Piano Sonata (Stravinsky)

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The Piano Sonata, sometimes also referred to as Sonata for Piano[1] or in its original French form, Sonate pour piano,[2] is a 1924 piano sonata by Russian expatriate composer Igor Stravinsky.


Stravinsky composed this sonata when he was in Biarritz and Nice in the summer of 1924. He finished it on October 21 that year.[3] It was premiered by the composer himself at the Donaueschingen Festival in July 1925.[4] It was eventually edited by Albert Spalding and published by Boosey & Hawkes in 1925. It is dedicated to the Princess Edmond de Polignac, Winnaretta Singer.[5]


The sonata is in three movements and takes between 9 and 11 minutes to perform. The movements are:

  1. quarter note = 112
  2. Adagietto
  3. quarter note = 112

In some recordings, the first movement is titled Moderato and the third Allegro moderato; however, such titles or tempo markings are not present in the original score.[5]


The first and the third movement are related to each other: both share the same tempo and both are in sonata form, each with its own recapitulation; furthermore, as for the thematic material, the first theme played on two hands simultaneously at the beginning is played again at the coda in the last movement. The first movement counters triplets with eighth notes, whereas the invention-like third movement consists of sixteenth notes that makes it more lively, closer to Baroque styles. The second movement is closer to the Romantic style of Beethoven, who, in Stravinsky's estimation, was one of the "greatest musical geniuses"; therefore, the ornamentation of the melody is more dense, which is unlike Stravinsky's simple and direct compositional style employed in the prior movement.[4]


  1. ^ "Works: Alphabetical Index - Igor Stravinsky Foundation". Fondation Igor Stravinsky. 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  2. ^ Boettcher, Bonna J. (1991). A Study of Stravinsky's Sonate pour piano (1924) and Sérénade en la. San Francisco: Mellen Research University Press. ISBN 0-7734-9806-0.
  3. ^ David Truslove (1993). "Stravinsky: Music for Piano Solo". Naxos Digital Services, Ltd. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Cummings, Robert. Igor Stravinsky – Sonata for piano at AllMusic
  5. ^ a b Stravinsky, Igor (1925). Igor Stravinsky – Sonate pour piano. New York: Boosey & Hawkes.

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