The Piano Sonata: Russian and 20th-21st Century Composers

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  • Setting the Stage
    • In the first week, you'll be introduced to the course structure and to the fundamentals surrounding sonata form and the history of the genre.
  • Russian Composers
    • This week looks at Russian composers, who were highly invested in the piano sonata genre in the 20th century. We will focus primarily on the works of the three major sonata composers: Scriabin, Medtner, and Prokofiev. We will also get acquainted with a number of other important Russian composers in this genre.
  • 20th and 21st Century Composers
    • This week looks at some of the most extraordinary piano sonatas composed after the Romantic Era (excluding Russians). We consider seven sonatas in some detail, by three French composers, two of German descent, and two born in America. The end of the course points towards the music of today by considering the extraordinary diversity of composers and works that led to it.
  • Course Conclusion and Honors Track Formal Analysis
    • For more advanced learners, an Honors Formal Analysis is available in this final week (not required for completion of the course).