Mozart Mourning “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” – Victor Hugo The Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K. 310, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is an original piece which stands out even among all of his other works. To fully appreciate this sonata however, one must understand the events in Mozart life preceding the writing fifths piece. Written in the summer of 1778 shortly after the death Of his mother, for which his own father blamed him, the
Piano Sonata No. 8 expresses Mozart pain and anguish following the loss of his mother _ (Lapin) Offering stark contrasts throughout, Whether they are between the different movements, or within the movements themselves, this piece constantly reflects the shock, confusion, and agony Of losing a loved one. And it is for this reason that believe this sonata is the manifestation of Victor Hog’s quote. The eighth out of eighteen sonatas written my Mozart, it is the first of only two to be written in a minor key.
This alone sets the sonata apart from he rest, giving it a darker undertone from the beginning. The first moment, whose tempo marking is allegro maestros, (fast, in a paced march-like manner) opens with a vehement melody as the first theme. The right hand is playing a very staccato rhythm, which is complimented by the left hand’s much smoother cadence. (Lapin) This results in a dense flurry to notes, which reflects the frantic anger, and depression one could not help but feel after the loss of a mother.
By giving the listener only brief pauses between these sections of dense melody, he chaos and angst of the theme is only fortified, The second movement in and of it self proves to be a striking contrast to the first. With the tempo marking andante cantabile con expression (steady, in a lyrical expressive manner) its 3/4 tempo offers a lighthearted ambiance when juxtaposed to the 4/4 (common time) tempo of the first movement. The layered, chaotic tone of the first movement is replaced with a graceful melody that almost tickles the ear, giving the movement an upbeat, joyful tone in comparison.
The use Of the major key leads to this section sounding more jovial to the listener as well, due to the fact that it is a diatonic scale. (A scale composed Of seven pitches and a repeated octave) The third movement, with no hesitation, pulls the listener back into the chaotic maelstrom reflected in the first Returning to the A minor key, With the tempo marking presto, (extremely fast) this section has a 2/4 tempo. Reintroducing the somber undertone of the A minor key, this time it has a more dramatic affect due to its faster tempo, especially because it follows the steady 3/4 tempo of the hired.
Similar to the first movement, there are moments in which the dense, rapid melody of the third enactment is juxtaposed Unlike in the first movement where this is done with brief moments of silence, Mozart juxtaposes this rapid melody With melodies that are reminiscent to those Of the second movement. Mozart Piano Sonata No.