Displacing the Sonata

Joseph Kerman

in Returning Cycles

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780520225640
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925786 | DOI:
Displacing the Sonata

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A set of pieces enough like a sonata to be called one by musically sophisticated critics, yet in the end clearly not a sonata; a set that, for all its tonal and motivic interconnections, need not necessarily be performed or regarded as a set. Schubert's intentions about what posthumously became opus 142 can never be fully known. But having composed in opus 90 one set of pieces that, despite its remarkable cyclic coherence, could never be confused with a sonata, Schubert may have felt a need to come to terms with that achievement by immediately composing another set in which he worked out a compromise between it and the sonata forms with which he was accustomed to working. On this account, although opus 142 is still not a sonata, it does represent the integrative, consolidating response of a composer grounded in sonata forms to one of his own most extraordinary compositional innovations.

Keywords: Schubert; opus 142; impromptus; sonatas

Chapter.  10457 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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