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Polish Music Journal
Vol. 3, No. 1, Summer 2000. ISSN 1521 - 6039

Norms and Individuation in Chopin's Sonatas
Zofia Helman
Translated by Radosław Materka and Maja Trochimczyk

I.
The reception history of Chopin's sonatas, seen from the perspective of both musical criticism and
musicology, could nowadays create a subject for a separate research paper. It is rare that music that
has existed in the world repertoire for 150 years can still elicit such extremely varied theoretic
interpretations. However, scholars writing about Chopin have already pointed out these discrepancies,
devoting much attention to disputing the opinions of others (i.e., Opieński 1928-29, Jachimecki 1957,
Chomiński 1960). [1] Differences in understanding of both the sonata form and the sonata cycle in the
works of Chopin depend largely on theoretical paradigms dominant in certain professional circles. If,
for example, scholars use the "textbook" definition of a sonata-allegro form (i.e., Niecks 1890, Huneker
1900, d'Indy 1909, Leichtentritt 1921-22)[2], Chopin's sonatas seem excessively fantasy-like,
complicated, and badly constructed. This applies not only to the Sonata in C Minor, Op. 4 (1827-28)
which is controversial to this day, and the Sonata for Piano and Violoncello, Op. 65 (1845-46), but also
to Chopin's most famous piano sonatas: those in B-flat Minor,, Op. 35 (1837-39) and in B Minor, Op.
58 (1844).
A totally different approach to analysis may be found in the works of Halm (1920), Kurth (1920), and
Mersmann (1926).[3] The form here is interpreted not according to a scheme, but as an individual and
unrepeatable system of musical occurrences, with their own dynamics of tension and release. This
approach finds its reflection in the writings of certain Polish scholars (i.e., Chomiński 1950, 1960).[4]
Chomiński does not consider Chopin's departures from the academic definition of the sonata-allegro
form to be "errors;" rather, he uses a dualistic conception of the sonata-allegro form based on thematic
conflict as his point of reference. From the perspective of historic relativism, all the changes made to
the sonata form were perceived by some scholars as evolutionary in character. Not only Chomiński, but
also Opieński (1928-29), and Jachimecki (1957) strongly emphasized the "romanticism" of Chopin's
sonatas, trying to place them between the classical and late-romantic types of the sonata, especially
as exemplified by Liszt or Franck.
The subject of the transformation of Chopin's approach to the sonata form appeared in the writings of
the above-mentioned scholars with an almost automatic repetitiveness. On the one hand, scholars
focused on the obvious difference between the Sonata in C Minor (composed by the very young Chopin
and considered to be a less than successful attempt at creating a work based on the formal framework
of the sonata-form) and the mature Sonatas in B-flat Minor and B Minor. On the other hand, while the
enigmatic character of the Sonata in G Minor led some scholars (especially Niecks and Opieński) [5] to
believe that this work was proof of the composer's lessening creative "impetus," other researchers
(Jachimecki and Chomiński) viewed this Sonata as a further expansion of the sonata form. As
Chomiński wrote, "Chopin's sonata output does not follow any progressively developing trajectory." [6]
While there is a noticeable difference in quality between the Sonatas in C Minor and in B-flat Minor, this
difference could be a result of the large time gap separating the works. One should note that this
temporal distance is somewhat filled-in by the Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 8 (1828-29) and both Piano
Concerti; however, these works were not considered by the authors discussing Chopin's sonatas.
According to Chomiński (ibidem), the role of the Piano Concerti is limited to the formation of the
"cantilena themes" which are characteristic of Chopin; nonetheless, he does not mention the Piano Trio
in this context. Protopopov [7] in his 1967 study regarded the feature of "unusual recapitulations" to be
the most characteristic element of Chopin's early works in sonata form; these recapitulations contain
different layouts of key relationships than those provided by classical models, and sometimes (i.e., in

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This bi-partite outline stems from "the transformation of values of the classic tri-partite sonata form. 46 (1834-41) does not provide a sufficient basis for drawing conclusions about transformations in Chopin's style. while describing the greatest sonata composers after Beethoven. noticed also by Leichtentritt in Chopin's Sonatas in B-flat Minor and in B Minor. peak.. Moreover. Op. Opieński (1929." "Mold. the creation of a middle-class that revelled in reading sentimental poetry). These evolutionary theoretical interpretations explain neither the true nature of choices made by Chopin himself nor their causes. allowed these scholars to defuse accusations against Chopin regarding the absence of organic qualities in his music.[14] In both cases it is extremely difficult to agree with the author's proposal of an immediate connection between "external occurrences" (communal or private) and transformations of the musical form. Czerny 2 of 18 18-09-2013 13:13 .. The Allegro de Concert in A Major. Schubert. "Chopinesque" formal scheme? Chomiński observed not only similarities. http://www. highlighting instead different approaches to the sonata form (e." and "Unicum"). did not attempt to build a linear theory of growth. the authors either assembled theories of the style's growth. 28). not reaching beyond the musical sphere. did not exemplify the elementary concept of a thematic conflict. but only about influences of the musical language on the form.1." since in this work the composer radically departed from the classical standards. the Sonata in C Minor and the Trio in G Minor) was the result of a fully purposeful compositional design. and Brahms. [9] The first part of this construction consists of the exposition. basic aspect of the sonatas' construction. He qualifies Chopin's Sonata in B Minor as a "Unicum. remaining profoundly dissatisfied with simplistic interpretations stemming from the notion of a romantic transformation of classical principles. maintains that at the time of the codification of sonata form in theoretical works (1830-40) it was impossible to talk about expansion of the form. The differences in presenting expositions and the ways of treating final movements could be seen as proofs of an evolutionary theory. 65 as a further instance of formal expansion with its overall construction and variances in the structuring of themes.e. Chomiński justified the "pessimistic" and unified character of the Sonata in G Minor by tragic occurrences in Chopin's life at the time of this works's creation. [17] An ongoing controversy still surrounds the issue of whether such schemes (perpetuated via the system of compositional education) influenced the theoretical writings of Reicha (1824-26). but also transformations of the model that permit us to notice a certain evolutionary line of development. According to Chomiński. the differences are noticeable in architectural conceptions. this unification led to Chopin's reliance on the "principe cyclique" in shaping the form of this work."Norms and Individuation . The scholar concluded that such pessimism was compensated for by the use of thematic conflict and an optimistic resolution in the work's finale.e. the sonatas' artistic value is incomparably higher.. The next three sonatas belong to the late period of Chopin's compositional output and all the scholars agree that those pieces significantly differ from their predecessors. Op. filled with emotion" (ibidem. Even if the Sonata in G Minor.[12] Chomiński attempted to find a new explanation for changes in Chopin's model of the sonata form. with its musical isomorphisms. the unification of motivic substance still marked a historic development in the evolution of this form. Andrzej Chodkowski[8] also states that the construction of the sonata-allegro form in the early works of Chopin (i.g. types of dramaturgy.e. [10] Chomiński also treats the Sonata in G Minor.html the Trio in G Minor. the point of reference was provided by a theoretical scheme. Schumann. and musical language..usc.. this approach allows one to interpret these works as much more than just examples of an unskillful application of the sonata form model. The Polish scholar explained Chopin's use of cantilena and the nocturne-like themes as being directly influenced by the specific socio-demographic situation of his time (i.1.00: Zofia Helman . [15] Newman. Opieński). Could these sonatas be understood solely as replications of a single. while the second part combines the development and recapitulation. 161) considers the absence of the main theme in the recapitulation to be the most characteristic element of Chopin's late sonatas. not the works of a given composer's predecessors. in turn. For Rosen. i. Op. "Process. Such general conclusions.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3.Polish Music Journal 3. Examples of a different approach to the 19th-century sonata form can be found in the writings of Newman (1969) and Rosen (1988). Regardless of the evaluation of the form of these works. [11] This principle. and collapse (i. or confirmed a constant growth leading to future changes (Chomiński). and the Concerto in E Minor) the recapitulations contain a reversed key relationship between the themes presented in the expositions. one should point out the temporal gap between the creation of the Concerto in E Minor.[16] Rosen.00/helman. resulting from the romantic pathos. 128-9) agrees with Opieński and expands this idea by proposing the existence of a specific kind of bi-partite structure as an essential. focused on romantic transformations of the classic sonata form in Chopin's works as well as on the appearance of futureoriented trends in these compositions ("principe cyclique").. though it could at least support the thesis that there is a definite continuity in Chopin's interest in the sonata form. Arguing from a point of view centering on the elucidation of changes in Chopin's individual style. 11 (1830) and the Sonata in B-flat Minor (1837-39). Chopin.[13] Finally.e.. Protopopov (1967.

