PDF scanned by Unknown
||Moscow: Muzyka, n.d.(ca.1970). Plate 6250.
||from unidentified collection
The early sonata sketches of Berg while being a student under Schoenberg eventually culminated in this sonata; while considered to be his "graduating composition", it is one of the most formidable initial works ever written by any composer (Lauder, 1986)
This sonata consists of a single movement centered in the key of B minor, but Berg makes frequent use of chromaticism, whole-tone scales, and wandering key centers, giving the tonality a very unstable feel. The piece is in the typical sonata form, with an Exposition, Development and Recapitulation, but the composition also relies heavily on Arnold Schoenberg's idea of developing variation, a method to ensure the unity of a piece of music by deriving all aspects of a composition from a single idea.
Schoenberg stated that the unity of a piece is dependent on all aspects of the composition being derived from a single basic idea. Berg would then pass this idea down to one of his students, Theodor Adorno, who in turn stated: "The main principle he conveyed was that of variation: everything was supposed to develop out of something else and yet be intrinsically different". The Sonata is a striking example of the execution of this idea — the whole composition can be derived from the opening quartal gesture and from the opening leitmotif.