Mozart sonatas

Technique, methods and advice for learners

Postby pianogal » Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:03 pm

Why do people say Mozart Sonatas are difficult and how would you play them well?

I'm learning my very first Mozart Sonata. So far, technique is pretty easy. I just don't get why many people think it's hard.
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Postby Tranquillo » Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:33 pm

Mozart sonatas where mainly written for educational purposes. He did teach to the nobles in Vienna (and he hated teaching). Which one are you learnung pianogal? A popular one that many teachers assign their students is K545 - Sonata 16. (in allegro movement)
Mozart was actually one of the best examples of sonantas, he kelpt true to the form. Anyhow, Mozart sonatas ... depending on which movement and which sonata, some can be difficult. K310 - not written for educational purposes, rather written at the time of his mother's death is noted as one of his 'harder' sonatas in the thrid movement in particular the pianist must deal with large leaps in the piece. Because it is in the fast movement - Presto the speed there is another technical area.
I am no teacher but as far as playing sonatas well I would say to play sonatas well, understand the form of which sonatas were written in. Particullary the fact that we are in the classical period and under strict guidelines to how things have to harmonise and are to sound. Dynamic could be something to keep in mind as in the classical period the essence was contrast. Shifting from piano to forte not only that but switching registers from soprano to bass and for major to minor in the one movement. There are several movements in a sonata hence enabling for more contrast.

Well thats what I have to say ... Probably an overwhealming lengthy message ... hoped it helped.
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Postby pianogal » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:22 pm

Thanks very much Becibu!
Your no teacher, but you are helpful enough to be one! :laugh:
Unfortunately, I am learning K310 first movement...right now, I'm just learning what music I like (sounds beautiful/fun). All songs have some parts that are difficult to me.
You know, I read somewhere that Mozart sonatas shouldn't use too much dynamics...........or else they'll be Beethoven sonatas.
I just feel Mozart sonatas have so much to talk about and so much I want to know.




Edited By pianogal on 1199125366
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Postby Tranquillo » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:03 pm

pianogal wrote:Thanks very much Becibu!
Your no teacher, but you are helpful enough to be one! :laugh:
Unfortunately, I am learning K310 first movement...right now, I'm just learning what music I like (sounds beautiful/fun). All songs have some parts that are difficult to me.
You know, I read somewhere that Mozart sonatas shouldn't use too much dynamics...........or else they'll be Beethoven sonatas.
I just feel Mozart sonatas have so much to talk about and so much I want to know.
This is a really interesting topic!

:laugh: ... Thanks pianogal!
There is a lot to know about Mozart and his sonatas. I guess with Beethoven his didn't really keep true to sonata form. Beethovens famous piano sonata No.14 or the moonlight sonata is argued be musicologists to be more of a nocturne than a sonata. The first movement is slow rather than fast.
Mozart on the other hand was the best example of a sonata he followed form and with the movements he followed the fast, slow fast form.
Its great that you are learning Mozart's K310, its actually one of my favorites. Do some research and reading about that actual sonata and what was actually going on in Mozart's life. Much of what was going on in his life was reflective on his music. In K310 - he was suffering over the loss of his mother. It was traumatic and depressing to him, and he couldn't even bear to tell his father Leopold. Rather he got others to tell Leopold. ... I could go on ... but I think you'll find it interesting if you ventured into it yourself. Just another note, K310 was the turning point in his music ... This is one of the only two sonatas written in a minor key.
I don't know if about that dynamic thing. I always thought that not too much dynamic should be applied to Baroque music or else thats getting out of style.
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Postby msmozrt » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:52 am

pianogal wrote:Thanks very much Becibu!
Your no teacher, but you are helpful enough to be one! :laugh:
Unfortunately, I am learning K310 first movement...right now, I'm just learning what music I like (sounds beautiful/fun). All songs have some parts that are difficult to me.
You know, I read somewhere that Mozart sonatas shouldn't use too much dynamics...........or else they'll be Beethoven sonatas.
I just feel Mozart sonatas have so much to talk about and so much I want to know.

The Mozart Sonatas may be "technically" easier than other composers' sonatas (i.e. Beethoven), but artistically they are much more difficult. I give much more credit to a performer who can really pull off a Mozart second movement than to one who can blast through the Revolutionary Etude.

Mozart pieces are very transparent and herein lies the difficult. Easy to learn difficult to master.
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Postby LK123 » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:48 pm

I totally agree with the part about a Mozart sonata being transparent. Everything is so exposed! I am learning K332 in F at the moment - I like to play it as I imagine the melody would be sung, dramatic and somewhat operatic. Any other thoughts?
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Postby Tranquillo » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:46 am

LK123 wrote:I totally agree with the part about a Mozart sonata being transparent. Everything is so exposed! I am learning K332 in F at the moment - I like to play it as I imagine the melody would be sung, dramatic and somewhat operatic. Any other thoughts?

Its interesting you mention the way it should be sung. I am learning a Mozart Lied and literally the way it IS sung is dramatic. The dynamics are marked as p and f only, there are no gradual dynamics (crescendos - decrescendos) the words of the Lied are dramatic and passionate. ... its interesting the way his pieces link and how his style is so apparent.
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Postby pianogal » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:15 pm

msmozrt wrote:
pianogal wrote:Thanks very much Becibu!
Your no teacher, but you are helpful enough to be one! :laugh:
Unfortunately, I am learning K310 first movement...right now, I'm just learning what music I like (sounds beautiful/fun). All songs have some parts that are difficult to me.
You know, I read somewhere that Mozart sonatas shouldn't use too much dynamics...........or else they'll be Beethoven sonatas.
I just feel Mozart sonatas have so much to talk about and so much I want to know.

The Mozart Sonatas may be "technically" easier than other composers' sonatas (i.e. Beethoven), but artistically they are much more difficult. I give much more credit to a performer who can really pull off a Mozart second movement than to one who can blast through the Revolutionary Etude.

Mozart pieces are very transparent and herein lies the difficult. Easy to learn difficult to master.

Very true!
I've just finished and mastered (i think) my very first mozart sonata (k310). It is very easy to learn, but so many tiny details are in between. I was very frustrated; even now, sometimes.
I found his sonatas have a completely different and unique style. You can hardly use the techniques from other sonatas.
You'll have to get into the piece to be able to understand as well as using the right touch.
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