Mozart: Piano Sonata No.5 in G major, K.283 Analysis


First Movement (Allegro)

Form: Sonata Form. G Major. 

Mozart Piano Sonata No.5 in G major, K.283 Analysis 1


Bars 1-16: First Subject in Tonic. The first subject is a theme of ten bars (4 + 6), extended to sixteen by repetition of the second phrase. It ends with a perfect cadence in the tonic.

Bars 16-22: Bridge-passage or transition. The transition forms an ascending sequence, the latter part of which is written on an amplified variation of the initial figure. It modulates through C major and G major to D major, the dominant.

Bars 23-53: Second Subject in D major (Dominant). The second subject divides into two sections (Bars 23-43 and 43-53). The first section commences with a four-bar phrase which is repeated varied (Bars 27-30). In the latter part of the section, however, the proportion of the sentence which is repeated is more unusual, for, after a full cadence in D major, Bars 37-38, we find five out of the previous seven bars given out a second time. In Bar 34 (repeated Bar 39) the inversion of the previous parts should be noted, as also the third and fifth chords which are the third inversion of the dominant minor ninth in A major and G major, respectively, through which keys the music momentarily passes. The second section (Bars 43-53) commences with the opening figure of the transition taken in the treble with imitation, at the fourth (eleventh) below, in the bass. Bars 45-46 are founded on the opening bars of the first section of the subject (compare with Bars 23-24); Bars 48-50 form a varied repetition of Bars 45-47. The section ends with a perfect cadence, twice repeated, over a short tonic pedal.

Double bar and repeat.


Bars 54-62: New Melody.

Bars 62-71: Passage modulating and leading to Recapitulation. The passage on D, Bars 62-68, over which a descending sequence is written, should be noted. It starts as the tonic in D major, but a modulation to G major (Bar 63) converts it into the dominant of the latter key. Characteristic figures on dominant harmony lead to the recapitulation of the first subject, Bar 71.


Bars 71-83: First Subject in Tonic (modified). The first subject reappears modified. After the first phrase has been heard in its original key it is immediately repeated in A minor (Bars 75-79), the first eight bars of the subject thus forming a modulating sequence. The after-phrase, in the key of C major, also differs from the original. Again, it should be noted that whilst, in the exposition, the second phrase alone is repeated, here the first phrase occurs twice and the second only once.

Bars 83-89: Bridge-passage (unaltered).

Bars 90-120: Second Subject (in Tonic). first (Bars 90-110) second (Bars 110-120)

Second Movement (Andante)

Form: Sonata Form. C Major. 

Mozart Piano Sonata No.5 in G major, K.283 Analysis 2


Bars 1-4: First Subject in Tonic. The first subject ends with a perfect cadence, Bar 4, and is in two-bar rhythm. The movement, however, is not really in 4/4 time, but in 2/4 time, consequently the first subject is virtually an eight-bar sentence containing two four-bar phrases.

Bars 5-8: Bridge-passage or Transition. In Bar 6 the transition modulates to G major (the dominant), in which key it ends on a half-cadence, Bar 8.

Bars 9-14: Second Subject in G major (Dominant). The special point to notice in this subject is in the responsive phrase (Bars 11-14) and arises from the fact that the movement is barred, as above mentioned, in 4/4 time, instead of 2/4 time. The passage here written as Bars 11-12 is immediately repeated overlapping from Bars 12-13, and thus apparently causes inversion of the accents. That the inversion is only apparent and not real will be consciously proved by re-writing the movement in 2/4 time, when all the first notes, both of the original phrase and of its repetition, will fall on the strong accent of the bar. Not only is this the case, but the so-called “elision” of the cadence-bar which occurs between the two phrases, will also become evident; for the second half of Bar 12, instead of forming the final and accented bar of the original phrase becomes the first unaccented bar of the repetition.

Bar 14: Link. A link on dominant harmony (Bar 14), leads to the repetition of the exposition and a very similar on in D minor leads to the development.

Double bar and repeat.


Bars 15-23: The development refers chiefly to the first subject. It commences in D minor with a repetition of the foregoing link, followed by a variation on it which, taken first in the bass and then repeated in the treble, leads to the opening phrase of the first subject. This is given successively, curtailed at each repetition, in the keys of

  1. D minor – with modulation at the close to C major;
  2. C major, ending on an inversion of the dominant ninth in A minor;
  3. A minor – in this instance with inversion of parts.

After a slight working of one of the figures inverted, the section closes with a thrice repeated half-cadence in the last-named key – the relative minor to the tonic – formed of the chord of the dominant preceded by that of the augmented sixth. A chromatic run follows which leads into the recapitulation.


Bars 24-27: First Subject in Tonic. The first subject, otherwise unaltered, is modified in the last bar and ends on the dominant seventh in F major, in which key the transition commences.

Bars 28-31: Bridge-passage or Transition. The transition, starting in F major and modulating to C major, thus corresponds with the original one, which commences in C major and modulates to G major.

