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#503567 - 03/25/03 08:10 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
–anor Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1232
Loc: Santiago, Chile
i studied the op.22 last year. And indeed its a very beautifull sonata that's not played often.

i dont think allegro con brio is the hardest movement. i didnt have anyproblem with. But the rondů!! that thirds kill me (specially in the final). The second movement is incredible...
Good luck CrashTest, you choose very well...

now im studyng the op.7 and im not sure if it's harder than the apassionatta. Anyway the difficult is that is like a real symphony, specially the first mvnt, you have to play all the time with timbres..

I last opinion. I dont think waldstein is that hard, do you agree with me guys?
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#503568 - 03/25/03 08:13 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
The Waldstein fits the hands very nicely, the 3rd movement is more of a challenge than the first I feel.

As far as the Op.22 goes, I still think that the allegro con brio is has more technical rough spots in the whole of things than the rondo. The rondo only has a feel rough passages (The one you mentioned in thirds and the arpeggio). To play up to tempo, this one is a lot easier than the Allegro. Each person is different I guess! \:D

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#503569 - 06/29/03 02:11 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
yangkai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 29
I thought there are 38 sonatas and not 32? according to the sonata book of beethoven in vol I and II, there are 38 sonatas.

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#503570 - 06/29/03 02:22 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by yangkai:
I thought there are 38 sonatas and not 32? according to the sonata book of beethoven in vol I and II, there are 38 sonatas.[/b]
Not sure which edition you are working from. Why don't you list the ones that are missing with their opus numbers.

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#503571 - 06/29/03 02:36 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
Here is not an ideal answer, but a curious aid.

I have a photocopy of a work entitled : Principes Rationnels de la Technique Pianistique published by Editions Maurice Senart, (Paris, 1928) (no author credited on the title page!!) which has several hundred piano works rated in 4 degrees of difficulty...

This work is limited in its usefulness as it rates only compositions by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Clementi, Beethoven, Hummel, von Weber, Schubert, Czerny (!), Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, and Franck, along with some works for harpsichord by such as Frescobaldi, the Scarlattis, Couperin, Rameau, Farnaby (?) and John Bull.
[/b]
Alfred Cortot. A masterful work, limited only by a lack of a bottle of ambition/energy/determination to help the aspiring instrumentalist get all that work done! It's available in English, as well, and on better paper than the French editions I've seen.

Only Bach, Handel, etc. Good heavens, man, how much do expect one person to do?
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#503572 - 06/29/03 03:52 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
I was reading these rankings again, and it is interesting from a technical viewpoint to look at such things. Maybe some more list can be compiled of other composer's works as well?

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#503573 - 06/29/03 06:26 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19642
Loc: New York City
Why is Op. 101 considered so difficult? I have heard some famous pianists talk of its difficulty and many people on this board obviously think it's difficult. But when I look at the score I don't see why it's so difficult except for the double thirds in the last movement. I don't and couldn't play this sonata, but I am interested in some details about why it's considered so hard.

By the way, Richard Goode once said something like the following: each of the sonatas has its own personality and Op. 101 is the type of personality he likes the most.

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#503574 - 06/29/03 06:36 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5331
Loc: McAllen, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
Why is Op. 101 considered so difficult? I have heard some famous pianists talk of its difficulty and many people on this board obviously think it's difficult. But when I look at the score I don't see why it's so difficult except for the double thirds in the last movement. I don't and couldn't play this sonata, but I am interested in some details about why it's considered so hard.[/b]
It's one of the most awkward things that Beethoven wrote (along with the finale of op. 106 and the fugue in the Diabelli Variations). Like you said, you can't understand the difficulty of it if you can't play it.

The music is very deep also, taking lots of time to mature.
_________________________
http://www.BrendanKinsella.com

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#503575 - 06/29/03 06:43 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I've played Op. 101, and here's why it's that hard:

The first movement is difficult where pedalling is concerned. The harmonies change quite often, but you have to keep the phrases long and let them all melt one to the next seamlessly.

The second movement requires a great deal of focus and drive to avoid making the dotted 8th/16th rhythm trivialized into triplets. Articulation is key, without it, the whole march fails. Again, the slow section has some awkward fingering and pedalling moments.

The third movement isn't too bad. \:\)

The fugue isn't bad, as fugues go, but the development section is a bit of a finger twister, especially with all the trills.

Overall, the biggest issue with Op. 101 is that every single note of the piece is important. The composition is that tight - nothing is extraneous. Because of that, you have to be focused and "on-the-ball" from beginning to end, without exception. Sure, parts of Opp. 54, 111, and even 7 might make more demands on your technical equipment from time to time, but 101 is no slouch in that regard, and it demands your thoughtful attention and intellect for every one of its glorious measures.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#503576 - 06/29/03 08:04 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Kreisler:

Your analysis of Op. 101 is about as tight and well-composed as the actual sonata! Well said...

