128 Pages


Any discussion of sonata form must confront a tendency, the more pronounced the later in the nineteenth century are examples of the form chosen, to embrace a description of this form in terms of the immediately apprehensible - in terms of the themes - rather than in terms of the increasingly elusive underlying tonal structure. The organization of this structure both embodies and reveals the historical development of the form, and it was of primary concern to the important theorists of form of the late Classic and early Romantic periods. 1 While the audible foreground aspects of sonata form justifiably invite analytical comment, an undue fascination with the stereotypical thematic organization of the form can not only make it difficult to comprehend anomalies of the Classic period (mono-thematic sonatas by Haydn, for instance) but also obscure the binary character of the form itself in favor of a more facile tripartite description.