About this work
Although in his time the genre never achieved a status rising much above that of social domestic music, Mozart composed sonatas for piano and violin throughout most of his life. The earliest date from 1762-1764, works of childhood precociousness produced before the age of ten, while his final essay in the form, K. 547 in F, was written in Vienna in the summer of 1788. Between came two sets of published works and a few odd works composed in Vienna during the latter part of the 1780s. The second published group first appeared in Vienna in December 1781 under the imprint of Artaria. It includes six sonatas (K. 296, composed in 1778 in Mannheim, and five more recent works, K. 376 - K. 380) published as "Op. 2." It appears they were prepared for publication by the set's dedicatee, Mozart's piano pupil Josepha Auernhammer, for whom he also composed the splendid two piano Sonata in D, K. 488. As with the earlier set, published in Paris as "Op. 1," they were advertised as being for piano with accompaniment for violin, a designation that not only highlights the expected dominance of the piano, but also makes clear that the sonatas were aimed at the domestic, amateur market. However, a review which appeared in the Magazin der Musik (Hamburg) in April 1783, clearly recognized that the greater equality between instruments Mozart had achieved in "Op. 1" is also a feature of the new set: "These sonatas are unique in their kind. Rich in new ideas and traces of their author's great musical genius. ... At the same time the violin part is so ingeniously combined with the clavier part that both instruments are constantly kept in equal prominence; so that these sonatas call for as skilled a violinist as a clavier player." The unique quality referred to is a new relationship between the two instruments which is based on a closer integration of thematic material than hitherto. The Sonata in F was composed in Vienna during the summer of 1781, just weeks after Mozart settled in the Viennese capital following his dismissal from the Salzburg court. Like all the sonatas of Op. 2, it abandons the two-movement form of the large majority of the earlier sonatas in favor of three movements: a dynamic Allegro, a delicately flowing Andante, and a graceful Rondo.
Curated by Femke Steketee, Saxophonist