Schumann: Chopin Piano Sonata Review


Writer: R. Schumann
Broadcasting: Die Neue Zeitschrift für Musik
Tarih: 1841
Translator: Cihan Barut 

A perceptive expert eye will not doubt its composer after examining the first expressions of this sonata.

From discordant sounds and discordant sounds to discordant sounds; only Chopin starts in this style - and again only Chopin ends in this style. And yet there is so much beauty in this work!

His characterization of this composition as a 'sonata' is not an implied joke, but a downright challenge.

Chopin seems to have taken his four mischievous children, which cannot be presented on their own, and secretly brought them together under the name of 'sonata'.

For example, let's say a country singer comes to a music center in a big city to buy music. He is shown the newest compositions, but he does not like any of them.

Then a clever employee shows a 'sonata' to a country client. "Yeah!" exclaims the singer- “echoes of the old days, this is for me”. He buys it and tries to steal it in his house.

If I am not terribly mistaken, he will exclaim from the first page that this is not a proper sonata, after uttering unspeakable words over all the saints of music.

However, Chopin achieved his goal and entered the singer's house.

Who knows if, years later, a grandson will pick up this sonata from the dusty shelf and say, "The man wasn't so wrong" after playing it!

With the above story, we think we have made half the decision.

Chopin no longer writes music that can be found from other composers. He has his own valid reasons.

It is a pity that most pianists, including the cultured ones, do not see or judge works other than compositions that they can easily play with their own fingers.

Instead of making a preliminary examination on such difficult works, they try to progress by taking the notes in their hands.

When they leave the notes in their hands in confusion, they experience structural relations with difficulty.

Like Jean Paul, Chopin, in particular, has his own peculiar passages and parentheses. It is advisable not to linger too long on these passages, otherwise the trackers will lose their way on the path.

In this sonata, such obstacles are present on almost every page, and Chopin's frequent erratic progression does not make it easy for those who want to decipher it.

The result of not wanting to be harmonious is a rather heavy rain of sharps and flats, which is only appreciated on noteworthy occasions. Sometimes it's right, but it mostly confuses the public who don't want a lifelong mystery.

This sonata characteristically contains five flats. That is, in the B flat minor tonality – which cannot be said to be very popular.

The first three measures offer us mi ve la natural and do and left sharps!

The stormy and passionate episode that follows this Chopenistic beginning reminds us of Chopin's early works. This should be heard often and played well!

There is also a very good song in the first episode. In fact, this is the gradual disappearance of the taste of the Polish national theme, which is often seen in his works, and Chopin's reaching to Italy via Germany.

Chopin and Bellini are known to be friends. It does not seem possible that this friendship will not be reflected in the arts of the duo. But this is a humble bond.

Because when this beautiful song begins to be heard, the Polish spirit comes to the fore with all its clarity. Of course, Bellini wouldn't have dared these intertwined chords at the close of the first act of the second part!

Thus, the end of the second part is “Italian” – This reminds me of Liszt's comment on Rossini: “Rossini and his fellow musicians end their article with the phrase “your most humble servant” – Chopin's cadences, on the other hand, contain a different emotionality!

The second part is a continuation of the same mood - bold, smart and creative. Trio, on the other hand, is elegant and dreamy – utterly Chopenistic!

Similar to Beethoven compositions, just a "Scherzo" in the name. What follows is even darker; a funerary march.

A D flat Adagio would have provided an immeasurably better effect.

The last part under the title of 'Final' is more of a mockery than music. It must be admitted that in this music-deprived section, the breathing of an evil spirit is heard, which, despite all the effort to resist, takes a determined stance.

We listen to it as if fascinated without complaint - but we keep it away from praise because it can't be called music.

Thus the sonata ends as it began; like a mysterious, smiling and sarcastic Egyptian Sphinx.


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