Chopin's Piano Sonata in B Flat Minor Opus 35 - The early analyses - Leichtentritt and Reti



Example 14: The relationship between the first, second, and third subjects of

the first movement[138]


Relationship between first, second, and third subjects of first movement


Réti regards these three themes as the basic material from which the whole movement is built in constant ornamentation, yet "with an almost rigid adherence to the basic idea."[139] This is consistent with what most analysts would observe with regard to a movement in sonata form. Furthermore, he emphasises the fact that once the unified structure of the first movement has been clarified by the analyses presented thus far, "...the design of the following movements as the natural outgrowth of the first cannot be mistaken."[140]


The next important point emphasised by Réti is that of the effective manner in which Chopin connects the first movement with the Scherzo. By comparing the coda of the first movement as it rises from d2 - b flat2 - a2 (bars 230-236) to the Scherzo theme, the similarity in outline becomes obvious, as shown in Examples 15(a) and 15(b):


[138] ibid., p. 303. The similarity between the first and third subjects is presumably their identical first two notes (i.e., D flat and B flat), the use of a falling semitone, and a similar contour. It should be noted, however, that they are rhythmically completely different. This shows that Réti does not regard rhythm as being very important.

[139] ibid., p. 303.

[140] ibid., p. 303.



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