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작성자서기이천년 조회 0회 작성일 2021-05-02 09:14:18 댓글 0

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Chopin: Sonata No.2 in B-flat minor, Op.35 (Pogorelich, Fialkowska)

By far and away darkest sonata of the Romantic period. Schumann famously wrote of the Op.35, in an opinion still widely cited, that “The idea of calling it a sonata is a caprice, if not a jest, for he has simply bound together four of his most reckless children, thus under his name smuggling them into a place into which they could not else have penetrated.” Even if true, this criticism is kind of meaningless, punishing Chopin for failing to achieve something he was never really aiming at. Chopin was using the Sonata as a framework within which he drew together some of the major conceptions that featured in his earlier work: a dark ballade/fantasy, a scherzo, a funeral march, and a prelude/etude, with a nocturne embedded in all of the first three movements. Consider the amazing final movement: understated, disintegrative, bordering on atonality, without harmony, without melody, without decoration, without inflection, without pause. It follows on naturally from the funeral march, a kind of grim impressionist reflection on morbidity. The scherzo is a kind of biting, titanic struggle against death, and the opening movement, with its shuddering (and harmonically misleading) introduction, clamorous repeated chords, jagged figurations, and inverted reprise, is also a Hadean meditation of a more explicitly epic kind.

But it’s also important to notice that, contrary to Schumann (and almost every commentator since), this Sonata *is* motivically bound together in ingenious ways. The most obvious motif is that of the repeating note (2:18, and all through the Scherzo + March). But there are many more subtle motivic linkages: most cleverly, the introduction’s Db-Db-C becomes the theme at 2:06, which then becomes the LH’s Eb-Db oscillation between the 5th/6th notes of the scale degree at 7:06, and which then recurs in the F-Gb in the March’s LH). Note also that the opening downwards leap reasserts itself spectacularly in the development at 3:23 in the lowest voice (and elsewhere).

MVT I, Grave—Doppio movimento
00:00 – INTRODUCTION. [A] = opening Db-E leap, [B] = maj 6th + min 2nd movement, [C] = C#-Db-C descent in upper voice
EXPOSITION
00:17 – Theme 1. [D] = the minor 3rd (Bb-Db) interval, here in the form of a Db/Bb/C/Db/Bb rotating cell in the RH, that later shifts to C-Eb
00:47 – Transition
00:55 – Theme 2. Note the use of [D] – the opening phrase and its variants stay between F and Ab
02:06 – Theme 3, derived from [C]. At 2:18, [E] = repeated notes
DEVELOPMENT
02:30 – Var.1. [C] developed jaggedly, with [A] interspersed (in retrograde) at 2:35 (A#-B-D) and similar. At 2:40 the descending 5th derived from [A], and also outlines the interval crucial to the second phrase of Theme 2. At 2:56 [A] is used sequentially
03:00 – Upper voice is variation on Theme 2, while LH plays [D]
03:05 – Var.2. Theme 1’s second phrase is developed, followed by the variation on Theme 2
03:23 – Var.3. [A] thundering in the lowest voice (Bb-D, etc), [D] in RH
03:44 – Var.4. [D] rising.
03:53 – Transition into
RECAPITULATION
04:05 – Theme 2
05:16 – Theme 3
05:35 – CODA

MVT II, Scherzo
05:58 – Scherzo. Note motif [E] (repeated notes) both in the opening and at 6:36. At 6:08 Theme 3 from Mvt 1 is recalled.
07:06 – Trio. The LH’s Eb-Db swing is a modified [C]. Call this [C*]. The melody in the upper voice borrows the contour of Mvt 1’s Theme 2, and is also a very neat augmentation of the rapid octave figure at 6:27(!), with the last note displaced up an octave
10:27 – Scherzo da capo
11:32 – A surprising coda that uses material from the Trio, giving the movement an ABAB* structure.

MVT III, Marche funèbre: Lento
12:25 – March, combining three motifs at once. The accompaniment uses [C*]: like the 2nd Mvt Trio’s LH, it alternates between the 5th and 6th notes of the scale degree (Eb/Db in the Trio, F/Gb here). The RH employs [E] (repeated notes in upper voice), which eventually turn into [D] at 12:36, outlining the minor 3rd. Note that the bass trills in this section are also anticipated by similar trills in the Trio.
14:41 – Nocturne
16:41 – March

MVT IV, Finale: Presto
It is not really *that* sensible to talk about the structure of this movement. It has one (bithematic rondo or ABCDAB+Coda) but it isn’t relevant to how you actually hear this movement. Nonetheless for completeness here it is:
18:57 – Theme 1, prominently integrating [D] – look at the two highest notes in the opening bar. As with Mvt 1’s Theme 1, the Bb-Db interval in the first two bars becomes C-Eb
19:04 – Episode 1
19:21 – Theme 2
19:29 – Episode 2
19:37 – Theme 1
19:42 – Episode 1
20:06 – Coda

Beethoven: Sonata No.2 in A Major, Op.2 No.2 (Blechacz, Kovacevich, Pletnev)

The general impression of the Op.2 No.2 is that it is a lithe, graceful, often lyrical thing. This belies, however, its radical (even parodic) tendencies, and huge technical difficulty: it’s clear that B. was determined to outdo his predecessors early on, and this sonata is already well beyond Mozart and Haydn.

