Hyperion Records

Piano Sonata No 2 in B flat minor, Op 35
composer
third movement originally composed as a separate piece in 1837; completed in Nohant in 1839; published 1840; 'Funeral March' Sonata

Recordings
'Arthur de Greef – Solo and concerto recordings' (APR7401)
Arthur de Greef – Solo and concerto recordings
APR7401  Download only  
'Chopin: Piano Sonatas' (CKD250)
Chopin: Piano Sonatas
CKD250  Download only  
'Chopin: Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3' (CDA30006)
Chopin: Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3
Buy by post £8.50 CDA30006  Hyperion 30th Anniversary series  
'Chopin: Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3' (CDA67706)
Chopin: Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67706 
'Chopin: The Complete Works' (CDS44351/66)
Chopin: The Complete Works
Buy by post £50.00 CDS44351/66  16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Yakov Flier – Chopin, Kabalevsky & Rachmaninov' (APR5665)
Yakov Flier – Chopin, Kabalevsky & Rachmaninov
APR5665  Download only  
'Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings' (APR7501)
Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings
APR7501  Download only  
'Alfred Cortot – The Late Recordings, Vol. 4 – Schumann, Schubert, Chopin & Liszt' (APR5574)
Alfred Cortot – The Late Recordings, Vol. 4 – Schumann, Schubert, Chopin & Liszt
APR5574  Download only  
'Irene Scharrer – The complete electric and selected acoustic recordings' (APR6010)
Irene Scharrer – The complete electric and selected acoustic recordings
APR6010  for the price of 1 — Download only  
'The Piano G & Ts, Vol. 2 – Alfred Grünfeld, Raoul Pugno & Natalia Janotha' (APR5532)
The Piano G & Ts, Vol. 2 – Alfred Grünfeld, Raoul Pugno & Natalia Janotha
APR5532  Download only  
'Vladimir Horowitz – The complete solo European recordings' (APR6004)
Vladimir Horowitz – The complete solo European recordings
APR6004  for the price of 1 — Download only  
'Hyperion monthly sampler – April 2014' (HYP201404)
Hyperion monthly sampler – April 2014
HYP201404  Download-only monthly sampler  
Details
Movement 1: Grave – Doppio movimento
Track 5 on CDS44351/66 CD1 [5'14] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 2 on CDA30006 [6'49] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 2 on CDA67706 [6'49]
Track 2 on CKD250 [7'18] Download only
Track 9 on APR6004 CD1 [7'05] for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 1 on APR5665 [5'44] Download only
Track 1 on APR7501 CD4 [5'34] Download only
Track 2 on APR7401 CD3 [7'25] Download only
Movement 2: Scherzo
Track 6 on CDS44351/66 CD1 [7'11] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 3 on CDA30006 [5'47] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 3 on CDA67706 [5'47]
Track 3 on CKD250 [7'13] Download only
Track 2 on APR5665 [6'59] Download only
Track 2 on APR7501 CD4 [5'57] Download only
Track 3 on APR7401 CD3 [5'09] Download only
Movement 3: Marche funèbre
Track 7 on CDS44351/66 CD1 [7'09] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 4 on CDA30006 [7'25] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 4 on CDA67706 [7'25]
Track 4 on CKD250 [11'25] Download only
Track 3 on APR5665 [9'13] Download only
Track 31 on APR5574 [5'45] Download only
Track 3 on APR7501 CD4 [6'27] Download only
Track 15 on APR6010 CD2 [3'39] for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 4 on APR7401 CD3 [6'47] Download only
Track 22 on APR5532 [3'56] Download only
Track 9 on HYP201404 [6'47] Download-only monthly sampler
Movement 4: Presto
Track 8 on CDS44351/66 CD1 [1'33] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 5 on CDA30006 [1'38] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series
Track 5 on CDA67706 [1'38]
Track 5 on CKD250 [1'37] Download only
Track 4 on APR5665 [1'26] Download only
Track 4 on APR7501 CD4 [1'46] Download only
Track 5 on APR7401 CD3 [1'48] Download only

Piano Sonata No 2 in B flat minor, Op 35
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Two years after composing the Op 27 Nocturnes, Chopin wrote a Marche funèbre (1837). It was shortly after his hopes of marriage to Teresa Wodzinska had been dashed, but perhaps we should be cautious about inferring too much from that. At any rate two years later, during the summer of 1839 (the first of the seven highly productive summers he spent at George Sand’s country estate at Nohant in the French provinces), he wrote a further three movements to complete his Piano Sonata No 2 in B flat minor Op 35. The work was published the following year (1840). This time Schumann was not so generous. His reference to the four movements as ‘four unruly children smuggled under this name into a place they could not otherwise have penetrated’ is intriguing. As a criticism it is hardly fair, criticizing Chopin for failing to achieve something that was never really in his sights, but at the same time it does point to what is really singular about this work. Of course it is possible to relate it to the historical archetype of the Austro-German sonata (the overall shape, with the funeral march following rather than preceding the scherzo, is close to Beethoven’s Op 26, a sonata that Chopin taught and played), but really Chopin was trying to create something quite different: a new kind of sonata, albeit based on the old kind. Essentially he used the sonata genre as a framework within which the achievements of his earlier music—the figurative patterns of the Études and Preludes, the cantilenas of the Nocturnes, and even the periodicity of the dance pieces—might be drawn together in a kind of synthesis.

It is possible, for example, to analyse the first movement as a sonata form with the inverted reprise that is so characteristic of Chopin (compare the Ballades). But equally it is possible to hear it as a double cycle where figurative patterns are followed by cantilenas. Moreover, just as Nocturnes are embedded in the first movement in this way, so another Nocturne is trapped within the Scherzo and yet another haunts the middle section of the funeral march. In neither of these inner movements does the central song feel like a natural outgrowth of the flanking sections. It remains remote from them, strengthening our impression of a series of contrasted, relatively self-contained musical worlds juxtaposed rather than smoothly joined. And in this reading the notorious finale assumes the character of a baroque-like Étude or Prelude (compare Nos 14 and 19 from the Op 28 Preludes). This in no way diminishes the powerful affective quality of the sequence, where the funeral march yields first to the detached, otherworldly song of its ‘trio’, and then to the disintegrative, harmonically elusive, and purposefully insubstantial finale. But it does reinforce (in a positive way) the gist of Schumann’s observation. The components of this work are formally separated, albeit thematically linked.

from notes by Jim Samson © 2009

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDS44351/66 disc 1 track 8
Presto
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-08-35108
Duration
1'33
Recording date
14 June 1990
Recording venue
Concordia College, Bronxville, New York, USA
Recording producer
Ward Botsford
Recording engineer
Ward Botsford
Hyperion usage
  1. Chopin: The Complete Works (CDS44351/66)
    Disc 1 Track 8
    Release date: November 2008
    16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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