Help needed with choosing sonatas

April 1, 2005 at 07:03 AM · I just finished my sophomore recital and I've been given the opportunity to pick two pieces for my junior recital. One of them has to be a major romantic sonata (like Brahms or Franck) and the other has to be a baroque sonata performed w/ harpsichord. I plan on listening to a lot of cds to figure out what I'd like to play but I'd also like to get opinions on which baroque and romantic sonatas you enjoy playing (and listening to). I'm looking for something challenging (in my last recital, I did Ysaye Obsession sonata and the Sibelus Concerto) but also fufilling musically. Please help!

Replies (8)

April 1, 2005 at 07:19 AM · I like the Schumann Amin sonata. It doesn't get a lot of play. I like the Bach sonatas with keyboard, especially the Emaj. Lots of good musical opportunities in both.

April 1, 2005 at 07:23 AM · Tartini "Devil's Trill" sonata is quite challenging... and FUN! Make sure you find the urtext, not the Kreisler-ized version, if you plan to play it with harpsichord.

'Erie :-)

April 1, 2005 at 01:45 PM · Hi,

On the subject of romantic sonatas, the list is endless. I don't know what you have done so... Any of the Brahms are great, as is the Franck. There are the two Schumann, the Mendelssohn sonata, or the three Grieg Sonatas (No. 3 is a lot of fun). If you want a real challenge, and can get a good pianist who will be willing to do it, then I would suggest the Strauss Sonata, which is probably the biggest romantic sonata. If you are allowed to go into the 20th century, the Respighi is great as is the Elgar Sonata (they are more post-romantic than 20th century).

As for the baroque period, there is lots of stuff. If you plan on playing with harpsichord, then you could look also at the Veracini sonatas or the Corelli. There is also the Leclair sonata titled "Tambourin" (the D major, the famous one). Great piece.

The Corelli could be a fun musical project as you could look into baroque ornementation. I know that there is one sonata where we have 5 different versions of ornamentation.

Hope this helps. Good luck and have fun! Hope that your first recital went well (sounds like a big program!)


April 1, 2005 at 07:16 PM · brahms and beethoven are sort of the big names of the romantic sonatas. the strauss would be pretty cool, however.

April 1, 2005 at 08:46 PM · The Schubert Grand Duo Sonata is beautiful, if not very hard in a strictly technical sense. If you want challenging, the Schubert Fantasie (which, though continuous, is divided into sonata-like movements) is borderline unplayable in sections and lushly melodious. Then again, everyone knows my huge bias towards Schubert.

Other nice sonatas in general include Debussy's and Brahms No. 3. There is also Beethoven 10, which looks towards Brahms. I heard Heifetz playing a Saint-Saens sonata that sounded pretty neat/hard.

As for Baroque, Bach, Handel, and Corelli are my suggestions. My favourite bach harpsichord/violin sonatas are the icy, melancholic C minor and B minor ones. I have heard good things about Locatelli, although I'm not familiar with his music.

April 1, 2005 at 08:59 PM · Biber sonatas were an important influence on Bach. You might want to give one of them a try. All the suggestions are good. You should run them by your teacher and listen to those that you do not know to get a sense of them.

April 2, 2005 at 02:40 AM · I second the Schumann (I'm playing it right now and it's great) and the Devil's Trill for a baroque sonata.

April 2, 2005 at 04:46 AM · The Saint Saens d min sonata is my suggestion. It's a great piece and seems to be underrated.

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