Least of all can it conduce to the formation of sound critical standards for the new instrumentation which is now in process of development for the future forms of instrumental music. These, we cannot doubt, will be as profoundly influenced by Wagner as the sonata style was influenced by Gluck.
But with Wagner, just as there are people who have never tried to follow a sonata but who have been awakened by his music-dramas to a sense of the possibilities of serious music, so there are lovers of music who avow that they owe to Wagner their appreciation of poetry.
He chose a sprightly sonata in b-flat major.
Classical and modern chamber-music in the sonata style consists mainly of string-quartets for 2 violins, viola and violoncello; string-trios (rare, because very difficult to write sonorously); pianoforte-trios (pianoforte, violin and violoncello); pianoforte-quartets (pianoforte with string-trio); pianoforte-quintets (pianoforte with string-quartet); string-quintets (with 2 violas, very rarely with 2 violoncellos), and (in two important cases by Brahms) stringsextets.
Where this is so there need be no confusion of style; but the danger of such confusion is great, and with the rise of modern dramatic instrumentation it may be doubted whether there are any standards of criticism in current use for chamber-music of other than the sonata style.
At the pianoforte his achievements culminate in the two books of studies, twice rewritten, and finally published in 1852 as Etudes d'execution transcendante, the Etudes de concert and the Paganini Studies; the two concertos and the Todtentanz, the Sonata the Hungarian Rhapsodies and the fine transcriptions of Beethoven's symphonies (the 9th for two pianofortes as well as solo), and of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, and the symphony, Harold en Italie.
Moreover, the higher problems of rhythmic movement in the classical sonata forms are far beyond the scope of academic teaching; which is compelled to be contented with a practical plausibility of musical design; and the instrumental music which was considered the highest style of art in 18 3 0 was as far beyond Wagner's early command of such plausibility as it was obviously already becoming a mere academic game.
Her favorite sonata bore her into a most intimately poetic world and the look she felt upon her made that world still more poetic.
From the far side of the house through the closed doors came the sound of difficult passages--twenty times repeated--of a sonata by Dussek.