Next sonata

Edited: March 16, 2020, 4:33 PM · Hi everyone. So today my teacher said that I should start a new sonata. I've played Schumann sonata n1 and it was amazing... She gave me these options:
Brahms 1
Brahms 2
Brahms 3
Cesar franck

My next concerto will probably be Mozart 5 (I have to convince her) and I'm playing gavotte en rondeau (partita 3) and fiorillo etude 26

Could you please tell me the difficulties of which sonata? I listened some records and I can't really choose because they are all so impressive but they seem really difficult...

Replies (15)

March 16, 2020, 4:18 PM · Hi Alfonso, please add a title to your post, other wise it's nearly inaccessible...
Yours Anne
March 16, 2020, 5:16 PM · I'm nowhere near good enough to discuss the technical differences or challenges. But I want to ask why you don't choose based on which you like most? I would expect having some real feeling for the piece would make it easier to stay motivated and maximize enjoyment in learning it? Just curious.
March 16, 2020, 5:31 PM · You should also consider your pianist. The Franck is far more of a challenge for the pianist than the violinist.

I'd choose based on what you want to play. I really like the Franck, personally.

Edited: March 16, 2020, 6:46 PM · I might try sight reading through sonatas to get a feel of for them. You could also consider the Scherzo movement from the FAE sonata, which requires a proficient pianist. This was the All State orchestra audition piece when I was in school - and I relearned it only few years ago. Might be a good introduction to Brahms. Or you could start with the first sonata.

March 16, 2020, 7:46 PM · Imo, the Franck sounds better.
March 16, 2020, 10:22 PM · So Franck. Definitely so.
March 17, 2020, 1:13 AM · FRANCK FRANCK FRANCK
Edited: March 17, 2020, 4:29 PM · If the choice is between these 4 sonatas you will need a proficient pianist for all of them (maybe the second movement of the Franck needs even more than proficiency; my partner and I had to be content with the other three movements). So I would not worry too much about that.

All four pieces are marvelous and well worth investing time in; my personal preference would probably be Brahms 3 but it depends on you what you like best.

March 17, 2020, 8:44 PM · Agreed with Lydia. Let your pianist be involved with this, even take the lead. Competent pianists that want to do this repertoire are uncommon, so take good care of them.. The Sonatas are a form of chamber music, piano - violin duets. The Piano part is always busier, and sometimes more difficult than the Violin part. I am tempted to call them Piano-Violin Sonatas. Give them first billing, and maybe stand to their left instead of their right side.
March 17, 2020, 10:23 PM · One reason why the pianist has to be very good for this kind of material like the Franck Sonata is because they have to be able to play some horrific stuff without completely covering you. It's one thing if you're Aaron Rosand playing a fabulous violin and your tone can penetrate an Abrams tank. But if you're an ordinary mortal your ensemble balance is at risk.
March 18, 2020, 1:43 AM · I remember Vengerov saying in a youtube video documentary thing that the Brahms 3rd sonata is written like a concerto for both instruments. Same can be said for the Franck.
March 18, 2020, 10:31 AM · I am afraid Vengerov is wrong. Not one note in the 3rd Brahms sonata is there to show off the skill of either player.
March 18, 2020, 11:22 AM · The Franck sonata is actually titled "sonata for piano and violin". At least in my urtext edition from Henle.
March 18, 2020, 11:56 AM · Paul, I don't think I agree. I've performed the Franck with several pianists, both professional and amateur. (Granted, all very skilled.) Every time we've had the lid of a grand piano (of varying dimensions) fully open, without a balance issue, and I've never felt like I was fighting through the piano texture. Franck was pretty thoughtful about potential balance issues, I think.

If you want the sonata concerto for two instruments, try the Strauss. It's significantly more difficult than the Franck, though.

March 18, 2020, 12:02 PM · I actually haven't seen the Franck sonata performed live too many times (kinda surprising), but I can think of one performance that supports Paul's thesis - The pianist completely overplayed and steamrolled the violinist. It was really frustrating to hear. Coulda just been the pianist though.

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