Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57, 2nd movement
In this masterclass for piano, Jacques Rouvier and Thibault Maurin concentrate on tempo. As Rouvier puts it, "If you have the correct tempo, everything fits inside." With this, the professor encourages his student to first find a pulse before continuing on with the piece.
Once a desired tempo is reached, the pair works on accents, changes in dynamics, the use of the pedals, fingering and more.
Finding and maintaining the right tempo.
Evoking the right character.
Proper use of the pedals.
Accents and dynamics.
Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor “Appassionata” Sonata was composed during one of the most prolific and transformational periods in the composer’s life. Having come to terms with his declining hearing and newly completed the revolutionary Eroica Symphony, he had begun to push the limits of the rules of composition. He composed the “Appassionata” in 1804-05, and it has become known as one of his greatest and most expressive piano sonatas.
The opening movement, Allegro assai, begins quietly but sinisterly. While it is in sonata form, the second theme is closely related to the first rather than contrasting. While the thematic material is unified, the other qualities in the music are turbulent; the movement is categorized by dramatic changes in mood and dynamics. The middle movement, Andante con moto, is a set of variations over a beautiful, simple melody that grows in agitation toward the finale. The final movement, Allegro ma non troppo - Presto, rips through almost continuous sixteenth notes at a furious tempo. The technically demanding, stormy finale accelerates to an even faster coda, culminating in one of Beethoven’s few tragic sonata endings.
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 Jacques Rouvier’s feedback and comments.
He won two Premiers Prix (first prizes): in piano performance (1965) In chamber music (1967).
Jacques Rouvier was born in Marseilles into a family of musicians. He attended the CNSMD in Paris (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse), where he was taught by Vlado Perlemuter, Pierre Sancan, and Jean Hubeau. He won first prizes in both piano and chamber music. Rouvier then decided to broaden his knowledge about wind section and leading orchestra at the CNSMD too. He owes much to Pierre Barbizet and Jean Fassina. Rouvier won several competitions such as the “Giovan Battista Viotti” International Music Competition, Maria Canal International Music Competition, the European Broadcasting Union Competition, the Long-Thibaud Competition, and the Competition of the Fondation de la Vocation. In 1970, he founded the Rouvier-Kantorow-Muller trio, with whom he still performs regularly.
Since 1979, he has taught at the CNSMD in Paris and at the Berlin University of the Arts.
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.