The first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata op. 26 in A-flat major is a theme with variations. The theme is in ternary form:

Section Description
A Two similar phrases. The first phrase ends with a half cadence, the second one with a perfect authentic cadence.
B A ten measure phrase modulates to E-flat major (dominant key).
A It only repeats the second phrase.

Formal and harmonic analysis of the theme

The Variations

The variations follow the formal and harmonic structure of the theme, but Beethoven also develops the theme melodically. Here we show the melodic relationship between the first measures of the theme and each variation:

Variation I

Variation II

Variation III

Variation IV

Variation V

Theme and Variations


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José Rodríguez Alvira.