The 1837 version of this piece is in sonata form, with a first subject in C minor, second subject in E-flat major, and a recapitulation of the first subject. It is monothematic (the second subject material is derived from the first subject material). Liszt removed the final recapitulation of the first subject in the 1851 version of the piece, along with an extended bravura passage preceding it.
When actually played at the original speed that Liszt indicated ("Presto furioso", or fast and furious; at around 4 and a half minutes), the piece quickly becomes formidable. Wide jumps in the beginning span about three octaves in the right hand. The lyrical middle section involves some difficult left-hand jumps rapidly spanning over two octaves, but this can be overcome by a flexible albeit firm wrist. The ending involves a difficult section of octave jumps in the right hand spanning three octaves. The piece ends in a flurry of relatively easy descending chords.