K067 SonataK067 Sonate
for Two Pianos – Sonate pour deux pianos – Sonate für zwei Klaviere – Sonata per due pianoforti – Соната дла двух фортепиано
Construction: The Sonata is in three movements; apart from the second movement ( Largo), which has the title ‘Theme / with Variations’ and consists of three variations with a fourth titled ‘Conclusion’, the movements have neither titles nor movement numbers, although they do have Italian tempo markings defined by the metronome (First movement: Moderato; Second movement: Largo; Third movement: Allegretto).
Moderato Crotchet = 62 (94 bars)
Theme / with Variations
Largo Minim = 40 (16 bars = bar 1-16)
Crotchet = 54 (18 bars = bar 17-34)
Quaver = 126 (42 bars = bar 35-76)
Crotchet = 88 (36 bars = bar 77-112)
VARIATION 4 / conclusion
Minim = 40 (8 bars = bar 113-120)
Allegretto Crotchet = 80 (19 bars = bar 1-19)
Poco più mosso Crotchet = 92 (24 bars = bar 20-43)
Tempo Io (12 bars = bar 44-55)
Corrections / Errata
1.) p. 5, 1st system, 3rd bar, Piano I (1st movement bar 43): right hand 3rd, 4th, 5th note semiqaver instead of demisemiquaver.
2.) p. 7, 3rd system, 1st bar, Piano I (1st movement bar 71): 2nd note left hand c2 instead of a1.
3.) p. 13, 2nd system, 2nd bar, Piano II (2nd movement, 2nd Variation bar 5): left hand b instead of a.
4.) p. 14, 3rd system, 2nd bar, Piano II (2nd movement, 2nd Variation bar 24): note left hand F# instead of D.
5.) p. 18, last bar, Piano II (2nd movement, 3rd Variation bar 32): 3rd note right hand d1 instead of e1.
6.) p. 21, 1st system, 1st bar, Piano I (3rd movement bar 10): 8th semiquaver left hand f1 instead of
7.) p. 21, 2nd system, 2nd bar, Piano II, (3rd movement bar 10): The upper note in the right hand in the last but one chord should be g2 and not f2.
Style: The Sonata for two pianos is Strawinsky’s most transparent, melodic and most tender piano piece. Highly complicated technical workings are concealed behind a constructivist sound world which draws on all pianistic artifice, above all the playing of octaves, as a method of generating sound, without this becoming a purpose in itself. The melodic writing is cantabile and pleasing and as such is comparable to early Russian melodies, at times, as in the theme of the Variation movement, baroque-majestic. In spite of the dry pedal technique, the constant martellato tone of middle Strawinsky as well as the motor rhythms of Neue Sachlichkeit gives way to an enthusiastic instrumental dialogue, the intensity of which is expressed exclusively by means of motivic working and not through volume or virtuosity. The Sonata is a quiet and, at times, still work which requires in its pleasing style a special accord between interpreter and listener. Unlike in the Concerto per due pianoforti soli, no particular technical difficulties stand in the way of the piano players’ expression, insofar as both players are in a position to realize the transparency of the part writing and the finely layered soundworld made up of simple, contrapuntal or octave-doubled voice-leading. The Sonata for two pianos is not conceived as a concerto-like dialogue between two pianos, rather it is constructed as a four-line texture conceived contrapuntally in parts, even in the variation movement. There are therefore no cadenzas, no solo bars for one on its own instrument, but also no tutti bars with identical notes in the first and second piano, not even in the final chord. The apparent lightness of this complex coherence disguises a sophisticated montage where required, which develops a small germ cell into a large form by constantly further-reaching duplication which avoids shortened realization. That was presumably the reason for Strawinsky’s refusal to discuss questions on the analytical problems of the Sonata. Originally conceived as a piece for two hands, it was rewritten for four hands because Strawinsky was of the opinion that otherwise the four-part texture throughout would not be able to be conveyed clearly enough. The Sonata assigns two separate tessitura soundworlds to the two pianos with only minimal overlapping, the upper register to the first piano and the bass to the second, and so it functions as a four-handed composition on two instruments which importantly is the reason for the almost glassy transparency of this composition; it is less a work for two pianos than a piece for a pianistic plain of sound which has been divided territorially between two players. –
