Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas: A Handbook for Performers

ISBN : 9780190629175

Stewart Gordon
288 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Feb 2017
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The thirty-two Piano Sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven form one of the most important segments of piano literature. In this accessible, compact, and comprehensive guidebook, renowned performer and pedagogue Stewart Gordon presents the pianist with historical insights and practical instructional tools for interpreting the pieces. In the opening chapters of Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas, Gordon illuminates the essential historical context behind common performance problems, discussing Beethoven's own pianos and how they relate to compositional style and demands in the pieces, and addressing textual issues, performance practices, and nuances of the composer's manuscript inscriptions. In outlining patterns of structure, sonority, keyboard technique, and emotional meaning evident across Beethoven's compositional development, Gordon provides important background and technical information key to understanding his works in context. Part II of the book presents each sonata in an outline-chart format, giving the student and teacher ready access to essential information, interpretive choices, and technical challenges in the individual works, measure by measure, all in one handy reference source. In consideration of the broad diversity of today's Beethoven interpreters, Gordon avoids one-size-fits-all solutions or giving undue weight to his own tastes and preferences. Instead, he puts the choices in the hands of the performers, enabling them to create their own personal relationship with the music and a more powerful performance.


Measure Numbering

Part I
Chapter One: Sources
Chapter Two: Beethoven and the Piano
Chapter Three: Performance Practices
Chapter Four: Beethoven's Expressive Legacy
Chapter Five: The Windmills of Beethoven's Mind

Part II
The Sonatas
The Opus. 2 set
Opus 7
The Opus 10 set
Opus 13 Pathetique
The Opus 14 set
Opus 22
Opus 26
The Opus 27 set: sonatas like a fantasy
no. 2 Moonlight
;Opus 28 Pastoral
The Op. 31 set: no. 2 Tempest
no. 3 Hunt
The Op. 49 set: Two Easy sonatas
Opus 53 Waldstein
Opus 54
Opus 57 Appassionata
Opus 78
Opus 79 alla Tedesca
Opus 81a Lebewohl
Opus 90
Opus 101
Opus 106 Hammerklavier
Opus 109
Opus 110
Opus 111

About the author: 

Stewart Gordon is a Professor of Keyboard Studies at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California. He is the author of Etudes for Piano Teachers, Mastering the Art of Performance, Planning Your Piano Success, and A History of Keyboard Literature. He has edited the thirty-two Beethoven piano sonatas, the Debussy etudes, and is preparing an edition of the Mozart piano sonatas.

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