Piano Sonata No.13

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano Sonata No.13 in Bb major

K333, K315c

Recommended recording

Curated by Guy Jones, Head of Curation

About this work

One of Mozart's longest and most demanding piano sonatas, this superb work was almost certainly designed as a concert vehicle for the composer himself, rather than being intended as teaching material. Like its immediate predecessors (K. 330-332), the B flat sonata was originally believed to have been composed some years earlier than its present dating of 1783. Modern paper analysis has placed its probable composition in Linz, where Mozart and his wife Constanze stayed for three weeks in November on their return journey from Salzburg to Vienna. In a letter to his father dated October 31, Mozart told Leopold that because he would be giving a concert in the theater in Linz on November 4, he was having to write a new symphony "at breakneck speed," not having any of his other symphonies with him. The result was the Symphony No. 36 in C, K. 425("Linz"), It would seem plausible that he wrote the sonata for the same concert. In July 1784, the sonata was published in Vienna along with the Sonata in D, K. 284 and the Sonata for Piano and Violin, K. 454. The sonata is written in a concerto style, with an opening Allegro that alternates "solo" and "full" passages, bravura passage work with delicate filigree, and a final Rondo that includes a cadenza. The central Andante cantabile in E flat is clearly influenced by Mozart's experience as an opera composer; its melodies may justifiably be compared with those of a love duet.