January 19, 2019

Dueting with Mozart

Mozart is one of Tomoko’s favorite composers, so it is no surprise that she started her November 18th concert with his Sonata for Violin and Piano in B-flat Major, K 378 (317d), playing duet with violinist Robin Hansen.

This sonata was written in Salzburg in 1779 after returning from a disappointing tour. It is one of the six sonatas dedicated to Josepha Barbara Auernhammer, one of his piano students. This sonata demonstrates Mozart’s transition into his late style in which the instruments have an intimate dialogue, at the same that they are more large scale. The left hand also gained more expressive patterns and thick chord textures that alternate with the violin part. 

The movements follow a fast-slow-fast pattern. Allegro moderato begins with a melting lyrical theme, and the violin has an offbeat accompaniment. The second theme belongs to the violin, and then the remaining themes reflect duality: in mood -- alternating pathos and cheer – and instrument. Mozart also modulates the upward development in the subsequent slower sensuous movement, and then motions downward and recapitulates the original theme in the lively allegro refrain.

Tomoko’s and Robin’s performance demonstrated the rich partnership of the two instruments.

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