Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K. 310 (K. 300d)

    Description by Blair Johnston

    Mozart's famous Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor (K. 310 or K. 300d, depending on whose reckoning you go by) was composed in Paris in 1778 and published there a few years later as Op. 4/3. In this work, written at age 22 or so, Mozart at last tries his hand at a sonata in the minor mode. The Piano Sonata No. 8 is, in fact, one of just three minor mode instrumental sonatas ever composed by the man: of the 22 piano sonatas (that includes four lost early ones), just two are not in the major mode, and this is the earlier of them (the other is K. 457 in C minor); and of the 30-some sonatas for keyboard and violin, only No. 21 in E minor (K. 300c, composed, like the Piano Sonata No. 8, in 1778) represents its side of the modal spectrum. One gets the feeling, listening to the Sonata in A minor, that Mozart had been stocking up on minor mode drama for some time when he wrote it. Its stormy music is a far cry from the happy-hearted, light-footed sonata fare composed up to that point.

    The first of the sonata's three movements is an Allegro maestoso, whose heavy, dotted principal theme is pounded out to a stomping chordal left-hand accompaniment -- the rhythm and the texture are heavy from the get-go, and only after some time does Mozart fall into the more familiar streamlined, Alberti bass style of piano writing. The second theme, in the expected key of C major, is by contrast all grace -- the running sixteenth notes of its melody should be played as though tickling the keys. For a middle movement, Mozart concocted a lovely Andante cantabile in F major. The Presto finale bounds forth in 2/4 meter, its tune driven by an accompaniment whose one-bar pattern begins on the offbeat.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro maestoso
    2. Andante cantabile con espressione
    3. Presto

