Category Archives: Ludwig Van Beethoven

Navigating a robust Beethoven Sonatina (not the one everybody plays)

I borrowed a few hours from my Haydn immersion to review a Beethoven Sonatina that is absolutely charming but very challenging. One would think that such a work labeled -mini, by its “-ina” suffix spelled an easier passage to the … Continue reading

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Revisiting Beethoven’s “Pathetique” Sonata, Op. 13 GRAVE

It’s nostalgia time for me, reconnecting with the Pathetique that I butchered as a teenager before I landed in the good hands of mentor, Lillian Freundlich. The teacher before, lived about 4 blocks away, but was miles off the mark … Continue reading

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One of the most beautiful slow movements ever composed for piano? (and a journey down memory lane)

I’m going to vote for the Adagio Cantabile from Beethoven’s Sonata “Pathetique” in C minor, Op. 13. It’s grown on me ever since I was seduced by the opener to Karl Haas’s weekly broadcasts on F.M. radio. (“Adventures in Good … Continue reading

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Piano Lesson to Brazil: Trills and Spills (Beethoven Presto, “MOONLIGHT” Sonata)

This was a SKYPE Day to remember! Not a sinking ship, but a catastrophic event at a musical climax. The Brazilian student, in good form, however, was SAVED by the NEAPOLITAN! He rendered the UNEXPECTED with show-stopping emphasis! Bravo, cavalheiro! … Continue reading

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My childhood “Fur Elise,” past teachers, yearbook entries, and present mentoring (Video)

I named one of my daughters, “Elise,” in honor of Beethoven’s famous composition. That’s how much I adored the music. A companion piece since childhood, I managed to squeak through the notes at age 8 when enrolled at a quaint … Continue reading

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Piano Lesson in progress: Beethoven “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31, No. 2 (shaping the opening phrases) Video

An adult student practiced the transition from the opening Largo broken chord, to grouping double 8th-notes in the Allegro, by blocking them, then unraveling the duple figures. The Adagio that followed required phrasing with an ear toward shaping the line … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Practicing the “windy” chromatic scale of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise”

After a stream of graceful arpeggiated triplets, a “windy” sounding, descending chromatic scale leads artfully back to the opening theme that concludes “Fur Elise.” The traditional chromatic fingering I’ve inserted in the score corresponds to the 1/2-step sequence beginning on … Continue reading

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