MOZART Quintet for Piano and Winds



Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Jan 1756 - Dec 1791)

Composed In



25 minutes


Piano, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon


Mozart was proud of the success of this quintet and wrote to his father that “it was the best thing I have written so far in my life”. It occurred between his 37th and 38th Symphonies, and soon-to-finish extraordinary opera, Figaro. This piano and wind quintet was first performed with Mozart on the piano. It may not be as popular as his other great compositions, but it impressed Beethoven so deeply that he wrote a quintet based on it – for the same instruments, in the same key and the same formal structure.


About the Composition

Largo – Allegro Moderato

This piece begins with a long, solemn, largo, concertante style that sets the tone of the work. It leads to the opening theme played softly on the piano in quick allegro moderato, until it is interrupted by a loud tutti episode, followed by a section of irregular phrasing and offbeat accents.


In the larghetto movement, the wind instruments take the lead in announcing the themes while the piano weaves elaborate decorative arpeggios around them.


The rondo finale opens with a theme on the piano echoed by the winds. It concludes with a written-out cadenza in the same tempo for each of the instruments.


Fun Facts about the Composer

  • Mozart’s full name was Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.
  • He was afraid of the trumpet as a child. His favourite instrument was the clarinet, for which he wrote his first concerto.
  • It was said that Mozart transcribed Allegri’s Miserere, a 5-part choral composition, at the age of 14 after hearing it once. This was the first recorded case of “musical piracy”.
  • He had many pets, including a dog, a starling, a canary, and a horse.
  • Mozart’s lifelong rival, Antonio Salieri, claimed to have poisoned Mozart. However, this claim was never proven.

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