Piano Sonata No. 11 (Mozart)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from K. 300i)

Piano Sonata in A major
No. 11
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The beginning
KeyA major
CatalogueK. 331 / 300i
StyleClassical period
Composed1783 (1783)
MovementsAndante grazioso, Menuetto, Alla turca – Allegretto

The Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331 / 300i, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a piano sonata in three movements.

The sonata was published by Artaria in 1784, alongside Nos. 10 and 12 (K. 330 and K. 332).[1]

The third movement of this sonata, the "Rondo alla Turca", or "Turkish March", is often heard on its own and regarded as one of Mozart's best-known piano pieces.[2][3]


The sonata consists of three movements:

  1. Andante grazioso, Adagio, Allegro, 6/8 and 3/4 time
  2. Menuetto Allegretto 3/4
  3. Alla turca – Allegretto 2/4

All of the movements are in the key of A major or A minor; therefore, the work is homotonal. A typical performance of this entire sonata takes about 20 minutes.[4]

I. Andante grazioso[edit]

Since the opening movement of this sonata is a theme and variation, Mozart defied the convention of beginning a sonata with an allegro movement in sonata form. The theme is a siciliana, consisting of two 8-measure sections, each repeated, a structure shared by each variation.

II. Menuetto[edit]

The second movement of the sonata is a standard minuet and trio movement in A major.

III. Alla turca[edit]

The last movement, marked 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.[3]

{ \relative c'' {\new PianoStaff<<\new Staff{
\time 2/4 \partial 4 \tempo "Allegretto" 4=126 b16-4\p^"P.T. H.S."( a gis a-1 c8-.-3) r d16-3( c b c e8-.-4) r f16-4( e dis e-1 b'-4 a gis a b a gis a c4->) a8-.-2 c-.-4 \appoggiatura {g!32[_"(a)" a]} b8-.->[ <<fis-2 a-.-4>> <<e g-.>> <<fis a-.]>> \appoggiatura {g32-2[ a]} b8-.->[ <<fis-2 a-.-4>> <<e g-.>> <<fis a-.]>> \appoggiatura {g32-2[ a]} b8-.->[ <<fis a-.-4>> <<e g-.>> <<dis-2 fis-.-4]>> e4-- \bar ":..:" <<c8-1\mp e-.-3>> <<d! f!-.>> <<e-1 g-.-3>> <<e g-.>> a16-4( g f e) <<{d4->-2-4}\\{b8( g)}>> <<c e-.>> <<d f-.>>
}\new Staff{
\clef "bass" r4 a,,8-5([ <<c e-.)>> <<c e-.>> <<c e-.]>> a,([ <<c e-.)>> <<c e-.>> <<c e-.]>> a,-.[ <<c e-.>> a,-. <<c e-.]>> a,([ <<c e-.)>> <<c e-.>> <<c e-.]>> e,-.->[ <<b' e-.>> <<b e-.>> <<b e-.]>> e,-.->[ <<b' e-.>> <<b e-.>> <<b e-.]>> e,-.->[ <<b' e-.>> b,-. b'-.] e,4-- r c8-.[ c'-. e,-. e'-.] g,4 r
}>> } }

Mozart himself titled the rondo "Alla turca".[5] It imitates the sound of Turkish Janissary bands, the music of which was much in vogue at that time.[6]

  • Section A: This section, in A minor, consists of a rising sixteenth-note melody followed by a falling eighth note melody over a staccato eighth-note accompaniment. It is eight measures long.
  • Section B: This section introduces new material in a melody in thirds and eighth notes before varying the A section with a crescendo before falling back to piano by a modification of Section A.
  • Section C: A forte march in octaves over an arpeggiated chord accompaniment. The key changes to A major.
  • Section D: A piano continuous sixteenth note melody over a broken-chord accompaniment. This section is in the relative key, F minor.
  • Section E: A forte scale-like theme followed by a modification of section D.
  • Coda: A forte theme consisting mostly of chords (arpeggiated and not) and octaves. There is a brief piano restatement of the theme in the middle of the coda followed by a final forte restatement before an ending in octaves.

Relationships to later compositions and arrangements[edit]

The theme of the first movement was used by Max Reger in his Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart (1914) for orchestra. [7] The Israeli composer Ron Weidberg (b. 1953) used the same theme for a set of variations. Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo à la Turk" (1959) is not based on or related to the last movement.[8]

Pianist Arcadi Volodos arranged a virtuoso piano solo paraphrase, loosely-built from keyparts of the Sonata.

Folk metal band Ulytau published a metal version of the Rondo alla Turca in 2009.

2014 autograph discovery[edit]

In 2014, Hungarian librarian Balázs Mikusi discovered in Budapest's National Széchényi Library four pages from the first and middle movements in Mozart's autograph manuscript of the sonata. Until then, only the last page of the last movement, which is preserved in the International Mozarteum Foundation, had been known to have survived. The paper and handwriting of the four pages matched that of the final page of the score, held in Salzburg. The original score is close to the first edition, published in 1784.[9]

In the first movement, however, in bars 5 and 6 of the fifth variation, the rhythm of the last three notes was altered. In the menuetto, the last quarter beat of bar 3 is a C in most editions, but in the original autograph an A is printed.[10] In the first edition, an A is also printed in bar 3, as in the original, but on the other hand a C is printed in the parallel passage at bar 33, mirroring subsequent editions.[11]

On 26 September 2014 Zoltán Kocsis gave the first performance of the rediscovered score, at the National Széchényi Library in Budapest.[12]


  1. ^ Irving, John (2013). Understanding Mozart's Piano Sonatas. Ashgate. p. 54. ISBN 9781409494096.
  2. ^ Bugg, D. Doran. "The role of Turkish percussion in the history and development of the orchestral percussion section". Louisiana State University Digital Commons. p. 36. Retrieved 3 June 2022.
  3. ^ a b "10 incredible, life-changing masterpieces from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart you need in your life". 6. Piano Sonata No. 11 ('Alla Turca'). Classic FM. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  4. ^ Robins, Brian. Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major ("Alla Turca") K. 331 (K. 300i) at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
  5. ^ John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano: The Fifth Grade Book. The Willis Music Company; Cincinnati, Ohio, 1952.
  6. ^ Schmidt-Jones, Catherine (10 May 2010). "Janissary Music and Turkish Influences on Western Music". OpenStax CNX, 10 May 2010. Retrieved from http://cnx.org/content/m15861/latest/.
  7. ^ "Max Reger's Mozart Variations", presented by Walter Parker, Vermont Public Radio, 19 March 2012
  8. ^ Sleeve notes Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine to Time Out, notnowmusic.com
  9. ^ Kozinn, Allan (1 October 2014). "A Mozart Mystery: Sonata Manuscript Surfaces in Budapest". The New York Times. p. C4.
  10. ^ Balázs Mikusi. "K. 331 Sonata in A major". mozart.oszk.hu. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  11. ^ See scores at NME and IMSLP.
  12. ^ Franks, Rebecca (30 September 2014). "Elusive Mozart manuscript discovered". .classical-music.com. BBC Music Magazine. Retrieved 6 October 2023.

External links[edit]