Nina

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#503577 - 06/29/03 09:18 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Krazypaul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 133
Nice list you got there. haha, moonlight is around the moderate area...and i still have trouble playing the 3rd movement to the moonlight sonata!

Someone should do a ranked difficulty list on Liszt's hungarian rhapsodies!

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#503578 - 06/30/03 06:10 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
yangkai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 29
may i know the title and editor or writer of that piano technique difficulties book? the one in english version. thanks. and the name of the publisher too.

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#503579 - 06/30/03 07:08 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by yangkai:
may i know the title and editor or writer of that piano technique difficulties book? the one in english version. thanks. and the name of the publisher too.[/b]
This ranking was compiled by me, so it is not definitive. Read back through the thread, and you will see that it is not agreed upon 100%.
Take it with a grain of salt because it is not from a professional musician.

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#503580 - 06/30/03 07:09 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
da 6th finger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 87
Loc: New Zealand
I hear that the fugue in op106 is absurdly difficult. So difficult in fact, that Liszt could not even sight-read it. \:D
_________________________
the nocturne in c sharp minor is the most beautiful thing on this earth

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#503581 - 07/01/03 07:32 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
johnmoonlight Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 2384
Loc: Lancaster, pa
For those who have played the piece,(or "song" for BeePhlat), does the difficulty in the Hammerklavier come mainly from the fourth movement? How difficult is the slow movement?
_________________________
While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.

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#503582 - 07/01/03 07:50 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
yangkai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 29
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by yangkai:
may i know the title and editor or writer of that piano technique difficulties book? the one in english version. thanks. and the name of the publisher too.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This ranking was compiled by me, so it is not definitive. Read back through the thread, and you will see that it is not agreed upon 100%.
Take it with a grain of salt because it is not from a professional musician.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NO!! not the one from u!! there's another book mentioned in this topic, the book tt was in eng version that ranks by 5 different catergory for different songs and has 4 rankings.

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#503583 - 07/01/03 07:56 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
yangkai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 29
 Quote:
Alfred Cortot. A masterful work, limited only by a lack of a bottle of ambition/energy/determination to help the aspiring instrumentalist get all that work done! It's available in English, as well, and on better paper than the French editions I've seen.

Only Bach, Handel, etc. Good heavens, man, how much do expect one person to do?
what i meant is this; may i know the title, editor/author and publisher of the ENGLISH version of the book called Principes Rationnels de la Technique Pianistique published by Editions Maurice Senart, (Paris, 1928) ? :p

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#503584 - 07/01/03 09:31 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Alfred Cortot. Rational principles of pianoforte technique. (Eng. tr. by R. Le Roy-Metaxas)
Publisher: Editions Salabert
22, Rue Chauchat 75009 Paris
Telephone: (1) 48-24-55-60

Cortot considers difficulty in five different categories of technique:
(1) - Equality, independence and mobility of the fingers
(2) - Passing under of the thumb (scales, arpeggios)
(3) - Double notes and polyphonic playing
(4) - Extensions
(5) - Wrist technique, execution of chords

Each category is rated as to 5 degrees of difficulty:

( ) - blank (not worth mentioning)
nd - not difficult
rd - rather difficult
d. - difficult
vd - very difficult

He comments on some Liszt Rhapsodies:

- - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
#2 - d. d. vd d. vd (varied technique, bravura, brilliancy)
#4 - vd d. d. d. vd (evenness, volubility, staccato octaves)
#6 - ( ) vd ( ) d. vd (chord technique, wrist octaves)
#8 - vd vd ( ) d. vd (varied technique, volubility, bravura
#9 - vd vd vd vd vd (complete technique)
10 - ( ) d. vd vd vd (wrist technique, glissando)
11 - vd d. d. d. vd (varied technique, fingers and wrist)
12 - vd d. vd d. vd (complete technique)
13 - vd d. vd d. vd (varied technique, repeated notes and wrist)
14 - vd d. d. d. vd (complete technique)
15 - vd vd ( ) d. vd Rakoczy-March (bravura, brilliancy, chord technique)

Cortot comments: "It will be well not to forget in referring to these qualiications that, in the perfect interpretation of a musical work, it is not the number of notes contained in it which constitutes its real difficulty. As far as we are concerned, we consider the execution of in andante by Mozart or of a Bach Fugue as a higher token of virtuosity than that of a Liszt Rhapsody."

And if you want to know what "volubility" means in the above, you'll have to refer to the original French.
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#503585 - 07/01/03 09:44 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by yangkai:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by yangkai:
may i know the title and editor or writer of that piano technique difficulties book? the one in english version. thanks. and the name of the publisher too.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This ranking was compiled by me, so it is not definitive. Read back through the thread, and you will see that it is not agreed upon 100%.
Take it with a grain of salt because it is not from a professional musician.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NO!! not the one from u!! there's another book mentioned in this topic, the book tt was in eng version that ranks by 5 different catergory for different songs and has 4 rankings.[/b]
yankai,

Why don't post a little more clearly in first place, so we understand what you are asking?
It would save you getting in a huff when you are misunderstood.

