Mozart Piano Sonata 2 Analysis Essay

1 Tanner Lundquist Comp. Musicianship 4 Dr. Henson 25 April 2013 Analysis of Mozart’s Sonata in C Major: Movement I Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote many piano sonatas in his time, but few are as popular as No. 16 in C major, K. 545. It is well known especially because it is a “beginners” piece, used often by teachers and students. It is even known as the “Sonata facile” (easy sonata) for its simplicity compared to other piano sonatas. Mozart’s reason for writing the Sonata are unknown, but it was most likely nothing more than a piece for his students. The Frst movement is in the key of C major, written in classic sonata form. In sonata form, there is thematic and harmonic material presented in the exposition which is then developed further in the development section. ±inally, the recapitulation resolves the harmony of the development and brings back the thematic material of the exposition. Sonatas may be opened with an introduction and may end with a coda or codetta. The Frst movement begins in the tonic key, introducing the primary thematic material in the right hand with an Alberti bass accompaniment in the left hand. The harmonic movement extends the tonic tonality of C in a circle progression. This opening theme takes place over the Frst four measures. Then, the theme is concluded with a series of scales in a type of embellished sequence. This “bridge” passage modulates to

Mozart?s Piano Sonata No. 2 (K.280) Mvt. I is a rarity in that it follows almost every rule of sonata-allegro form to a ?T.? I consider this a most striking find, since there really wasn?t anything called sonata-allegro form in the classical era. It just happened to be that music was very set in ratio now that we look back on it. Mozart wrote this piece in 1775 when he was just 19 years old, and it was his second piano sonata (as the title suggests).

The exposition starts out in F Major with a small two measure introduction, followed by Group 1 material. This is important because he uses the 16th note idea later in transitions between groups as well as the development. The first transition uses triplets as a means to modulate to C Major by using secondary dominants. It is also worth noting that the transitions between groups are exceptionally long.

I believe this is to make up for the surprisingly short development section later in the piece. Group 2 comes into view, being in C Major for the rest of the exposition and by expounding on the 16th note idea. The Group 2 motive of quarter note triad followed by 16th note runs come back in the development. The next transition uses triplets again, but in a different fashion. He cuts the first note of every bar in the right hand while the left hand goes chromatically from E to A in place of the cut triplet notes. This small idea comes back briefly in the development. The next section is hard to describe. Some might say it is the closing theme, while others might say it is a precursor to the closing theme. I tend to think the latter. He could have ended it from...

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