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The Sonatas of Beethoven, as He Played and Taught Them Hardcover – December 12, 1981

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 209 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; Second Edition edition (December 12, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253128692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253128690
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,848,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jill Malter on May 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is one of several fine books about what I think is the best music for solo piano ever written, Beethoven's thirty-two piano sonatas. And there is excellent advice about how to play these fine works.

Still, there are arguments about what Beethoven really intended, especially in regard to tempos. And this book concentrates on what four of Beethoven's students, Karl Czerny, Ferdinand Ries, Ignaz Moscheles, and Anton Schindler concluded about how to play these pieces.

Of course, this task is not made any easier by the fact that of these four, Schindler may have had the best opportunity to discover what Beethoven really thought about some of the sonatas. And Schindler eagerly published his views about them. But the other students were far better musicians. And of all four students, Moscheles may have been the one who had heard the most Beethoven performances of them. Meanwhile, Czerny probably was the one who had performed these sonatas most often in Beethoven's presence.

This book lists the tempos recommended for every movement of 29 of the sonatas (the two easy sonatas and the sonatina are omitted), by Czerny in 1842, Czerny in 1850 and Moscheles in 1858, as well as the more recent editions (von Bulow in 1894 and Schnabel in 1935). And we see some big differences in recommendations.

Yes, the "fastest" tempo is the very end of the Waldstein, where a whole note equals as much as 88. But there are some interesting differences between the recommendations of Moscheles or Czerny and what I learned from von Bulow's edition of the sonatas. Basically, (albeit with a few exceptions) Moscheles recommended playing them faster. In sonata 1, Bulow had the finale with a half note at 104, Moscheles at 112.
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