Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2, 1st movement, part 3

Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2, 1st movement, part 3

Ludwig van Beethoven

Dénes Várjon's masterclasses

English 20 min Piano

In this session, Dénes Várjon and Krizia Soubrouillard work on harmony, phrasing, and more.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy in November, 2021 at Arc-et-Senans.

Included with any subscription - 29.90€ /month, unlimited
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The masterclass

About this piano masterclass

Professor Dénes Várjon encourages his student to approach the piece with clear intentions of what the piece represents, while paying attention to the indication and dynamics of the composition. Clear communication between the chords is essential, especially while differentiating the light and heaviness of each chord. This can help the question and answering dynamic between the chord to create a rounder phrasing.

With this, the master emphasizes the piece's rhythm and dissonance. The professor demonstrates to his student how to find the balance between the rhythm and dissonance in the two hands to better understand the relationship between the chords.

What we learn in this piano masterclass

  1. Examining harmony and texture.

  2. Rhythm versus dissonance.

  3. Paying attention to dynamic markings.

  4. Relationship between the question and answer.

  5. Phrasing. 

Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven 

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2 was written in 1795 and dedicated to fellow musician Joseph Haydn. It comprises four movements and is a very challenging piece full of difficult trills and uncomfortable hand movements.

The first movement is in a sonata allegro form typical of the classical period, and borrows themes from Beethoven’s earlier composition Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Major. The piece opens in the tonic key with a double-thirds, almost trill-like pattern. This leads to a lively eruption of chords and octaves. The second theme of the exposition starts in G Minor, and is later repeated in D Minor. After reaching the dominant key in bar 47, an ancillary theme reveals itself, marked with dolce. This is followed by a forte that branches into a very full melody expressed by the left and right hand. Eventually, the piece follows a chord section full of harmony changes, which is then met with the main theme in D Major. Finally, in the recapitulation, the key changes from G Major to C Major, finished by a vibrant and light cadenza that swiftly brings about an A-flat major chord.

  • Student:Krizia Soubrouillard
  • Instruments: Piano
  • Date:05 November 2021
  • Academy:Academy Oct. 31 - Nov. 7, 2021

Sheet music

Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this piano masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Dénes Várjon’s feedback and comments.

Dénes Várjon

Dénes Várjon

Dénes Várjon graduated from the Franz Liszt Music Academy in 1991, where his professors included Sándor Falvai, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados. Now, Vàrjon is considered to be one of the greatest living chamber musicians, working regularly with pre-eminent partners such as Steven Isserlis, Tabea Zimmermann, Kim Kashkashian, Jörg Widmann, Leonidas Kavakos, András Schiff, Heinz Holliger, Miklós Perényi, and Joshua Bell. As a soloist, he has performed at numerous concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Konzerthaus, and Wigmore Hall. He is frequently invited to work with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras such as the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and more. His recordings have received critical acclaim and he was the recipient of First Prize at the Piano Competition of Hungarian Radio, at the Leó Weiner Chamber Music Competition in Budapest, and at the Géza Anda Competition in Zurich. In 2020, Vàrjon received Hungary’s supreme award in culture, the Kossuth Prize.


Ludwig van Beethoven

Born in Bonn, Germany in 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most mainstream references of Classicism — a pianist, composer, and an unequivocal genius. Descending from a long line of musicians, Beethoven studied music from an early age, beginning with the piano, clarinet, and the organ. At the ripe age of 11-years-old, Beethoven received his first job as a court organist, replacing his own teacher for a period of time. A veritable young prodigy, Beethoven was publicly compared to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and a few years later, the young musician traveled to Vienna to briefly study under the tutelage of Mozart himself. In his late 20s, Beethoven noticed difficulties with his hearing and by his mid 40s, he was completely deaf and unable to vocally communicate. Despite this misfortune, he remarkably continued to compose music. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 was written after he had entirely lost his hearing. 
 While his early musical career heavily reflected the Viennese Classical tradition inherited by the likes of Mozart and Haydn, Beethoven achieved a unique revolutionary identity by the end of his career. Deceased in 1827, his wake was a public event that gathered around 10,000 people. Despite his passing, Beethoven’s legacy lives on. His works anticipated many of the features that would characterize music in the romantic era and even that of the 20th century.

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