Sonata in E-Flat major, K. 282

  • Adagio
  • Menuetti
  • Allegro

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Mozart composed his Sonata in E-flat major, K. 282 during a period in history when the harpsichord was finding itself displaced by the fortepiano. The keyboard score is one of his first to make significant use of dynamics. Written when Mozart was nineteen, it was a favorite performance piece as he traveled around the courts of Europe showcasing has talent – as well as the superiority of these new fortepianos. 

Heard on Greg Anderson's solo CD, "On Wings of Song," this sonata highlights the themes of the album well. While it has no direct connection to the notion of “singing,” the sonata stands apart from Mozart’s others in that it commences with a slow, lyrical movement. During a time when the emotional weight of a sonata was carried by the first movement, the opening Adagio of this work makes a powerful statement regarding the vocal quality of the fortepianos creeping into the musical scene. 

The first and third movements of the piece are in a terse sonata form, while the middle movement (Menuetti I & II) follows the structure of Baroque dance movements typically found in pairs, such as the Gavotte or Bourrée. A menuetto is a courtly dance, and its inclusion here likely pleased the nobility in Mozart's audiences. The youthful Allegro concludes the work in an energetic fashion with playful uses of contrast, chiaroscuro, and runs.

— Greg Anderson