Pianist Jonathan Biss has created a new set of lectures on selected Beethoven piano sonatas on Coursera.org. The course is free, and is designed “for people of all levels of experience with Beethoven’s music (including no experience at all!).”1 This set of lectures will cover Sonata No. 3, Op. 2, No. 3; Sonata No. 8, Op. 13 (“Pathetique”); Sonata No. 21, Op. 53 (“Waldstein”); and Sonata No. 27, Op. 90.
This course, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas Part 2, will begin in mid-January, but you can enroll now.
The first course, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, will begin again on January 2, but you can enroll now as well. This course provides an overview of the 32 sonatas, and contains a wealth of detail on the sonatas themselves and music history.
I took the first course, enjoyed it, and learned a lot. You can read more about the course in an earlier blog post. You may learn more about Jonathan Biss at his website, which contains the least serious biography I have ever seen.
Biss is in the process of recording all 32 of the Beethoven piano sonatas, and several CDs have already been released.
Image attributions: Beethoven, Painting by Carl Jäger (1833-1887), public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beethoven_.jpg. Jonathan Biss, photo by Benjamin Ealovega, http://www.jonathanbiss.com/img/publicity/Jonathan_Biss_104_credit_Benjamin_Ealovega.jpg.