Mozart's Fantasia in D minor K 397

>> Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another of my Mozart favorites, performed here on fortepiano by Jos Van Immerseel. (I confess that I listened to a performance by Glenn Gould, but was unimpressed with his interpretation.)

Fantasia No. 3 in D minor, K. 397 is a piece of music for solo piano composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1782. Despite being unfinished at Mozart's death, the piece is nonetheless one of his more popular compositions for the piano. Because of its somewhat unusual rhythm, its constantly changing tempo (seven different tempi occur throughout the piece, some of which are quite fast), and its complete lack of any recognizable musical form (as indicated by the "Fantasy" title), the Fantasia is considered to be a relatively challenging piece to perform.

The original manuscript has not survived and the final measures of the piece have been lost. The ending as it currently exists is believed to have been written by August Eberhard Müller, one of the composer's admirers.

The Fantasia runs to just over 100 measures, and a full performance takes approximately seven minutes.

Information source: Wikipedia


Jasper February 7, 2010 at 9:41 PM  


I just listened, for the first time, to Gould's rendition of Mozart's D minor "Fantasia", which, thank you very much, you prompted me to discover. I guess it should come as no surprise by now that I myself cannot share your pronouncement on it. Like so much of his output, I found it hypnotic, and I plan a re-listen. He actually seemed to manage to eliminate the natural 'breaks' that seem to litter the piece throughout, for me he succeeded in evoking the spirit of fantasticality that gave birth to it.

Thank you, again; I had never come across Gould playing Mozart, and I think I'd assumed he'd never recorded any!

This performance you posted is also quite beautiful.

Jasper February 8, 2010 at 3:07 PM  

Just listened twice more. LOVE the fortepiano. Amazing how different this kind of music sounds on it.

Another request for future blogseries: How about a week devoted to the fortepiano ?!

Jasper February 8, 2010 at 3:18 PM  

...or bettter: the development of non-organ keyboard music from harpsicord through modern piano.

Just a thought....

Lynette February 8, 2010 at 5:56 PM  

Jasper, I may very well take you up on a week devoted to the fortepiano, as I actually prefer classical period piano works to be preformed on the instruments for which they were composed. It was only a few months ago that my partner attended a recital of piano works by Haydn, Mozart & Beethoven, all preformed on a replica Walter fortepiano, that was built to the specs of Beethoven's built in 1802. The pianist played the Moonlight Sonata and I've never heard anything to compare to it.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Lynette February 8, 2010 at 5:57 PM  

I meant to say, my partner and I...


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