Mozart's Piano Sonata in A Major

Mozart's Piano Sonata in A Major

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Mozart's Piano Sonata in A Major


The recognised style in the classical period in which this was written
was to write sonatas in Sonata form- the concept of a recapituation,
development and exposition. Indeed, the majority of Mozarts other
sonatas were written like this. However, this sonata has a different
but very distinct form. The first movement is a theme and a set of six
variations. Each variation aswell as the theme comprises of four four
bar phrases, as illustrated below. This form allowed Mozart to keep
simple, recurring themes throughout the movement and so gave the
listener a more immediate experience compared to the complexities of
counterpoint of sonata form.

Within this first movement Mozart uses several musical teqniques to
'popularise' the music; attempts to embellish the notes and provide an
extremely melodious and pleasurable end product. The music is
decorated with semi-tonal appoggiaturas in the right hand and
acciaccaturas in the left, livening up the melody. As Mozart had just
discovered the complex textural variation a piano could give, the
piece is littered with sforzando markings, e.g. in the last beat of
bar 28.

Each vatiation has features thatare unique to themselves or are only
hinted at at different parts of the piece, e.g. the alberti bass in
fifth movement to emphasise the pace of the piece of the offbeat
chromatic quavers, driving the movement forward in the last (sixth)
movement. All these features serve to bring the audience in to the
music, in the same way the stuffing operates in a succulent turkey.

The second movement consists of a minuette and trio. These are
entirely diffent in form to the first movement and operate in Teurnary
form (ABA). The minuetto is traditionally a dance which is very
unusual at this point in a piece and makes the sonata stand out even
more to it's audience. This movement is all about dynamics with lots
of 'sfp' and a smattering of dissonant notes, an example being in the
second beat of the eighth bar when a G natural in the right hand

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conflicts with an F sharp in the left. However, this is quickly
resolved and the music slips down after this mini-climax to piano.
This movement is heavily decorated with runs which excite the
listener, e.g. the descending B major scale in bar 12.

The Rondo alla Turca that makes up the last movement is a deliberate
and obvious pandering by Mozart to the whims of his audience- 'Alla
Turka' means 'in the Turkish Style' and this meant the inclusion of a
new 'Turkish precussion' comprising a bass drum, cymbal and triangle.
Audiences would have been delighted by this as Turkish style was very
much the Vogue of the time, what with the janissaries invading Austria
only a centuary before Mozart wrote his sonata.

So, on close inspction, it is clear that Mozart's form and style stand
out from the usual norms of the time and that he has used many
teqniques to make his music even more origional and appealing to the
audiences of the time.


- normally sonata form

- minuette and trio different so stand out

- galant

- dance- binary

- \turkish influence
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