to keep this one forever.

Maryanna, I'm glad you're on the mend!
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#1032833 - 07/20/06 12:59 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
LudwigLives072 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/30/06
Posts: 19
Loc: Minnesota
Hey guys.....

I am just getting started on the 2nd movement...mainly getting fingering down on paper first although I've been playing through a bit as well....just first two pages or so.

I've been spending most of my time on the 1st movement in which I am pretty damn close to being done with. It's taken me a good couple months to get that one down. I'm just polishing up some rough spots and working on memorization after the repeat. I have to get my piano tuned real bad because some notes are starting to stick on me pretty bad and nothing else frustrates me more when I'm trying to fly through a part and a note dies on me.......

Any suggestions by anyone on how to tackle the second movement? Some of the notes seem to be a tough stretch for me.....
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#1032834 - 07/22/06 04:08 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
Pianolina Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/06
Posts: 204
Would someone be able to give me some insight into the very last turn in the movement? If I don't think about it too hard, I can produce something that sounds about right. I'm not really sure where the notes are supposed to lie in relation to the left hand though. Anyone?

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#1032835 - 07/25/06 01:29 AM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
Pianolina, which movement are you working on?

Ludwig, I don't have big hands! Which parts are giving you problems? I don't play all the notes in measures 42 and 43, but everything else gets played.

I do rely on the pedal to help with my legato line in the opening section, and I use a fingering that is comfortable for me.
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#1032836 - 07/25/06 05:39 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Can I play?

I've "done" the Pathetique, but about 8 years ago. It's definitely not just under my fingers now.

Plus I can't do much with my left hand right now... so maybe I can be an honorary member and help out?

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#1032837 - 07/25/06 07:59 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
Nina, yes, please!

I've only done the second movement, so we could definitely use your help around here.

Hoping your hand is better soon!
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#1032838 - 07/26/06 12:10 AM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
Pianolina Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/06
Posts: 204
 Quote:
Originally posted by AdagioM:
Pianolina, which movement are you working on?

[/b]
I'm (re)starting with the second movement. There are still lots of old marking my teacher put on my score to help me with them some years ago, but unfortumately there's nothing for that very last one at the end of the movement. I can't quite remember how to pull it off .

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#1032839 - 07/26/06 01:23 AM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
I went to the piano to figure it out, and I just realized I'm playing it wrong! I added an extra E flat in the LH.

So how I really mean to play it:

the first Ab with the Ab chord, the first three notes of the turn (Bb, Ab, G) with the first Eb in the LH, the last note of the turn (Ab) with the second Eb. The little 32nd note C I play between the turn and the E flats of the RH and LH.

Don't know if that's perfectly technically correct, but it's what I'm doing.
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#1032840 - 07/26/06 12:50 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I agree with AdagioM.

One way you might want to try it is to just not play the turn a few times. Play the Ab chord and Ab, the Eb's and slip the C in between the triplet. Do this a bunch of times until that Ab-C-Eb motif is in your ear and brain. Then add the turn in, starting a teeny bit after the 2nd Eb.

Since the first Ab in the rh is a dotted sixteenth, it really needs to be held a bit longer. In other words, you shouldn't start the turn on the 2nd Eb of the left hand. It should start just immediately after. Then just get it done.

It won't "fit" exactly; you just need to get the turn completed within the time it takes you to play those 2 Eb's. The C needs to be alone. It is kind of syncopated.

You might also try setting the metronome so it beats every note of the lh triplet. Set it slowly. Then just play the right hand alone with the metronome. That might help you get used to the rhythm. Then add your actual left hand, and speed it up gradually to tempo.

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#1032841 - 07/27/06 07:57 AM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
C.P. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 130
This is funny--my teacher just gave me this piece last night. Well, actually, he couldn't find it so he's giving it to me next week. You guys all seem pretty far into the piece, and I'm just a beginner on the piano, so I think this group is a little too advanced for me, but I'll check in from time to time!

