Piano Sonata No. 2 (Schumann)
It was his last full-length attempt at the sonata genre, the other completed ones being the Piano Sonata No. 1 in F sharp minor (Op. 11) and the Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor (Op. 14); he later wrote Three Piano Sonatas for the Young Op. 118. Because it was published before the F minor sonata, it was given an earlier sequence number (No. 2) but still kept its later opus number (Op. 22). This has caused confusion, and recordings of the G minor Sonata have sometimes been published as "Sonata No. 3". There was also an earlier sonata in F minor, which Schumann abandoned; this is sometimes referred to as "Sonata No. 4".
Among his sonatas, this one is very frequently performed and recorded. Because of its great variety and highly virtuosic demands, it is enjoyed both by audiences and performers alike. Clara Schumann claimed to be "endlessly looking forward to the second sonata", but nevertheless Robert revised it several times. At Clara Schumann's request, the original finale, marked Presto passionato was replaced with a less difficult movement in 1838.
The Andantino of the sonata is based on Schumann's early song "Im Herbste"; Jensen describes the first movement as having "a concern with motivic structure". It is dedicated to Schumann's friend the pianist Henriette Voigt and was published in September 1839.
- So rasch wie möglich ("As quickly as possible" — however, near the end, Schumann writes "Schneller" and then "Noch schneller", meaning "Faster" and "Still faster")
- Andantino. Getragen
- Scherzo. Sehr rasch und markiert
- Rondo. Presto
- Eric Frederick Jensen (13 February 2012). Schumann. Oxford University Press. pp. 21–5. ISBN 978-0-19-983195-1.
- John Daverio (10 April 1997). Robert Schumann: Herald of a "New Poetic Age". Oxford University Press. pp. 146–7. ISBN 978-0-19-802521-4.
- "I am endlessly looking forward to the second sonata", thus Clara wrote to Robert in 1838, "Your whole being is so clearly expressed in it." Nonetheless in the same letter she encouraged him to revise the last movement, which provided the composition with a completely new finale. The first two movements were also reworked several times.
- Date according to Jensen; Daverio reports that it was begun in "mid-1833".