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.

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