Long compositions are generally constituted by several movements. The reason of this is that the musical discourse possesses certain characteristics which make very difficult for a composer to write a work longer than 15 minutes without splitting it in movements. One of the first composers to try it was Ludwig van Beethoven. In the sonata quasi una fantasia in E-flat Major op.27 no.1 he blurs the boundaries between the movements. His example was followed by Franz Liszt whose sonata in B minor is an impressive 30 minutes long piece in one movement. An interesting contemporary composition which, also because of the title, can be inscribed in the same tradition and picks up the same challenge is Luciano Berio’s sonata written in 2001.
Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata quasi una Fantasia op.27 no.1 in E-flat Major
Franz Liszt - Sonata in b minor
Luciano Berio - Sonata (2001)