I’m getting a late start on this, so I figured I’d listen to something a little shorter. “Sonata Facile” would be Italian for “easy sonata”, though when playing Mozart, the idea of “easy” is relative.
Again, I’ll be listening to Mitsuko Uchida. I’ve been very impressed with her other recordings so far, so I’ll stick with what I know.
Apple Music Again, if you open this on your computer, it will take you to iTunes to buy the album. If you open it on your phone, it takes you to Apple Music. Weird system.
Spotify The exact same album isn’t available on both platforms, but it may well be the same recording
YouTube works, but it probably pays the artist less, so if possible, try to use one of the streaming services
Sonata 16 “Sonata Facile”
- Ah, again, one of the most instantly recognizable melodies.
- It’s easy to take for granted, but the ability to write a memorable melody, one that has remained in the public’s consciousness for literally centuries, is a major skill. What composer before Mozart wrote melodies that have persisted in this way? Perhaps the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel?
- I so appreciate Mozart’s sense of musical humor. There’s no joke here or anything like that, but there’s a sense of levity that I miss from a lot of art music. Mozart is an oasis of humor.
- “Facile”. Yea, right. Listen to the phrasing here.
- Alberti bass ruled in so much of Mozart’s piano music.
- I’m appreciating listening to piano music that isn’t full of giant thick walloping chords. This piece is very song-like in its own way. A simple melody and a simple accompaniment, but it’s expressive and lovely.
- One interesting technique here is the use of three voices. There’s the Alberti bass line and the melody, but occasionally there’s a simple moving line in between the two pitch range poles. There are also the occasional gentle chords, which are so light one might miss them.
3. Rondo (Allegro)
- Absent virtuosity in a finale, what to listen to? In this piece, there’s a lot of humor and charm. With Mozart, I’m always drawn into the use of dynamics and how they’re manipulated to make something simple accomplish a lot more musically.
- And it’s over. As, I said, this is a relatively short piece.
I think the main takeaway about a piece like this is that a composer like Mozart and a player like Mitsuko Uchida can do a lot with relatively little. That and Mozart was a master of melodies.
Until next time.