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Decca 4824476
    2016 DG Deutsche Grammophon 002894795516
    2016 DG Deutsche Grammophon B002436502
    2016 Warner Classics 0825646942060
    2016 Orlando Records OR 0022
    2016 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2015 Sony Classical 88875032222
    2015 Sony Classical 88875051802
    2015 Harmonia Mundi HMU 907531
    2015 Stone Records 5060192780482
    2015 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4822418
    2014 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 Doremi Records DHR 8024
    2014 Sleeveless SVE 1003
    2014 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4793622
    2014 Erato 2564624223
    2014 Sony Classical 88843082522
    2014 Masterworks / Sony Classical 88843082532
    2014 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2013 Music & Arts CD 1274
    2013 First Hand / First Hand Records FHR 19
    2013 Honens 200603CD
    2013 Accent ACC 24254
    2013 Wigmore Hall Live WHLCD 0061
    2013 Parnassus Records 96017
    2013 Oehms Classics OC 880
    2012 Sony Classical 88725413592
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Anima Records 9040001
    2012 Sony Classical 88691912562
    2011 Opus KURA 7054/5
    2011 Regis Records RRC 1370
    2011 Genuin GEN 11212
    2011 Fazer / Finlandia
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94198
    2011 Avie 2209
    2011 IPO 1019
    2011 DG Deutsche Grammophon 477 876-6
    2011 DG Deutsche Grammophon 15154
    2010 Opus KURA 7056
    2010 Gramola 98838
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94034
    2010 Decca
    2010 Royal Philharmonic Masterworks / RPO 29000
    2010 Documents / Fab Four / Fab Four 233130
    2010 Denon Records
    2009 Alto 1047
    2009 Bridge 9304
    2009 Documents / Membran 232582
    2009 EMI Classics 13251
    2009 Sony Classical Essential Classics 7572992
    2009 Erato / Virgin Classics 5099969947
    2009 Accent 24190
    2009 E1 Distribution 7761
    2008 EMI Classics 5628192
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099920731
    2008 Rca Red Seal 88697323172
    2008 EMI Classics 229232
    2008 Erato 4696943
    2008 Eroica Classical Recordings 3403
    2008 EMI Classics 367524
    2008 Brilliant Classics 92733
    2008 Altara Music 1026
    2008 Classic Archive 3085208
    2008 Brilliant 93761
    2008 Philips 4646602
    2007 Music & Arts 1193
    2007 DG Deutsche Grammophon 0734265
    2007 Wigmore Hall 18
    2007 ZMI ZMICD 103
    2007 MDG MDG 341 1305-2
    2007 MDG 3411305
    2007 Musical Concepts 141
    2007 Berlin Classics 0149012
    2007 Doremi Records 7901
    2007 Novalis 150184
    2007 Master Chord MC CD 1
    2007 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4777152 GM 2
    2007 Sony Classical / Sony Music Distribution 88697148162
    2006 Vanguard 1890
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    2006 Fazer / Finlandia
    2006 Brilliant 93025
    2006 BIS 1633
    2006 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2006 DG Deutsche Grammophon 002894775200
    2006 Orfeo 712062
    2006 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2006 Philips
    2006 Music & Arts CD-1001
    2006 Universal Classics & Jazz
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    2003 Gramola GRAM 98701/5
    2003 Philips 473689
    2003 Hungaroton 11835
    2003 Sony Music Distribution 8799
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    2003 Urania 11912
    2003 dB Productions 77
    2002 Doremi Records 71142
    2002 Pearl 0162
    2002 Sony International / Sony Music Entertainment 87860
    2002 Astree 8867
    2002 Maestro Celebre 052179
    2002 Praga 356020-34
    2001 Tudor Records 7013
    2001 Musicians Showcase 1039
    2001 Fleur de Son 57951
    2001 Brilliant 99351
    2000 Aura Classics 0209
    2000 RCA / RCA Red Seal 75523
    2000 Vox 5516
    2000 Connoisseur Society 4236
    2000 Philips 000575602
    2000 Intersound 2900
    2000 BIS 835/37
    2000 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243573915
    2000 Tring 072
    2000 EMI Classics 65166
    2000 Multisonic 310336
    1999 Philips 456886
    1999 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 566988
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 6700321
    1999 Aura Classics 0112
    1999 Philips 454987
    1999 DG Deutsche Grammophon 463137
    1999 Decca / DG Deutsche Grammophon
    1999 Hungaroton 31802/3
    1999 Vanguard 129
    1999 Philips Classics 446921
    1998 Pearl 0006
    1998 DG Deutsche Grammophon 459071
    1998 Philips 456892
    1998 Berlin Classics 0093452
    1998 DG Deutsche Grammophon 459055
    1997 Nimbus 1775
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    1997 Connoisseur Society 4202
    1996 Melodiya 40116
    1996 Philips 454244
    1996 Simax 1125
    1996 Magic 48043
    1996 Arbiter ARBITER101
    1996 Praga 354001.15
    1996 Philips 446920
    1995 Gallo 663
    1995 Philips 446238
    1995 Sony Classical 52627
    1995 London 443717
    1995 VAI Audio 1028
    1995 Philips 446 222-2PB25
    1994 Denon Records 8007
    1994 Naxos 505012
    1994 Praga 254025
    1994 Naxos 550445
    1993 Vanguard 4025
    1993 Bridge 9011
    1993 Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 231
    1993 Ambitus 97846
    1992 RCA 60454
    1992 Sony Classical 48233
    1992 Vox 5026
    1991 EMI Music Distribution 63688
    1991 DG Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Classics and Jazz
    1991 DG Deutsche Grammophon 431 760-2GH6
    1991 Philips 422719
    1991 EMI Music Distribution 67294
    1991 Philips 000121802
    1991 CBS Records 45612
    1990 Philips 412741
    1990 Philips 422583
    1990 Hungaroton 31011
    1989 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4277682
    1989 Hungaroton 31009/14
    Vanguard 130
    Brilliant 99353
    EMI Music Distribution 69800
    Melodiya 40119
    Enterprise 300
    Grammofono 2000 78503
    The Piano Library 228
    Kontrapunkt 32092
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    DG Deutsche Grammophon 413997
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    Vox 7194
    Russian Compact Disc (RCD) 30101
    Brilliant 92268/2
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    Denon Records 1517
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    Denon Records 79399
    Erato 45590
    Discover 920215
    Musical Heritage Society 566052
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    Teldec 242741
    Teldec 9031724832
    Edition HERA 2200
    History 205220
    Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 350
    Amado Classics 01034