The most striking fact feature of this sonata is its way with key: it changes in unexpected and often extremely modern-sounding ways: see what happens in the second theme group at 00:47, where it moves in intervals of a minor third, the use of C and (extended) F major in the development of the 1st movement, Bb in the 2nd (11:45), G# min in the 3rd (14:16), and F + Bb major in the last section of the 4th. It’s incredible that something so graceful moves with such modulatory aggressiveness, but the colour B. generates with these sorts of shifts shows why the Romantics couldn’t get enough of their modulations to bVII or bVI or III.

There’s also the textures B. deploys here, which were previously unheard-of in pianoforte literature. In the 1st movement, parodic extensions of rise-and-fall melodic shapes so common in the classical period, with white-hot scales thrown in, as well as some magical 3-part textures at 4:06; in the 2nd, gorgeous Brahmsian textures (7:40) and pizzicato plucking in the lowest registers against sustained middle tones, and in the 4th an absurd operatic downward leap, together with deliberately overinvolved mimicry of a motif borrowed from the 1st movement – the rising A arpeggio.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that the defining features of B.’s style are already in abundance: lots of clever motivic manipulation in the 1st movement, and (by classical standards) an unusually long movement.

MVT I, Allegro vivace
EXPOSITION
00:00 – Theme Group 1, Theme 1. Note Motif (A), the opening descending 4th, the related long octave descending on m.4 (A*), and Motif (B), the quick downward run in m.1.
00:06 – Theme Group 1, Theme 2. TG1, T1 returns after.
00:25 – Theme Group 1, Theme 3. Containing (C), rapid rising scale, and slower descent (D). (Note connections to TG1, T1.)
00:32 – Dominant preparation
00:47 – Theme Group 2, Theme 1. A beautiful and incredibly modern-sounding series of enharmonic modulations, each raising the tonality by a minor 3rd.
01:01 – (B) returns. (Also the rhythm of (A) interspersed). At 1:08, cadence-theme 1
01:14 – (C)+(D) return
01:24 – Cadence-theme 2
DEVELOPMENT
03:16 – After closing chords in E min, TG1, T1 in C
03:22 – In Ab, (A)+(B)+(A*), moving into dominant of F
03:50 – TG1, T2 in F. Repeats itself, led by bass
04:06 – TG1, T2 developed in close 3-part imitation moving around the circle of fourths. At 4:12 (A) appears, together with scalar fragment from TG1, T2. Process repeated twice.
04:23 – Dominant preparation, extensively using TG1, T2
RECAPITULATION
04:41 – TG1. The counter-statement of TG1, T1 is absent.
05:21 – TG2, leading straight into closing cadence without coda.

MVT II, Largo appassionato
06:15 – Theme. The 20 seconds after 7:40 count as one of the most moving things B. ever wrote (and are already radically unlike anything Mozart or Haydn could have dreamt of, sounding like they came straight out of Brahms).
08:01 – Episode 1
09:12 – Theme
10:55 – Episode 2, beginning like a coda. At 11:35 theme returns suddenly in D min in ff, moving into Bb and home dominant
12:31 – Theme, in higher register, with delicately articulated accompaniment
13:11 – Coda

MVT III, Allegretto
13:51 – Scherzo. At 14:16, second melody in G# min
15:16 – Trio, in A min
16:01 – Scherzo

MVT IV, Grazioso
16:47 – Theme (Note the opening arpeggio extends the figure from TG1 T2)
17:17 – Transition
17:33 – Episode 1
18:00 – Theme
18:30 – Episode 2
20:11 – Theme
20:42 – Transition, in tonic
20:56 – Episode 1
21:18 – Theme/Coda (can also be read as Theme + Episode 2 + Theme, giving the movement an ABACABACA structure). At 21:28 – sudden enharmonic diversion into F, where the theme hovers for 5 bars. At 21:45 the theme is developed into the bass into tonic-dominant swing. At 21:56 the portamento from the theme is deployed in what looks like a final cadence that suddenly moves using an enharmonic switch (D#=Eb) into Bb. At 22:09 – Episode 2’s theme recurs in Bb, and at 22:31 the Theme returns one last time, richly ornamented and diverted at 22:46 into the final tonic-dominant swing.

Beethoven Violin Sonata No 2 in A major Anne Sophie Mutter



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