Chopin's Piano Sonata in B Flat Minor Opus 35 - Recent Writings - Samson and Leiken








These commentators have contributed significantly to the understanding of Chopin's music in the last fifteen years, and for this reason their comments and analyses with respect to Chopin's second piano sonata are included in a separate chapter. Their writings are particularly informative and seldom constitute a mere rehash of the works of others.[193]


In his 1985 The Music of Chopin, Samson discusses the issue of unity in this sonata, and goes a step further than simple thematic interconnections between movements. He emphasises that the concept of "unity" is a highly problematical notion in music, and that there are various approaches that may be used to investigate this issue. He quotes Jozef Chominski, who states that opus 35 is


...in reality a synthesis of Chopin's earlier achievements within the framework of the four-movement sonata. The four-movement scheme provides in short a context within which the figurative patterns of the studies and preludes, the cantilene of the nocturnes and even the periodicity of the dance pieces may be drawn together.[194]


Protopopov adds to this argument asserting that Chopin transformed the sonata cycle in a significant manner. In particular, he mentions that, like Beethoven, whose willingness to introduce the fugue into his own later works led to its permeation through to his works using sonata structure, Chopin's use of the nocturne finds its way into certain themes of the sonata cycle.[195]


[193] Although his work has not been used for this thesis, the writings of John Rink on the music of Chopin are also highly regarded. Among them is a book on Chopin's piano concertos, a dissertation dating from 1989 relating the evolution of Chopin's structural style to improvisation, and various articles in Chopin Studies II, ed. Samson, J., Rink, J. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), and The Cambridge Companion to Chopin, ed. Samson, J. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). Contact was made with Dr. Rink; he himself stated that his writings (in particular his dissertation) are not relevant to the content of this dissertation. For this reason, his contributions to the understanding of the music of Chopin have not been included.

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

[195] Protopopov, Vladimir. 'Forma Cyklu Sonatowego w utworach F. Chopina,' in Polsko-rogyjskie miscellanea muzyczne (1968), p. 127.




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