Clavier-Violin Sonata in E min. (K. 304)

by Wolfgang Mozart


by Lon W. Chaffin

  - The 44 piano-violin sonatas are not widely known
  - A few like K. 296, K. 304, and K. 454 are performed occasionally
  - They do not enjoy the popularity of Beethoven's
  - Lack of unified publication
  - Editing problems (some disregard 18th cent. performance practice - emphasis on
        romantic approach or virtuoso-type treatment)

  - 1777
  - Toured, looking for work, accompanied by his mother (the Archbishop of
        Salzburg would not allow Leopold to leave)
  - Visited Munich and Augsburg then stayed five months in Mannheim (Oct. '77 - Mar. '78)
  - Mozart wrote 4 of a set of 6 sonatas he called "Clavier Duets with Violin" while
        in Mannheim
  - Moved on to Paris - wrote Sonatas K. 304 and K. 306 in summer of 1778
  - K. 304 and 306 were possibly written close to his mother's death on July 3

  - His earlier piano-violin sonatas, unlike this set, were merely piano pieces with
        violin accompaniment ad libitum
  - Mozart still demands far more of the pianist than the violinist whose part lacks
        complicated passage work and seldom rises above the third position
  - K. 304 may be singled out for the exceptional emotional intensity of the first
  - Because of his extensive travels and ability to assimilate style, Mozart's style can
        not be directly tied to any one composer or school of thought, although the
        influence of his recent trip to Mannheim can be seen occasionally in K. 304

The Form

 1st movement - Sonata-Allegro form
       A - begins with the pickup to m. 1 in E min.
       Transition - mm. 20 - 44 ("plays" with A min., G maj. and G min.)
       B - begins with pickup to m. 45 in G maj.
       Closing from m. 57 (developmental; uses motives from A and B)
            ends with 8 meas. of canon
       Begins at m. 85 with statement of A theme in B min.
       Introduces and develops a "countersubject" to A
       Uses imitation of countersubject
       Concludes DEV. with use of an A motive

       A - begins with pickup to m. 114 in E min.
            A new, dissonant harmonic figure is introduced
       Transition - mm. 121 - 145 (similar to EXPO.)
       B - begins at m. 146 in E min.
       Closing - begins at m. 158 (similar to EXPO.)
       Coda - begins at pickup to m. 194 (uses main A theme again)

  2nd movement - Minuet and Trio
   - Minuet
        16-meas. melody in piano in E min.
        Repeated with violin in E min.
        Transitional / developmental passage from pickup to m. 33
             "plays" with G maj.
             ends with violin cadenza in m. 69
        Original 16-meas. melody in piano in E min.
             with violin in contrapuntal duet
        Closing passage from pickup to m. 90

   - Trio
        8-meas. theme in piano from pick up to m. 94 in E maj.
        Repeated with violin - ends on B maj.
        Transitional passage from pickup to m. 110 - piano only
        Original theme returns in m. 119 - piano and violin in E min.

   - Minuet
        A "written out" repeat
             The piano begins, an octave lower than the original
             The violin joins,  after 8 meas. doubling the melody
             The theme becomes the closing at m. 141
             Some new, chromatically active motivic ideas appear
             The piece definitely ends in E min. even though the final chord has no third