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Sonata Form - or There and Back Again

In this edition of The Listening Service Tom Service explores sonata form. How can you hear them? How is it done?

Tom Service tells stories in sonata form.

This word sonata originally meant simply a piece of music. But over the course of music history "sonata form" came to mean something very specific and laid the foundations for over two hundred years of sonatas, string quartets, symphonies and concertos.

In this edition of The Listening Service Tom explores sonata form - according to the revision guides it's all about Exposition-Development-Recapitulation. But its so much more than that - the template is just the bare bones of a three act drama - lyrical, exciting and compelling musical stories are told in sonata form . How can you hear them? How is it done?

With David Owen Norris at the piano, with his Sonata of the Prodigal Son.

Available now

29 minutes

Music Played

  • Kurt Schwertsik

    Shrunken Symphony, Op. 80 – 1st movement: Allegro con brio

    Performer: Radio‐Symphonieorchester Wien. Performer: Dennis Russell Davies.
    • Oehms Classics.
  • Claudio Monteverdi

    Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610) - Sonata sopra 'Sancta Maria'

    Performer: L’Arpeggiata. Performer: Christina Pluhar.
    • Virgin.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Goldberg variations, BWV.988 - Variation 18; Canone alla sesta

    Performer: Dmitry Sitkovetsky. Performer: Yuri Zhislin. Performer: Luigi Piovano.
    • Nimbus.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Piano Sonata in C major, K.545?

    Performer: Maria João Pires.
    • DG.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony no. 40 in G minor, K550 - 1st movement: Allegro molto

    Performer: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Performer: René Jacobs.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Symphony no. 3 in F major, Op.90 - 1st movement

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Performer: Claudio Abbado.
    • DG.
  • Anton Bruckner

    Symphony No. 6 in A Major – 1st movment: Maestoso

    Performer: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Performer: Bernard Haitink.
    • BR-Klassik.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony no. 3 in E flat major, Op.55 "Eroica" - 1st movement: Allegro con brio

    Performer: Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Performer: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • Archiv.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Concerto for piano and orchestra no. 2 in F major, Op.102 - 1st movement: Allegro

    Performer: John Ogdon. Performer: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Performer: Lawrence Foster.
    • EMI.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    Symphony in C

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Performer: Sir Simon Rattle.
    • EMI.
  • Pierre Boulez

    Sonata for piano no. 2 - 1st movement: Extremement rapide

    Performer: Maurizio Pollini.
    • DG.
  • Thomas Adès

    Piano Quintet

    Performer: Thomas Adès. Performer: Calder Quartet.
    • Signum Classics.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Symphony no. 3 in F major, Op.90 - 1st movement

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Performer: Claudio Abbado.
    • DG.

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