Piano Sonata No. 11 (Mozart)

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The first two bars of Sonata in A, K331. About this sound Play 
Beginning of the third movement

The Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331 (300i), by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a piano sonata in three movements. It is uncertain where and when Mozart composed the sonata; however, Vienna or Salzburg around 1783 is currently thought to be most likely (Paris and dates as far back as 1778 have also been suggested).

Structure[edit]

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Performed by Romuald Greiss on an 1850 Budynowicz piano

  1. Andante grazioso – a theme with six variations
  2. Menuetto – a minuet and trio
  3. Alla Turca – Allegretto

All of the movements are in the key of A major or A minor; therefore, the work is homotonal. A typical performance of this entire sonata takes about 20 minutes.[1]

The last movement, "Alla Turca", popularly known as the "Turkish March", is often heard on its own and is one of Mozart's best-known piano pieces; it was Mozart himself who titled the rondo "Alla Turca".[2] It imitates the sound of Turkish Janissary bands, the music of which was much in vogue at that time. Various other works of the time imitate this Turkish style, including Mozart's own opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail. In Mozart's time, the last movement was sometimes performed on pianos built with a "Turkish stop", allowing it to be embellished with extra percussion effects.

Relationships to later compositions[edit]

The theme of the first movement was used by Max Reger in his Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart (1914) for orchestra.[3] Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo à la Turk" (1959) is not based on or related to the last movement, "Alla Turca".[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robins, Brian. Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major ("Alla Turca") K. 331 (K. 300i) at AllMusic. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
  2. ^ John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano: The Fifth Grade Book. The Willis Music Company; Cincinnati, OH, 1952.
  3. ^ "Max Reger's Mozart Variations", presented by Walter Parker, Vermont Public Radio, 19 March 2012
  4. ^ Sleeve notes to Time Out, notnowmusic.com

External links[edit]