Bridging the gap from sonatina to sonata with Johann Wilhelm Hässler
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Johann Wilhelm Hässler’s Six Easy Sonatas fills the transitional gap from intermediate to early-advanced level in the Classic style between the sonatinas of Clementi and Kuhlau and the more advanced level of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven sonatas. All five movements examined in chapter four of this study meet this goal, providing students with music of good quality. They feature a variety of compositional styles, imaginative use of detailed dynamic markings, nontraditional phrase lengths, varied touch types and articulations, intricate rhythms, and improvisational and unpredictable musical events. Technical challenges found in these movements include parallel thirds and sixths, different types of ornaments, arpeggios, scales, and broken chords. The document contains: an introductory chapter; a short biography of Hässler; general remarks on Hässler’s keyboard output and the Six Easy Sonatas; a pedagogical examination of five movements from Sonata Nos. 1, 2, and 6 from the Six Easy Sonatas; a conclusion. Appendix A lists the difficulty level of each movement of the Six Easy Sonatas and Appendix B contains the script for the document’s required lecture-recital.
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