Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791) was one of the most influential, popular and prolific composers of the classical period. A child prodigy, from an early age he began composing over 600 works, including some of the most famous pieces of symphonic, chamber, operatic, and choral music.
Sonata for piano, 4 hands in C major, K. 521. Vienna, 29 May 1787
Ingrid Haebler & Ludwig Hoffmann, piano
Description by Brian Robins [-]
The Sonata in C is Mozart's final essay in a form he had made very much made his own. His earliest duet sonata, K. 19d in C major, dates from 1765 and is the only survivor of several probably composed during his childhood years for him and his sister Nannerl to play during the tours they were taken on by their father Leopold. It dates from 1787, being entered by Mozart in his thematic catalog on May 29 of that year. The same day he sent a copy of it to his friend Baron Gottfried von Jacquin with a covering letter requesting that he should give it to his sister Franziska, a pupil for whom he had composed the piano part in the Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano in E flat major, K. 498. Mozart asks Jacquin to give his sister the sonata "with my compliments and tell her to tackle it at once, for it is rather difficult." Mozart subsequently dedicated the sonata to two sisters, Babette and Marianne (Nanette) Nortrop, the daughters of a wealthy Viennese merchant and possibly also pupils. Uniquely among his duet sonatas, the autograph manuscript specifically designates cembalo primo and cembalo secondo (first and second piano), leading Mozart's biographer Einstein to conjecture that the sonata would gain from being played on two pianos. Both the opening and closing movements are of exceptional brilliance, lending weight to Mozart's assertion that the sonata is "rather difficult." As with its immediate predecessor, the F major Sonata, K. 497, both parts are equally demanding, with little of the concertante character evident in the earlier duet sonatas. The work may have been published in Paris in late in 1789 and was also included in a series of keyboard works by various composers issued by the Viennese publisher Hoffmeister between 1785 and 1787.