sonata form

(redirected from Sonata-allegro form)
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  • noun

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a musical form having 3 sections -- exposition and development and recapitulation

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The first movement is a typical sonata-allegro form in B[flat] major; the second movement is cast in a slow A-B-A form in D[flat] major with a very pretty melody; and the final playful rondo includes a brief cadenza for the clarinet and ends in E major.
Three chapters on the sonatas of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven assist in understanding the evolution of sonata-allegro form while contemplating the limitations of the keyboard instruments with which those composers dealt, and their impact on the evolution of the modern piano.
As an adolescent pianist, I understood sonata-allegro form in a vague way, but it wasn't until I played the Beethoven Waldstein Sonata as an undergraduate that I became fascinated with the workings of that form.
Her observations also improve our understanding of how the sometimes strange discontinuities and seemingly fragmented and unrelated musical figures inherent in the surface of sonata-allegro form may complement the peculiar equilibrium so often noted as central to classical instrumental forms.
Peter Rabinowitz addresses similar issues more generally, drawing amusing and instructive examples from popular guides to classical music, which reveal the essential incompatibility of two common accounts of sonata-allegro form, one emphasizing thematic complications, the other emphasizing a conflict between keys.