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Who is your favourite piano sonata composer

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Who is your favourite piano sonata composer

Postby beethoven » 25 Aug 2004, 14:52

Except Chopin, who else, and tell me why?

Mine, is obviously Beethoven. He explored so many aspects of the form and expanded that soo much. He put lots of emotion into his music.
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Postby Debussy » 25 Aug 2004, 14:59

I agree with Beethoven about Beethoven composing my favourite classical sonatas. He did put much emotion into them and you could say it was a good thing he went deaf... well, for us. :P
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Postby beethoven » 25 Aug 2004, 15:03

Maybe if he hadn't gone deaf and didn't live that sad life, he wouldn't compose such great music like 9th symphony and others. :P
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Postby virtuoso_735 » 25 Aug 2004, 15:07

Of course Beethoven because his piano sonatas are all-encompassing, and each one contains something special and beautiful. His early sonatas reflect the classical ideal, the middle is full of unrestrained emotional, and his last sonatas are the most large, spacious, and difficult sonatas ever written, with great emotional depth.

Mozart is great as well; his classical sonatas are the ideal "classical" sonatas, and very well balanced.
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Postby beethoven » 25 Aug 2004, 15:15

I agree. Mozart sonatas are among the best written. Maybe if Mozart had that many keys Beethoven had on his pianos he could have done anything. The thing is Beethoven wrote lots of emotional music in minor and his famous key of Cminor. Mozart wrote relatively very small amount pieces in minor, but yet they were all the best and strong.
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Postby WinterWind_23 » 25 Aug 2004, 16:52

Beethoven
Mozart

These two are my favorite and the greatest sonata composers. They both had very good form and structure, as to let the listener feel satisfied and impacted. They wrote sonatas which are very famous and played by almost all pianist. But Beethoven revolutionized the form that Mozart and Haydn perfected. He made the largest scale sonatas in his day, and they included virtuoso and whimsical elements.
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Postby Philip Daniel » 25 Aug 2004, 16:58

My ten favorite as of now are:
1.) Muzio Clementi (I'm not talking about the famous sonatinas, but the mature, virtuoso sonatas :).)
2.) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
3.) Joseph Haydn
4.) Ludwig von Beethoven
5.) Johann Hummel
6.) John Field (who wrote four)
7.) CPE Bach :wink:.
8.) Frederic Chopin
9.) Felix Mendelssohn
10.) Nikolai Medtner
I admire Clementi's sonatas the most, for they employ both contrapuntal virtuosity and an intense quality of expression, elements that distinguish them somewhat from the works of Haydn and Mozart and that are forerunners of Beethoven's style.
Last edited by Philip Daniel on 25 Aug 2004, 17:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby WinterWind_23 » 25 Aug 2004, 17:00

Yes, I forgot Clementi. Horowitz loved to play his sonatas! And he basically started and perfected the piano sonata form; his sonatas were exemplary of the classical sonata. Some say his piano writing is even more genius than Mozart's, though that is opinion, and people tend to vilicate over such things. BTW, which recordings or sonatas would you recommend for Clementi?
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Postby Philip Daniel » 25 Aug 2004, 17:05

WinterWind_23 wrote:Yes, I forgot Clementi. Horowitz loved to play his sonatas! And he basically started and perfected the piano sonata form; his sonatas were exemplary of the classical sonata. Some say his piano writing is even more genius than Mozart's, though that is opinion, and people tend to vilicate over such things. BTW, which recordings or sonatas would you recommend for Clementi?

I'd recommend recordings, other than those of Horowitz, of the Clementi sonatas by pianists Jos van Immerseel & Christine Faron. The recordings of both are played on a period instrument (fortepiano) so they are especially enlightening.
BTW, Dussek & Tomaschek, both pre-romantic composers of Czech origin, wrote fascinating & beautiful sonatas for the piano, as well, but are sadly underappreciated. I've begun to play some of their sonatas, and I find them utterly gorgeous and worth the while it takes to learn them, for they are very difficult.
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Postby WinterWind_23 » 25 Aug 2004, 17:07

Thanks. Which sonatas of Clementi are your favorite? I'm not sure where to begin.

Phillip, your knowledge of obscure piano literature amazes me! :)
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Re: Who is your favourite piano sonata composer

Postby virtuoso_735 » 25 Aug 2004, 17:17

beethoven wrote:Except Chopin, who else, and tell me why?


Since I answered which I like of the classical composers, I will comment on the romantic and 20th century piano sonatas. On a whole, I like them less, as the romantic and 20th century sonatas are more rambling and diffuse than those composed in the classical period; the form is less structured and less tight. The emotions and range of the sonatas of the later time are great, however. The sonatas are much larger and more spacious than those of previous eras; for example, the Chopin, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, and Liszt piano sonatas are among the most difficult and largest piano pieces written during the romantic period. The 20th century sonatas have more dissonant harmonies. They sound dissonant and unmelodic to me, though I must say it is because the 20th century has such a wide range of divergent music.
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Postby Amnesia » 25 Aug 2004, 17:25

I would go for Beethoven :). There are many composer's sonatas I haven't heard, but Beethoven's are all so incredibly expressive and moving. Beethoven was just such a brilliant composer :D
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Postby Jeliness2 » 25 Aug 2004, 18:09

In order from most to least:Beethoven, mozart,Brahms,Scarlatti.
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Postby WinterWind_23 » 25 Aug 2004, 20:30

Scarlatti is also a composer that I fogot. He wrote the most sonatas out of all composers, though they are only 1 movement ones. I love horowitz recordings of them.

For romantic sonatas, Schumann, Brahms, and Schuber (classical?). They are large scale, but some are not as structurally sound. And they are all very difficult.
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Postby Philip Daniel » 25 Aug 2004, 20:43

Scarlatti, I must say, wrote some damn brilliant stuff, as did Paradisi and Soler, and was the first to avoid complex textures and aim for lightness and delicacy in his compositions. His sonatas, unorthodox as they are, were primarily meant as the first modern etudes. They were expressly written by him to serve as exercises. The majority of them, superbly difficult and containing a wealth of wonderful invention, are still enjoyed by audiences today, and for the most part never went out of fashion. Chopin would teach Scarlatti to his students, and admired the precision and classicism of his pieces. Scarlatti also had access to some of the earliest fortepianos, and evidently a few of his sonatas may have been composed for that instrument, the predecessor of our modern instruments. Although I did say that Scarlatti attempted to avoid complex textures in many of his pieces, he was still a highly learned composer whose mastery of compositional techniques is unquestionable. He was always experimenting with new styles that gained popularity during his time, and, though a recluse in service to the Spanish aristocracy, was a popular composer during his lifetime. The influences of Renaissance counterpoint, melodic Neapolitan operatic idioms, and spanish folk music were assimilated early while writing his sonatas, and deem his work fresh, inspired, and idiomatic :wink:.
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