When I think of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata, I think of a unique stormy masterpiece that utilizes all aspects of the piano perfectly. Its creative use of dynamics and articulation makes it an exciting piece to play and to hear, but not overwhelming to the audience.

Learning the first movement was strenuous, but eventually rewarding. One of the biggest challenges I had was to keep from rushing ahead to try and play it at performance speed before I had fully learned it. The piece was so exciting that I had a really hard time practicing slowly. This led to sloppy outcomes! In fact, I had to relearn many parts because of my bad habits.

If any of you pianists want to play this piece, I hope you will learn from the mistakes I made so you don’t have to keep starting all over again.

Another personal challenge I faced was learning to practice the left-hand tremelos after I had injured my wrist in soccer. Maybe in the future I can learn more about how to practice while injured.

Listening to other interpretations helped me shape what I wanted to play. Hope you enjoy listening to my interpretation and good luck to any of you trying to learn this extravagant movement!

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
22 days ago

It’s a long time since I listened to any Beethoven and had forgotten what a beautiful piece of music this is. I was quite swept away and watching your fingers dance across the keys was mesmerising. Beautifully played!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
22 days ago

Hi, Raphael. I really enjoyed listening to your played music. Well played. And I love looking at you and your finger playing those keys again and again.

Last edited 22 days ago by Lotchie Carmelo
Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
21 days ago

It really does sound like a “unique stormy masterpiece!” Bravo on your talent, endurance and determination, Raphael.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
20 days ago

I closed my eyes and imagined waves crashing against rocks. An exhilarating piece of music beautifully played with such feeling and emotion.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
18 days ago

Raphael, your performance is quickly becoming one of my favorite interpretations of this movement. Extravagant is such a good descriptor! I love the careful, gentle way you rounded off each of the opening chord progressions. They create a real contrast to the stormy tremolos. Your playing is excellent. I especially like your surroundings – all that beautiful wood, warmly reflected in the ebony piano so that it looks like the piano itself is encased in the same wood as your room. The picture you selected of the storm is perfect for this piece. All in all, a fabulous presentation!

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