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Chopin's Piano Sonata in B Flat Minor Opus 35 - Further analyses - Walker and others

 
CHAPTER 1

 

While it is beyond the scope of this dissertation to enter into detail concerning these analyses, Bollinger concludes that Chopin's opus 35 is a "totally integrated composition."[182] He identifies the most important unifying device of the sonata as the compositional relationship of the Funeral March to the other movements, adding that the March "...strongly dictates the compositional outlines of the outer three movements."[183] This is consistent with the fact that the March was written two years prior to the rest of the work. Bollinger also identifies the utilisation of the major and minor third for theme construction and harmonic development as the other important unifying device. These conclusions are in agreement with the work of Réti and Walker mentioned earlier.

 

Dammier-Kirpal's discussion of the seven large-scale cyclic works of Chopin contains an interesting thought regarding the connection between Chopin's opus 35 and Beethoven's sonata opus 26. She, like Leiken (see page 7), attests to Beethoven's influence on Chopin, pointing out the striking similarity between the order of movements in these sonatas.[184] Dammier-Kirpal believes that the contrast between the Funeral March and the Finale of Beethoven's opus 26 portrays the same impression as that of Chopin's opus 35 - "like chatting after the march."[185] What surprises her though, is what Beethoven, the undisputed master of the sonata, did, Chopin did years later, only to be rebuked, thereby causing the appearance of scores of analyses attempting to explain what was perceived as a problematic relationship between the movements.[186] Further evidence regarding Beethoven's influence on Chopin is the fact that Beethoven's opus 26 was one of Chopin's favourite sonatas in that he played, taught, and analysed its structure for his students more often than he did any other of Beethoven's sonatas.[187]

 

In his 1985 article "Chopin und die Sonate," Joachim Kaiser raises an interesting and valid point with reference to Schumann's reservation that the four movements of opus 35 cannot collectively be termed a "sonata." He observes that if the Scherzo of opus

 

[182] ibid., p. 1.

[183] ibid., p. 1.

[184] This link, namely the employment of the same type and order of movements, was discussed earlier in Chapter 2.

[185] Dammier-Kirpal, Ursula. Der Sonatensatz bei Frederic Chopin (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Hrtel, 1973), p. 90.

[186] ibid., p. 90.

[187] Leiken, Anatoly. 'The Sonatas,' The Cambridge Companion to Chopin ed. Samson, J. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 161.

 

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