This article explores musical and theoretical issues raised by a particular type of parallel form that has been interpreted in two strikingly contradictory ways—either as a birotational type 2 sonata form or as a sonata form with a reversed recapitulation. Insights drawn from Hepokoski and Darcy’s sonata theory, Caplin’s theory of formal functions, and Schenkerian concepts of tonal content argue in favor of a type 2 interpretation of nineteenth-century manifestations. The analyses presented demonstrate some of the ways these theories may prove mutually reinforcing, even when they marshal different criteria and model out-of-phase relationships between, say, formal boundaries and Schenkerian tonal pillars. Throughout, the emphasis is on dynamic interactions between a type 2 movement’s generic formal characteristics and its compositional idiosyncrasies. Two movements distinguished by their supple form-content synergies serve as case studies: the Andante from Mendelssohn’s octet for strings in E♭ major, op. 20, and the first movement from Dvořák’s string quartet in E♭ major, op. 51.
The Type 2 Sonata in the Nineteenth Century: Two Case Studies from Mendelssohn and Dvořák
Peter H. Smith, professor and chair of the Department of Music at the University of Notre Dame, is author of Expressive Forms in Brahms’s Instrumental Music (2005) and coeditor of Expressive Intersections in Brahms: Essays in Analysis and Meaning (2012). He is past president and vice president of the American Brahms Society and a long-standing member of the organization’s board of directors.
Peter H. Smith; The Type 2 Sonata in the Nineteenth Century: Two Case Studies from Mendelssohn and Dvořák. Journal of Music Theory 1 April 2019; 63 (1): 103–138. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00222909-7320486
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