This piece is in sonata-rondo form, though I feel it leans more towards the rondo feel rather than sonata, primarily because the C section doesn't develop previous motives from the movement. Instead, it presents entirely new material, which is in a very different feel from the rest of the movement, which is very stormy and passionate.Starting with the (oh so horrible) textbook definitions of sonata and rondo forms, he latches onto an important feature of this particular movement, the radical change in mood from the passionate storms of the first part to the calm waters of the middle section. But he also recognizes that this new section has a developmental feel, hence the label of sonata-rondo instead of rondo.
Jeremy himself tempers all his criticisms with humorous caveats at the end, which seem to be missed by some of his commentors. The relevant quotes to make this a timely post:
Let's imagine the baby Jesus, analyzing the song of the Magi. I think he would love and tolerate talk of cadences, even Schenkerian diagrams. Why do I imagine him treating theorists as he did Mary Magdelene? This suggests a conception of theory as a particularly unsexy form of prostitution. No, wait, I can do better: the expectancy of the Christmas ritual, the presents wrapped under the tree, the smell of the tree, the candles, the late night, the early morning awakening, stumbling out to the family room in your pajamas, getting ready to convert the whole beautiful waiting thing into a storm of crumpled paper. Sometimes it seems Theory wants you to unwrap the gift, but not to see what's inside. It is cold-hearted: it wants you to "understand" expectancy. But I assure you, Theory for all its jargon wants you to receive music's gift too; to receive with gratitude the ingenuity of the composer, the generosity of invention, to appreciate the process of composition, a kind of wrapping and unwrapping of the human spirit. That is why, finally, we suffer through Form and Analysis. Mr. Spiegelberg's students seem to be in good humor about the whole thing, interjecting irony, sarcasm, etc., which is a victory for both student and teacher.I hate the idea that musicians suffer through theory and analysis courses. But I completely agree that they are meant to help unwrap the layers to perceive all the marvels of music. Happy Holidays, everyone!