Chopin's Piano Sonata in B Flat Minor Opus 35 - Conclusion



he could include the cantilene of the nocturnes, the figurative patterns of the studies and preludes, and the periodicity of the dance pieces.[245] Here again, this can be interpreted as a contribution toward to the development and evolution of sonata form and the sonata cycle itself.


Around the time of its composition, it is no wonder that this sonata raised a few eyebrows. Even though Schumann expresses his reservations about this work, one can definitely see that he did admire some aspects of it. It is interesting that he attests to the idea that musical tastes change over time, by stating that "...a grandson will be born and raised, will dust off and play the sonata, and will think to himself, 'The man [Chopin] was not so wrong after all.'"[246] It is almost as though he expected future musicologists to dispute his views through studies and analyses of the work. These studies have done just that, and have been outlined in Chapters Seven to Ten.


It is interesting to note not only the change in reception toward Chopin's opus 35, but also the manner in which commentators substantiated their opinions. The writings of the nineteenth century clearly show a narrative approach while those of the latter part of the twentieth century are more analytical in style. It cannot be said that one is of more value than the other, although it may appear that the analytical writings show a better substantiation of the opinion of the writer. As mentioned before, it must be remembered that analyses are subjective in nature.


In conclusion, it might be added that the survey of critical appraisal of Chopin's opus 35 has highlighted one important facet of the history of the sonata cycle: that the sonata evolved over time. Chopin's opus 35 can be viewed as one of those works that ensured the continuation of the sonata's journey; a journey of evolution and adaptation to new compositional techniques and styles.


[245] Samson, Jim. The Music of Chopin (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985), p. 129.

[246] Newman, William S. The Sonata Since Beethoven (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1972), p. 489.

Interpolation is Newman's.



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