Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58
In this masterclass, Professor Jacques Rouvier and student Julien Braidi delve into Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op.58.
Rouvier explains this piece is an internal journey, and that the pianist must know where he or she will transport his/her audience. It is a delicate piece and must be interpreted in such a manner. The professor adds that Chopin’s music is transparent, like Mozart’s. He advises his student to vary his nuances and spare the dynamics. Braidi must also remember to breathe, much like a singer. He adds that once his student discovers which story he wants to tell, everything will be clearer and better in his performance.
Playing this sonata in a tender, intimate, and transparent manner.
Breathing like a singer.
Respecting the nuances.
Remembering the internal journey of this dreamlike piece.
The Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op.58 is Frédéric Chopin’s largest composition, written in 1844. Chopin dedicated it to the countess Émilie de Perthuis and is considered his most difficult work both musically and technically. It is structured in four movements, much like the Sonata No. 2, but with a lyrical largo instead of a funeral march. The full sonata takes about 25 to 30 minutes to play. The largo, interpreted in this masterclass, is a dreamy, serene, and almost nocturne-like movement that features a beautiful melody.
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 Poland in 1810, Frédéric Chopin was a gifted pianist and a highly-acclaimed composer. He was a child prodigy who from the early age of six-years-old began performing in great halls of the Polish bourgeoisie. It was around this time that the young musician began composing. Between 1810 and 1830, he composed 30 works for solo piano. Chopin’s compositions comprise beautiful melodies, sophisticated harmonies, and an original approach to formal design. If the piano is the romantic instrument par excellence; it is due, in large part, to the contribution of Chopin.
At the opposite of the orchestral pianism of his contemporary Franz Liszt (representative of the most extroverted and passionate, almost exhibitionist, facet of Romanticism), the Polish composer explored an intrinsically poetic style, of a subtle lyricism. The two composers would later become friends and admirers of each other’s works. It is said that Chopin's earliest compositions are, in some way, a product of influence from the "brilliant style" of public pianism associated with composers such as Hummel, Weber, Moscheles, and Kalkbrenner, among others. Later, the pieces that were composed during his Warsaw period—which involved the radical reworking of forms, procedures, and materials—are testimony to the influence of the Viennese Classical composers and Bach. The influence of popular Polish music is also vital in his works.