This variation is based on a nine-measure simple theme. The theme has basic harmonic structure used through the entire piece, and also includes contrapuntal melodic elements and a few musical gestures that are developed in the variations.
Hymn mainly highlights the harmonic progression of the theme in hymn-like setting with simple rhythm.
Staccato features staccato gesture from the theme, and simplifies the harmonies into intervals. It opens with the contrast between very low and high registers of the piano and the distance between the registers gets less significant towards the end of the variation.
Arpeggiation has arpeggios of broken chords from the theme and a few trills. Notes with the tenuto indicate the melodic line hidden in the arpeggio gestures and should be brought out.
Fuga develops the melodic idea of the theme. This variation is not in an exact fuga form but it has imitation between individual voices using counterpoint.
High features the high register of the piano based on the harmonic progression of the theme with fast shimmering gestures, trills, and tremolos.
Low, in contrast, stays in the lower register of the piano with the combination of bass melodic lines and some staccato notes.
Octaves is written for consecutive octave progression to be played by both hands. It is lyrical yet rhythmic showing both harmonic and melodic elements from the theme. This variation leads the piece into the grand finale.
The Finale is the last variation of this piece. Overall, bell-like chords are used all over the register of the piano. The huge chords follow the harmonic progression of the theme, and the top notes of the chords carry the melodic idea of the theme. The intervals of the lowest two notes in this variation are mainly the seventh.
The pianist may choose the order of variations freely except for the last two, Octave and The Finale. These two should be played at the end. Also High should always follow Fuga. Other than that, the pianist can decide the order according to his or her preference. All the variations should be played Attacca.