The three-part structure of the introductory moderato movement is only feigned, while the three-part nature of the sonata is superficial. Structurally, the first section extends to bar 16, and the second from bars 17 to 32, i.e. the exposition section in the Classical sense. The third section from bar 33 to 52 would correspond to the development, if a work which is development throughout can have a separate development section at all. That Strawinsky nevertheless had sonata-form structural concepts in mind can be seen in the repeat, transposed by a third, of the first section in bars 53 to 72, the shortened second section in bars 73 to 87 and the short coda from bar 88 to the end, in which, according to Strawinsky’s typical method, montage connections are compressed into one another; bar 87 can be defined both as the end of the second section as well as the beginning of the coda. One could write an analytical essay lasting many pages on the central four bars, 17-20, in the first piano alone, originally the germ of the second affect. The 4 parts of the montage in the first two bars are so constructed that they form a variational counterpart to the 4 parts of the montage in the final two bars, in which even the opening and final notes become interchangeable in terms of context. The rhythms run against one another, the direction of the line changes according to its function and the linking notes are created by the permutation of separate sections inside a movement in sixths, with the bass complementing it. The two-part structure of the figure which can be heard from the middle onwards is extended directly proportionally and can be recalculated throughout using the metronome marking crotchet = 63 per bar, and this results in a scheme of proportion of 8 units for the ‘theme’, 16 units for the theme and development, 32 units for the exposition + repeat, and of 253 units for exposition + repeat and development + reprise. The movement is also in two sections in that the repeat of the exposition can be included in the calculations. White considered the repetition to be unimportant: Strawinsky placed great value in his corrections on the inclusion of the overlooked repeat sign. The reason is obvious: it is the repetition that creates the constructed equilibrium. –
The following variation movement uses the contrapuntal techniques of augmentation and inversion for the construction of its themes, so that the two-part structure of the theme is itself already a developmental object. The four variations additionally provide four points of illumination. The first variation reduces the theme harmonically over an ostinato figuration in the second piano and forms flowing quaver combinations. The second variation relocates the flowing quavers from the first piano to the second piano and the flowing movement becomes a jerking movement as the rhythm is dotted, which gradually gets harder and harder, while the first piano creates an harmonically delicate veil of sound in demisemiquavers over it. The third variation begins in two parts like an invention, and then increases to three- and four-part in a fughetta. The fourth variation, consisting of only 8 bars (as opposed to the original theme which is twice as long), contrasts the repetition of the theme in the second piano with a chordal progression in the first piano, and the chords are constructed from inversions and retrogrades of the theme. – The final and at the same time shortest movement in the Sonata by far is a three-part scherzo-like structure in which two sets of motives are played directly against one another. The first set is polarized around G and the other around C. This leads to a strange sense of floating. Strawinsky gave the motifically important central notes accent markings as was his custom, and it appears that some of them were forgotten in the printing. The middle section assembles the motifs in chords, limiting the range, especially for the accompanying figures, and it is motifically dependent on the opening section. The final section consists of the opening section in two parts shortened and reduced. –
In the Sonata, 4 Russian folksongs from a collection of Russian ballads and folksongs, which was published in 1886 by Jurgenson in Moscow, are incorporated. Strawinsky discovered this edition in 1942 in a music shop in Los Angeles and used songs nos. 4, 9, 16 and 46.
Dedication: no dedication known.
Duration: about 3' 53"+ 4' 29" + 1' 33".
Date of origin: The Sonata was sketched before the Ballet Scènes and completed after them. The only reliable dates up to now are in the sketches. The period of composition can be dated back to starting from 12th August 1943 at the latest with special working days on 9th and 10th September and in October of the same year, and as can be seen from the same source, the Sonata was composed completely in Hollywood. A neat copy is dated Sept 43after the end of movement III, p.8; after the end of movement I, p. 15 Oct. 43;the copyright is entered in Strawinsky’s name in 1944 and the movements are still numbered with Roman numerals. On 25th May 1944, the Associated Music Publishers received the copy of the manuscript for the printing, which began shortly after 12th June. The date of publication was recorded by the publishers as 20th February 1945.
