The music piece
The reason why this composition is important is because it is an answer to one of the issues discussed in The War of the Romantics, which was about the sonata. Liszt chose to modify and develop the form instead of keeping to the form the composers used to compose by in the classical era (“Liszt, Franz”).
Britannica explains the sonata form as coming from the binary form, however, the sonata form is more complex. The binary form has two parts and the form is held together by the ”themes… tonalities, or keys, the particular sets of notes and chords used in each part” (Britannica). The first part is played twice and it ends in the same key as the second part ...view middle of the document...
This fact made it possible for Liszt to show his expertise and how it is possible to use two sonata forms at the same time and make them work and go together. Throughout the entire sonata there are themes that Alan Walker calls “’tags’” that show up in so many different ways that they are surprising even for professional piano players who knows the composition well (Weimar Years 129-130).
The tags are incased in the exposition, the development and the leadback, the recapitulation and then the Coda (Weimar Years 129). According to Alan Walker, the form of Sonata in B Minor looks like this: Intro, I: Allegro (B minor/D major), II: Andante (F# major), III: Fugato (Bb minor), IV: Allegro (B minor/ B major), and then Prestissimo (Weimar Years 129). Another interesting part of the piece is that the introduction ha two parts, a Lento and an Allegro that seem to be in no key at all. It has been widely discussed in what key the sonata is in at the beginning; for example C minor, or G minor, but Alan Walker says that Liszt establishes the key of B minor in measure 32 (Weimar Years 130- 131). Tim Parry explains the layout of the sonata in simpler words when he says that during the piece, the music that starts of with falling scales and then returns to the falling scales at certain spots as if it was “a curtain between the acts of a play” (Parry 4).
There is a theme in this sonata that is important, and the particular theme is called “’Grandioso’” which Alan Walker describes as “a grand peak in the Romantic literature” (132). He was inspired by a chant called “’Crux fidelis’” when he did the Grandioso theme (Weimar Years 132). Liszt took his inspiration for the structure of the Sonata from Shubert’s Wanderer Fantasie. He was very impressed by Shubert’s composition and he was the performer who played it for the first time in front of an audience, he also loved it so much that he made different arrangements of it, both for piano and for orchestra (Weimar Years 129-130).
The theme is of great importance, however, it is the way Liszt uses and combines the two sonata forms that makes this composition so very unique (Weimar Years 130). Sonata in B Minor is built on short phrases that are developed and Watts calls what Edin called the thematic metamorphosis “’the transformation of themes’” (Watts). The development has the slow section and a fugal schertzo, which is also a recapitulation. Another important part of the sonata is the use of chromatics Liszt loved to use in it (Parry 4).
It was very puzzling since Liszt was a composer known for his programme music, and that he explained his compositions. But this time he called the piece as it were; sonata (Weimar Years 128). The reason why so many people debated about the meaning behind it, even though Liszt had tried to make it clear that it was no meaning behind it at all was because it was very expressive and emotional (Watts). This has led to scholars looking and...