The development and recapitulation created one section divided into two segments. Reicha established the location of themes in the exposition as well as the scheme of key relationships that later appeared in academic studies of the sonata form: major tonic . and resolution in the recapitulation became the most important components of the theory. [19] A characteristic element of both of those theories is that the first movement of a sonata is treated as a two-part form and described as an instance of a distinctive tonal organization (Dahlhaus 1978). While centering our attention on the transformations in Chopin's approach to the sonata genre as presented in his output. if the key of the dominant becomes the basis for the epilogue. http://www..parallel major tonicin the minor keys." using the term "La grande coupe binaire" instead. B. B.html (1849). A significant feature defining early-classical sonata forms is the polarizing of tonalities in the exposition (major tonic and major dominant or minor tonic and parallel major tonic). however.. one could transpose the transitions. the Majority of models in the theory of A. in the 18th century. Koch (1796).00: Zofia Helman . In his theory. and A.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. Numerous descriptions of the sonata form existed in the 18th century.Polish Music Journal 3. 2 and 3 in Figure 1 (see Figure 1 below). especially in the theoretical writings of A."Norms and Individuation . Thematic conflict in the exposition." where the first theme then became the basis for further development. or transposed to a different key (i. cadential extensions. the "point of gravity" relocates to the concept of the theme. The end of the development. In the descriptions of Czerny and Reicha. Ch. a Minor subdominant).1. in the Versuch einer Anleitung zur Composition of H. According to Reicha. Marx. the unified sonata-allegro form that would be universally used in the first part of the cycle did not yet exist (see Rosen). Marx were provided by the sonatas of Beethoven. [22] He recognized a distinction between the "idee mere" and the "idee accessoire. Marx (1845) before the final codification of the theoretical frameworks of the sonataallegro form and the sonata cycle..[18] This problem becomes especially important with reference to Chopin's compositions in sonata form created before 1830. which seems far more appropriate and better justified than the principle of thematic dualism (see Dahlhaus 1978). [21] Its scheme is described below in Tables 1. became a foundation for the "science" of musical forms later on. [23] moreover. Reicha does not introduce the term "sonata form. Finally.major dominant in the major keys. while the second term described material appearing in the transitions and epilogues.00/helman. but the main key should predominate and the second theme should be also be presented in the main key. periodic structure.1.e.usc. while preparing for the return of the first theme should also be based on the dominant key. B. I would like first to point out the connections and tensions emerging between the norms and their individual realizations. The tri-partite construction established by Marx. In his treatise. Only in the 19th century. e.g. etc. Earlier.[20] In Koch's rhetorical conception of form. He claimed that the final cadence of the exposition should be in the dominant and the whole exposition should be repeated. Theoretical findings referring to the form of the first movement in a sonata cycle undoubtedly reflected compositional practice at the turn of the 19th century. and Minor tonic . I do not equate this norm with the abstract theoretical 3 of 18 18-09-2013 13:13 . [23]24 Even in the so-called monothematic sonatas and symphonies of Haydn the area of the dominant (or the parallel in minor) constitutes a dissonant area in the exposition. Galeazzi (1796). the sonata form consisted of two sections with the second section further divided into two segments. or the Elementi teorico-pratici di musica of F. its transformations in development. The first theme could be shortened. While Reicha drew his examples mostly from the music of Haydn and Mozart.. the theoretician set the durational ratio between the two large-scale sections of the "grande coupe binaire" as 1:2 or even 1:3 (obviously without considering the repetitions). the second theme may appear in the main key." in which the first term referred to the main themes (both first and second). it would have been extremely difficult to conceive of the gradual development of the sonata-allegro model that was adopted later. Reicha further stated that the recapitulation could start with the "seconde idee. the criteria for articulating formal divisions are the rhythm of phrases.

in particular.25[24] In every style and in every epoch. Galeazzi.. providing proof that in the Warsaw Szkoła Główna Muzyki [Main Music School] the principles of the sonata form were very well known. not those of Beethoven. for instance. on the other hand. or to the change of style. is connected with individual solutions that are a result of the conscious activities of a composer. especially after the publication of the studies by Reicha. It is known that Chopin tried to avoid ready-made solutions and that he was not forced to follow them by Elsner.. its absorption by the unified motivic stream. All the statements and solutions presented here have only an approximate. All the authors of studies of Chopin's sonatas suggest the existence of a connection between his Sonata in C Minor and Elsner's compositional school. [29] Therefore.html constructions.[30] On the other hand. limited number of rules which define a given style. Rosen expresses doubt as tho whether the essence of the sonata form as such was comprehended in the Warsaw school: "They evidently did not have very clear ideas about sonatas art there in Warsaw" (Rosen 1988). hypothetical character. Alina NowakRomanowicz. as their new realizations. or is even an original compositional gesture. the number of compositional strategies is infinite.g. The characteristic details of Elsner's sonatas. Instead. the schematic nature of the period structure and the tonal relationship between the themes in the exposition and in the recapitulation (major tonic—major dominant in the exposition and the unification of the key scheme in the recapitulation with a return to the main key). sources for the non-schematic nature of Chopin's Sonata in C Minor can not be discovered in his educational gaps or lack of knowledge about the works of the classical masters.e. or Gervasoni. there is no reason to consider a sonata composed in 1829 from the point of view of 18th-century music theory. in any case.[28] points to the classical regularity of Elsner's sonata structures. since they could remain solely among the aspects and characteristics of a compositional idiom. both Chomiński and Gołab point out that the basic material for the sonata is provided by two motives appearing in the first measures of the introduction and labeled here 4 of 18 18-09-2013 13:13 . B. A. It is also difficult to ascertain what in his style stems from an intuitive acceptance of tradition and what stems from a creative transformation of this tradition. However. which stems from the first.[32] The same aspect of this piece also led to claims that Chopin did not understand the sonata form. It is obviously very difficult to reconstruct. Elsner's own compositions. which confirm the universal practice. the formal scheme had not yet been sanctioned by theory to the degree that it would be later. there exists a certain repertoire of universally applicable means and a certain.. [26] Opieński assumes that the point of departure for Elsner's composition teaching was the sonatas of Haydn and Mozart. Individuation. nonetheless. is the lack of prominence of the second theme. not entirely free. Chomiński and Gołąb)."Norms and Individuation . or whether they emerged under the influence of external factors. The second characteristic feature. It is significant. Czerny. conscious selections from this reportoire. and. despite Rosen's suspicions. Marx. Finally. of a "new" thematic idea also in the principal key—this gesture is probably borrowed from Mozart (actually it is derived from the practice of the Italian masters). that a "second thought" of the main theme ["secondo motivo"] appears in the model of the sonata form described by Galeazzi. On the one hand. as it were. testify to his awareness of the sonata form. This regularity pertains to the clear division of the form.1. and to answer the question of whether these transformations are a result of internal laws of development of musical style.00: Zofia Helman .usc. they are somehow connected to the found norms. but following Leonard Meyer (1989) I assume that the norms exist as a result of musical experiences (the knowledge of styles inherited from the past) and that they constitute a particular repertoire of possibilities that are at the disposal of the composer who makes particular. emphasized by Nowak-Romanowicz are also the motivic kinship of the main and secondary themes and the appearance. directly after the presentation of the first theme.1. II.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. modifications or expansions. This feature has caused differences in the interpretation of the exposition by a number of Polish scholars (e. These norms do not have to lead to the creation of a new universal norm. it is still more difficult to point to the reasons for these transformations. Koch. Chopin's creative thinking and the degree of his theoretical awareness. Despite their differences.[31] The most striking feature of Chopin's Sonata in C Minor—a feature which is also the most divergent from the norms—is not the assumed monothematic character but rather the absence of key changes in the exposition. http://www. which are. i.00/helman. and therefore various realizations of the same norms may exist within the confines of one style. appearing. on the basis of the analysis or secondary sources.. One should add that Elsner based his teaching in a greater measure on the compositional practice of these classical composers than on the codified descriptions of the sonata form by. to continue Meyer's thought. [27] In any case.Polish Music Journal 3.