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#1032842 - 07/27/06 10:36 AM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
Pianolina Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/06
Posts: 204
AdagioM and Nina, thanks for the detailed help \:\) . I'll give your suggestions a try when I get home this evening.

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#1032843 - 07/27/06 12:42 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
AdagioM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Oregon
And I agree with Nina.

Since the first Ab in the rh is a dotted sixteenth, it really needs to be held a bit longer. In other words, you shouldn't start the turn on the 2nd Eb of the left hand. It should start just immediately after. Then just get it done.

I just don't actually do it that way. But I'll try it tonight.

And welcome, C.P.!
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#1032844 - 07/27/06 02:04 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Yep. That's what's "technically" correct. But I seriously doubt anyone will have a cow if it's not spot-on. What's probably most important is that left-hand tempo remain rock solid. Don't slow it down in order to mash the turn in. It just needs to fit in.

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#1032845 - 08/03/06 11:30 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
C.P. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 130
I just started Pathetique (the first movement) today, and I have a question. I was practicing the broken octives right at the start of the piece, and after a pretty short amount of time my hand (the top) would start to hurt. I try to keep relaxed, and I haven't really had problems with tensing up before. Do you have any advice on how to play those in a way that will "lighten" my hand or make the octives easier to play? I have pretty small hands, and I can't comfortably keep my fingers directly over the notes the whole time. Should I oscillate my wrist back and forth or move from my elbow or what?

Thanks!

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#1032846 - 08/03/06 11:50 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
markjpcs Offline


Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
I have about 2/3 of the 1st movement memorized. The 2nd and 3rd movements are memorized.

I have been working on this piece on and off mostly part-time with a few stretches of 2-3 months of intense study, for about 3 years. I hope to have it prepared well enough to feature it in a recital for the local music club this spring.

Are you going to post recordings?

The key to playing the tremolos in the first movement is to relax. Take them slow slow slow and play the entire movement slow to learn the intricacies. You will ramp up to speed quicker and play it clean if you do this.

My technique for the tremolos involves a rocking motion that is a combination of forearm and wrist moving in harmony with each other. Micro-relaxation is real. If you let your fingers and hand relax every 4 notes or so you will not experience fatigue and you can keep those tremolos going almost forever without tension.

It took a while to get "the feeling" for the tremolos and at times I thought I would never be able to do it. But be patient and determined and they will be yours.

Even now after seemingly mastering the tremolos, I can tell right away if my technique is not right. Learning how to adjust in time is coming along. It's weird. Sometimes I just lay right into them and they flow. Other times I can't get "the feeling" no matter what so I will walk away from the piano and come back a few minutes later and that usually works. I certainly would not want to do that in a recital though!

It is a piece that will last you a lifetime. For some (like me) it may just take the rest of our lives to polish it.
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#1032847 - 08/04/06 12:13 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Yep, what Mark said. If the top of your hand hurts, it sounds to me that you are tensing it up and trying to hold your fingers as wide as possible, and perhaps just playing with your fingers?

Try playing those octaves only (just the left hand) and experiment with keeping your fingers less tense and "splayed out," and using your forearm/elbow and wrist to rock back and forth. Your hand should move to the left and right a bit, not just stay in one place with only your fingers moving. You can also try it away from the keyboard--just strum your fingers on a tabletop or something, and make a conscious effort to relax. You should be able to do that for a good while--certainly more than is necessary to complete the octaves in the score.

Relaxation, and let your entire arm help you.

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#1032848 - 08/04/06 06:16 PM Re: Beethoven Pathetique Sonata group--anybody here?
C.P. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 130
Thanks, guys. I tried again today, and I didn't experience any pain or fatigue in my hand. I started off very slowly, and I watched my hand play the notes, so I could play them the way I wanted to. It was a combination wrist and arm movement that worked. Sometimes I wouldn't hit the right note, though. Does your hand just get used to playing an octive so you always hit the right notes? I've only been playing this summer, so I'm still trying to get my hands used to some things. It was usually my thumb that would hit a note off (on either side).

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