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



early classic writings of Hugo Leichtentritt to the more recent studies of Jim Samson and Anatoly Leiken. Here again, by examining these analyses in chronological order, it will become evident how each built upon those of the earlier analyses, thereby contributing to a better understanding of Chopin's compositional style as it relates to the large classical forms.


The difficulty in obtaining newspaper articles and musical journals from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries necessitated the consultation of a limited number of sources, mainly books, that deal in part with reception of Chopin's B Flat Minor Sonata Opus 35. Articles dealing specifically with this sonata may well appear in nineteenth-century Polish journals; these, however, have not been indexed, and would require more time and effort to uncover than has been available, never mind translating them. In addition, Polish writings of the nineteenth century contain only sporadic criticism of Chopin's works.[2] Similarly, English-language journals such as The Musical Times may contain articles dealing with Chopin's opus 35; investigation in this area has likewise demonstrated a lack of indexation of source materials. Searching volumes of these journals for articles that may or may not exist has proved impractical given present constraints.


An examination of the comprehensive Chopin bibliography compiled by Kornel Michalowski (1985) has likewise proved to be of limited value. This book provides a list of source materials dating from 1849 to 1969 that have connections with Chopin and his works. The vast majority of articles listed under the subject of Chopin's sonata opus 35 are in Polish; some of these have been consulted and translated. Moreover, many of the source materials are difficult to obtain. As far as reception dating from the period 1890 to 1940 is concerned, a chosen group of books dealing with opus 35 has been consulted, the selection of which was partly limited by availability. Here again, translation of a significant work in German was necessary.


This dissertation will begin with a discussion of the compositional background of Chopin's second piano sonata, along with the early criticisms of Schumann and others. Thereafter, a sample of various writings dating from the 1840's to the 1990's


[2] Chechlinska, Zofia. 'Chopin Reception in Nineteenth-Century Poland,' The Cambridge Companion to Chopin, ed. Samson, J. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 214.


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