Chopin / Beethoven

the-sonata.jpg!Large.jpg

     “The Sonata 

 

            Childe Hassam

 

                    ________

 

what’s the difference between

 

        one, Chopin’s Andante spianato et

            grande polonaise brillante

 

        two, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata no 32, 

            opus 111

 

you tell me

 

that one is Chopin, the other Beethoven

doesn’t, of course, count

 

 

R ! chard

 

psst: if you considered the intervening

         pause between the two distinct 

         musical segments, you’re on, the 

         pause makes clear the separate

         sections, though these be 

         nevertheless profoundly, and 

         incontrovertibly, interconnected,

         you can feel it

 

         the pause determines the form, 

         once there are two portions, you 

         have movements, movements 

         are the essential components of

         a sonata, no movements, no 

         sonata

 

         the Chopin has no movements,

         just one continuous elaboration,

         however multiply constructed, 

         and is so called – Andante 

         spianato et grande polonaise 

         brillante” – note the conjunction

 

         both, however, juxtapose 

         contrasting, though intimately 

         conjoined, musical pairings to 

         be experienced as couplings,

         for better or, as ever, for worse

 

         both, incidentally, are profoundly,

         and inexorably, Romantic, which 

         is to say, personal, and probing