Analysis of the First Movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 31 in Ab-Major
Bars 12-28: Connecting Episode. The connecting episode begins with a brilliant arpeggio passage in tonic key, modulating to the dominant key, in which after a passage of different character, commencing Bar 20, it closes, Bar 28. Bars 28-34: Second Subject in E flat major. The second subject consists of a passage of different character, extended to six bars. The bass of Bar 28 is repeated at Bar 29, and also (with one note altered) at Bar 30. It begins and ends in the dominant key.
Furthermore, the pianist should be aware that another fulfilment of the melodic interval G#-B, even though chromatically filled, happens at the same time where the music reaches the last level of tension before the recapitulation (Spitzer). At the beginning of the recapitulation, it is almost impossible not to take a bit of time on the last beat of bar 48, as the tension, perfectly built in the last two thirds of the development, now arrives, and this feels like an explosion.
Essays on Music, trans. Susan H. Gillespie, ed. Richard Leppert (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 567.
Spitzer, Music as Philosophy: Adorno and Beethoven’s Late Style, 82.