Sonata No. 18 in D Major, 3rd movement
In part two of this masterclass, Michel Dalberto guides his student Tingan Kuo through Mozart’s Sonata No. 18 in D Major, 3rd movement. Firstly, the master underlines the time signature (2/4) and tempo. Next, they briefly discuss the difference between playing allegro and allegretto.
As the lesson continues, the master determines that Kuo’s playing lacks dialogue. “Mozart’s music must be played as if you are in an opera.” Operas can have multiple voices communicating to each other. In this case, imagine two individuals speaking to each other. One hand speaks, and the other responds.
Communicating between treble and bass clef.
Playing in tempo.
The difference between allegretto and allegro.
Approaching Mozart's sonatas as if they were operas
This Sonata in D Major, No. 18 was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s last Sonata, commissioned by the Prussian King, Friedrich Wilhelm II who desired a set of six simple sonatas for his daughter, Princess Frederica Louise. Despite these instructions, Mozart only completed this one fairly complicated sonata.
The sonata has three movements: allegro, adagio, and allegretto.
The first is in sonata form, meaning that it has an exposition, a development and then a recapitulation. It begins with both hands followed by trills and then repetition in E minor. The grandness of this theme is contrasted in the second theme that is more graceful in nature. The development increases the tension in the piece moving between different keys, which is then resolved by returning to the original key in the recapitulation.The second movement is in A major and comprises of many scale passages and counterpoint. The adagio has an expressive and elaborate melody. The third movement is playful and light but written with a very intentional and precise articulation.
Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this piano masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Michel Dalberto’s feedback and comments.
At the age of 20, he won the 1st Mozart Competition in Salzburg and received the Clara Haskil Prize.
Born in Paris in 1955 into a family with origins in the Dauphiné and the Italian Piedmont, Michel Dalberto began playing the piano at the age of three. He played in public for the first time at the age of five and a half, and at the early age of thirteen joined Vlado Perlemuter's class at the Paris Conservatoire.
At the age of twenty, he won the 1st Mozart Competition in Salzburg and was unanimously awarded the Clara Haskil Prize. In 1978, he was awarded the 1st Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition. Other accolades include the Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles-Cros, the Prix de l'Académie du Disque Français, the Diapason d’Or, and the Echo Prize in Germany.
He has been invited to play in many European music concert halls and venues with some of the most prestigious conductors. Since the beginning of his career, Michel Dalberto has been recognized as one of the leading interpreters of Schubert and Mozart. Moreover, he is the only living pianist to have performed and recorded the complete piano works of Schubert. Recent recordings include the complete chamber music of Fauré with Renaud Capuçon and the Quatuor Ebène (winner of the German Echo Prize), the Schubert cycles 'Winter Journey' and 'Swan Song' with baritone Stephan Genz.
Additionally, Michel Dalberto is a celebrated chamber musician who has played with the world’s greatest instrumentalists. Parallel to his career as a musician, Dalberto has conducted orchestras in Asia and Europe.
He was appointed Professor at the Paris Conservatoire in September 2011 and has a regular relationship with the Tianjin Conservatory. He has previously been invited to give masterclasses at the Accademia Pianistica in Imola, the Hochschule in Hannover, the Royal College in Manchester, and more.
In 1996, the Minister of Culture made him a Chevalier in the National Order of Merit in recognition of his artistic activity.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a great child prodigy of Western music and one of the most important musicians of Classicism. He wrote more than six hundred compositions and single-handedly developed and popularized the piano concerto. He was widely recognized during his lifetime, and is still regarded as the most universal composer in the history of classical music.
Born in 1756 to Anna Maria and Leopold Mozart in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s musical talents were recognized at an early age. By age four, the young prodigy began playing the harpsichord, and by five-years old he was composing pieces. The Mozart family would make several trips throughout Europe to exhibit the young boy and his sister’s sensational virtuosity with the harpsichord and violin.
In later years, Mozart would enjoy a flourishing career in Vienna. He frequently performed as a pianist and was regarded as the most outstanding keyboard player in the city. In addition to his career as a performer, Mozart established himself as a fine composer. In 1782, he wrote the opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which was very successful. Other renowned operas written by the rising composer included Le Nozze de Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), and Cósi fan Tutte (1790).
The death of his father in 1787 may have marked the decline of Mozart’s career. He composed very few works, suffered many financial problems, and in 1791 during a visit in Prague for the premier of his opera La clemenza di Tito, Mozart became very ill. In his final days, Mozart was preoccupied with completing his final oeuvre : Requiem in D Minor, K. 626. Unfortunately, he was unable to complete this piece (it was later finished by his student Franz Xaver Süssmayr) as he passed away on December 5th, 1791 possibly of rheumatic fever, however the official cause is unknown.
Despite Mozart’s tragic early demise, the brilliant instrumentalist and composer left an unparalleled legacy. He was a gifted composer all around and wrote in every major genre including but not limited to symphonies, operas, solo concertos, sonatas, masses and more. His influence is wide and profound, and his music continues to be recognized and celebrated for its ingenuity.