In the last piano workshop, some attendees asked me about references for further studies on repertoire in terms of analysis and background. Here in this post, I try to gather some useful information for you all to refer to so that you can have deeper understanding of the pieces you are working on and better preparation on your upcoming diploma exams.
Prolific music scholar Charles Rosen has written a substantial and significant numbers of books on Classical and Romantic piano music among many other subjects. I have read quite a few and found them useful. Some might be more challenging and difficult to read. Here are the ones I would recommend for further study on Beethoven’s piano sonatas and Classical piano music in general.
Beethoven`s Piano Sonatas: A Short Companion (more on Amazon.com)
The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (more on Amazon.com)
Sonata Forms (more on Amazon.com)
If you are looking for strictly technical analysis, this might be the book for you:
A Companion to Beethoven’s Pianoforte Sonatas: Analysis by Sir Donald Francis Tovey (more on Amazon.com)
It would also be good if you know something about Beethoven himself, not only as a composer, but as a human being:
Beethoven: The Music and the Life by Lewis Lockwood (more on Amazon.com)
Beethoven’s Letters (see it on Amazon.com)
Beethoven As I Knew Him by Anton Felix Schindler (more on Amazon.com)
For something more on the leisure side, there are a couple movies on Beethoven, for example:
Immortal Beloved (1994) (more on imdb.com)
This movie produced by BBC seems to be watch-worthy based on the critics and comments. Read and watch (for free!) here:
The Genius of Beethoven (2005)
Here is an amazing series of talks by András Schiff on Beethoven’s piano sonatas, a must listen to for those who are serious about knowing more on this particular repertoire:
For instance, this is his insightful lecture on Pathétique:
Some other useful and simple information on sonatas:
I think this is all good for now, plenty of information on reading, listening and even watching for you to do! I will try to make more videos on the Pathetique to show you how to analyze, understand and practice the sonata better.
Until next post,