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Robert Gomez
Robert Gomez

Understanding Mozart's Piano Sonatas


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K. 310 / 300d, was written in 1778. The sonata is the first of only two Mozart piano sonatas in a minor key (the other being No. 14 in C minor, K. 457). It was composed in the summer of 1778 around the time of his mother's death, one of the most tragic times of his life.[1]




Understanding Mozart's Piano Sonatas



Mozart's piano sonatas are among the most familiar of his works and stand alongside those of Haydn and Beethoven as staples of the pianist's repertoire. In this study, John Irving looks at a wide selection of contextual situations for Mozart's sonatas, focusing on the variety of ways in which they assume identities and achieve meanings. In particular, the book seeks to establish the provisionality of the sonatas' notated texts, suggesting that the texts are not so much identifiers as possibilities and that their identity resides in the usage. Close attention is paid to reception matters, analytical approaches, organology, the role of autograph manuscripts, early editions and editors, and aspects of historical performance practice - all of which go beyond the texts in opening windows onto Mozart's sonatas. Treating the sonatas collectively as a repertoire, rather than as individual works, the book surveys broad thematic issues such as the role of historical writing about music in defining a generic space for Mozart's sonatas, their construction within pedagogical traditions, the significance of sound as opposed to sight in these works (and in particular their sound on fortepianos of the later eighteenth-century) , and the creative role of the performer in their representation beyond the frame of the text. Drawing together and synthesizing this wealth of material, Irving provides an invaluable reference source for those already familiar with this repertoire.


He composed his first piano sonata at the age of 18 in 1774 and this rollicking classical tune was merely a signpost as to what was to come until he wrote his last sonata in 1789. While many of the sonatas sound dainty and cheerful, they're actually pretty fiendish to play.As well as sounding great, each sonata offers a little window into the composer's character. As many of them began their life as improvisations, it's easy to imagine the young man sitting down at the piano and tinkling the ivories to create wonderfully inventive music. He pushes the boundaries smilingly without breaking them, sticking to classical conventions while adding in an occasional hint of mischief.Charles Ives pigeonholed Mozart's piano sonatas as 'lady finger music', and yes, the music is delicate and twinkly at points. If you're expecting the stormy emotional depths of Beethoven's music, Mozart's earlier piano sonatas might not be for you, but why not give his other instrumental sonatas a chance?His Church Sonatas are nowhere near as well known as his piano music, and often feature a more orchestral scoring including timpani, trumpets, horns, and oboes, as well as organ and strings. They were composed between 1772 and 1780, intended for insertion within a musical Mass setting, and sound much more similar to his religious choral works - the pulsing strings and long held organ notes wouldn't be suited to the piano.Combining the best moments of the zippy virtuosity required in his piano sonatas, and his spirited string writing, Mozart's Violin Sonatas map an interesting course through his musical development. He wrote his first set between 1762 and 1764 when he was just 6 years old. Granted, they're not his finest works, and sound a little like musical studies rather than compositions in their own right, but by the age of 22, he was composing the first of his 'mature' sonatas. He's got the hang of weaving the violin tune in with the keyboard line, and captures the spirit of each instrument with his trademark charm. He composed his last violin sonata, No. 36 in F, in 1788, before he died in 1791.


Audius Classical Music 's SonatasAnyone looking for a window into Mozart's soul should look no further than his vast output of sonatas. Over his short life, he composed 18 numbered piano sonatas, sonatas for four hands, 36 violin sonatas, and 17 Church Sonatas, as well as trio sonatas for chamber instruments.He composed his first piano sonata at the age of 18 in 1774 and this rollicking classical tune was merely a signpost as to what was to come until he wrote his last sonata in 1789. While many of the sonatas sound dainty and cheerful, they're actually pretty fiendish to play.Source: Classic FM -sonatas/Retailers:Mozart Tidal ://us.napster.com/artist/wolfgang-amadeus-mozart/album/mozart-the-essential-collectionBest of Mozart Deezer on Spotify Album Amazon -Collection-Haydn-Light-Orchestra/dp/B015NQQFHC/Mozart Playlist =OLAK5uy_m4VsdRl4Yv4y63CU_ArM91jVaewHDk0UsAlso check out the very best in R&B & Pop Music 2020 from IndyPop Records!


After many years of being known for Bach performances, pianist Angela Hewitt seems to have immersed herself in Mozart in later life, recording the concertos and now, with this 2022 Hyperion release, launching a cycle of the complete piano sonatas. One might perceive Hewitt's Mozart style as Bachian; her pulse is quite consistent, and she keeps phrases foursquare and avoids use of the pedals, but this would be a superficial impression. Take a look at the booklet notes, which are Hewitt's own and give a good deal of insight into her thought process. She sets herself the task of countering the idea that Mozart's sonatas, especially the early ones, are secondary works, and she accordingly fills them with small details, an impressive feat in view of the basic straightforwardness of her readings. Generally, she is on the delicate side, but she can apply muscle where it is called for, as in the quasi-orchestral Piano Sonata in D major, K. 284. Consider the finale of this work (the problem is that Hyperion annoyingly breaks up the variations into separate tracks), where Hewitt brings out the movement's breadth and the sense of experimentation with new textures that the young Mozart was carrying out. There are similar finds in all seven of the sonatas here, and Hewitt makes a good case for them. Hyperion deserves credit for excellent sound engineering, forgoing its usual English haunts for an ideally idiomatic small space at the Kulturstiftung Marienmünster foundation building in Germany. One awaits with great anticipation Hewitt's takes on the middle and late Mozart sonatas.


The recordings gathered below trace the evolution of the piano sonata from Mozart to Prokofiev. It is not, of course, an exhaustive guide to the piano sonata tradition, in fact it would be perfectly possible to make a Top 10 piano sonatas that only included those by the undoubted master of the genre, Beethoven. He is represented here by his Moonlight Sonata, though the Hammerklavier, Pathétique, Appassionata, or any number of the 32 he composed could easily have been included. And although the list ends with Prokofiev's Seventh Sonata there are plenty more 20th and 21st century sonatas to explore by composers as diverse as Boulez, Medtner, Hindemith and Sorabji. All of the recordings below are truly outstanding and offer perfect departure points for new voyages of discovery.


'By common consent, Mitsuko Uchida is among the leading Mozart pianists of today, and her recorded series of the piano sonatas won critical acclaim as it appeared and finally Gramophone Awards in 1989 and 1991.' 041b061a72


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