Bars 32-37: Second Subject in Tonic. 

Double bar and repeat. Just like in Sonata No. 2, first movement, it is rare for the second part of a slow movement in sonata form to be marked with a repeat.

Bars 37-39: Coda. The Coda reiterates with varied harmony the opening phrase of the first subject. It starts in the previous bar with the figure in demisemiquavers (thirty-second notes) from Bar 14. Commencing in the bass, this figure is repeated sequentially, with imitation in the treble starting a beat later. Note that the first half of Bar 38 forms the chromatic chord, C major, II7.

Third Movement (Presto)

Form: Sonata Form. G Major. 

Mozart Piano Sonata No.5 in G major, K.283 Analysis 3


Bars 1-24: First Subject in Tonic. The first subject ends on a tonic pedal over which the first two phrases are written. For sixteen bars it is in four-bar rhythm, but the passage of eight bars which follows the inverted cadence in Bars 15-16, does not admit of being similarly subdivided. In Bars 13-16, the semiquaver (sixteenth note) figures which have previously been heard in the treble (Bars 9-12) are transferred to the bass, as also, in Bars 18-24, are the slurred quaver (eighth note) figures which occur in the treble (Bars 13-16).

Bars 25-40: Bridge-passage or Transition. The transition is founded principally on figures derived from the first subject and, as in the latter, the first eight bars are written over a pedal. The music alternates between the keys of C major and G major, modulating only, in Bar 38, to D major, the dominant, in which key it ends on an inverted cadence. Note that, during the pedal, the semiquaver (sixteenth note) figure in the bass is each time answered in the following bar by a semiquaver figure in the treble.

Bars 41-102: Second Subject in D major (Dominant). The second subject is divisible into three sections (Bars 41-56, 56-73, 73-102), and each of them which ends with a perfect cadence in D major (the key of the dominant). Although the passage from Bar 56-64 is clearly developed from Bars 48-50 and, on that account, may by some analysers be regarded as a continuation of the first section, owing to its fresh treatment it has such a distinct character of its own that it is here considered as starting a new, and second section.

The first section (Bars 41-56), sixteen bars in length, is founded on two figures: (a) the repeated triplet, Bar 41-42; and (b) the small figure from Bars 45-46. The first eight bars end on a half-cadence (Bar 48), whilst the second half of the section, otherwise a rhythmical repetition of the first, is lengthened by prefixing a new – and what proves to be an important – figure of two beats to the original opening motive.

The commencement of the second section (Bars 56-64) is specially noteworthy. It is developed from the opening bars of the second portion of the previous section, viz., Bars 48-50. The figures instead of, as originally, being in one voice are here divided between the parts. Bars 56-58 in D major are, in Bar 58-60, repeated by inversion in B minor and as the four bars under consideration are then reproduced in the keys of G major and E minor the whole passage form a real sequence. Bars 65-68 form the first inversion of the chromatic chord of the dominant minor ninth in D major.

The first part of the third section is founded mainly on a new figure with which it commences and which modulates transiently to B minor. Bars 76-78 are accompanied chromatically, three of the chords being successively the second inversion of a diminished triad, a diminished triad itself, and then a repetition of a second inversion; the latter form, twice met here, is of very rare occurrence. After a perfect cadence in D major (Bar 80-81) the sentence is repeated inverted, and considerably lengthened by the interpolation of several bars and by cadential extensions. Bars 89-92 are taken from the previous section, the first two bars with inversion of the parts.

Double bar and repeat.


Bars 103-138: New Melody. This part of the movement consists principally of an episode in which, however, there are references to both subjects. It starts in D minor, and modulates through A minor and E minor, in which the greater portions of the episode is written. Bars 111-122, in the keys of A minor and E minor, are founded on the previous eight bars which are in D minor and A minor. A dominant pedal (Bars 123-131) follows, the parts being inverted from Bar 127. The rhythm of this passage is derived from Bars 13-16, in the first subject, whilst the following bars, as far as the full cadence in E minor (Bar 138), are taken from the second section of the second subject. Bars 119-121 and 134-135 form the chord of the German sixth in E minor.

Bars 138-147: Concluding bars of the Exposition taken in E minor, D minor, and C major. In Bars 138-147, the concluding bars of the second subject are heard in E minor, and are then followed by a short modulating sequence formed on their final four notes.

Bars 147-170: Episodical passage leading to Recapitulation. In the ensuing passage, with which this portion of the movement closes, rhythms suggested by the different sections of the second subject are variously combined, sometimes with inversion of parts. The passage ends with a chromatic run following on a half cadence in G minor (the tonic minor).


Bars 172-195: First Subject in Tonic (unaltered). 

Bars 196-211: Bridge-passage (unaltered).

Bars 212-273: Second Subject in Tonic. first (Bars 212-227) second (Bars 227-244) third (Bars 244-273)

Double bar and repeat.

Bar 274: Coda. Mozart himself marks these two chords “Coda.”