1. in this case Chopin does not transcend the received norms.the recapitulation is somewhat shorter and begins roughly three-fourths through the movement (the repeated exposition lasts for 89 measures. reveals his connection to the North German sonata tradition. This fact. Both parts appear in the main key of G Minor (mm. In the closing section of the exposition. the same character can be distinguished in the closing group. the second idea from the first theme appears in the key of E-flat Major in the antecedent and in the key of G Minor in the consequent. New material. while more prominently marked than in the Sonata in C Minor (but short. Each segment of the form takes about one-third of the whole . Only in the coda is there a unity of keys. and the development and recapitulation on the other is 1:1 (178 measures versus 160 measures). enters at m. When one takes into account the repetitions. Both sections are in the same key. the formal proportion between the exposition. In its proportions. One may conclude (similarly to Reicha's conception).Polish Music Journal 3. the development and the recapitulation together form the longer part (not counting the repeats) in the proportion of 1:2. motive b / Main theme. does not introduce distinctly contrasting elements. The first section of the exposition (mm. This material. we should complement his segmentation by a statement that the main theme consists of two parts in the same key. Already in the Sonata in C Minor Chopin revealed his ability to derive themes from basic motivic cells. which could be interpreted as the traditional second theme."Norms and Individuation . 9-28). The keys appearing in the recapitulation (minor dominant and its parallel minor) are not distant.. While not denying the segmentation of form into phases proposed by Gołąb. while maintaining an individuality of themes and the potential for development. In the Trio in G Minor for violin. especially since Chopin moves this contrast to the recapitulation.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. Op. This gesture resembles one used by Haydn.00/helman. and to works by Mozart and Elsner. similar to the examples from Italian masters mentioned earlier. which was compensated for by the differentiation between the thematic parts (tonally stable) and the transitory parts (tonally unstable). as motives a and b (See Example 1 or http://www. 59.. 1-8 and mm. 53-60). consisting of 8 measures only). 25-30) on motive a. which was characterized by the unity of thematic material and homogeneity of expression. however. cello and piano. 31-43 a repetition of these sections occurs with small modifications. the first theme also consists of two parts related to each other in terms of their motivic content. however. [35] Also in the Trio. to the schema proposed by Galeazzi. that in Chopin's Sonata in C Minor the development and the recapitulation constitute one. rather than the recapitulation. motive a / Transition / Second Theme / Epilogue. Captions for rows: Exposition / Recapitulation. Nonetheless. despite a more distinct 5 of 18 18-09-2013 13:13 . the Sonata in C Minor does not differ from classical sonatas. In mm. The transition is based on harmonic progressions and chromatic passages. 17-24) is based on motive b while the second section (mm.e. The key scheme of the exposition and the recapitulation in this work is as follows (See Figure 2 or a larger image): Figure 2 (Table 4): Captions for columns: Introduction / Main theme. and confirm that this knowledge was coupled with a conscious avoidance of typical tonal contrasts in the exposition. perhaps. and the second appearance of the first theme takes place in the key of B-flat Major. The transition based on harmonic progressions does not introduce a modulation. also the second theme (mm.usc.. but rather indicates a transitory character. even though these were not the norms of the sonata form universally accepted later. does not bring tonal contrast. integral whole. The novelty introduced by Chopin was the absence of key contrast in the exposition. on the one hand.html a larger image).00: Zofia Helman . 8. We should note that Reicha points to the possibility that a second theme may belong to the idea-type he called idees accessoires. the absence of key contrast in the exposition may be surprising. Chopin's subsequent works in sonata form confirm his knowledge of classical rules and proportions of form. i. [33] Therefore. the development for 90 measures and the recapitulation for 70 measures).[34] In the recapitulation both parts of the main theme return according to the rules—in G Minor—while the second theme (actually an incomplete form of it) is in D Minor. but they are typical for the development.1. also in the key of C Minor.

only in the closing segment does it modulate to F Minor. Obviously. (see Example 2 or a larger image): Chopin introduced key contrasts for the first time between themes in the exposition of the Piano Concerto in F Minor. (b) the intervals of the fourth and the fifth which provide the basis of the second idea in the main theme and the second theme in the finale. but why should one be ashamed of writing wrongly despite of one's knowledge [Z.00/helman.1.. In this way.e. thus Chopin completely reverses the relationship between exposition and recapitulation. This theme appears in the recapitulation in the key of G Major. introducing direct repetitions. which was in turn influenced by the development of the piano texture and instrumental virtuosity. H. I will quote a fragment of Chopin's letter to Tytus Wojciechowski—a letter concerning not the issues of form. Also. On the other hand. Op. Chopin's setup clearly indicates his understanding of sonata-allegro as a binary form. i. as in the Sonata in C Minor. ascending on the scale degrees (and in inversion. 6 of 18 http://www. In all 18-09-2013 13:13 . or contrariness toward.00: Zofia Helman .. In this probably you may notice my inclination to do wrongly despite my will. [37] Chopin expands the dimensions of the themes on the basis of an additive principle. the second theme enters in the same key as in the exposition (!). hence the possibility of continuing a typical "developmental" gesture.usc. transposition to a different key. only the result will show whether it was a mistake or not.. yet indicating this possibility: [36] Perhaps it is a wrong thing. The issue of key in Chopin's sonata allegro forms is also connected to another characteristic feature. the same motivic cells are repeated: (a) the introductory motive. at times. adding periods and. moreover. Chopin's indifference to. that is again in a key traditionally reserved for the recapitulation."Norms and Individuation . the contrasts follow classical rules: F Minor for the first subject and A-flat Major for the second subject. tonal contrasts may have been a result of his boredom with the rules and a conscious attempt at breaking them. in the subsequent movement. the exposition was not supposed to include developmental elements. figurative sections required a counter-balance in the form of more developed thematic fragments. especially in the themes of the first movement. In the Piano Concerto in E Minor.Polish Music Journal 3.html segmentation of the form. According to the classical norms. or whether they should be seen as proof of a lack of professionalism and craftsmanship. the second theme appears in E Major.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3.1. However. the expansion of the dimensions of the form. but the instrumentation of the Concerto in E Minor. 21 (1829). The virtuosic. for instance Reicha in his treatise does not recommend such means.'s emphasis]. the recapitulation does not become a realm of literal repetitions of sections from the exposition. the tendency towards unity is maintained. after the first theme which is shortened to mere four measures. Here. in which the recapitulation constitutes a continuation of the development. A question arises whether these kinds of innovations in the domain of tonal relationships in the sonata form may be justified by artistic reasons. in the recapitulation. however. creating a characteristic cadential formula).

