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Beethoven's piano sonatas : a short companion

by Charles Rosen

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1012209,674 (4.14)None
Beethoven's piano sonatas form one of the most important collections of works in the whole history of music. Spanning several decades of his life as a composer, the sonatas soon came to be seen as the first body of substantial serious works for piano suited to performance in large concert halls seating hundreds of people. In this comprehensive and authoritative guide, Charles Rosen places the works in context and provides an understanding of the formal principles involved in interpreting and performing this unique repertoire, covering such aspects as sonata form, phrasing, and tempo, as well as the use of pedal and trills. In the second part of his book, he looks at the sonatas individually, from the earliest works of the 1790s through the sonatas of Beethoven's youthful popularity of the early 1800s, the subsequent years of mastery, the years of stress (1812-1817), and the last three sonatas of the 1820s. Composed as much for private music-making as public recital, Beethoven's sonatas have long formed a bridge between the worlds of the salon and the concert hall. For today's audience, Rosen has written a guide that brings out the gravity, passion, and humor of these works and will enrich the appreciation of a wide range of readers, whether listeners, amateur musicians, or professional pianists. The book includes a CD of Rosen performing extracts from several of the sonatas, illustrating points made in the text.… (more)
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Charles Rosen's expertise in the realm of classical music is on display in this brilliant analysis of the great cycle of piano sonatas by Beethoven. One of the gods of the piano and classical music in general, Beethoven's genius is brought to the fore by the inimitable style of Charles Rosen. ( )
  jwhenderson | May 19, 2021 |
Impossibile poter apprezzare questo testo (che è la chiave per entrare ancora più profondamente nello scheletro delle sonate) senza conoscere bene la musica. Ma non le 7 note: l'armonia, le regole compositive, le assonanze con Mozart, la struttura tecnica dello strumento, le notazioni musicali... Saper distinguere tra allegro e allegro assai, e riconoscere l'uso del pedale o la nota di partenza di un trillo... Saper scorrere le partiture e seguire il fiuto di R. nel trovare gli errori, o le sviste tipografiche, e intanto confrontare il tempo dell'esecuzione con quanto richiesto dal compositore...L'ascolto delle 32 sonate è esperienza emotiva; poter leggere questo testo con piena cognizione di causa - e legarlo ai passaggi di Backhaus o alle velocità di Gulda, riconoscere la compostezza di Arrau o il vigore di Schnabel - è su un livello intellettuale e uditivo che, ahimè, mi resterà per sempre sconosciuto. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
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Beethoven's piano sonatas form one of the most important collections of works in the whole history of music. Spanning several decades of his life as a composer, the sonatas soon came to be seen as the first body of substantial serious works for piano suited to performance in large concert halls seating hundreds of people. In this comprehensive and authoritative guide, Charles Rosen places the works in context and provides an understanding of the formal principles involved in interpreting and performing this unique repertoire, covering such aspects as sonata form, phrasing, and tempo, as well as the use of pedal and trills. In the second part of his book, he looks at the sonatas individually, from the earliest works of the 1790s through the sonatas of Beethoven's youthful popularity of the early 1800s, the subsequent years of mastery, the years of stress (1812-1817), and the last three sonatas of the 1820s. Composed as much for private music-making as public recital, Beethoven's sonatas have long formed a bridge between the worlds of the salon and the concert hall. For today's audience, Rosen has written a guide that brings out the gravity, passion, and humor of these works and will enrich the appreciation of a wide range of readers, whether listeners, amateur musicians, or professional pianists. The book includes a CD of Rosen performing extracts from several of the sonatas, illustrating points made in the text.

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