The Variations and Fugue for Piano in E♭ major, Op. 35 are a set of fifteen variations for solo piano composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1802. They are commonly referred to as the Eroica Variations because variations on the same theme were used as the finale of his Symphony No. 3 Eroica composed the following year.
The theme used was a favorite of Beethoven's. It was featured in the finale of the ballet music he composed for The Creatures of Prometheus (1800) and then as the seventh of his 12 Contredanses, WoO 14 (1800-02) before being the subject of the variations of this work and of the later symphony. It begins thus:
In a departure from the classical theme-and-variations form, Beethoven opens the work not with the main theme, but the bass line to the main theme. He then follows with three variations of this bass line before finally stating the main theme. The variations in the Eroica Symphony follow this same pattern. After the fifteen variations of the main theme, Beethoven finishes the work with a fugue finale, another departure from traditional variation form.