The first two bars of Sonata in A, K331
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K 331 (300i) has the original Title "Klaviersonate Nummer 11". It is a sonata in three movements:
- Andante grazioso — a theme with six variations
- Menuetto — a minuet and trio
- Alla Turca: Allegretto in A minor
All of the movements are in the key of A major or A minor; that is, the work is homotonal.
A typical performance takes about 24 minutes.
It is uncertain where and when Mozart composed the sonata; however, Vienna or Salzburg in around 1783 is currently thought to be most likely (Paris and dates as far back as 1778 have also been suggested).
The last movement, Alla Turca, popularly known as the Turkish Rondo or Turkish March, is often heard on its own and is one of Mozart's best-known piano pieces. 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 music, including Mozart's own opera The Abduction from the Seraglio. For more on this style of work, see Turkish music (style)
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; see Fortepiano.
Relationships to later compositions
- The theme of the first movement was used by Max Reger in one of his best known works, the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart (1914) for orchestra.
- A version of the Turkish Rondo appears on the album Benny Goodman Today entitled Venus H.B. (Turkish March), performed on pencil and teeth. The album was released in 1970 and recorded live in Stockholm, Sweden.
- Contrary to popular assumption, Dave Brubeck did not base the melody or harmony of his Blue Rondo à la Turk on those of the Turkish Rondo. During a 2003 interview, Brubeck commented that he "should've just called [his composition] 'Blue Rondo', because the title just seemed to confuse people."
All sound files are based on midi files from the Mutopia Project unless otherwise specified.
Piano sonatas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
No. 1 in C major, K. 279 · No. 2 in F major, K. 280 · No. 3 in B-flat major, K. 281 · No. 4 in E-flat major, K. 282 · No. 5 in G major, K. 283 · No. 6 in D major, K. 284 · No. 7 in C major, K. 309 · No. 8 in A minor, K. 310 · No. 9 in D major, K. 311 · No. 10 in C major, K. 330 · No. 11 in A major, K. 331 · No. 12 in F major, K. 332 · No. 13 in B-flat major, K. 333 · No. 14 in C minor, K. 457 · No. 15 in F major, K. 533/494 · No. 16 in C major, K. 545 · No. 17 in B-flat major, K. 570 · No. 18 in D major, K. 576
List of solo piano compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart