One of the finest living pianists, the Polish classical pianist Krystian Zimerman plays Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K 330 (300h). The work was composed in 1783 when Mozart was twenty-seven years old and first published in 1784.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 10
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K. 330 (K. 300h), is one of his most frequently performed and popular piano sonatas. Composed in 1783, it’s a work from his maturity and showcases the stylistic hallmarks that make Mozart’s compositions so enduring and cherished.
The K. 330 sonata is characterized by its lyricism, balance, and clarity. It’s composed in a galant style, a fashionable musical style in the late 18th century that emphasized melody and elegance over complex harmonic structures. This style is especially prominent in this sonata, as Mozart achieves a beautiful equilibrium between engaging melodic content and transparent textures.
The sonata starts off with a bright and lively disposition, displaying Mozart’s gift for creating melodies that are both memorable and intricate. This buoyant character is balanced by passages of introspection, giving the listener a glimpse into the depth of Mozart’s musical language.
The second theme is marked by its grace and refinement, offering a contrast to the vigor of the initial theme. This, combined with the elegant transitions, demonstrates Mozart’s uncanny ability to weave together contrasting elements seamlessly.
Throughout the sonata, Mozart employs brilliant ornamentation, which not only embellishes the melodies but also adds depth and dimension to the overall narrative of the piece. These ornaments, including trills and turns, enhance the ornate nature of the music without detracting from its primary melodic content.
Another important feature of this sonata is Mozart’s use of dynamic contrasts. From pianissimos that feel almost whispered to forte passages full of confidence, Mozart guides the listener through a wide emotional spectrum, amplifying the overall impact of the composition.
Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K. 330, stands as a testament to his genius as a composer. It combines elegance, lyrical beauty, and brilliant craftsmanship in a way that is quintessentially Mozart.
The sonata is in three movements:
- Allegro moderato The movement shows two clear major themes, which have been decorated by the use of ornamentation, as was typical of the time. The movement is composed of an exposition, a development, and a recapitulation. The first subject is in the tonic key of C major and modulates to the dominant, G major, for the exposition of the second subject. The development is more intense and contains wider modulations. In the recapitulation, the first subject is heard, again in C major. The music then modulates to G major and then returns to C major for the recapitulation of the second subject in the tonic key
- Andante cantabile The very end of the movement which Mozart wrote was misplaced in the autograph; an F Major coda was added in the 1784 publication.
- Allegretto. The finale of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 10 is the most energetic among the movements of the sonata. The use of arpeggios is prevalent throughout the piece. Like the second movement, the last few bars were lost in the autograph as well.
- Piano Sonata No. 10 (Mozart) on Wikipedia
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