with themes appearing in an identical key relationship. rather. and songs—but he also composed the Ballade in G Minor. 23 (1833). virtuosic segments serving to dynamize the form through reliance on rhythmic and harmonic motion. However. on the other hand.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. 35 that is often emphasized in the scholarly literature of this subject. i. ability. English and German criticism of the time. figurative transitions (marked con fuoco or leggiero). similar to some sonatas by Mozart. These works constitute a typically romantic effort to express oneself in "new. in the Trio or in the Piano Concerto in F Minor the first segment acquires the character of an introduction with only the second segment constituting the principal thematic idea. with the return of themes and repetitions. http://www. even in this period of its decreased popularity. still remained the measure of a composer's craftsmanship. and that it remained a certain test of the composer's creative potential. If. In contrast to my predecessors. but similarly to the finale of the Sonata in C Minor. and in the recapitulation G Minor and C Minor. 7 of 18 18-09-2013 13:13 . In Chopin's model. in the Trio. and other one-movement compositions that included elements of the sonata in their formal conception. Newman quotes excerpts from French. forms. stating that the sonata was passee. and to the schema put forward by Galeazzi.g. G Minor—D Minor. waltzes..Polish Music Journal 3. in the Trio). the new choices and strategies which led to the transformation of the form of the sonata-allegro. because of that the rondo has certain sonata traits. Full stability was only reached in the final part of the recapitulation or the coda (e. the risoluto and the espressivo).. The schema of the finale of the Sonata in C Minor can be outlined in the following table (See Figure 3 below or a larger image): In the third part a kind of recapitulation appears. 31 (1837). In the Trio in G Minor the final rondo is simpler and less expansively structured. [38] While noting the existence of the key and theme contrasts (C Minor and G Minor)."Norms and Individuation . or stylized dances.g. The dramaturgy of the sonata allegro in Chopin's music differs significantly from that of the classical sonatas.1. nocturnes. Therefore. 46 (probably planned as a piano concerto).e. it continued certain features of the development. i. the Scherzo in B Minor. The studies by Opieński and Chomiński include statements that Chopin's knowledge of the rules of thematic duality is revealed in the finale of the Sonata in C Minor. these authors did not further investigate the details of the finale's structure.html the discussed sonata-allegro forms the principal theme encloses two segments in the same key. capriccio. This gap is supposed to prove Chopin's apparent lack of interest in greater cyclical forms and his preference for miniatures. that in the 1830s there was a general turn away from the genre of the sonata. Simultaneously. Op. the way in which Chopin applies this method of expanding the scope of the principal subject is different in every composition. the lack of interest in the sonata form in the 1830s and the fact that Chopin returned to this form at the end of the 1830s. in both Concerti and the Trio it is significant that a lyrical cantilena is introduced within the framework of the main theme.through the return of principal thematic ideas and domination of the main key.. it features figurativedevelopmental sections after thematic sections." [39] Each of the four parts of this rondo consists of two segments: a thematic segment and a figurative-developmental segment... etudes. Schumann [41] accurately observed that the sonata. or between the thematic segments (frequently marked by Chopin as dolce or espressivo) and the virtuosic. In the Piano Concerto in E Minor one may describe these two segments as equally important.00: Zofia Helman . such contrasts may be seen to exist either between the first and second part of the main theme (e.usc. A significant issue in Chopin's early sonatas is the interpretation of the finale forms. Op. on the one hand. the contrasts of themes and keys and developmental techniques. One should not overestimate the gap between Chopin's Piano Concerti and the Sonata in B-flat Minor.e.1. It is also true that in Chopin's output before 1839. Op. a stabilizing character .. that it was discredited in favor of smaller forms such as the fantasia." more freely shaped. Op.00/helman. the Scherzo in B-flat Minor. Allegro de concert. Nonetheless. does not testify about the existence of a turning point in his output from that period. It is true. III. similar to the form identified by Reicha as "coupe de rondeau. there are no elements of contrast between the main and the second theme. I would be inclined to define this finale as a type of a rondo. for instance in the Sonata in C Minor the second segment is a kind of a complementation. [40] The return and flourishing of the sonata occurs only in the 1860s and 1870s. Op. however. small forms dominated—mazurkas. 20 (1833). this hypothesis also underlines the principles on which the periodization of his output was based. What is more significant are the changes in his compositional thinking. Elsner. Therefore. and talent. which also contributes additional thematic ideas. the exposition presents thematic ideas (tonally stable) interlaced with figurative. The recapitulation had.

but now the proportions of the parts are changed. thematic dualism. [42] The basis for these calculations was provided by the last two sonatas by Chopin. that is the beginning of the development (the whole lasts for 293 measures. the dimensions of the exposition increase.00: Zofia Helman . the particular character of the second theme. so that in the Sonata in B-flat Minor there are 104 measures of exposition and 138 measures of development with recapitulation (the exposition takes 43% of the whole work). In contrast. Chopin's own model of the sonata allegro form and the sonata cycle. It is interesting to note that in subsequent sonatas by Chopin. Newman includes the following table which presents the proportions between the exposition. the tonal relationships in the exposition and the recapitulation. (2) the existence of a formal invariant. The binary character of Chopin's sonata-allegro seems intended because the proportions that are consequently applied in his works differ from the proportions appearing in sonatas by others. In the sonatas in B Minor and G Minor the differences between the point of the inverted golden section and the entry of the second theme are 6 and 11 measures. in the Sonata in B Minor the exposition lasts for 91 measures and the development plus recapitulation for 113 measures (the exposition takes 44.7 measure (104 times 0. with greater or smaller differences of detail. the development and the recapitulation are the second part.. above all.618 equals 181). which belong to a well-grounded tradition.usc. possibly. in Chopin's sonatas a golden ratio appears.1. they approach 50% while works by others feature expositions that constitute about 40% of their length. (3) the issue of transformations of this model within individual compositions. Nonetheless. In addition. the tri-partite character of the exposition. opinions are divided in this respect). recapitulation). i.Polish Music Journal 3. divided into two respective sections. the difference between the point of the golden section and the beginning of the development is 7 measures. one should take into consideration the following factors: (1) common traits and differences with respect to the first group of works adhering to model of the sonata form.html While discussing the group of Chopin's late sonatas (Sonata in B-flat Minor. The dimensions of the exposition in Chopin's works are evidently larger than in works by other composers. Op. Op. This arrangement closely adheres to the theoretical conception of Reicha ("la grande coupe binaire"). the beginning of the recapitulation from second-theme material. Beginning with the Sonata in B-flat Minor. development.. 8 of 18 http://www. The exposition constitutes the first part. such a bi-partite character can also be noticed in the Sonata in C Minor and the Trio (especially in the treatment of the recapitulation). but absorbed and adapted by him in such a fashion that 18-09-2013 13:13 . a distinct binary division with exact proportions. in the Sonata in G Minor this difference is 14 measures. Chopin's model of the sonata allegro contains certain classical invariants. in the whole cycle.or tri-partite nature of the whole sonata-allegro form (as is well known. 181. the four-movement cycle and the structure of the sonata allegro form. the golden section plays a certain role in the structure of the exposition: the segment of the first theme is the shorter part while the segment of the second theme with the epilogue is the longer part. the motivic unity of the themes in the first movement and. 40. What matters in this case is not the theoretical issue of the bi.382) and the second theme appears in m. In the traditional sonata form (also in Chopin's sonatas in the 1820's) there is a proportion of 1:1 between the exposition and the development with recapitulation (this proportion is most distinct in Schumann's music). 58."Norms and Individuation .edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. It is easy to notice that certain external traits of the sonata. development and recapitulation in works by several romantic composers (See Figure 4 below or a larger image). respectively. as well as individual features perhaps not introduced by Chopin for the first time. 293 times 0. and the Sonata in G Minor for Piano and Cello. Obviously the proportions are changed even further if the repeats of the expositions are taken into account. Op. do not change in the three late sonatas. 65). a different model of the sonata allegro becomes stabilized in these works. the repeated exposition for 180 measures. For instance in the Sonata in B Minor the point of the golden section falls on measure no.1.. In the Sonata in B-flat Minor.00/helman. this model is defined by such features as: proportions between components of the form (exposition. in the Sonata in G Minor the exposition lasts for 114 measures while the development with recapitulation for 122 (48%). the return to the first theme at the end of the recapitulation. both earlier composers and his contemporaries. Sonata in B Minor..e. 35.6% of the duration of the piece). Three late sonatas display. Also at this moment Chopin changes the guidelines proposed by Reicha. the point of the inverted golden section falls at 39. this proportion is the most exactly articulated in the Sonata in B-flat Minor where the exposition lasts for 104 measures.

