As you might have seen already, I am in the middle of a big project regarding my piano career: to play through all the 32 Beethoven sonatas. These sonatas are sometimes referred to as the New Testament of piano (where Bach's Well temperierte klavier is the Old Testament), and they are truly an amazing body of music. An enjoyable approach to these sonatas is to see how those (relatively few) pianists that have come through all of them have interpreted them, and in the above video you see one such interpretation: a live recording series by Daniel Barenboim, who go through all of them in a series of 8 concerts.
Now during the summer, I am celebrating some extra free time, by playing more piano. Right now I am practicing some new Beethoven sonatas (op 2:2,3, op 10:1, and op 111), and the remaining two Ballades by Chopin (nr 2 and 3). Apart from that I think that I also will do some recordings of things I have played (and of some new Emily Bear pieces, I just received over the mail), which might also include some videos that I will put on youtube. So look out for that!
For now, however, I just want to give my intended program for a Beethoven series in 2020, which will be the first anniversary, and an important milestone in my Beethoven project.
Op 2 (3 sonatas, including the first)
Op 10 (3 sonatas)
Op 13 Pathetique
Op 26 (1 sonata)
Op 27 (2 sonatas, including Moonlight)
Op 31 (3 sonatas, including Sturm)
Op 53 Waldstein
Op 57 Appassionata
Op 81 Les adieux
Op 106 Hammarklaver
Op 109-111 The last three
allow me to cover all the most important ones (including the most difficult
ones, and the ones with names), so that I already then can mentally cover all
of them, and digest them all thoroughly until 2027, which is the second anniversary
of Beethoven, and the main climax of this project. If the above programme would turn out to be too ambitious already by 2020, I will probably replace two of the sonatas with op 49:1-2, which are the two easiest ones.
Wish me luck! :)
Even though I think that Barenboim is a talented and important pianist, I think that his most important and impressive features come through when he talks about music. In this second clip, which is a part of the same DVD-edition as the concert series above, he talks about the Beethoven sonatas together with some other extremely talented but much younger pianists, whom he teaches in a series of master classes. I think that listening to these master classes is another very valuable way to learn about these sonatas - and about music and piano playing in general.