First performance: 2nd August 1944, Edgewood College of the Dominican Sisters in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A., by Nadia Boulanger and Richard Johnston.
Remarks: The première in Edgewood College at Madison, which was run by Catholic Dominicans (2nd August 1944; this date was explained by Robert Craft), takes care of several previous written statements. In January 1944, Strawinsky had stayed there for his lectures. One of the nuns who was teaching there and who was clearly friendly with Strawinsky was Sister Edward, who was a pupil of Boulanger; Strawinsky had become familiar with her works by summer 1941 at the latest in a letter from Boulanger. He left her his thanks in his answering letter of 12th June 1941 via Boulanger. This is how the connection was made. The publishers wanted the première to take place in a way that was good for publicity but they were hindered from doing so by Strawinsky. Strawinsky felt pressured to convey to Hugo Winter in a letter of 4th June 1944 that, apart from the general difficulty in booking a date for the première, he had completed too many copies after the completion of the Sonata and had sent them, at the same time as he sended them to the publishers (i.e. two months before) to various musicians; he had received so many friendly letters about it that he saw himself not in the position to guarantee that the Sonata would remain inviolate for a performance in the following year. He regretted that the publishers had not anticipated this and had not become active soon after the reception of the Sonata in April. Furthermore, he pointed towards their failure to register the copyright for the piece in Washington up to that point. Strawinsky clearly only wanted the Sonata to become known and was not so interested in particular performances. His intent was to dissuade the publishers from making reservations for the performance, and it would only be as a result of this that the copyright was missing on the sent-out copies. Strawinsky only played the piece publicly on one single occasion. This was at a concert with Nadia Boulanger as his partner in Mills College. Strawinsky did not state the date of this performance.
Corrections: In the correction of the manuscript, not eliminated printing errors were removed by the publishers before going to print. Among these was the repeat sign for the first movement at bar 32 that Strawinsky had forgotten, and which he felt to be very important , presumably because it was only through the repeat of the exposition of an apparently three-part sonata that a two-part, static structure could be made, one which was balanced in its structure down to the second. For the 2nd variation, Strawinsky wanted the metronome mark to be quaver = 125, according to a letter of 13th December 1944 to Arthur Mendel. On Mälzel’s metronome scale, there is no number 125. In the printing, this value was changed to its nearest number, 126.
Significance: The Sonata for two pianos is the first evidence of Strawinsky’s mature style and also showed the influence of his time in America, which was calming at first. Its compositional density notwithstanding (which is a precursor to his serial compositions), the Sonata is not regarded as a particularly good piece, even by experts. Most of the serious authors agree about the strong affinity of the melodic writing to Russian diction, into which they read a sort of artistic homesickness. In addition, there is also the theory, especially in the Russian Strawinsky literature, that the gradual smoothing influence of the American style that was beginning to appear in the Sonata for two pianos clearly robbed Strawinsky of his integral musical originality.
Versions: The contract between Strawinsky and Associated Music Publishers was signed on 11th September 1944. The printing of the first edition in February 1945 ran to 511 copies. Of these, 355 copies were sold up to 31st October and a further 104 were given away for free, meaning that a new print run was necessary, in which double the number (1022) of the first printing was printed. Of these, 582 copies were sold immediately. Between 1st July and 16th December 1946, a further 450 copies were sold, after which the market seemed to have been saturated; in any case, the sales figures went down considerably. Between January 1948 and June 1950, only 70 ascertainable copies were sold. On 21st September 1950, Chappell entered into the contract and the sales figures increased once again. 301 copies were sold in the second half of 1950 and 151 in the second half of 1952. In 1953, the Sonata passed into the ownership of Schott, who produced 6 printings of it in Strawinsky’s lifetime under the edition number 4015 with a different design, quarto format (22 x 30.5) and a new plate number ( B·S·S 38482), each running to 600 copies. The print jobs were carried out on 8th April 1953, 4th June 1957, 3rd July 1961, 5th October 1964, 6th December 1967 and 18th June 1970. Between Strawinsky’s death and the end of the century, there were 6 further print runs (10/03/1972 and 20/02/1974 of 600 copies each, 19/11/1976 of 800 copies, and with a new cover 21/06/1983 and 22/10/1987 at 600 copies each and 19th May 1994 with a run of 400 copies 420 + 6 copies).
