An elaborate and expansive three movement work

This 20-minute concert work is a bit unusual in its overarching key structure. Each movement is either in A Major or A minor. The piece consists of three movements and takes the pianist through a variety of moods and motives. It is believed that the piece was completed in 1783 and Mozart may have worked on it between Vienna and Salzburg. The piece is an exciting example of one of the greatest classical pieces ever written. More commonly, the piece is also known as “Rondo Alla Turca” for the final movement of the suite. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart if known as the most influential composer of the Classical Period in music that covered music written between about 1750 and 1820.

Movement 1
The first movement consists of a standard theme and variations. The theme is introduced and then followed by six individual variations on the initial theme. The piece shows Mozarts incredible ability to take a basic theme and expand upon it in original and inventive ways. This is an unusual choice for a first movement in a sonata and it shows Mozarts willingness to go outside the norms of Classical Period music.

Movement 2
After the vivacious and energetic initial “variation” movement, the piece settles into a satisfying minuet and trio. The minuet is a simple dance tune in three and the trio brings in more aggressive and exciting ideas that dance and echo throughout the concert hall. The movement as a whole offers a quaint contrast to the exuberant first movement.

Movement 3
This movement is the most famous of the three movements and results in a allegretto that alternates between A minor and A Major. The movement is fast-paced and provides an exciting and robust ending to a perfectly formed Sonata. Formally, the third movement is related to the first movements main theme. By bringing back a version of the first theme in the third movement, Mozart is able to tie all three movements together in an elaborate and expansive three movement work.

Classical Piano Piece Re-discovered

Recently, a new piece by the German composer Johannes Brahms was found in a guest book from the middle of the 19th century. The piece was first performed in BBC Radio 3 on January 21.

When Radio 3 recorded Chris Hogwood’s soon to be released edition, pianist Andras Schiff was playing Albumblatt as part of an interview with Christopher Hogwood about the importance of the piece in advance of it being published by Barenreiter. For anyone who want to give it a try, the piano website “Piano Street” offers free piano sheet music of the piece.

This “new” piece features a very beautiful tune, that might sound familiar when you hear it: Brahms later featured the melody in his later Horn Trio.

Top 5 Music News Stories of 2011

For music lovers the world over, 2011 was a banner year. A lot happened during 2011 that influenced the music world at the time it happened and will influence music for years to come. Here are five of the top stories that emerged during this unique year in music, and these are not in any order of importance or significance.

Readers of this article will certainly note that many other stories are not presented here which could have easily fallen into any of the following slots. The death of Steve Jobs, a true pioneer in the world of electronic music availability, the tragic collapse of the Sugarland stage that took many lives and injured dozens more, and the debate over who takes best album or best song in other genres of music (pop, rock, R&B, country, etc) would all be included in this list there was room for it. But there is not. So, here are our top five picks for best music stories of 2011.

1: Most music insiders and millions of fans would agree that 2011 belonged to Adele. The British singer who is only 23, released her second album in February and in less than a year it had sold nearly 13 million copies the world over. The album entitled “21” contained some of her most popular (to date) songs and became a world-wide hit for the no-nonsense artist. Her work during 2011 also led to her being nominated for whooping six Grammy Awards. But all of this work and her amazing singing talent also led to a problem with her vocal chords which required surgery in order to fix.

In terms of her surgery, the operation was a success. However, she did have to take several months off in order to recover from it. The singer noted that because of the surgery she expects to be able to sing with more confidence now and does not foresee any problems with her amazing range of voice or style of singing which anyone would admit is full-spectrum to say the least.

But for all her success, the singer remains humble and somewhat reclusive. This may actually be one of her charms as she tries to keep herself true to herself even though she is faced with what can only be called super-star status that has (or would if it could) change her life in many, many ways.

2: Adele also takes the number two spot in this list. Her song, “Rolling in the Deep,” is considered by music insiders to be the number one song of the year. And this assessment was also shared by millions of adoring fans. “Rolling in the Deep” took top honors in terms of best-selling song for 2011. The song, along with its album, propelled the singer onto a world wide stage where she continues to reign supreme. Some of the star’s fan might debate whether “Set Fire to the Rain” should be in this spot and it would be hard to argue against it. But with so many hits to choose from, it is difficult to list them in any type of order. Her allure, according to many of her fans, is her emotional performances when it comes to the subjects of love and loss and, occasionally, hope.

But she was not alone in big hits for 2011. Two other artists hit the top five list.

3: The number three slot goes to Taylor Swift who had one heck of a year in 2011. The young singer came away with a host of awards this year that included top honors as the CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year. She also won the AMA trophy for Artist of the Year. During the year the artist actually won much more than this. She left 2011 holding 11 major awards, which is impressive by anyone’s standards.

4: The number four story for 2011 has to be Rihanna’s “We Found Love”. This song rocketed on the charts and quickly became known as one of the most popular party tracks for a global audience. The song is said to have influenced dance music in a huge and noticeable way, taking it to new highs. Much of the song’s power comes from its awesome production quality. Many fans consider this to be one of her very best efforts, noting the variety of style and range found within the single that oddly enough reflects the music of the past days of dance club galore.


5: In what might be the surprise moment for music in 2011 was the sudden news of the death of Amy Winehouse. The brassy singer was reported to have been found dead in London on July 23. She was only 27 at the time of her death, but she had lived a life full of up’s and down’s. It had been no secret that the singer had battled addiction issues for years. Winehouse was known for her use of both drugs and alcohol and it was ultimately a drug overdose that took her life. The truly unfortunate fact is that the singer had gone into rehab just a few months earlier.

She had first sought treatment back in 2007 for a variety of drug issues, including her confessed use of heroin. Fans also learned that she had had more than one near-death experience associated with her drug use in the past. In an ironic way, it was her hit song “Rehab” that propelled the singer onto the global stage. The song detailed her reluctance to go into treatment for substance abuse. Her last public performance took place on July 20 at the iTunes Festival.

The above are just five of the many stories that came out of 2011 in the music world. The truth is the year was so full of music news that it would take volumes to go through even half of the news. All in all, 2011 was a year full of wonder, amazement and, yes, tragedy. It is a year that will long be remembered on many levels.