Recorded on 06/28/2005, uploaded on 01/16/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Though so titled, Mozart's Rondo in D major actually
has nothing in common with the form. It is, in fact, a quite regularly
structured sonata form. The principal melody is lively with a characteristic
"Scottish snap" in its opening and third bar. Repeated again and given a more
definitive close, the principal melody is followed by a short melodic figure
bearing a strong resemblance to a passage in the first movement of Eine
kleine Nachtmusik. The motif of this short passage then becomes the
building block of the second theme. Concise and routed in the dominant minor key, the second theme, after only nine measures, gives way to a varied form of
the principal melody in the dominant of A major. Shortly thereafter, a brief
melodic idea closes the exposition in the dominant key.
The development section, beginning with statement of the
principal melody's first two bars in octaves, focuses entirely on the melodic
material connected with that theme. After passing through the related keys of B
minor and G major, the main theme returns in the tonic key of D major, thus
beginning the recapitulation. The outline of the exposition is mainly followed
in the course of the recapitulation with the exception that the brief second
theme is omitted. In its place, instead, is a statement of the principal melody
in the key of F major. The same melodic idea that closed the exposition closes
the recapitulation (in the tonic key, of course) and a brief coda based on the
first measures of the principal melody bring the piece to an end. Joseph
This charming work was composed in 1786, while
Mozart was working on The Impresario and The Marriage of Figaro. The main rondo theme is based on a melody by
J.C. Bach, Johann Sebastian's youngest son.
This theme is heard in various keys and registers, but even when stated
in the minor key, the mood is prevailingly sunny and optimistic.
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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