Historical recording: none traceable.
CD edition: VII-2/15-17.
Autograph: obviously not known.
Copyright: 1945 by Chappell & Co. in New York.
67-1 1945 Associated Music Publishers New York; 24 pp.; A C 194423.
67-1Straw ibd. [with annotations].
67-2 1945; Chappell Paris / Associated Music Publishers New York; 24 pp.; 37931.
67-3 ; Chappell Paris / Associated Music Publishers New York; 24 pp.; C. p. A. 2907.
67-4 ; Schott Mainz; 24 pp.; B·S·S 38482, 4015.
67-4  ibd.
67-5Alb 1969; Œuvres pour Piano II / Editions Musique Moscou; 6089.
b) Characteristic features
67-1 IGOR STRAVINSKY / SONATA / FOR TWO PIANOS / [vignette] / Price (2 copies)* $2.50 / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS INC. · NEW YORK / Printed in U. S. A. // (Edition stapled 23 x 30.4 (4° [4°]) with 2. exemplar enclosed; 24  pages + 4 cover pages thicker paper tomato-red on grey [front cover title with publisher’s emblem 5.2 x 5.8 female head facing the audience and crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain with, 2 empty pages, empty page with publisher’s emblem centre centred 2 x 2,5 >AMP-Music<**] without front matter and without back matter; title head >SONATA / for Two Pianos<; author specified 1. page of the score paginated p. 1 below title head flush right centred >Igor Stravinsky / (1943-44)<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area centre >Copyright, 1945, by Chappell & Co., Inc., New York. / Sole Selling Agents: / For the Western Hemisphere: Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York / Elsewhere: Chappell & Co. Ltd., London, W. 1. & Sydney.<; plate number >A C 194423<; production indication 1. page of the score below type area flush right >Printed in U.S.A.<; without end mark) // (1945)
* Fill character (dotted line).
** The word >Music< stands against the letter >P< vertically underneath the bulge and has as a syllable the same font size as half the single letter.
Strawinsky’s copy is signed, dated and annotated flush right on the outer title page starting underneath the main title and proceeding upwards to finish next to the subtitle >IStr / NY Febr 1945 / with some / corrections< . He entered errata by hand in pencil on the 1st cover page. The mistake on p. 7 (see Nr. 2) is not listed. Instead, a new mistake is corrected on p. 24 which Strawinsky missed in the corrected copy [ p. 24, 3rd system, 2nd bar, Piano I, right hand: the 1st lower quaver note in the two-note chord should be e2 instead of e flat2. The natural sign before the lower note in the last chord of the bar should be removed (the note is already specified by the first natural sign)].
ERRATA / [Table of the corrections] / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC. • NEW YORK // (1 page 21.5 x 28 ([Lex. 8°]) // (1945)
67-2 IGOR STRAVINSKY / SONATA / FOR TWO PIANOS / [Vignette] / PRICE (TWO COPIES) 12/-/ CHAPPELL / [°] / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS INC., NEW YORK / [in the text box contained] 1758 [#] MADE IN ENGLAND // (Edition [library binding] 21.9 x 28 (4° [Lex. 8°]) with enclosed 2. exemplar; 24  pages + 4 cover pages thin cardboard dark red brown on middle orange [front cover title with publisher’s emblem 4.3 x 3.2 an opened-up grand piano on a five-line stave with the publishers’ name CHAPPELL running diagonally from bottom to top over the instrument, 2 empty pages, page with publisher’s advertisements >COMPOSITIONS BY ARNOLD BAX< production data >LB 171<] without front matter and without back matter; title head >SONATA / for Two Pianos<; author specified 1. page of the score paginated p. 1 below title head flush right centred >Igor Stravinsky / (1943-44)<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area flush left >Copyright MCMXLV by Chappell & C o , Inc., New York. / Sole Selling Agents:- / For the Western Hemisphere: Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York. / Elsewhere: Chappell & C oLtd., 50, New Bond Street, London, W. 1. & Sydney.<; production indication 1. page of the score below plate number flush right >PRINTED IN ENGLAND>; plate number >37931<; acknowledging the publishers below type area flush right >Chappell<; without end mark) // (1945)
° Dividing horizontal line of 2.2 cm.
