Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Variations (12) on "Ah, vous dirai-je maman," for piano in C major, K. 265 (K. 300e)

    Description by Brian Robins

    Variation form was one Mozart frequently employed in the solo piano extemporizations for which his concerts were famed (cf. K. 398 and K. 455). The present set is probably Mozart's best known set of variations, the French song on which they are based being familiar in the English-speaking world as the nursery tunes "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" or "Baa-Baa Black Sheep." Traditionally assigned to the disastrous summer of 1778 during which Mozart's mother fell ill and died in Paris during their sojourn in the French capital, the work according to recent research was probably composed in Vienna in either 1781 or 1782. The variations are a perfect example of Mozart's oft-demonstrated ability to build a substantial work from the simplest (and, in this instance, deliberately childish) materials. Particularly noteworthy is the chromatic writing in Variation 8 and the near-tragic tone of the minor mode Variation 9. The work was one of three sets of variations (the others are K. 398 in F and K. 455 in G) published in Vienna by Torricella in 1785.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Thema
    2. Variation 1
    3. Variation 2
    4. Variation 3
    5. Variation 4
    6. Variation 5
    7. Variation 6
    8. Variation 7
    9. Variation 8 (Adagio)
    10. Variation 9
    11. Variation 10
    12. Variation 11
    13. Variation 12

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Nimbus NI 5939
    2016 Evidence EVCD 020
    2015 Accent ACC 24311
    2014 Decca 4808173
    2014 Decca
    2014 Harmonia Mundi HMU 9075293
    2014 Ondine ODE 12502
    2014 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4793622
    2014 ECM New Series
    2014 ECM New Series 2342
    2014 Lura Johnson
    2014 Gramola GRAM 98991
    2013 Classic FM
    2013 Decca
    2013 Divine Art DDA 25111
    2013 Profil / Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 13024
    2013 ATMA Classique ACD 22532
    2013 Air Note AIR 4
    2013 ATMA Classique ACD 22698
    2012 MDG 9061753
    2012 Guild GMCD 2390
    2012 Genuin 12253
    2012 Mirare MIR 205
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2011 X5 Music Group
    2011 Champs Hill Records CHRCD 019
    2011 Berlin Classics 0300263BC
    2011 Sony Classical 83287
    2011 ACA / Aca Digital CM20110
    2011 Sospiro / Sospiro Records SOS 492
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94198
    2011 Red Bus Classical RCLAS 033
    2011 Blue Griffin Recording BGR 239
    2011 Mirare MIR 152
    2011 Opening Day Recordings ODR 7411
    2011 Nimbus / Nimbus Records 5867
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099968582
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099945752
    2010 Decca
    2010 Decca 4782541
    2010 Naxos 857809698
    2010 Decca
    2010 Royal Philharmonic Masterworks / RPO 29000
    2009 Electric Garage Demos 5637193682
    2009 MDG 3411309
    2008 Buena Vista / Walt Disney 000169702
    2008 Madacy 54107
    2008 Challenge Classics 72189
    2008 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2008 EMI Classics
    2008 Naxos 8503204
    2008 X5 Music Group 14315
    2008 Philips 4646602
    2008 Madacy 52955
    2008 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2007 The Gift of Music GM180CD
    2007 EMI Classics 3891632
    2007 Summit Records 471
    2007 Musical Concepts 131
    2007 Regis Records 1255
    2007 Novalis 150184
    2007 EMI Classics 87894
    2007 Accent 10018
    2007 Naïve 5080
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    2006 EMI Music Distribution 70893
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    2005 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 0946330381
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    2005 Disques Enfantins 12
    2005 Hyperion 55194
    2005 Antes / Antes Edition 319217
    2005 Classic Art 101
    2005 EMI Classics 094634678926
    2005 Naïve 8905
    2005 Delta Distribution 16314
    2005 Brilliant 92540
    2005 Gall (formerly Gallo) / Gallo 1168
    2003 Genius Entertainment / Genius Products 7708
    2003 ATMA Classique 22301
    2003 IMS
    2003 Delta Distribution 40023
    2003 Delta Distribution 40040
    2002 Astree Naive 8864
    2002 Centaur Records 2559
    2001 Garden City Music 34584
    2001 BIS 1266/1267
    2001 Haenssler 98104
    2000 Doremi Records 71137
    2000 Stradivari 9019
    2000 Four Winds 3013
    2000 Kimbo 9154
    2000 Laserlight 40002
    2000 Delta Distribution 49385
    2000 Intersound 3769
    2000 Philips 000575602
    2000 Intersound 2900
    2000 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243573915
    2000 Tring 072
    1999 Madacy 4809
    1999 Sony Classical 61721
    1999 Philips 456763
    1999 Philips 456829
    1999 Philips 462232
    1999 SPJ Music / Masterpiece 92014
    1999 Philips 464405
    1999 Music & Arts 660
    1999 Masterpiece 90040
    1999 Naxos 505029
    1999 Philips 456778
    1999 Wee Are Young 82941
    1999 Madacy 9504
    1999 Windham Hill Records 11422
    1998 DG Deutsche Grammophon 459 135-2GH
    1998 FSM Adagio 97203
    1998 Berlin Classics 0093762
    1998 Atlantic 21970
    1998 Spring Hill Music 6503
    1997 Madacy 8822
    1997 Philips 456132
    1997 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    1996 Teldec 0630-13148-2
    1996 Laserlight 15844
    1996 Laserlight 14227
    1995 Madacy 7680
    1995 Sony Classical 68456
    1995 Kuck Kuck / Kuckuck 12102
    1995 Haenssler 98988
    1995 Gallo 662
    1995 Sony Music Distribution 67178
    1994 Channel Classics 5994
    1994 Naxos 550514
    1994 Naxos 550258
    1994 Naxos 550612
    1994 Naxos 550218
    1993 Hyperion 66185
    1993 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4376762
    1993 Ambitus 97846
    1992 BIS 328
    1991 EMI Music Distribution 63688
    1991 Philips 422 518-2PME5
    1990 Verve / Philips 826 948
    1990 DG Deutsche Grammophon 429808
    1988 London 421369
    1985 Astree 7710
    Polygram 000
    Childish Records 6
    Baby Einstein 892309
    RCA Victor 60121
    The Gift of Music 504
    ART 0036722
    Madacy 52174
    DG Deutsche Grammophon 431996
    Accord 200022
    Edenways 5007
    Ades 20374
    Ades 141022
    Vivace 319
    CBS Records 39436
    Madacy 52169
    Brilliant 92630
    Brilliant Classics 99725/3
    Brilliant 92630/8
    Denon Records 79477
    Laserlight 14615
    Delta Distribution 15877
    Discover 920229
    Laserlight 14143
    EMI Music Distribution 575582
    Accord 200642
    EMI Classics 54362
    SKREF 008
    Epic 88697280972
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    dB Productions 56
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    Madacy 0835
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    Universal Distribution 442822