The reason for Chopin's atypical layout of the recapitulation is rooted in the different dramaturgy of the form (which. All three sonatas are kept in minor keys. that there is a regularity in key relationships that did not occur in Chopin's earlier works. melodic material. Beginning the recapitulation from the second theme while bypassing the first theme was not Chopin's invention. in the sonata allegro form Chopin defines a certain equilibrium between the expansive. It is easy to conclude that the second theme in the Sonatas in B-flat Minor and B Minor constitutes a certain novum in the sonata genre resulting from Chopin's preference for crossing different genres. the second theme also plays a significant role in the development. The exposition ends with the chord of the upper dominant to the main key (in the Sonata in B-flat Minor it is the dominant of the parallel tonic). 2nd theme (major tonic). 2nd theme (parallel major). It is important to notice what was earlier emphasized by Rosen.1."Norms and Individuation . Protopopov indicates that one may notice numerous such examples in pre-classical sonatas. it ends with a longer segment based on the function of the dominant to the main key. The development reveals a clear division into two parts.g. Only in the Sonata in G Minor does the epilogue appear in a key different from the second theme. idee mere. rather then evolutionary. such as Zofia Lissa. [43] The second theme appears in the exposition in the key of the parallel major. This explanation does not seem to suffice in the case of Chopin's sonatas—in the Sonata in B Minor. Chopin's themes do not belong to the category of the so-called "secondary themes" (in German: "Nebensatz" or "Seitenthema"). this theme appears in the recapitulation in the key of the major tonic. which is constructed as a period and shaped in a variational. as it were. In the Sonata in B-flat Minor this method of continuous "slowing down" or "halting" the expansive nature of the theme is obvious with all 18-09-2013 13:13 . The character of the second theme also defines the arrangement of the recapitulation which is typical for Chopin.00: Zofia Helman .usc. which was noted by earlier scholars. connects the beginning of the recapitulation from the second theme to the domination of the first theme in the development. with internal differentiation into phrases. the tonal centers (minor tonic and its parallel). and marked stretto (in the Sonata in B-flat Minor and in G Minor). 9 of 18 http://www. their manifest conflict is articulated by the contrast of modes (major/minor).. the increased dimensions and new character of the second theme (which is. e. In the later sonatas the elements of the first theme are introduced only at the end of the recapitulation (in the stretto) and these elements bring in a recurrence of increased dramatic tension leading toward the next part of the cycle. for instance. After the repetition of the material from the second theme and the epilogue. "a form in a form") cause an interruption in the dynamic development carried by the first theme. cited by Reicha. In contrast to the Sonata in C Minor. Chomiński enlists Weber's Sonata in C Major. epilogue (major tonic). We should also remember that already in his first works in the sonata form. Op. both later piano sonatas strongly differentiate between the character of the first and second themes. preparing for the appearance of the recapitulation. fashion. a reminiscence of 1st theme (major tonic).1. but in respect to the function that they play in the whole. emotional character. texture. This model is repeated in the three sonatas. by the way. moreover. In the piano sonatas in B-flat Minor and in B Minor. First row: Exposition—Development—Recapitulation. He merely intensifies the contrasting character of the themes. Thus.Polish Music Journal 3.. they are not in any way less important than first themes. [44] Especially in the Sonata in B Minor the second theme has the clear features of a nocturne. epilogue (parallel major). therefore the tonal relationships between the themes in the expositions and in the recapitulations are also similar. however. 24 as a pattern that Chopin could have followed. [45] Nonetheless. considerably abbreviated. Chopin's formal schema. ending on major dominant.00/helman. this reminiscence is.html these traits became elements of his personal compositional idiom. The repetition of the first theme would bring a continuation of these conflicts and not their solution. both themes could be called. and even the formative principles.. the conflict could not have been alleviated solely by the introduction of a unified key. in two parts. It is obvious that in doing so. varies from one sonata to another). a reminiscence of the first theme appears in the closing passages of the movement. by Scarlatti. Chopin does not change the basic principle of dualism in the sonata allegro form.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. The stereotypical explanation. Chopin tried to avoid exact repetitions in the recapitulation. Second row: 1st theme (minor tonic). developmental first theme and the lyrical. the character of the recapitulation stems from the stabilizing function of the second theme which removes the tensions and conflicts of the development. cantabile second theme. already in his Traite Reicha mentions such a possibility. to use Reicha's term. though there are slight divergencies between them (See Figure 5 below or a larger image).

it is only continued in the epilogue. It serves as a intermediary between the first and the second theme. the harmonic evolution begins already at the closure of the first group of eight measures. it emphasizes the intensification of lyrical elements in the Sonata in B Minor. after a fragment based on chromatic juxtapositions of chords. The harmonic content of this section may be reduced to the sequence of the major dominant of major dominant with an added sixth of the moving to the Minor tonic. e. In Hummel's work a harmonically-volatile segment appears between the first and the second theme.G-sharp. In this period. 130-133). the closing group increases tonal instability and anxiety. chromaticism strongly intensifies in these sections (see Gołąb). 390-392) indicates that this compositional strategy has a different goal than a simple modulation to the second theme.g. The second theme in the Sonata in B Minor. in the first segment.. the falling melodic line is juxtaposed with the nervous rhythms in the left hand. 23-28). Op. 10 of 18 http://www.. The similarities between the realizations of the model of the sonata-allegro itself are obvious. Chopin extends the polarization of modes. The closing segment of the exposition in the Sonata in B Minor is also transformed in comparison with the Sonata in B-flat Minor. In particular. On the basis of these features Chomiński claims that "the bourgeois features of the Sonata in B Minor are much more prominent than of the Sonata in B-flat Minor.Polish Music Journal 3. Op.00: Zofia Helman . Rosen's thesis that Chopin could have been influenced only by one. here. and both four-measure units constitute a counterbalance to the progressions that follow them and lead to a culmination. not from its harmonic traits. the harmonic evolution becomes a goal in itself and the transition acquires an independent character. 122-125.00/helman."Norms and Individuation . introduces an element of the cantilena continuing the mood of the second subject. 81. Simultaneously. an interlacing of short. the expanding harmonic means contributed to the articulation of form by causing a greater "openness" of the first theme.. Other scholars have already pointed out the similarity of this gesture to the initial measures of Beethoven's Piano Sonata in C Minor. however. However.flat Minor the transition is virtually non-existent: the exposition essentially consists of the juxtaposition of two thematic and tonal planes which are connected by a short modulation. articulates the same principles of dualism and contrast that engage all the possible means as appeared in the Sonata in B-flat Minor. restless. the principle is carried out in the whole movement of the sonata. C-sharp .edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3." [50] While this opinion sounds very negative (and methodologically dated).html the elements of the allegro. The expansiveness of the first theme in this work stems from its rhythmic and dynamic features. This temporary stabilization on the consonant sonority still further increases the character of tension. The basic difference lies in the transitions between the themes. the entry of the latter is prepared by a prolongation of the dominant. Rosen suggests that the model for these aspects of Chopin's Sonata in B Minor was provided by Hummel's Sonata in F-sharp Minor. Rosen (1988.1. The recapitulation. In the Sonata in B Minor. In the following segment (mm. its role is to counterbalance the activity of the dissonant chord. keys and expressions to the polarization of chromatic and diatonic textures. even in its first four measures. The exposition is polarized into two parts. Thus. The fifth. The principle of slowing down and delaying of the development also rules in the development. finally. [48] Simultaneously. The increasing dynamic curve of the exposition is thus broken up through stabilization of the secondary theme. that is in the minor dominant of the main key. introduces a certain equilibrium of two emotional qualities into this pattern. The differences between the Sonata in B-flat Minor and the Sonata in B Minor define the essence of transformation in Chopin's approach to the sonata form. harmonically means the alteration of the fifth in the chord (G-sharp is a leading tone of A and C-sharp=D-flat ).[49] Thus.[47] (See Example 3 below or a larger image). C-sharp—E—G-sharp.g. the music transverses through the keys of B-flat Major. In the presented textural arrangement a consonant triadic sonority arises.1. in the Sonata in B Minor this role is taken over by the modulating transition based on harmonic progressions and placed between the second theme and the epilogue. with the predominance of the second theme. the "realization" is divergent from the "implication" (to use expressions borrowed from Narmour. the epilogue reveals more distinct thematic features and its role stems from a different dramaturgy of the exposition than the one occurring in the Sonata in B-flat Minor. [46] However. 1977). the use of different harmonic functions in the closing section of the exposition. despite certain small differences. its Minor parallel(G Minor) and. superimposed on the E in the bass. despite an apparent tri-partite division: the first theme 18-09-2013 13:13 . for instance.. marked dolce. In the Sonata in B. 111. syncopated motives of the first theme and the motives from the introduction of a contrasting character. e. definite model in this Sonata is not entirely convincing. the epilogue itself. In the work composed earlier. the Major= subdominant in the key of E Minor.usc. The polyphonic transition remains in the key of D Minor (m.

