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Thread: Favourite Piano Sonatas

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    Default Favourite Piano Sonatas

    This is my top 20 list of piano sonatas. They are all called "sonatas" with one exception, the first on my list Schumann's Fantasie, but I regard it essentially as a sonata. Where they have a name, I give it.

    1 Schumann Opus 17 Fantasie
    2 Beethoven Sonata 23 Appassionata
    3 Schubert Sonata 21 D. 960
    4 Beethoven Sonata 14 Moonlight
    5 Chopin Sonata B Flat Maj
    6 Schubert Sonata 18 D. 894
    7 Beethoven Sonata 8 Pathetique
    8 Schumann Sonata 1
    9 Brahms Sonata 3
    10 Schubert Sonata 20 D.959
    11 Schumann Sonata 3
    12 Beethoven Sonata 29 Hammerklavier
    13 Schumann Sonata 2
    14 Liszt Sonata B min
    15 Beethoven Sonata 21 Waldstein
    16 Beethoven Sonata 32
    17 Rachmaninoff Sonata 2
    18 Beethoven Sonata 26 Les Adieux
    19 Beethoven Sonata 17 Tempest
    20 Mozart Sonata 11

    These vary in length from about 25-40 minutes.

    Does anyone else have a favourite list of sonatas? We can maybe do stand-alone (single movement) pieces over 10 minutes separately.


    Topaz
    Last edited by Topaz; Dec-01-2006 at 21:24.

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    Senior Member Hexameron's Avatar
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    Another good topic Topaz. Very good choices there too. My list is rather capricious: although my first 10 are not subject to change, the final 10 are prone to being rearranged or even omitted depending on which composer I'm exploring. I haven't heard all of the piano sonatas from the old masters, so new ones may come along and dethrone some of these.

    1. Alkan - Grand Sonata Op. 33 "Four Ages of Man"
    2. Liszt - Sonata in B minor
    3. Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 29 'Hammerklavier'
    4. Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 31
    5. Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 32
    6. Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 'Moonlight'
    7. Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 8 'Pathetique'
    8. Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 23 'Appassionata'
    9. Chopin - Piano Sonata No. 2
    10. Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 17 'Tempest'
    11. Chopin - Piano Sonata No. 3
    12. Schubert - Piano Sonata No. 20 D.959
    13. Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 3 'Dedicated to Josephn Haydn'
    14. Chopin - Piano Sonata No. 1
    15. Schubert - Piano Sonata No. 21 D.960
    16. Tchaikovsky - Piano Sonata No. 3 'Grand Sonata'
    17. Schumann - Piano Sonata No. 3
    18. Brahms - Piano Sonata No. 3
    19. Mendelssohn - Piano Sonata in E major Op. 6
    20. Tchaikovsky - Piano Sonata No. 2 Op. 80

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    Junior Member sinfonia espansiva's Avatar
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    Beethoven 32
    Liszt
    Haydn 59

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    (I had the idea of creating a thread on piano sonatas, while I found this one).

    My favs so far are (not in strict order of preference)

    Chopin: 3rd sonata (on top of my preferences right now, and can't think of other beyond Lipatti).
    Tchaikovsky: Grand Sonata
    Beethoven: sonatas Nº 14, 17, 21, 23 and, of course, 29.
    Rachmaninov: 2nd sonata. (I recently discovered Joseph Villa performing this work, in a recording I suggest everyone should have)
    Schumann: 1st sonata. (Not really a cohesive work, but I can't do anything but surrender to the last movement).

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    Ives, Concord Sonata--there's a recording of Ives doing the Emerson movement of this
    Boulez, Sonata no. 2 (though they're all nice)
    Stockhausen, Klavierstueck no. 9--not a sonata, but who can resist an opening chord repeated 144 times?
    Carter, Piano sonata
    Schubert, D. 960--Brendel for this, I think
    Beethoven, op. 111
    Prokofiev, Piano sonata no. 7
    Barber, Piano sonata
    Bokanowski, Pour un pianiste--also not a sonata, but who's gonna sue me?

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    I should add Schubert's D845 and Prok's sixth.

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    Liszt's One and Only in B-minor (the crown of romantism)
    Brahms's Sonata No.3 (the very first piano sonata I ever heard)
    Beethoven's Moonlight, Waldstein and Hammerklavier (no comment needed)
    Chopin's Sonata No.2 (a catchy third movement )
    Schubert's Sonata in A-minor, Op. posthumus and Wanderfantasie (delightful)
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisztfreak
    Schubert's Sonata in A-minor, Op. posthumus and Wanderfantasie (delightful)
    * . . . flashback . . . *

    Believe it or not, the fantasy D760 was one of the first works I tried to learn as soon as I got my keyboard... It was, as you suppose, nothing but a mess. I skipped the hard parts, arpeggios and scales were completely uneven, and I avoided the second movement because the scales in 32th notes frightened me.

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    You tried to play it when you got your first keyboard?
    Did you know how to read notes then?
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisztfreak View Post
    You tried to play it when you got your first keyboard?
    Did you know how to read notes then?
    Definitely. My music lessons at school were important and complete. I wasn't at all proficient when reading both clefs, but somehow I managed to run through some parts of the work.

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    Hi!

    My favoured 20 Sonatas?
    Well, I will think about it. The replies here show me that noone seems to hear Haydns and Mozarts beautiful sonatas - or even worse you don't like them.
    And I will rethink my statement that the genre of piano sonata is more or less death after 1828.
    @ Manuel & Lisztfreak: The "Wanderer"-fantasy is definitely no piano sonata.

    Regards,
    AVH.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amade Van Haydn View Post
    @ Manuel & Lisztfreak: The "Wanderer"-fantasy is definitely no piano sonata.
    Are you sure? It's named Fantasy (Wanderer comes after a lied) but...

    it has four movements: an opening allegro, the slow second movement, a scherzo, and a closing allegro.

    The whole works is based in one single motive, developed and manipulated with great ability. (As in Liszt's B minor sonata).

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    The Wanderer Fantasy D 760 is not normally regarded as one of Schubert's piano sonatas. This is because it's not strictly a classical sonata as it contains 4 movements, not 3; and all 4 movements use a consistent theme instead of being independent. The best recording by far is widely regarded as being that by Sviatoslav Richter.

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    The Wanderer Fantasy D 760 is not normally regarded as one of Schubert's piano sonatas. This is because it's not strictly a classical sonata as it contains 4 movements, not 3;
    I know what you mean. But last time I checked I found four movements in the Hammerklavier, four in Schubert's 894...

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    Hey people, where is Scriabin? I vote for his 3rd (op.23) and 5th (op.53) sonatas. Great works..
    Truly there would be reason to go mad were it not for music.
    Tchaikovsky

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