Improve your command of Beethoven and the piano with 'Play Beethoven'

03 September 2016
Beethoven-app-10352.jpeg Beethoven
Read what editor Erica Worth has to say about our latest digital special


Editor Erica Worth talks her way through the content of Pianist's new 'Play Beethoven' 


I cannot remember the exact first time I played Beethoven, but I know I was very young. He’s stayed with me ever since. It’s hard to pinpoint what makes his music affect us so much. Just look at the 32 sonatas for instance – each one of them a work of art, and each one of them containing lots of technical challenges to work our way through.


I’ve learned few of the sonatas in my time, including the ‘Moonlight’, which I performed for my music school auditions way back when. Believe me, it was daunting sitting in front of a stern-faced jury having to dive right into that exquisitely calm first movement.


Nerves aside, who can’t help but resist having a go at the ‘Moonlight’? And here, in our Play Beethoven special, we present the whole three-movement sonata. Along with the score of the first movement, you can read Janet Newman’s step-by-step lesson on it. Most of you will be able to have a stab at it – it’s not that hard (compared to the furious third movement, that is!).


As well as the ‘Moonlight’, I’ve chosen some of my favourite Beethoven Scores from past issues of Pianist, catering for all levels. There are two beginner pieces – a Russian Folk Song and a Tyrolean Air. Try your hand at these, and you’ll be well on your way to discovering what Beethoven is all about. Then there’s an arrangement of the moving Allegretto from his Symphony No 7, which is beginner/intermediate level. Then follows the ‘Moonlight’, which caters to all levels really, and finally, the Bagatelle op 126 no 4, for the more advanced pianist.


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That's SEVEN scores in total - recorded by concert pianist Chenyin Li. 


For some further guidance, we feature a masterclass by our ever-popular contributor Graham Fitch: ‘Getting technical with the Beethoven Sonatas’. Graham offers up technical and practical advice that will give you the foundation you need to study Beethoven’s mighty 32.


Finally, you can WATCH Chenyin perform Für Elise, which she recorded at the Royal College of Music, London. 


Dive right in and enjoy your dose of Beethoven now!