Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Rondo in D major


About this work

Mozart wrote three rondos for solo piano in the period 1786 - 1787, the K. 494 and K. 511 being the other two. All are late works, the tragically short-lived composer still only about 30 years old at the time of their composition. This D major effort challenges the K. 511 rondo in popularity, and both outpace the less-encountered K. 494, a work that is hardly neglected and captures its fair share of attention in recitals and on recordings. All three feature memorable themes and Mozart's typically skillful piano writing, this D major effort in particular offering an infectiously chipper and graceful melody, one, however, that the composer borrowed from Johann Christian Bach. The work opens with this jaunty, playful theme gracefully skipping across the keyboard in spirited writing that could only come from the pen of Mozart. After the second appearance of the melody, the composer begins transforming it, adding greater weight and muscle to its previously delicate frame. The melody appears in various colorful guises throughout and also periodically reappears in its original form, making this a fairly complex rondo form. This charming work typically has a duration of six minutes.