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Violin Sonata in E-flat major, K. 380

About the Work

Wolfgang Mozart
Quick Look Composer: Wolfgang Mozart
Program note originally written for the following performance:
Fortas Chamber Music Concert: Christoph Eschenbach & Dan Zhu, violin Mon., Mar. 12, 2012, 7:30 PM
© Peter Laki

The Sonata in E-flat major, K.380, which stands at the end of the "Op. 2" set, is a grandiose work that places high technical demands on both performers. Chords with as many as eight notes, rapid figurations, and sharp thematic and rhythmic contrasts distinguish the first movement. The second, revisiting the tragic key of G minor, is an unusually intense emotional statement, while the closing rondo surprises us, after an innocent-sounding rondo theme, with a particularly stormy minor-key episode.

The set of "Op. 2" sonatas was enthusiastically received upon publication. As one critic wrote in 1783: "These Sonatas are unique in their kind, rich with novel ideas and bearing numerous marks of their author's great musical genius."