Violin Concerto No. 3 (Mozart)

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Violin Concerto in G major
No. 3
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
KeyG major
CatalogueK. 216
Composed1775 (1775)
MovementsThree (Allegro, Adagio, Rondeau)
  • Violin
  • orchestra

The Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K. 216, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg in 1775. Mozart was only 19 at the time.


Solo violin, two violins, viola, cello, double bass, two horns, two oboes (except second movement), two flutes (only at the second movement)


The piece is in three movements:

  1. Allegro
  2. Adagio
  3. Rondeau. Allegro

I. Allegro[edit]

\relative c''' { \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"violin" 
  \key g \major
  <g b, d,>4\f g4.\p fis16(g) fis(g) fis(g) | <d d,>4\f d4.\p cis16(d) cis(d) cis(d) | <b d, g,>4\f b4.\p c!8\trill d-![ e-!] | g,(fis) fis4-! r2

The Allegro is in sonata form, opening with a G major theme, played by the orchestra. The main theme is a bright and happy discussion between the solo violin and the accompaniment, followed by a modulation to the dominant D major, then its parallel key D minor. It experiments in other keys but does not settle and eventually heads back to the tonic, G major, in the recapitulation.

II. Adagio[edit]

The second movement is in ternary form and the dominant key of D major. The orchestra begins with the main theme, which the violin imitates one octave higher. The winds then play a dance-like motif in A major, which the violin concludes by its own. After a conclusion in A, the violin plays the main theme again, remaining in the same key. When it should have sounded A natural, it sounds A sharp, and the melody switches to B minor. It soon modulates back to A major, and to the home key of D major through the main theme. After the cadenza, the violin plays the main theme again, thus concluding the movement in D.

This is the only movement in five violin concertos by Mozart where instead of oboes a pair of flutes are used.

III. Rondeau[edit]

The finale is a rondo which commences and concludes in G major and in 3/8 time. Mozart inserts into the rondo a G minor Andante section in cut common time.[1]

Violin Concerto No.3 in G major, k 216 is thought to be Mozart’s most popular violin concerto. Compared with his previous concertoes, the third concerto has become larger in scale, more exquisite in technology, and the extent of performance and artistry implied Mozart’s significant development in composition. It is perhaps the first time that Mozart succeeded in filling the outlines of the three-movement Classical chamber concert with the smart, colorful melodies and showed his unique style. Mozart likes to use the technique of implying a connection of folk-like tune, which is also very common in the creation of the 18th century concerto. In his violin concerto, especially in the final movement, we could often figure out the melody inspired by folk songs or dance music, which makes his violin concerto very similar to his serenade.

Notable recordings[edit]

Year Violin Conductor Orchestra Record company Format
1962 Arthur Grumiaux Colin Davis London Symphony Orchestra Philips Records Vinyl[2]
1987 Takako Nishizaki Stephen Gunzenhauser Cappella Istropolitana Naxos Records CD[3]
2007 Hilary Hahn Gustavo Dudamel Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR Deutsche Grammophon Multiple



  1. ^ Irving, John. "Richard Tognetti - Australian Chamber Orchestra - Violin Concertos 3 & 5 - Sinfonia Concertante: Liner notes" (PDF). BIS Records. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Mozart* - Arthur Grumiaux - The London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis* – Violin Concerto No. 3 In G Major, K.216; Violin Concerto No. 5 In A Major K.219". Discogs.
  3. ^ "Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 / Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major". Naxos Digital Services Ltd. Retrieved August 29, 2011.


External links[edit]