András Schiff 2006 lectures on the Beethoven piano sonatas

In 2006, pianist András Schiff gave a series of eight lecture-recitals covering the complete cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas. Here are all the lectures on one page. (Beware: The metadata on these mp3 files is all over the map.)

As an incompetent student of the Beethoven sonatas, I find these lectures absolutely riveting.

Note: Schiff assumes you are familiar with basic musical terminology, terms like exposition, subdominant, Neapolitan, enharmonic and quaver.

Comments (9)
  1. nathan_works says:

    But I’m not a big fan of Neapolitan ice cream.

  2. Mark says:

    Thanks for the link, I’ll check that out when I get home from work.

    Musical analysis is always something that has really fascinated me but that I’ve never had the time to properly study. The perils of having too many interests.

  3. daves561 says:

    I’ve been reading Charles Rosen’s book on the sonatas nightly, so this will be a nice companion. IMO, there is no greater music than the fuga of Op. 110. And for those who thought Scott Joplin was the genesis of Ragtime, they need to look 50 years earlier at Op. 111.

    Truly an amazing, amazing body of work, all of them.

  4. Leo Davidson says:

    These two talks about music (dipping into all sorts of other things on the way) are well worth watching if you haven’t already:

    I thought of mentioning them here before but figured it was a bit off-topic until now. Hope you enjoy them.

  5. Henrik Wist says:

    Thanks for the link. This is really awesome.


     having no clue about playing Piano, just Cello

  6. Alan says:

    …and Raymond’s spelling of the name is correct even though the linked page forgoes the accent. A nice and heartwarming touch (I’m Hungarian, as is András Schiff).

  7. Neil says:

    So, only having heard of Neapolitan ice cream, I thought I’d try my hand at non-musical definitions of those words:

    exposition: entires from the Kama Sutra that you are no longer able to achieve

    subdominant: type of person who likes to switch roles with another subdominant

    Neapolitan: sexiest type of Italian

    enharmonic: sound made by a couple reaching orgasm simultanously

    quaver: what women do in the presence of a Neapolitan (q.v.)

  8. Alexandre Grigoriev says:


    Now, how about ‘recapitulation’?

  9. Neil says:

    recapitulation: what you do after I continue to make these awful puns even though you’ve already asked me to stop once

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