Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sonata for violin & piano No. 26 in B flat major, K. 378 (K. 317d)

    Description by Blair Johnston

    Mozart composed his sonatas for violin and piano in spurts. There are the dozen-plus that he wrote during the 1760s when not yet even a teenager, the six Mannheim sonatas of 1778, the six sonatas of 1781, and finally the four glorious late works put to paper during the mid- and late 1780s. The Sonata for violin and piano No. 26 in B flat major, K. 317d (formerly K. 378), comes from the 1781 set, though it seems that the piece might actually have been composed two years earlier (in 1779) than its five companion pieces. Mozart moved to Vienna in March 1781; these six violin sonatas, minus perhaps the present work (which, if it does date from 1779, counts among the Salzburg works), were composed over the course of his first months as a resident of the bustling Austrian metropolis, and they were the first music of his to be published in the city (as Op. 2).

    The sonata is of the three-movement variety standard before Beethoven made a habit of including a minuet/scherzo in the chamber music sequence of events. The movements are Allegro moderato, Andante sostenuto e cantabile, and Allegro (rondo). The first movement is of a breadth and melodic suppleness unknown to the violin sonata before Mozart made it his own; the transition passages burst forth with thematic life of their own, the sweet-tasting opening melody and the sprightly, punctuated parallel thirds of the second theme (in F major, naturally) being laced together by upwards of a half dozen unique little motives. The suave rhythmic overlay of the E flat major Andantino (triplets against dotted figures) offers just a hint of the "Elvira Madigan" Piano Concerto, still half a decade in the future, especially considering the upward-reaching nature of the dotted figures. The refrain theme of the rondo finale spins gently downward upon gossamer ornaments. The first episode is in G minor. The second, which appears after a truncated rendition of the refrain, is a wonderful interruption of meter and rhythm: 3/8 is replaced by a 4/4 meter filled with running eighth-note triplets. This new idea is so fun and so arresting that a complete break is necessary to remind the two players that they must return once more to the carefree refrain theme if they are in fact to finish the movement!

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro moderato
    2. Andantino sostenuto e cantabile
    3. Rondeau. Allegro

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Oehms Classics OC 019
    2017 Claves 501701
    2017 Claves
    2017 Warner Classics
    2017 Warner Classics 0190295839505
    2017 Centaur Records CRC 3619202122
    2017 Vermeer 4001417
    2017 Hänssler Classic HC 17013
    2017 Hyperion CDA 68164
    2017 CAvi-music AVI 8553372
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795964
    2016 Decca / Philips 4788977
    2016 Warner Classics 557828
    2016 Danacord / DanaCord DACOCD 763768
    2016 Marquis / Marquis Classics MQS 81471
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4794708
    2014 Toccata Classics TOCC 0250
    2014 Erato 2564624223
    2013 RCA Red Seal 88883744502
    2013 RCA Red Seal 8876544015
    2013 BIS BIS 2007
    2013 Naxos 8573033
    2012 Flora FLO 906
    2012 Music & Arts MA 1225
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon 002894779464
    2011 Impex IMP8305
    2010 Decca
    2010 Decca 4782541
    2010 Haenssler 98254
    2010 Chaconne / Chandos 772
    2010 Decca
    2010 Newton Classics 8802022
    2010 Nimbus 2562/65
    2009 Haenssler 98253
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Doremi Records 7964-69
    2009 Decca 4781149
    2009 Decca
    2008 Gallo 1248
    2008 Avi 855307
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099921741
    2008 Philips 4646602
    2007 IDIS 6521
    2007 EMI Classics 87894
    2007 Alto 1010
    2007 Warner Classics 8570260
    2006 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon / Philips / Universal Classics & Jazz
    2006 Warner Classics
    2006 Gramola GRAM 98777/82
    2006 Accent 20041
    2006 Verso 2021
    2006 Artek 32
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 4775752
    2006 Vanguard 1885
    2006 Gramola GRAM 98789
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 000710202
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 477631
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon
    2006 Philips
    2006 Artek 26
    2005 Warner Classics 4623362
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 Analekta 29823-4
    2005 Channel Classics 21804
    2005 Accent 9292
    2005 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    2005 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon 4775756
    2005 Brilliant 92540
    2004 Brilliant 99721
    2004 Camerata Records 28020
    2004 Oehms 335
    2004 Musicaphon 51750
    2004 Moscow Studio Archives 17561
    2003 Doremi Records 7779
    2003 VAI Audio 1219
    2003 Doremi Records 7821-5
    2003 Albany Music Distribution 615
    2003 Vanguard Classics 1225
    2002 Sony Classical 89936
    2002 Calliope 3664/7
    2002 Opus KURA 2005
    2001 Aura Classics 0126
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 74293
    2000 Simax 1210
    2000 Deutsche Grammophon
    2000 Live Classics 102
    2000 Philips 000575402
    1999 Music & Arts 4665
    1999 Philips 462303
    1999 Philips 446237
    1999 Naxos 553112
    1999 K 617 7045
    1999 Fono Enterprise 99393
    1998 Doremi Records 7726
    1998 Bayer Records 100223
    1997 BMG 61757
    1997 Rivoalto 9509
    1997 Point Classics 267144
    1996 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal
    1996 Globe Records 6039
    1995 BMG 0902661740
    1995 Philips 446 222-2PB25
    1994 Symposium 1032
    1994 Naxos 550439
    1994 Naxos 550065
    1993 Teldec 76349
    1993 Sony Classical 53366
    1992 Deutsche Grammophon 431784
    1992 Nonesuch 79155
    1991 Deutsche Grammophon 431771
    1991 Pearl GEMMCD9454
    1991 Philips 422515
    1991 Deutsche Grammophon 423229
    1991 Pavane ADW 7231
    1985 Philips / Philips 412 253-2PH
    Ermitage 112
    Music & Arts 665
    Warner Music
    Brilliant 92628/14
    Brilliant 92628
    Deutsche Grammophon 463749
    Amado Classics 01014
    BMG 60743
    EMI Music Distribution 575582
    Vanguard 8036
    Billiant 99721/7
    Fone 15
    Nuova Era 6836/41
    Verdi Music 6815
    Philips 412141
    RCA 7869
    Biddulph Recordings 012
    DHM Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77556
    RCA Victrola 77556
    Musical Heritage 5091707
    RCA 77556