Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In a brief chat yesterday a former student clarified my notions about what a sonata is (it sounded like a reprise of the review I gave Victor Rosenbaum on his reading of Beethoven Op. 2 #3). To wit, more or less: A sonata is not a matter of a selection of notes which constitute a theme or two, but rather an acoustical proposition that reveals the nature of the instrument(s) for which it is written.

It's not a bad definition, since it can be extended to cover the various instrumental combinations for which sonatas have been written, including piano trios and string quartets, among others.

It would be a fascinating study to detect the actual acoustical difference between a Mozart piano sonata and a Mozart string quartet in D major, for example. This is something I have long dreamed of doing.

Why not start today?