Bryan Whitelaw, Franz Liszt's Piano Sonata in B Minor: Context, Analysis and Hermeneutics (MPhil, Queen’s University Belfast, 2016)

These details defined Wed Mar 29 16:43:47 2017  edit
 Author:  Whitelaw, Bryan 
 Title:  Franz Liszt's Piano Sonata in B Minor: Context, Analysis and Hermeneutics 
 Degree, institution:  MPhil, Queen’s University Belfast 
 Status, year:  accepted, 2016 (31/10/16) 
 Volumes, pp., etc.:  152, 35000 words 
 Supervisor(s):  Dr Aidan Thomson 
 Repository:  McClay Library 
 General specialism:  Musicology 
 Content, timeframe:  1849-1853 
 Content, key terms:  Concepts:
Genres, instruments: 
Sonata Form; Sonata Theory; Hermeneutics; Thematic Typology; Analysis; Literary Influence
Franz Liszt
Piano, Sonata Form

This thesis seeks to explore the genesis of Liszt’s magnum opus for the instrument, the Sonata in B Minor, to uncover the time-frame in which the work was composed and from where its inspiration was derived.

Considering the historical analyses placed upon the work that deal with structural design, as it pertains to the paradigm of Classical sonata form, I utilise a practical application of James A. Hepokoski and Warren Darcy’s Sonata Theory in order to survey the Sonata in B Minor’s landscape in a new light. In particular, I offer new perspectives on the validity of the double-function form, insight into the rhetorical layout of a rotational discourse, and propose a nuanced analysis befitting of this striking work.

Finally, I explore the implications of a hermeneutical reading of the Sonata in Faustian terms to engage with the discursive meanings contained within the work as a whole. The composer’s literary influences and the evidence uncovered within the body of this thesis help to support a possible narrative that may have been a significant influence upon Liszt’s composition of this great work.