Strawinsky’s copy contains only the musical text and has the note >This is a / corrected copy< noted on a slant on the left of the main title. It contains no handwritten entries. The mistakes noted in 67-1 have been removed.
67-3 IGOR STRAVINSKY° / SONATE°° / POUR DEUX PIANOS / CHAPPELL / PARIS / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS INC. NEW-YORK // (Edition stapled 22.2 x 27.8 (4° [Lex. 8°]) with enclosed 2 exemplar stapled; 24  pages + 4 cover pages dark red brown on middle orange [front cover title, 2 empty pages, page with publisher’s advertisements >Igor Strawinsky<*° without production data] without front matter and without back matter; title head >SONATA / for Two Pianos<; author specified 1. page of the score unpaginated [p. 1] below title head flush right centred >Igor Stravinsky / (1943-44)<; legal reservations 1. page of the score below type area flush left >Copyright MCMXLV by Chappell & C o , Inc., New York. / Sole Selling Agents:- / For the Western Hemisphere: Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York. / Elsewhere: Chappell & C o Ltd., 50, New Bond Street, London, W. 1. & Sydney. / CHAPPELL p. A., 86 Bd. Haussmann, Paris (8°) / Pour le Continent Européen< flush right italic > Tous droits réservés<; production indication 1. page of the score below legal reservations flush right italic > Imprimé en France<; plate number [exclusively] 1. page of the score below production indication flush right >C. S. A. 2907<**; acknowledging the publishers paginated pages 2-24 below type area flush right >Chappell<; without end mark p. 24) // 
° Different spelling [>V< and >w<] original.
°° In ornamental letters.
* Compositions are advertised centre centred >SONATE / POUR DEUX PIANOS / SCENES DE BALLET / PARTITION DE POCHE / Orchestre (en location)/ SCHERZO A LA RUSSE / SYMPHONIC VERSION / PARTITION DE POCHE / Orchestre (en location)/ CHAPPELL / S. A. / 86, Bd. HAUSSMANN / PARIS <.
** The plate number appears in a sort of font foreign for typewriters.
67-4 STRAWINSKY° / Sonate / für 2 Klaviere zu vier Händen / pour deux Pianos [#] for two Pianos / [Vignette] / EDITION SCHOTT / 4015 // IGOR STRAWINSKY / Sonata / for two Pianos / [asterisk] / Edition Schott 4015 / B. SCHOTT'S SÖHNE · MAINZ / Schott & Co. Ltd., London · B. Schott's Söhne (Editions Max Eschig), Paris / Schott Music Corp. (Associated Music Publishers Inc.), New York / Printed in Germany // (Edition [library binding] 23 x 30.2 (4° [4°]); 24  pages + 4 cover pages black on grey veined [front cover title with publisher’s emblem orange oval 2.7 x 3.5 with wheel of Mainz in the frame and containing text in bottom half >PER MARE< [#] >ET TERRAS< left and right, 2 empty pages, page with publisher’s advertisements >ZEITGENÖSSISCHE KLAVIERMUSIK<* production data >8<] + 2 pages front matter [title page, empty page] + 2 pages back matter [empty page, page with publisher’s advertisements > Originalwerke für/ ZWEI KLAVIERE ZU VIER HÄNDEN<** production data >196<]; title head >SONATA / for Two Pianos<; author specified 1. page of the score unpaginated [S. 1] below title head flush right centred >Igor Stravinsky° / (1943-44)<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area >Copyright 1945 by Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York / Copyright Owners: / For the Western Hemisphere and Israel: Assoc. Music Publ., Inc., New York / Elsewhere: Schott & Co. Ltd., London; plate number >B·S·S 38482<; production indication p. 24 flush right as end mark >Verlag von B. Schott's Söhne in Mainz<) // 
° Different spelling [>W< and >v<] original.
