Fantasy No. 2 in C minor, K. 396/385f
In this piano masterclass, Marie-Josèph Jude guides Pierre-Marie Gasnier through Fantasy No. 2 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Firstly, Gasnier is instructed to find a regular pulse since according to the professor, Mozart's works allow for some freedom by the interpreter within a framework. With this, Jude explains that the pianist must become comfortable and “sit” in the piece. She adds that when playing Mozart, the left hand is extremely important as it is often the key to the unfolding of the piece.
Likewise, the Professor discusses the nature of Mozart’s compositions, and that a musician should reflect upon the opera, its many characters, the story, and the variety of colors present in a piece. Gasnier is instructed to find a more orchestral sound and to “rehearse” the notes mentally before playing them.
Finding a regular pulse.
Left- and right-hand dynamics.
Considering the context of Mozart’s works.
Implementing the various colors of the piece in the interpretation.
Becoming familiar with the work.
After Mozart died in 1791, his wife, Constanze, was left with a number of incomplete or unpublished works. Fantasy No. 2 in C minor dates from 1782 and was initially a fragment of a violin sonata that was never finished. However, the fragment contains mostly piano music, as the violin does not enter until the very end of the excerpt. Because of this, Maximilian Stadler, who completed many of Mozart’s works, decided to finish the piece as a work for piano, omitting the violin measures. The original piano part spans twenty-seven measures, and the final version completed by Stadler contains seventy. Marked in a slow Adagio, this work has become a favorite of pianists for its dark mood, which is rare for a Mozart piece. The development is particularly turbulent, though the piece eventually resolves into a more peaceful C major.
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 Marie-Josèph Jude’s feedback and comments.
She was a finalist at the Clara Haskil Competition in 1989.
Marie-Josèphe Jude was born in Nice in 1968 from a French father and a sino-Vietnamese mother. She started to learn piano and harp in her home city before joining the Conservatoire de Paris, encouraged by G. Cziffra. She worked with Aldo Ciccolini (piano) and Jean Hubeau (chamber music), and was awarded a First Prize in piano and a concert license in harp at the Ecole Normale in Paris. She attended the third cycle in Jean-Claude Pennetier’s class. At that time, she regularly attended Maria Curcio-Diamand’s lessons in London. In 1986, she met the composer Maurice Ohana and became one of her favorite performers. She was a finalist at the Clara Haskil Competition in 1989, and won the Victoire de la Musique in the category "New Talent" in 1995.
This is when her career developed internationally. She has appeared in concert halls and festivals all over the world, from Montpellier to Bath, from the Roque d’Anthéron to Kuhmo, from Bagatelle to Locarno, from Colmar to Québec, from Nantes to Tokyo, and so on.
She has played as a soloist under the baton of Frans Brüggen and Charles Dutoit, Emmanuel Krivine, François-Xavier Roth, Jean-Yves Ossonce, Arturo Tamayo, Klaus Weise, with orchestras such as the Orchestre de Paris, the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Bordeaux, the Orchestre National d’ïle de France, les Siècles, the BBC Scottish Orchestra, Basel Symphonic Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra of Luxembourg, the Brussels Philharmonic, and the MDR in Leipzig.
After 4 years of teaching at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Lyon (2012-2016), she is now a teacher at the CNSM in Paris. In October 2017, she was appointed President of the Nice International Summer Academy.
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.