Frederic Chopin (1810 – 1849) – Sonata in B minor, Opus 58

The third sonata was written between 1844 and 1845. The first of four movements follows fairly strict sonata allegro form,though the opening theme is not restated in the recapitulation.

Chopin balances a stately first theme with a lyric second theme and weaves the movement into a lengthy and monumental work. The development section drives with thematic material from the first theme and fragments from transitional material. Chopin incorporates the newest tools of his age, including romantic period signatures like unusual chord progressions and chromaticism. The work is at times thick, rich and forward, yet at other moments it is tender and personal. These many sided expressions combine to form an unparalleled musical journey.

Both the second and third movements are in ABA form with the third movement being the sonata’s slow movement.

The ending octaves of the second movement pause, then the third movement begins with a descending pattern which modulates to the “A” section theme in B major. The middle section is lengthy and mood setting with a slow melodic soprano riding over descending arpeggios. The bass carries melodic movement which adds interest. In the end, when all is at peace, the final movement arrives! This multi-part rondo eventually mates with one of Chopin’s most successful and exciting codas.