Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Sonata in F major, KV 533/494 in the arrangement by Edvard Grieg : a critical examination of the musical text in the context of the primary sources
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In 1879-1880, E. W. Fritzsch in Leipzig issued a most unusual collection entitled Arrangements of Mozart Piano Sonatas with a freely composed second piano part without opus numbers, prepared by the noted Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg (1843-1907). The collection of Grieg’s arrangement of Mozart’s works comprises the Piano Sonata in F major, KV 533/494 (composed in 1788), Fantasia and the Piano Sonata in C minor, KV 475 and KV 457(composed in 1784), the Piano Sonata in C major, KV 545 (composed in 1788), and the Piano Sonata in G major, KV 189h=283 (composed in 1775). According to the letter to Dr. Max Abraham, Grieg originally prepared his arrangements of Mozart’s four sonatas for pedagogical reasons. In his article Mozart (November 1897), Grieg also mentions his own Mozart editions: The writer of this article has himself attempted, by using a second piano, to impart to several of Mozart’s pianoforte sonatas a tonal effect appealing to our modern ears; and he wishes to add, by way of apology, that he did not change a single one of Mozart’s notes, thus preserving the respect we owe to the great master. It is not my opinion that this was an act of necessity; far from it. But provided a man does not follow the example of Gounod, who transformed a Bach prelude into a modern, sentimental, and trivial show piece, of which I absolutely disapprove, but seeks to preserve the unity of style, there is surely no reason for raising an outcry over his desire to attempt a modernization as one way of showing his admiration for an old master. With regard to this collection of Mozart sonatas, this thesis documents the influence of Mozart, a Viennese classical composer, on Grieg, a Norwegian Romantic composer, with a special focus on Mozart’s Piano Sonata in F Major, KV 533/494 in the arrangement by Grieg. With Grieg’s bold claim that he “did not change a single one of Mozart’s notes,” this study reveals the authenticity through the critical examination of the musical text in the context of the primary sources.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeParkinson, David; Marion, Gregory; Solose, Kathleen; McNeill, Dean
Copyright DateAugust 2009
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Sonata in F Major