Mozart Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545

Mozart Piano Sonata in C Major


Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545 was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and was added to his work catalogue on June 26, 1788. This piano sonata is also known as Sonata Facile or Sonata Semplice. There are three movements in this piano sonata namely Allegro, Andante and Rondo Allegretto.


Mozart Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545 Performed by Cory Hall:


First Movement: Allegro


Just like the typical sonata form, the first movement of sonata K. 545 consists of three main sections: exposition, development and recapitulation. In the exposition (bar 1 to 28), Mozart introduced the primary theme of this sonata in the key of C major with an accompaniment by Alberti bass in the left hand.


Mozart Piano Sonata K. 545, First Movement
Primary Theme of Mozart Piano Sonata K. 545, First Movement


The primary theme is followed by a bridge passage made up of several scales going up and down. These scales are arranged in a step-down sequence where the first note moves from A to E. The bridge passage slowly transitioned the primary theme to the dominant key, G major, where the secondary theme begin. In the secondary theme, a similar bridge passage can be found but the scales are replaced by a series of arpeggios. The exposition is ended through a codetta with a strong perfect authentic cadence in G major.


Development (bar 29 to 41) begins in G minor by following the motives of codetta from exposition. It then modulates to D minor and settles in A minor. This brings the music to the beginning of recapitulation (bar 42 to 70) where the main themes are played again. The primary theme starts unexpectedly in F major and slowly transitioned to the tonic key in secondary theme. The recapitulation is then concluded with a 3 bars long coda with a strong perfect authentic cadence.


Watch this video and listen to the exact sections of exposition, development and recapitulation in the first movement of Sonata K. 545:


Second Movement: Andante


Mozart Piano Sonata K. 545, Second Movement
Mozart Piano Sonata K. 545, Second Movement


The second movement of sonata K. 545 is a piece of sweet and beautiful melody played in singing tone and at a walking speed. The music is accompanied by Alberti bass throughout. The first section (bar 1 to 16) of this movement begins in G major, which is the dominant key of C major. It continues with D major in the second section (bar 17 to 32) which returns to G major again at the end of the section.


The third section (bar 33 to 48) is transitioned into the parallel G minor. In the middle of the section, the melody is then modulated to the relative Bb major in bar 41. In bar 49, the main theme in the first section is repeated. Finally, the movement is concluded with a coda and a light chord in G major.


Third Movement: Rondo Allegretto


Similar with most of the sonatas, Mozart concludes the sonata K. 545 with a bright and lively rondo in the third movement. This rondo is in the form of ABACA with a coda in the end. Section A (bar 1 to 8) is the main motif or theme which is in the tonic key, C major. It is followed by section B (bar 9 to 20) which starts in the dominant key, G major. After that, section A is repeated again before section C is introduced.


Mozart Piano Sonata K. 545, Third Movement
Section A of Mozart Piano Sonata K. 545, Third Movement


Section C (bar 29 to 52) acts like a development section which begins in A minor. It is prolonged and modulates through several keys until it is returned to the main theme of section A in the key of C major. Some of the characteristics of section C are the inverted intervals and inverted counterpoint. After the repetition of section A, the rondo is ended with a coda (bar 61 to 74) which is made of broken chords in dominant and tonic progressions.


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A collection of Mozart’s Piano Sonatas performed by Maria Jofo Pires in a 6 CDs box set.


Sheet music of Mozart Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545 can be found in the Sonata Album for the Piano.

look inside
Sonata Album for the Piano – Book 1
(Piano Solo). Composed by Various. Edited by von B. For Piano. Piano Collection. SMP Level 7 (Late Intermediate). 176 pages. G. Schirmer #LB329. Published by G. Schirmer (HL.50254340).


What do you think about Mozart’s piano sonata K. 545? Comments and feedbacks are most welcome!

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