Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 6 Course Reviews

The Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 6 course, created by Jonathan Biss, is available on Coursera. The course is designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of Beethoven's piano sonatas, particularly those from his middle and late periods.

Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 6 Course Reviews
Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 6 Course Reviews

The course is divided into 6 weeks, each of which covers a different set of sonatas. The first week covers the sonatas Op. 31, No. 2 and Op. 49, No. 2. The second week focuses on the sonata Op. 53, "Waldstein," while the third week covers the sonatas Op. 54 and Op. 57, "Appassionata."

In the fourth week, students will learn about the sonatas Op. 78 and Op. 79, while the fifth week is dedicated to the sonatas Op. 90, Op. 101, and Op. 106, "Hammerklavier." The final week covers the sonatas Op. 109, Op. 110, and Op. 111.

Throughout the course, Jonathan Biss provides lectures on each of the sonatas, discussing their historical context, musical themes, and structural elements. He also provides demonstrations and performances of the sonatas on the piano, giving students a chance to hear how the music should sound.

In addition to the lectures and performances, the course includes quizzes and assignments to help students test their knowledge and apply what they've learned. By the end of the course, students will have a greater appreciation for Beethoven's piano sonatas and a deeper understanding of his musical style.

Course Content:

The course "Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 6" on Coursera is divided into 6 parts and includes a total of 30 lectures. Specifically:

Part 1: Sonatas Op. 31, No. 2 and Op. 49, No. 2 (2 lectures)

1.1 Introduction to Part 6

1.2 Beethoven’s Sonatas, Op. 31, No. 2 and Op. 49, No. 2

Part 2: Sonata Op. 53 "Waldstein" (5 lectures)

2.1 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 53, I. Allegro con brio

2.2 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 53, II. Introduzione: Adagio molto

2.3 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 53, III. Rondo: Allegretto moderato – Prestissimo

2.4 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 53, historical context and analysis

2.5 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 53, performance and conclusion

Part 3: Sonatas Op. 54 and Op. 57 "Appassionata" (5 lectures)

3.1 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 54, I. In tempo d’un menuetto

3.2 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 54, II. Allegretto

3.3 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 54, historical context and analysis

3.4 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 57 "Appassionata", I. Allegro assai

3.5 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 57 "Appassionata", historical context and analysis

Part 4: Sonatas Op. 78 and Op. 79 (5 lectures)

4.1 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 78, I. Adagio cantabile – Allegro ma non troppo

4.2 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 78, II. Allegro vivace

4.3 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 78, historical context and analysis

4.4 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 79, I. Presto alla tedesca

4.5 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 79, historical context and analysis

Part 5: Sonatas Op. 90, Op. 101, and Op. 106 "Hammerklavier" (7 lectures)

5.1 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 90, I. Mit Lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck

5.2 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 90, II. Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragen

5.3 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 90, historical context and analysis

5.4 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 101, I. Etwas lebhaft, und mit der innigsten Empfindung

5.5 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 101, II. Lebhaft. Marschmäßig. Vivace alla marcia

5.6 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 101, historical context and analysis

5.7 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 106 "Hammerklavier", I. Allegro

5.8 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 106 "Hammerklavier", historical context and analysis

Part 6: Sonatas Op. 109, Op. 110, and Op. 111 (6 lectures)

6.1 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 109, I. Vivace ma non troppo – Adagio espressivo – Tempo I

6.2 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 109, II. Prestissimo

6.3 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 109, III. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung. Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo 6.4 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 109, historical context and analysis

6.5 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 110, I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo

6.6 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 110, II. Allegro molto

6.7 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 110, III. Adagio, ma non troppo. Fuga: Allegro, ma non troppo

6.8 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 110, historical context and analysis

6.9 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 111, I. Maestoso – Allegro con brio ed appassionato

6.10 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 111, II. Arietta: Adagio molto semplice e cantabile

6.11 Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 111, historical context and analysis


Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 6 is an exceptional course for classical music lovers and pianists alike. The course is taught by Jonathan Biss, an internationally acclaimed pianist and Beethoven specialist, and is the sixth and final installment in a series of courses exploring Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas.

The course is divided into 6 sections, each focusing on a specific sonata from Beethoven's last group of sonatas. Biss provides historical context for each sonata and explains the musical features and technical challenges that make each one unique. His explanations are clear and concise, making it easy to follow along even if you don't have a deep understanding of music theory.