Just a suggestion.

Anyway, here's a link to the one you are asking about (two seconds on amazon.com).

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/det...=glance&s=books

BTW, whatever happened to those missing six Beethoven sonatas? ;\)

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#503586 - 07/01/03 10:00 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19642
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
Why is Op. 101 considered so difficult? I have heard some famous pianists talk of its difficulty and many people on this board obviously think it's difficult. But when I look at the score I don't see why it's so difficult except for the double thirds in the last movement. I don't and couldn't play this sonata, but I am interested in some details about why it's considered so hard.[/b]
It's one of the most awkward things that Beethoven wrote (along with the finale of op. 106 and the fugue in the Diabelli Variations). Like you said, you can't understand the difficulty of it if you can't play it.

The music is very deep also, taking lots of time to mature.[/b]
But I can see why any of the other technically difficult sonatas(Waldstein, Appasionata, Op. 81, Op. 106 etc) are difficult even though I don't play them. So could you be more specific about why this sonata is so difficult?

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#503587 - 07/01/03 04:39 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Phlebas:
...BTW, whatever happened to those missing six Beethoven sonatas? ;\) [/b]
There are some small sonatinas without opus that someone may have included in a complete collection. I learned one when I had been playing only about a year (believe me, folks, this is no "I finished the Waldstein for my tenth piano lesson ever" story). I was astonished to see a recording of it by the great British pianist Solomon on a collection of his discs on Pearl. He didn't play it any worse than I did, IMHO. \:D
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#503588 - 07/01/03 07:11 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Phlebas:
...here's a link to the one you are asking about (two seconds on amazon.com).

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/det...=glance&s=books [/b]
My copy of the Cortot Rational Principles has a 29.95 price sticker on it, so I thought the 59.95 (not including a $2 special service charge) at Amazon was a bit expensive. Checking at www.hutchinsandrea.com gives a price of 29.95. Rvaga at www.sheetmusic1.com can usually offer a discount, and I haven't looked at the price at www.jwpepper.com, but they're probably worth checking out.
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#503589 - 07/01/03 09:12 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
 Quote:
Originally posted by Palindrome:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Phlebas:
...here's a link to the one you are asking about (two seconds on amazon.com).

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/det...=glance&s=books [/b]
My copy of the Cortot Rational Principles has a 29.95 price sticker on it, so I thought the 59.95 (not including a $2 special service charge) at Amazon was a bit expensive. Checking at www.hutchinsandrea.com gives a price of 29.95. Rvaga at www.sheetmusic1.com can usually offer a discount, and I haven't looked at the price at www.jwpepper.com, but they're probably worth checking out.[/b]
Is this book worthwhile? Is there a lot of interesting information on it? I have a few books of this sort, such as Bernstein's w/ your own two hands, "Piano notes", and a few others.

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#503590 - 07/01/03 10:58 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
I think it's worthwhile. It's totally comprehensive. The most astonishing part of the whole story, to me, is that even though Cortot produced this very thorough technical work, he (by all reports) ignored it in his own teaching.
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#503591 - 07/03/03 07:58 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
yangkai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 29
 Quote:
yankai,

Why don't post a little more clearly in first place, so we understand what you are asking?
It would save you getting in a huff when you are misunderstood.

Just a suggestion.

Anyway, here's a link to the one you are asking about (two seconds on amazon.com).
opps, my fault.. hhaa.. \:D

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#503592 - 07/03/03 01:21 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
NathanW Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12
I'm learning my third Beethoven piano sonata, The Waldstein.
I find that the scales opposing the octaves in the last movement are more difficult than the arpeggios.

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#503593 - 07/05/03 11:49 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Krazypaul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 133
Palindrome, did you get that Liszt's hungarian rhapsody analysis from a book or a site? If site, i would like to see it. \:\)

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#503594 - 07/05/03 11:56 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Krazypaul:

It came from the Rational Principles. I chose to post Cortot's assessment because you had asked for a ranking, and that's as close as he comes. Those are all of the Hungarian Rhapsodies he mentions.
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#503595 - 07/31/04 10:21 AM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Erased because it duplicates above posts (sorry, but why has this old thread floated to the top again?)
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#503596 - 07/31/04 09:25 PM Re: Beethoven Sonatas ranked by difficulty
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
According to this page:

Works without Opus

there are 3 more sonatas (written when Beethoven was in Bonn?).

i heard one of these - "Kurfursten" in midi, which sounds quite nice and easy but i am sure it is not that easy.

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