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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas by Curtis Institute of Music

4.8
516 ratings
121 reviews

About the Course

Our relationship to Beethoven is a deep and paradoxical one. For many musicians, he represents a kind of holy grail: His music has an intensity, rigor, and profundity which keep us in its thrall, and it is perhaps unequalled in the interpretive, technical, and even spiritual challenges it poses to performers. At the same time, Beethoven’s music is casually familiar to millions of people who do not attend concerts or consider themselves musically inclined. Two hundred years after his death, he is everywhere in the culture, yet still represents its summit. This course takes an inside-out look at the 32 piano sonatas from the point of view of a performer. Each lecture will focus on one sonata and an aspect of Beethoven’s music exemplified by it. (These might include: the relationship between Beethoven the pianist and Beethoven the composer; the critical role improvisation plays in his highly structured music; his mixing of extremely refined music with rougher elements; and the often surprising ways in which the events of his life influenced his compositional process and the character of the music he was writing.) The course will feature some analysis and historical background, but its perspective is that of a player, not a musicologist. Its main aim is to explore and demystify the work of the performer, even while embracing the eternal mystery of Beethoven’s music itself. This season's Curtis courses are sponsored by Linda Richardson in loving memory of her husband, Dr. Paul Richardson. The Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation supports Curtis's lifelong learning initiatives....

Top reviews

JR

Aug 23, 2016

Fascinating trip through the marvellous Beethoven sonatas.\n\nAlthough I love them since many years, I'm very happy to see that It's always possible to progress.\n\nMany thanks Jonathan.

JM

Oct 16, 2015

I highly recommend this course to anyone that wants to look DEEPER into music. Believe me, after you are done with this course. You will see classical music completely different.

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1 - 25 of 120 Reviews for Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas

By Joe A

Jan 06, 2019

The lecturer lives and breaths Beethoven. Highly recommended.

By elizabeth c

Feb 07, 2019

Phenomenal!

By Harry Y

Jan 26, 2019

Jonathan Biss communicates, so profoundly, the essence of the musical experience. He does it with consummate authority, both as an exceptional pianist and as a lover of Beethoven's music. So many MOOC courses end up sagging. This one never sags; it soars to and through its finale.

By Kathleen C

Oct 22, 2015

Great lectures, great playing, excellent and enjoyable course. Thank you, Mr. Biss and Curtis Institu

By Sebastian N

Oct 18, 2015

Extremelly interesting! I am so unhappy I don't have enough time now to attend the course properly.

By Peggy E

Aug 14, 2015

Excellent, great fun, Jonathan Bliss is a top teacher, thanks !!!!!

By Anna N

Oct 03, 2015

Jonathan Biss is really Beethoven Geek of all Geeks. Thanks!

By Lauren L

Sep 06, 2016

I have finished this course and I highly recommend it. I am a musician moving from the rock and jazz genres into classical music and have been taking a number of classical/opera related courses. This one is a standout. Take this course, you will be happy you did.

By Jean R

Aug 23, 2016

Fascinating trip through the marvellous Beethoven sonatas.

Although I love them since many years, I'm very happy to see that It's always possible to progress.

Many thanks Jonathan.

By Susan B

Feb 24, 2016

Absolutely loved this course! Jonathan is amazing and he has inspired me so very much. I can hardly wait for his next series.

By Nelly M C C

Sep 03, 2016

Although I have completed the course I still go back to it to listen to Prof. Bliss teachings.

By Jill S

Nov 22, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. It was presented with great knowledge and passion, and despite being full of musical terminology and detail, it was always accessible to me as a non-player. I learned so much about how this wonderful music was structured and composed.

By Emma M B

Aug 08, 2017

La música de Beethoven me gusta mucho y más la manera que fue impartida por Jonathan Biss. Felicidades a Coursera y al Prof. Biss. gracias.

By Sebastián A P

Jun 05, 2017

Mindblowing, exquisite explanations and a broad look on Beethoven's work. Simply magnificent.

By Rafael S

Mar 21, 2016

So far, excellent!

By Michael S

Feb 22, 2016

Fantastic course! Very informative.

I think the second part of the course was improved. Jonathan demonstrating more on the piano (as opposed to just explaining -- as he did more of in the first part) was a great addition.

Looking forward to Jonathan's next concert!

By Phillip C

Mar 09, 2018

The lectures given by Jonathan Biss are nothing short of excellent and inspirational. I am certainly wanting to continue my music education.

By Steven P

Aug 12, 2017

Just fantastic. Love the info and love the playing!

By Fok s k

Aug 14, 2015

Very good demonstration and analyse on Beethoven sonata and raise your interest in further exploring classical music

By Sebastian G

Aug 23, 2015

Awesome!

By Alfred C S

Nov 01, 2015

Very interesting historical background and a paced, clear presentation of the musical techniques employed by the pianists. Very enjoyable if you are a classical music lover.

By Alfredo B

Sep 22, 2015

excelent course, gives me the inspiration and motivation that i need!!

By Salvador R

Apr 25, 2016

In depth analysis in a field that I was not familiar with. I recommend it to everyone whether they have an interest or not.

By Christopher P

Sep 21, 2015

Prof. Biss is outstanding, clearly articulating his interpretations and providing exceptional playing. Loved the level of detail both technically and academically. Far and above other Coursera music offerings I've sampled. More please.

By Esther K

Jun 14, 2016

For a Beethoven fan (or dare I say geek) this is an absolute joy. I'm 'only' a listener, but passionate enough to take on this wonderful journey through these piano sonatas with Jonathan Biss, he's just awesome and makes me want to come back over and over again ... for more. Please keep adding.

Thank you for this opportunity to learn more about Beethoven and his music.