11 of 18 18-09-2013 13:13 . At first approach. there is a sudden enharmonic modulation to F Major in m. i. for instance by using related keys that are separated by the intervals of the fifth or the third..00: Zofia Helman . [51] His conception is difficult to accept because in all of Chopin's sonatas the recapitulation is always preceded by a extended prolongation of the major dominant. which—in his interpretation—begins an abbreviated version of the first theme. both in classical and early-romantic developments do not follow a free course. this structure seems to be very convoluted and very distant from theoretical premises. be completely unjustified dramaturgically. while this sequence of arpeggiated chords seemingly does not have any functional connections. and finally C-flat Major (the lower mediant of the subdominant in B-flat Major. nocturne-like features.. therefore. crucial points of the development keys related to the main key appear according to classical rules.1.. in principle. In contrast. http://www.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. Nonetheless. and G-sharp Minor. Therefore. in which the second theme appears. with an internal differentiation of phrases. In addition.g.1. the harmonization of this passage is based on the enharmonic polyvalence of meanings of diminished chords and of chords with altered fifths (See Example 4 below or a larger image): IV. In the Sonata in B Minor the first part of the development in particular belongs among the most harmonically convoluted musical fragments in all of Chopin's works. and finally the key of E-flat Major (both keys are enharmonically connected to the main key of the Sonata). B Minor. For instance in the Sonata in B-flat Minor the development begins in the key of F-sharp Minor (i. Chominski assumes that at the moment when the key of B Major is reached in the development (m.00/helman. 135) and when the motives from segments of the main theme enter (m.e. The tonal center is not stabilized between these nodal points and one may note the incessant flow of the harmonic progressions (e. Modulations.html and the transition have an expansive. Only its beginning includes related keys: F-sharp Minor. but proceed according to a concrete plan. In contrast to this model. bi-partite."Norms and Individuation . it actually represents a chromatic passage of voices moving in a descending direction. 104. This is one more proof for Chopin's conscious creation of the dramaturgical conception of this work. Whereas in the Sonata in B-flat Minor a culmination follows a phase of increasing tension. 106-109. The chromatic passage mentioned above deserves a closer scrutiny..e. To locate the beginning of the recapitulation at the moment indicated by Chomiński would. open character and the second theme and the epilogue introduce lyrical. Only the closing segment of the development follows a similar pattern to the one presented in the Sonata in B-flat Minor: a wave of increased tension followed by a prolongation of the major dominant in the key of the second theme of the recapitulation (B Major). Chopin's developments bewilder with sudden modulatory turns and with establishing connections between distant keys. G Minor. 137) we are already dealing with the recapitulation. G-flat Minor) and the successive entries of new segments are marked by the keys of C Minor. at the beginning of the development) or the sequences of chords that are mostly related by thirds in the second part of the development. cantilene-like theme provides a surprise at the moment of the expected culmination. In important.. one may find a logic in his harmonic progressions. see the passage and its harmonic reduction in Example 4 below). in the Sonata in B Minor a return of the second. A similar polarization appears in the development. it is worthwhile to consider the harmonic structure of Chopin's developments. F Minor. It is. the music reaches first the key of D-flat Major. After that. following a complicated chromatic passage through a series of keys on the flat side (m. the first segment is generally unstable.Polish Music Journal 3. then giving way to a gradual decrease of intensity. in the Sonata in B Minor such a dominant prolongation occurs no earlier than in mm. in the second part of the development (from the moment when the second theme appears) the tonal centers are stabilized. 142-150. the Neapolitan chord) preceding the emergence of the dominant in B-flat Major.usc.

however. on the one hand. the character of the scherzo is completely different in the Sonata in B-flat Minor (dramatic. Meanwhile. the homogeneity of expression).. Moreover. The arpeggiated transition. an eight-measure modulatory passage appears after a pause (it is again marked dolce). ends with a return of the key of G Minor and a suspension of motion on the major dominant—that is with a way of introducting a new theme that was characteristic for Chopin.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. 4 and 8 measures. it is an "idee mere" and not an "idee accessoire"). 8 and 10 in the cello part.. The entry of the second theme after the return of the dominant Major in A Minor has a modulatory character and leads to the tonic major. ephemeral) or in the Sonata in G Minor (lyrical. the epilogue of the exposition becomes a third theme: it is characterized by a greater independence than the typical themes of closing groups (i. yet is more homogeneous in its expressive aspects. The difference between the Sonata in G Minor and its predecessors lies in the expansion of the theme into a whole thematic group. In this way."Norms and Individuation . filled with contrasts. In Chopin literature this melodic continuum received the name of Chopin's "unendliche Melodie" (term from Rothstein 1988). Chopin abandons the principle of sharply-delineated contrasts by creating a sonata-allegro form that still includes many themes. in every sonata Chopin endows these movements with different characteristics. recurs in the main key of G Minor.00/helman. First of all. such phrasing structure is typical in Chopin's music. Chopin repeats a gesture from the exposition. The key of A Minor does not turn out to be the key of the recapitulation. A delayed second motive plays an essential role in their integration. a modulation to the key of D Minor follows and a new theme appears with an expressive marking of dolce which is characteristic for most themes of this sonata. http://www. Thus. both lyrical and cantabile (mm. Only at the beginning does one perceive the "pulsation" of segments consisting of 2. Expositions of a similar type occur already in Schubert's sonatas.html The Sonata in G Minor for piano and cello. we are dealing with an exposition that includes three themes and three keys (G Minor— B-flat Major—D Minor). V. 24. this passage leads to the key of the second theme. this motive appears in m. 185). thus creating fluid transitions between subsequent phrases. Chopin's way of beginning the theme with a modulatory passage is also a new gesture. m.e. and on the transformation of the syntax. In the conclusion—as in the previous sonatas—the initial ideas from the main theme make a brief appearance in stretto. This time. to a large extent..e. Chopin emphasizes the expressive homogeneity of this movement. The subsequent movements in the sonata cycle only seemingly are subjected to unified formal principles. [53] The layout of the development in Chopin's Sonata in G Minor resembles the developments in both piano sonatas by Chopin discussed earlier: the intensification towards the climax in the first phase. B Major.e. i. Therefore. The second wave of intensified tension leads to the appearance of the first motive from the main theme in a stretto followed by a phase of decrease (diminuendo) based on the sustained dominant in A Minor that serves to prepare the recapitulation. The entry of the second theme in a key that has not been stabilized after the expected resolution of the dominant brings in a degree of surprise. however. at the same time.usc. Even if the basic Chopinesque architectural model is repeated in the Sonata in G Minor. The second theme is marked by a noticeable intensification of harmonic motion. bringing in at first a shift to the key of A-flat Major.Polish Music Journal 3.1. 2 and 4 of the piano part. The introduction of the second theme is both original and new. the appearance of the second idea from the main theme in the key of D Minor at the climax (forte) followed by the idea's transposition to the key of E Minor. its realization leads to a different internal form and to different solutions of the dramatic flow of the work.00: Zofia Helman . as well as—in inversion—as the motive opening the second thematic idea in m.. The main theme consists of two ideas in the same key of G Minor. without strong contrasts). resembling self-standing scherzos by Chopin) than in the Sonata in B Minor (light. 84-87). The slow movements also 12 of 18 18-09-2013 13:13 . 1-20 and 24-41). he does not separate individual segments with pauses or rests. these ideas are separated by a short transition. Chopin avoids closing musical ideas with cadences that consist of the major dominant resolving to the minor tonic. by harmonic means. The third theme. i. the key of G Major (in m. [52] The fluid motion is articulated.1. One could say that in structuring the first theme Chopin returns to a formal conception from the first period of his creative output (the main theme consisting of two ideas in the same key. composed shortly after the Sonata in B Minor again bewilders with the diversity of its formal solutions while preserving the same. despite the general expansion of the repertoire of harmonic means the elements of developmental harmony do not occur within the main theme (as they do in the Sonata in B Minor). unchangeable architectural framework. however. Here. In the following passage the cadences are not simultaneous in the parts of the cello and the piano. similar to the one occuring in the transition to the second theme during the stabilization of the key of B-flat Major (in mm. on the other hand..

