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

4.8
stars
545 ratings
130 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

M

Jun 03, 2020

This course and Mr. Biss' immense knowledge of Beethoven's sonatas and that era has given me a new interest in classical music. I can understand and speak about it more confidently than ever!

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.

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26 - 50 of 129 Reviews for Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas

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 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 Mark L

Oct 07, 2015

This course was excellent. I was exposed to many sonatas I was not familiar with before this class. Jonathan Biss is a great musician and did a great job of highlighting the key points of the sonatas presented. I would like to see him cover another composer.

By Konrad F

Jan 12, 2016

Outstanding course! Tremendous insight, extremely well articulated, and explained with real passion and depth! Would highly recommend this course to anyone who appreciates this kind of music; particularly those seeking to understand Beethoven's idiom better.

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 RISSER-MAROIX

Sep 24, 2015

Hughly rated course; all mélomanes" should apply!

Excellent cours d'analyse musicale. Une première pour moi et aussi l'occasion d'écouter le passionant parce que passionné Jonathan BLISS. Merci à lui, à Coursera et à l'Institut Curtis.

By Hsiang L L W

Mar 13, 2018

This is a fabulous course with insight to Beethoven's sonatas. I've been playing piano for 27 years, and I am learning so much from this course! It was a very enjoyable learning experience. I would recommend this course to everyone.

By Sebastian F

Aug 09, 2015

This is one of the best music courses in Coursera. Jonathan Biss is not only one of the great players of our time, but also manages to simplify and deliver outstanding quality content for learners in any theroetical

By Jesus I

Aug 01, 2017

Excellent course by Prof. Biss

Looking forward to getting more sonatas in these lectures, especially Opus 110 and 111

I also recommend lectures by Andras Schiff on all of Beethoven sonatas (found on youtube)

By Angela P

Oct 26, 2015

Excellent course. You can go into great detail in understanding the intricacies of the sonatas or you can simply come away with a deep appreciation for Beethoven, his works and what goes into playing them.

By Muskan C

Jun 03, 2020

This course and Mr. Biss' immense knowledge of Beethoven's sonatas and that era has given me a new interest in classical music. I can understand and speak about it more confidently than ever!

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 José A N M

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.

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 Mayank D

Jul 22, 2016

Great course for a beginner like me. It's an introduction and exploration of the adventurous world of music and musicians; passionately delivered by the expert, Mr Biss.

By Elizabeth T

Apr 10, 2020

A delight and a privilege to hear Mr. Biss discuss - and play - this beautiful music. I learned a lot about music, Beethoven in particular and sonatas in general.

By isabella

Nov 07, 2015

Amazing course! I can now understand Beethoven's Sonatas in a much deeper level, as well as how performance and innovation evolved throughout time.

By Graeme H

Apr 10, 2018

Outstanding course. Not sure why I haven't (allegedly) finished this since there was nothing due or not finished - however, no great consequence.

By Richard S

Aug 08, 2016

Enjoyable and enlightening. I found prof. Bliss' straight forward lecture style very concise and his insight and passion for the material clear.

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 Maria E H

May 08, 2017

One of the best courses I have taken online! Whether you are a musician or not, this course will improve your appreciation of classical music!

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 Kari M J

Aug 23, 2015

This is, out of all the courses/studies I have done in my whole life, my favourite of all time. Mr Biss is a a wonderful lecturer.

By Priscilla C

Feb 11, 2018

This course and the other two with Johnathan Biss have greatly expanded my appreciation and understanding of Beethoven's sonatas

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.