How do I learn to hear sonatas and symphonies as unified works?
October 12, 2013 10:14 AM Subscribe
I enjoy classical music a lot, but at a superficial level (I don't play an instrument). I'm realising that part of my frustration is that I don't hear what makes the various parts of a piece (such as the movements of a sonata or symphony) belong together in a whole. How did you learn to do this?
posted by muhonnin to media & arts (9 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Say a composer has written three sonatas (call them A through C), and each of them has three movements (call them 1 through 3). I can understand the "logic" of sonata form that means A1 / A2 /A3 is the most satisfying order for the three movements of A. But I cannot for the life of me hear why A2 belongs with A1 & A3; it seems to me that A1/B2/A3, or A1/B2/C3 would make an equally satisfying piece. If you were given A1 & A2, and then asked to choose from A3 / B3 / C3 (all written by the same composer) to say which best ends the piece, would you be able to do it? If so, what would you listen for? Are there resources you can point me to that would help me to develop this ability? Are there pieces where the interconnectedness of the parts stands out in a particularly obvious way?