Violin Sonata No. 1 in C

(K. 6)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Part 9 of the 9-part series called "Mozart Monday"

This is the longest piece in the Köchel catalog so far, at around twelve to fourteen minutes and four movements. It’s a fun little piece.

The first movement (Allegro) has a chugging bass line with an interplay between the piano and violin where they repeat each other and kind of play along around each other. There’s just enough repitition that the listener can say, Oh, I know what’s coming next! without getting tiresome. And it finishes on such a flourish!

The Andante that follows is still fun, still playful. It’s almost like the violin and piano, who were running around and getting into all sorts of things in the Allegro, are sort of resting, taking a breather in this movement. There’s a minor key inversion (I think that’s what it’s called) at one point that adds in some drama, but it rights itself quickly. This movement is really about the piano; the violin has some runs of its own, but it mostly provides backup to the piano’s melody.

The third movement is two Minuets, the first of which returns to a more equal footing between the two instruments. It’s more thoughtful than the previous two movements, with some soaring high notes from the violin and interesting arpeggio work from the piano. The second minuet reminds me of the first movement a bit, or maybe the first minuet.

The final movement, an Allegro molto, is much quicker and really rushes around, almost like a Classical version of the Charleston or some other high-energy dance from the 1920s.I really know nothing about music theory, so please forgive my obviously false ideas about what things are and what they’re like. It’s kind of a surprise, actually, coming off of a longer period of slower dances. It’s got a lot of trilly bits that are a lot of fun: they make me think of Luigi’s jumping in Super Mario Brothers 2. Toward the end, it slows down a bit before the big finish, with a lot of fancy keywork and counterpoint between the bass and treble lines.

Overall, this is a really fun little sonata and I’m excited to be getting into the meatier stuff of Mozart’s; in fact, this piece was originally published as his Opus 1.