YouTube is an amazing resource, and not just for hearing international recordings of musical performances–through YouTube, we have access to full-length master classes and lectures worldwide, led by great artists. Here is one taught by Andras Schiff at the Royal College of Music in March 2013.
Some favorite points I wrote down for my own reference are:
- Slowing down before drastic harmony changes is a cliche to be avoided, particularly in well-known pieces such as the “Moonlight” sonata.
- Beethoven’s sonatas are wonderfully balanced. Many composers, even Schubert and Brahms, fall a little flat in their last movements. Not Beethoven (consider the driving force and unbridled violence of the third movement of the “Moonlight,” or the divine voyage that is the last movement of Op. 109).
- What is humor? Short notes. Adding pedal to short notes (to make them prettier or more elegant) ruins the humor.
It’s super long, but this would be a great video to watch over the course of a few days or even a week. Keep the tab open on your browser and just press play when you have half an hour to spare! You can even listen to it while doing housework. And please let me know if you have any favorite tidbits! 🙂