By Edwin Fischer
In learning Beethoven 's piano sonatas one encounters problems, questions and difficulties the answer of which constitutes a part of the full inventive and human schooling of a musician.
The r ange of the gathering compels us to occupy ourselves with issues of procedure, shape, concord and te xtual feedback; however the major requirement is an underst anding of the inventive content material. A cautious research of those works will rework us, for Beethoven becomes our teacher,and lead us to improve our personal personalities and characters.
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Additional info for Beethoven's Pianoforte Sonatas: A Guide for Students and Amateurs
Working at t he m for short periods over a long ish stre tch of ti me, during which you m ay stu dy other works , is better t han drudging awa y at one proble m for a long t ime without a break. The in ter ven ing nights, in which you ' sleep over ' yOUl! problems, are also of import ance. '~TOl'ki ng in th is manner, t he average player will find after a wh ile t hat he knows t he piece by hear t. e. the passages t ha t diverge in repeats . W hen the t im e is r ipe for attending t o matters of int erpr etati on you m ust str ive to get all t he feeling, rhythm and beauty out of th e work which you can find in it.
The theme of the preceding transition in B minor suppli es a gre ater contrast t han t h e actual second subject . The accompaniment must be transparent: the pedal should be used carefully, ju st to underl in e the bass line. The ifs after the second subject r efer only t o the single, horn-like notes. The L argo e mesto is said t o ha ve been composed under the imp act of r eading the description of Klarcheri's death in Goethe's Egmont. Ther e is a striking affinity in the final bars wit h Schubert's D eath and the Maiden .
W he re is t he subject 's true centre of gravity? Does it begin wit h an anacrusis-and if so, do the m any h alf-b ar sforzandos confir m or contra dict t h is? How does on e avoid t riviality in the main them e, especially in bars 9 to 12? Can t he re be a seque nce ' weak-strong, weakstrong , weak-strong, strong -wea k' (bar 4)? All these questio ns of grammar were answe re d for m e by an experience I had whe n I was on a concert tour in t he South. I was in a small t own an d wa nte d to practise before my concert.