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Piano Sonata K. 545 1st Mov. W.A. Mozart

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Piano Sonata K. 545 1st Mov. W.A. Mozart with sheet music.

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Mozart Piano Sonata sheet music pdf

Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K. 545

The Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K. 545, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was described by Mozart himself in his own thematic catalogue as “for beginners”, and it is sometimes known by the nickname Sonata facile or Sonata semplice.

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Mozart added the work to his catalogue on June 26, 1788, the same date as his Symphony No. 39. The exact circumstances of the work’s composition are not known, however. Although the piece is well-known today, it was not published in Mozart’s lifetime and first appeared in print in 1805. A typical performance takes about 11 minutes.

The music

The work has three movements:

  1. Allegro,
  2. Andante, 3/4
  3. Rondo: Allegretto, 2/4

1. Allegro

The first movement is written in sonata form and is in the key of C major. The familiar opening theme is accompanied by an Alberti bass, played in the left hand.

A bridge passage composed of scales follows, arriving at a cadence in G major, the key in which the second theme is then played. A codetta follows to conclude the exposition, then the exposition is repeated. The development starts in G minor and modulates through several keys. The recapitulation begins, unusually, in the subdominant key of F major. The Alberti bass that began as a C major triad at this point becomes an F major triad, followed by a left hand F major scale pattern which emulates the rhythm of the previous right hand A minor scale.

According to Charles Rosen, the practice of beginning a recapitulation in the subdominant was “rare at the time [the sonata] was written”, though the practice was later taken up by Franz Schubert.

2. Andante

The second movement is in the key of G major, the dominant key of C major. The music modulates to the dominant key of D major, and then back to G major in which the exposition is heard again. For the development, the music modulates to G minor, then B♭ major, then C minor, then G minor and finally back to G major, at which point the recapitulation occurs followed by a short coda.

3. Rondo: Allegretto

The third movement is in Rondo form and is in the tonic key, C major. The first theme is lively and sets the mood of the piece. The second theme is in G major and contains an Alberti bass in the left hand. The first theme appears again and is followed by a third theme. The third theme is in a minor key and modulates through many different keys before modulating into C major. The first theme appears again followed by a coda and finally ends in C major.

The finale was transposed to F major and combined with a solo piano arrangement of the second movement of the violin sonata in F major to form the posthumously compiled and thus spurious Piano Sonata in F major, K. 547a.

Other arrangements

In 1876–1877 Edvard Grieg arranged this sonata for two pianos, by adding further accompaniment on the second piano part, whilst the first piano part plays the original as Mozart wrote it. “In trying to ‘impart to several of Mozart’s sonatas a tonal effect appealing to our modern ears’, Grieg left a telling little document or two on just what those late nineteenth-century Norwegian ears expected.” One notable recording is that of Elisabeth Leonskaja accompanied by Sviatoslav Richter (1996).

Musical Analysis

First Movement (Allegro)

Form: Sonata Form. C Major. 

Mozart Piano Sonata No.16 in C major, K.545 Analysis 1


Bars 1-4: First Subject in Tonic.

Bars 5-13: Transition. Some theorists consider this section to be part of the first subject, but because Bars 5-9 form an unbroken sequence that leads to dominant harmony, many consider it as being a transition in nature.

Bars 14-26: Second Subject in G major (Dominant). The remark made in an earlier sonata that it is unusual for a second subject to consist of one section only, does not, of course, refer to movements of a short, simple description such as this. Not that Bars 18-21 form a descending tonal sequence.

Bars 26-28: Codetta. These bars are usually considered to form a codetta. However, in some analyses of the movement, the second subject is marked as continuing to the double bar.

Double bar and repeat.


Bars 29-41: The short development is worked on the figures from the codetta, alternating with ascending and descending scale passages founded on those heard in the transition. It starts with a repetition of the codetta figures, here transposed from G major to G minor and, after modulating to the keys of D minor, A minor, C major and again to A minor, ends on the dominant seventh in F major, the key of the subdominant, in which very unusual key the recapitulation of the first subject takes place.


Bars 42-45: First Subject in F major (Subdominant). The re-introduction of the fist subject in the above unusual key renders this sonata specially notable, as few examples of the device are to be met with. The origin of this device is attributed to the desire that the relationship between the keys of the two subjects in the recapitulation, should correspond to the relationship existing between their original keys in the exposition. (In both parts the key of the second subject is a fifth higher than that of the first subject.)

