Joseph Long plays Mozart - Part 2


Virtual Lunchbreak Concert

The second in his Mozart sonata concert series, virtuoso pianist Joseph Long delivers a specially recorded concert and introduction which is in his own words, “A programme of two slightly shorter sonatas this time - K.281 in B flat, and K.309 in C. In contrast with the drama and pathos of the C minor Fantasy and Sonata which I played in the first recital, both K.281 and K.309 are cheerful, exuberant works, full of ebullient liveliness and sparkle.” 



The Sonata K.281 belongs to a set of six sonatas which Mozart composed in 1774 and 1775 at around the time he was visiting Munich for the production of his opera 'La finta giardiniera'. This B flat Sonata is in three movements. The first is lively, energetic and rather ornate. The second is marked Andante amoroso, with the amorous mood being one of gentle introspection rather than of ardent passion. The third is a rondo with a theme somewhat in the style of a fast gavotte.

The Sonata K.309 was composed during a journey to Mannheim and Paris in 1777 and 1778. Mozart wrote the sonata for his pupil Rosa, the 13-year-old daughter of the Mannheim Kapellmeister Christian Cannabich. Once again, the sonata is in three movements. The first, marked Allegro con spirito, uses a theme that Mozart would later go on to use in the Minuet of his famous Sonata K.331. The slow movement was written very specifically with Rosa in mind. Mozart asked her to play it "with the utmost expression", and later said that her playing of it gave him "indescribable pleasure". The third movement, marked Allegretto grazioso, is a sonata-rondo based on a simple, almost childlike theme, although the simplicity proves deceptive, the underlying complexities soon emerge, and the movement as a whole takes on a virtuosic and energetic effervescence.