however.. 28. Since the Funeral March was composed earlier than the other movements of this Sonata. 1835-37). Only the Sonata in B-flat Minor features a finale that is structured in a different fashion. [57] it appears more prominently in the Sonata in G Minor. and a brief intermezzo in the Sonata in G Minor. Leichentritt) began to discover their connections to the "principe cyclique.1.Polish Music Journal 3. [55] Meanwhile.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3.e. a nocturne. Chopin retains the principle of the sonata recapitulation. G Major. However. see Figure 6 below or a larger image). [56] In the Sonata in B Minor integration by means of common intervallic cells plays perhaps a less prominent role. 13 of 18 http://www. the link of these themes via a motivic cell consisting of the intervals of thirds and seconds seems distinct enough to not allow us to deny the possibility of its conscious use as a means of integration. Nonetheless. and Prelude in E-flat Major from. the main theme always returns in the main key. The connection of the beginning of the Finale to the main motive of the whole sonata is more obvious.g. in the Sonata in B Minor themes do not appear in the main key and are presented in transposition to different keys (E Minor and E-flat Major)..00/helman. Op..flat Minor is closer to Chopin's evolutionary forms with a hidden periodicity. (See Figure 7 below or a larger image ): At the same time. In the Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano the rondo includes three different themes. especially that this cell occurs in the Funeral March as well. Op.1." Cholopov put forward a hypothesis that this finale displays the characteristics of a rondo form.g. to certain preludes and etudes that were composed at the same time (e.usc. this connection was already pointed out by scholars researching Chopin's sonatas. [54] It is difficult to agree with this hypothesis.html reveal diverse physiognomies in each of these sonatas: a funeral march. 25 no. a kind of recapitulation emerges with the repetition of the first eight measures of this movement. it is highly probable that its melodic line became the source for further thematic ideas. in B-flat Minor and in B Minor.e. it is not accidental that Schumann called it "a sphinx. as Chomiński has already pointed out. the isomorphic finale of the Sonata in B. in comparison with rondos from the Sonata in C Minor and the Trio in G Minor. one may also emphasize the integrative role of the rhythmic motive (Beethoven's "motive of fate") in the first and the last movements of the Sonata. even though it would have confirmed the existence of a unified model of Chopin's finales which is presented in my study.00: Zofia Helman . (See Figure 8 below or a larger image): 18-09-2013 13:13 . In contrast. that is more or less in the middle of this movement. even in these works one may distinguish diverse formal solutions. i. It is true that in the finale of the Sonata in B-flat Minor a binary arrangement appears. share many common features both with each other and with the sonata rondos from Chopin's early period. If these sonatas were initially described as amalgams of non-related movements. because in m. Prelude in E-flat Minor. the finales of both piano sonatas. 10. In addition to the motive based on seconds which connects all the movements in this sonata cycle."Norms and Individuation . 39. Thematic contrasts and changes of texture occur in other rondos in Chopin's finales. 1838-39.." Opieński and Chomiński reject Leichtentritt's thesis about the motivic unity of themes in the first movement of the Sonata in B-flat Minor. The issue of integration of Chopin's sonata cycles often recurs in the literature of the subject. later authors (e. For instance a binary layout appears in the Sonata in B Minor (it occurs in Chopin's earlier music. Only towards the end does the main key return with its parallel Major variant. Etude in B Minor. i.

There are no noticeable attempts at breaking the norms of the genre. for instance. 6. key schemes.00: Zofia Helman . Therefore. the habitual beginning of the recapitulation with the second theme. 4. and the appearance of reminiscences from the first theme at the end (in stretto).edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. brief melodic cells. this model maintains classical traits with a distinct binary division that is defined by the proportions of the forms.."Norms and Individuation . even though it does not constitute a highly significant factor in the transformations of Chopin's style. it is only one of the varieties of Chopin's model of the sonata. The analysis of Chopin's sonatas leads to the following conclusions: 1. VI. In the early period Chopin alluded to various traditions of the sonata-allegro form while avoiding the most common schema which was accepted by music theory.html The method of integrating thematic material with intervallic cells is derived from Beethoven and already appeared in Chopin's early period. or of the whole cycle with recurrent. 2. http://www. does not constitute an apex in the development of the sonata form in Chopin's music..usc. The Sonata in G Minor. by a tendency to unify thematic material of the individual movements.1.1.Polish Music Journal 3. In all of Chopin's sonatas the four-movement sonata cycle appears with a stable arrangements of the movement and the sonata-allegro form featuring a classical division into a repeated exposition followed by the development and recapitulation. His individuality was expressed in his custom of maintaining the expositions in a unified key and of moving the tonal contrasts to the recapitulation. In Chopin's late sonatas the model of the sonata-allegro form is stabilized. 14 of 18 18-09-2013 13:13 . 3. it may be described as a characteristic stylistic feature. The internal organization of the form in the sonatas provides a basis for distinguishing two main groups of Chopin's works: the first group including sonata cycles composed before 1830 and the second consisting of three sonatas from the late period. Almost all of Chopin's sonata cycles are marked. to a greater or smaller extent.00/helman. 5. but from the changes in the internal organization of the sonata-allegro form and the simultaneous transformation of musical language. The transformation of Chopin's style around the year 1837 probably resulted not from his return to the sonata genre (that he had abandoned in the intervening years).

1. 225. Sonaty Chopina (Kraków: PWM. vol. vol. 2 (1929). on the other. Rocznik Chopinowski vol. [Back] [8]. [Back] [6]. 8. Chopin definitely remains in the sphere of classical influences. internal-musical and linked to the domain of compositional invention. 1909). James Huneker. "Sonaty Chopina. "Kilka uwag o Trio fortepianowym Fryderyka Chopina" [Some remarks about Chopin's Piano Trio]. Sonaty Chopina. Chomiński. [Back] [3]. 1957). Andrzej Chodkowski. Sonaty Chopina. 1900). Analyse der Chopin'schen Klavierwerken. Friedrich Chopin als Mensch und als Musiker." 161. 2 (Paris. Włodzimierz Protopopov. 1957. [Back] [12].. Abstract Author's Biography PMJ—Current Issue NOTES: [1]. Independently of the common model that provided a general. Vincent d'Indy. Chopina. "Sonaty Chopina. each of Chopin's late sonatas is marked by its individual traits and constitutes a particular variant of the model. Chomiński. ich oceny i ich wartość konstrukcyjna" [Chopin's sonatas. 2.Polish Music Journal 3.html 7. 1-2 (Leipzig. Józef Chomiński. 1920). The Man and His Music (New York. Opieński.1. Rocznik Chopinowski. August Halm. Cours de composition musicale. In respect to sonata forms. their evaluations and their constructive values]. on the one hand." 1929. As a romantic creator. 1-2 (Berlin. Hans Mersmann. [Back] [5]. Leichtentritt. [Back] [10]. Chopin. compositional framework. 14 (1982). 19 (1987): 128-9. "Forma cyklu sonatowego w utworach F. [Back] [2].usc." [The form of sonata cycle in the works by Chopin]. [Back] [9]. An outline of life and works] (Kraków: PWM. [Back] [11]. 1950). [Back] [7]. was shaped by romantic tendencies that inspired a novel way of thinking and stimulated the emergence of individual solutions and concepts. vol. 250. the transformation of Chopin's approach to the sonata form after 1837 resulted from an enrichment of Chopin's artistic experiences and a deepening of his musical knowledge and his creative experiences after his departure for Paris. in Polsko-rosyjskie miscellanea muzyczne. 1 (1928) and no. http://www. 1967).."Norms and Individuation . The reasons for this stylistic transformation are. Józef Chomiński. in the domain of active norms. Chomiński. As one could assume. Włodzimierz Protopopov. That is why each of his sonatas has an individual dramatic form. 1921. Kwartalnik Muzyczny no. 1920). The individuation is connected to the transformation of musical language in the late period and to the dramatic conception of the sonata-allegro form and the whole sonata cycle. 276. Zofia Lissa. Zdzisław Jachimecki. Sonaty Chopina. (Kraków: PWM. Hugo Leichtentritt.00: Zofia Helman . Preludia Chopina (Kraków: PWM. 1890). 128-129. however. Chopin's creative awareness. 1960). Chopin. vols. Henryk Opieński. Friedrich Niecks. "Nowa interpretacja klasycznych form muzycznych w utworach Chopina" [New interpretation of classical musical forms in the works by Chopin]. Rys życia i twórczości [Chopin. Niecks. Sonaty Chopina [Chopin's Sonatas] (Kraków: PWM. despite his attachment to tradition. Chopin als Mensch. Opieński. and 81. Die romantische Harmonik and ihre Krise in Wagners "Tristan" (Bern-Leipzig. 2. Chopin. they belong in the ideological atmosphere of Chopin's times and milieu. 26. "Sonaty Chopina. Angewandte Musikasthetik (Berlin. Analysevol. 1960). he searched for new solutions. [Back] 15 of 18 18-09-2013 13:13 . [Back] [4]. 1926). 1960. 1890.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. Von zwei Kulturen der Musik (Munich. 1922).00/helman. vol. 212 and 250. 159. ed. 255. Jachimecki. 279. Ernst Kurth.

