I. Allegro vivace exposition
NOTES: The opening movement of this work is the first example of a highly unusual form in Beethoven's piano sonatas. To give the main theme shape and direction, it is helpful to treat the first 8 measures as an opening gambit of sorts, followed by two iterations of the same music: the first iteration (mm. 9–20) ends with a half cadence, and the second iteration (mm. 21–32) ends with a perfect authentic cadence.
The atypical subordinate theme, which begins in the unexpected key of E minor, is supported by an underlying sequential harmony that gives the music a searching quality. The exuberant answer to this persistent "questioning" is found in m. 84, when the music burst out in the expected key of E major. One can squeeze much drama from this passage.