* Compositions are advertised in two columns with edition numbers after fill character (dotted line) from >HENK BADINGS< to >BERND ALOIS ZIMMERMANN<, amongst these >IGOR STRAWINSKY / Der Feuervogel: / Berceuse° 2547 / Ronde des Princesses° 2548 / Danse infernale, Berceuse et Finale (Agosti)° 2378 / Circus-Polka° 4282 / Tango° 4917< [° fill character (dotted line)].
** Compositions are advertised in two columns in a text box without edition numbers from >GEORGES AURIC< to >BERND ALOIS ZIMMERMANN<, amongst these >STRAWINSKY / Concerto per due pianoforti soli / Sonate<. Place of printing: Mainz.
67-5Alb Stravinsky* / И. СТРАВИНСКИЙ // IGOR STRAVINSKY / ŒUVRES POUR PIANO / VOLUME / II / EDITIONS MUSIQUE MOSCOU · 1969 // ИГОРЬ СТРАВИНСКИЙ / СОЧИНЕНИЯ ДЛЯ ФОРТЕПИАНО / ТОМ / II / ИЗДАТЕЛЬСТВО МУЗЫКА · МОСКВА · 1969 // [Text on spine:] ИГОРЬ СТРАВИНСКИЙ 2° СОЧИНЕНИЯ ДЛЯ ФОРТЕПИАНО // (Album 1.7 x 21.7 [22.6] x 28.9 [29.5] [Lex 8°]; 212  pages + 4 pages bound in imitation leather [front cover title cream white on black, 2 empty pages red, empty page black with price mark creme white pages above flush left >3 р. 51 к.< + vignette centre centred 1.4 x 1.6 in the text box containing initial >M< with a stylized treble clef form cream white] + 6 pages front matter [empty page red, empty page white, empty page with vignette centre centred 1.4 x 1.6 in the text box containing initial >M< with a stylized treble clef form, title page French, title page Russian, editors specified Russian >Составлние и редакция / А. КОНДРАТЬЕВА и К. СОРОКИНА< French >Complétés et rédigés par / A. KONDRATJEV et K. SOROKINE<] + 6 pages back matter [page with annotation >ПРИМЕЧАНИЯ< with notes about the genesis of the work and dedications Russian, empty page, index >СОДЕРЖАНИЕ< Russian, imprint Russian >Индекс 9-4-4< with billing of names >Редактор А. Бакулов/ Художник В. Антипов/ Худож, редактор А. Головкина/ Техн. редактор С. Белоглазова< and itemized statements of format and origin, empty page, empty page red]; reprint pp. 174-181 (I), 182-190 (II / Тема с вариациями [#] Thème avec variations), 191-195 (III); title head Russian-French >СОНАТА [#] SONATA / дла двух фортепиано [#] pour deux pianos<; movement number in Roman numeral (without dot) with (movement II) Russian-French movement title; plate number 6089; marked sheet below type area flush left p. 2 >2 Стравинский, фортепиано Т. II<, pp. 29, 45, 61, 77, 93, 109°°, 125, 141, 157, 173, 189, 193, 201 >3 Стравинский, фортепиано Т. II< continued to >15 Стравинский, фортепиано Т. II<; without author specified, without legal reservations and without acknowledging the original publishers on the pages of the score, without end marks) // 1969
° Vertical to text.
°° Marked sheet >9< instead of >8< is original, and the marking >9< on p.125 continues with the correct numbering.
* an imprinted, stylized signature risen up in grey-black on black with a first letter the size of the entire page.
K Catalog: Annotated Catalog of Works and Work Editions of Igor Strawinsky till 1971, revised version 2014 and ongoing, by Helmut Kirchmeyer.
© Helmut Kirchmeyer. All rights reserved.
https://kcatalog.org and https://kcatalog.net