One of the highlights of the course is Biss's performances of the sonatas. His playing is exquisite and captures the emotional depth and complexity of Beethoven's music. Hearing the sonatas in their entirety provides a deeper appreciation of the musical innovations that Beethoven brought to the sonata form.

In addition to the lectures and performances, the course also includes musical examples and scores that help to illustrate the points that Biss is making. This makes it easier to follow along and understand the musical concepts that he is discussing.

Overall, Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 6 is an engaging and informative course that deepens your appreciation for Beethoven's music and provides valuable insights into his creative process. Whether you're a classical music lover or a pianist looking to improve your skills, this course is well worth your time.

What you'll learn:

After completing Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 6 on Coursera, students can expect to develop several skills related to piano performance and appreciation of classical music. Some of these skills include:

  1. Enhanced understanding of Beethoven's music: Students will develop a deeper understanding of Beethoven's creative process and the musical innovations that he brought to the sonata form. They will also learn about the historical context in which Beethoven composed his last sonatas, providing a greater appreciation for the music.

  2. Improved piano performance skills: Students will gain insights into the technical challenges of performing Beethoven's sonatas, such as complex rhythms, intricate textures, and extended techniques. By studying Biss's performances and explanations, students can improve their own piano playing skills.

  3. Enhanced musical analysis skills: Students will learn how to analyze music in a deeper and more meaningful way. They will be able to identify musical features such as thematic transformation, motivic development, and harmonic progressions, and understand how these elements contribute to the overall structure of a piece of music.

  4. Improved listening skills: Students will develop a more discerning ear for classical music and be able to identify key elements of Beethoven's music in other works. This skill can be useful for anyone interested in music appreciation, whether as a performer or a listener.

Overall, Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 6 is a comprehensive course that provides students with a range of skills related to piano performance and classical music appreciation. Whether you're a professional pianist or an amateur music lover, this course is an excellent way to deepen your understanding and appreciation of Beethoven's music.


Jonathan Biss is an internationally renowned pianist and educator who has been praised for his expressive and insightful interpretations of classical music. Born in 1980, he began playing the piano at the age of six and made his orchestral debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 17. Since then, he has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic.

Biss has recorded extensively, with his discography including solo piano works by Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms, as well as collaborative recordings with other musicians. He has received critical acclaim for his performances and recordings, with The New Yorker describing him as "a young pianist of uncommon understanding and maturity."

In addition to his performing career, Biss is also a highly respected educator. He has been on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music since 2010 and has given masterclasses and lectures at institutions around the world. His commitment to education is also evident in his online courses, including "Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas," which have been widely praised for their depth and accessibility.

Overall, Jonathan Biss is a highly accomplished pianist and educator with a deep understanding of classical music. His insightful interpretations of the works of Beethoven and other composers have earned him a place among the world's leading pianists, while his commitment to education has helped to inspire a new generation of musicians and music lovers.


The detailed requirements for Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Part 6 by Jonathan Biss are as follows:

  1. Piano proficiency: Students are expected to have a basic to intermediate proficiency in playing the piano. This includes being able to play with both hands, read sheet music, and have some experience with technical aspects such as fingerings, scales, and arpeggios.

  2. Music theory knowledge: Students should have a basic understanding of music theory concepts such as scales, chords, key signatures, and time signatures. Some prior knowledge of harmony and counterpoint would also be helpful.

  3. Familiarity with Beethoven's music: While not strictly required, students who have some prior familiarity with Beethoven's piano sonatas will be better equipped to fully engage with the course material.

  4. Access to a piano: Students will need access to a piano in order to practice and apply the concepts covered in the course. This can be either an acoustic or digital piano.

  5. Time commitment: The course consists of 6 modules, each containing several lectures and assignments. Students should be prepared to commit several hours per week to watching lectures, practicing piano, and completing assignments.

  6. Software requirements: Students will need access to a computer or mobile device with a stable internet connection in order to access the course materials on Coursera. Some assignments may require the use of music notation software such as Finale or Sibelius, although this is not strictly required.

Overall, the requirements for this course are designed to be accessible to a wide range of students with varying levels of piano and music theory experience. However, students should be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to the course in order to fully benefit from the material covered.

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