Style and Music: Theory. Alina Nowak-Romanowicz. Carl Dahlhaus..]. Ch. Elementi. Reicha. Sonata Forms. 1980). 1988). 1 (Warsaw: PIW. Anton Reicha. Die Lehre von der musikalischen Komposition. 41. [Back] [18]. 365. 1991). [Back] [15].Ch. 1849). 3 (1978): 155-177. Sonaty Chopina. Rosen. vol. Newman. 1989).4. [Back] [20]. Reicha. On 27 November 1831 Elsner wrote to Chopin: "In teaching composition one does not need to give recipes. Chomiński. [Back] [24]. Vollstandiges Lehrbuch der musikalischen Composition. 3 (Leipzig. 98. 1.Polish Music Journal 3. 104-108.. reprint Hildesheim 1969). Józef Elsner (Kraków: PWM. Traite de haute composition musicale (Paris. 249. Heinrich Christoph Koch. 333. Sonaty Chopina. 197. [Back] [28]. 2 (Rome. [Back] [30]. vol. 301. 1800). in particular to the disciples whose abilities are apparent.usc. Leipzig 1793. [Back] [19]. Sonata Forms. Rosen. "Sonaty Chopina. see Ian Bent. [Back] [21].00/helman. 1824-26). Chopin simultaneously stated that "one can learn from their works. Carlo Gervasoni. Elsner. [Back] [14]." Archiv fur Musikwissenschaft 35. 1969). let them have means to discover what was not discover as yet. La scuola della musica (Piacenza. no. vol.B. Sonaty Chopina. Opieński. even though from his correspondence with Elsner one may surmise that he was interested in Reicha. Diabelli und Comp." See: Bronisław E. The Sonata since Beethoven. 1. "Der rhetorische Formbegriff. 201. 1158-1165. vol. 1-3 (London."Norms and Individuation . Leipzig 1787. Sonata Forms.html [13]. Adolf Bernhard Marx. let them find the rules by themselves. 259. Francesco Galeazzi. Vol. [Back] [26]. Galeazzi.1. The Sonata. 176.. While classifying Reicha in the comical category of "shrivelled bottoms" [suszone pupki]. [Back] 18-09-2013 13:13 . Marx. William S. [Back] [23]. Chomiński. (London: McMillan. 190. School of Practical Composition. Elementi teorico-pratici di musica. Maciej Gołąb. trans. Versuch. Anton Reicha. Sonata Forms (New York and London. 1957). [Back] [22]. 16 of 18 http://www. vol. 1955). Traite. The form "sonata form" in reference to the first movement of the whole cycle was probably first used by A. vol. note. "Der rhetorische Formbegriff H. 195. 1845). 206. We have no testimonies to the fact that he learnt about it later. ed. Chromatyka i tonalność w muzyce Chopina [Chromaticism and Tonality in Chopin's Music] (Kraków: Musica Iagellonica. Korespondencja Fryderyka Chopina [Correspondence of F. [Back] [32]. [Back] [27].edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. 3 (Chapel Hill: Prentice Hall. 1796). Leonard B. 1834). Reicha. Chomiński.00: Zofia Helman . A History of the Sonata Idea.1. 193. so that at times they could transcend themselves. ed. 109-113. Sydow. [Back] [29]. Charles Rosen." [Back] [25]. History. It is doubtful whether Chopin knew Reicha's theory in the period of composing his Sonata in C Minor. Rosen. Carl Czerny (Wien: bei A. 28-50. Dahlhaus. [Back] [16]. even though Czerny did include a concise description of its structure. Versuch einer Anleitung zur Composition. Koch. This name refers there to the whole sonata cycle and not to the form of the first movement of this cycle. The term "sonata form" [Sonatenform) was introduced by Czerny in the Appendix of the Translator [Zusatz des Ubersetzers) to the first part of his edition of the treatise by Reicha. Meyer." See Sydow. 4." 154. "Analysis. 42. 1-3 (Leipzig. 1163. Rudolstadt 1782. [Back] [17]. Traite. Nowak-Romanowicz. vol. Newman. Stanley Sadie. vol. vol." in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 392. and Ideology (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Korespondencja vol. 4. Kochs und die Theorie der Sonatenform. [Back] [31].

after a figurative transition the first theme enters again in the key of E Major. 125. Sonaty Chopina. 19 (1987: 233-234. Reicha. 305ff. See Leichentritt. 61-80. 212-213.00/helman. Rosen." 27. See Rosen. 19 (1987).00: Zofia Helman . 1169. Chopin later repeated this gesture in his Allegro de concert where both the first and second themes appear in the key of A Major. Also see Chomiński. Sonaty Chopina. Editor: Maja Trochimczyk. Sonaty Chopina. 353-364. Traite. Chomiński. [Back] [48]. 207-212. Chomiński. Korespondencja. "Nowa interpretacja. 148. "Sonaty Chopina. "Phrase Rhythm in Chopin's Nocturnes and Mazurkas. ed. Sonaty Chopina. 250ff. Reicha. in the key of upper dominant. vol. "Sonaty Chopina. Sonaty Chopina. vol. [Back] © Copyright 2000 by Zofia Helman. Sonata Forms. The Book of the First International Musicological Congress Devoted to the Works of Frederick Chopin. [Back] [47]. 1159. Newman.1. Protopopov. 392. [Back] [53]. [Back] [41].. 390-392. [Back] [56]." 68. 171. [Back] [36].. Sydow. Rosen. O zasadach kompozycji Chopina: zagadka finału Sonaty b-moll. Jurij Cholopov." in Chopin Studies. 1977). Eugene Narmour. 106-107. 1988). Zofia Lissa. ed. Sonata Forms. 201.1. Sonaty Chopina. [Back] [39].. vol. Maciej Gołąb.Polish Music Journal 3.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. For a discussion of Schumann's case see Newman. The Sonata. [Back] [42]. Opieński. 21. Analyse. 1963)." 220-221. Warsaw 16-22 February 1960 (Warsaw: PWN.e. 1164. Chomiński. 39." 154. Cholopov. 4. while. Reicha. [Back] [43]. Rosen. [Back] [37]. Beyond Schenkerism: The Need for Alternatives in Music Analysis (Chicago. 17 of 18 http://www. [Back] [44]. Opieński. [Back] [54]. Protopopov. Rocznik Chopinowski vol. [Back] [49]. Jim Samson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Traite. Newman. Sonata Forms. 1. [Back] [34]. Rocznik Chopinowski. Traite. [Back] [40]. [Back] [45]. [Back] [38]. 41-42. Jurij Cholopov. Summer 2000."Norms and Individuation . Chomiński. London. [Back] [46]. Chomiński. i. Publisher: Polish Music Center Design: Maja Trochimczyk & Marcin Depiński. 1960. 212-123. Chomiński. [Back] [57]. [Back] [51]. Sonata Forms.html [33].usc. "Nowa interpretacja. "O zasadach kompozycji Chopina: Zagadka finalu Sonaty b-moll [About Chopin's compositional principles: the mystery of the finale of the Sonata in B-flat Minor]. [Back] [50]. [Back] [55]. [Back] [35]. The Sonata. 18-09-2013 13:13 . [Back] [52]. The Sonata. 164. Chromatyka." 26. 133ff. "O zasadach. William Rothstein.

00/helman.1.html Comments and inquiries by e-mail: polmusic@email..Polish Music Journal 3.usc.1.usc.edu 18-09-2013 13:13 ."Norms and Individuation .00: Zofia Helman ..edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/3. 18 of 18 http://www.