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The first two bars of Sonata in A, K331
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K 331 (300i) is a sonata in three movement:

  1. Andante grazioso - a theme with six variations
  2. Menuetto - a minuet and trio
  3. Alla Turca: Allegretto in A minor


All of the movements are in the key of A major or A minor; that is, the work is homotonal.

A typical performance takes about 24 minutes.

It is uncertain where and when Mozart composed the sonata; however, Viennamarker or Salzburgmarker in around 1783 is currently thought to be most likely (Parismarker and dates as far back as 1778 have also been suggested).

The last movement, Alla Turca, popularly known as the Turkish Rondo, is often heard on its own and is one of Mozart's best-known piano pieces. It imitates the sound of Turkish Janissary bands, the music of which was much in vogue at that time. Various other works of the time imitate this music, including Mozart's own opera The Abduction from the Seraglio. For more on this style of work, see Turkish music

In Mozart's time, the last movement was sometimes performed on pianos built with a "Turkish stop", allowing it to be embellished with extra percussion effects; see Fortepiano.

Relationships to later compositions

  • The theme of the first movement was used by Max Reger in one of his best known works, the Variations and Fugue on a theme of Mozart (1914) for orchestra.
  • A version of the Turkish Rondo appears on the album Benny Goodman Today entitled Venus H.B. (Turkish March), performed on pencil and teeth. The album was released in 1970 and recorded live in Stockholmmarker, Swedenmarker.


Media

All sound files are based on midi files from the Mutopia Project unless otherwise specified.

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