Bars 46-58: Transition. The transition reappears lengthened, the whole of the first phrase being repeated, with the parts inverted, and this time modulating to C major (the tonic).

Bars 89-71: Second Subject in Tonic. The second subject reappears in the key of the tonic.

Bars 71-73: Codetta.

Double bar and repeat.

Second Movement (Andante)

Form: Rondo Form. G Major. 

Mozart Piano Sonata No.16 in C major, K.545 Analysis 2


Bars 1-18: Part i: Sixteen-bar sentence in Tonic.

  • 8 bars ending on half cadence (Bars 1-8).
  • Variation of the above 8 bars, ending on a full cadence (Bars 9-16).

Double bar and repeat.

Bars 17-24: Eight-bar Sentence in D major (Dominant). This new theme is founded on Part i. The sequence in the melody, Bars 17-20, and in both parts, Bars 21-22, should be noted.

Bars 25-32: Repetition of second eight bars in Part i, in Tonic.

Double bar and repeat.


Episode. This episode contains no new theme, but is founded entirely on those in Part I, to the sweet tenderness of which an indescribable pathos is added by the modulation from the major, to the minor, mode, in which of this section is written.

Bars 33-40: Eight-bar Sentence in G minor and B flat major. Starting in the tonic minor, the episode modulates in Bar 37, to B flat major, and in Bar 41, to C minor, after which a return is made to its original key of G minor

Bars 41-48: Eight-bar Sentence in C minor and G minor. 


Bars 49-64: Repetition of first sentence of Part I. Only the first sentence of Part I is repeated.

Bars 64-74: Coda. There is a transient modulation to the key of the subdominant, in Bars 65-66, repeated in Bars 69-70. The second chord, in Bar 70, is taken as an inversion of the supertonic minor ninth in this key, but quitted as an inversion of the dominant minor ninth in G major. The third chord forms that of the diminished seventh on the raised fourth in the latter key, and resolves on to the second inversion of the tonic triad.

Third Movement (Allegretto)

Form: Rondo Form. C major. 

Mozart Piano Sonata No.16 in C major, K.545 Analysis 3


Bars 1-8: Principle Subject (first entry). The principle subject is an eight-bar sentence of very regular construction, consisting of two four-bar sections. The second phrase is a variation of the first, modified to close on a full, instead of on a half, cadence. The rhythm of the entire movement is, in fact, unusually regular for, with the exception of the very last phrase, which extended to five bars, four-bar rhythm continues unbroken throughout.

Double bar and repeat.

Bars 8-16: Episode I, in G major (Dominant). The first episode is very short, consisting of one eight-bar sentence. It is founded on the principle subject, its second phrase starting with the opening section of that subject transposed into the key of the dominant.

Bars 16-20: Link. The short link starts on the chord of G, which changes, in Bar 18, to the chord of the dominant seventh in G major, and leads to the second entry of the principle subject.

Bars 20-28: Principle Subject (second entry). 


Bars 28-48: Episode II, in A minor (Relative minor). The second (and longer) episode is founded on the principle subject. It is written in the relative minor key and starts with the opening section of that subject inverted, and accompanied in the treble by a new semiquaver (sixteenth note), figure. Bars 30-32 repeat the foregoing section with the parts re-inverted. The succeeding phrase ends on a half-cadence, in Bar 36, the cadence being repeated and prolonged to Bar 40, after which the whole of the foregoing portion of the episode is repeated in modified form – the first four bars having the parts inverted. It closes finally on a full cadence in A minor. The following chords should be noted:

  • The chord of the Neapolitan sixth in A minor, both in Bars 33 and 47. In the former case, however, the chord is quitted as the first inversion of the chord of the submediant in D minor, through which key there is a transient modulation.
  • The chord of the augmented sixth in A minor, in the half-cadence, Bars 35-36.

Bars 48-51: Link. The short link ends on the dominant seventh in C major, and leads to the third entry of the principle subject.


Bars 52-60: Principle Subject (third entry).

Bars 60-73: Coda. The coda is founded on a combination of semiquaver (sixteenth note) figures taken from the second link, and the first episode.