Anne Hyland, Lecturer in Music Analysis at the University of Manchester, presents "Chopin’s Early Monotonal Expositions and the Expression of Nineteenth-Century Lyric Form"
Room 130, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen's Park, Toronto
Felix Salzer’s critique of Schubert’s sonata forms (1928) is almost singlehandedly responsible for the critical trope that lyricism contravenes the demands of a properly teleological sonata form. A resulting critical commonplace in the secondary literature is that the lyric gives voice to closed, self-contained entities concerned with a unitary idea, which are characterised by balanced phrasing in a rounded binary or ternary form. This presents a paradox: while lyric themes are seen as stable, they are in fact too stable to be subject to dialectical development, and consequently give rise to large-scale formal instability. While Salzer’s view has received fresh scrutiny in recent scholarship which seeks to define Schubert’s instrumental lyricism as a positive presence, rather than a perceived absence (Mak 2006; Hyland 2023), the association of lyricism with a lack of formal integrity nonetheless remains prevalent in some quarters. This paper explores similar strategies in Chopin’s early chamber and orchestral music (Opp. 4, 8 and 11), the reception of which is marked by familiar criticisms regarding its imbalanced and irregular formal structures. It focuses in particular on the ostensible monotonality of his early sonata forms, and the ramifications of this tendency for ideas of formal balance and categorisation, especially in relation to the categories of the continuous versus the two-part exposition. Ultimately, this paper seeks to explore these features as form-functional markers of a distinctly nineteenth-century lyrical formalism.
All colloquia take place from 3:30 to 5 pm, unless otherwise noted, with a reception to follow from 5 to 6 pm.