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



Example 33: The use of the introductory motif in the Finale[172]


The use of introductory motif in Finale


Walker also believes that one of Chopin's chief contributions to sonata form is the intense compression of his recapitulations.[173] In this regard he discusses the omission of the first subject from the reprise of the first movement, which, in his opinion, is not a "structural weakness," as perpetuated by conventional wisdom, but "a salutary lesson in how not to compose." Furthermore, he regards this structural compression as an "unconscious function of creative mastery."[174]


Walker's comments on the sonata on a general level are particularly interesting and relate directly to Chopin's opus 35. He calls the sonata "a story of musical form from Bach's E Major Violin Concerto to Schoenberg's First Chamber Symphony."[175] He explains that the divisions between movements gradually collapsed under the creative pressure of geniuses ranging from Bach to Schoenberg. What began as a multi-movement form, with each movement having its own character, developed into a greatly compressed form two hundred years later. This manifested itself in expositions and recapitulations becoming ever more developmental, separate movements being linked and penetrating one another, and the assembly of every possible character under the name "sonata." He concludes by stating that sonata form has always been "on the move," and that Chopin was one of those who helped it along.[176]


Having surveyed a rather in-depth thematic analysis by Walker, other analytical writings on Chopin's opus 35 sonata will now be reviewed. In an article largely based on the work of Réti, Rudolf Klein makes note of Chopin's invention of very


[172] ibid., p. 248.

[173] ibid., p.242.

[174] ibid., p. 243.

[175] ibid., p. 243. It should be noted that sonatas were being written before Bach.

[176] ibid., p. 243.


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