W.A.Mozart :: Variations C-Major "Ah, vous dirai-je maman" KV 265
W.A.Mozart's most famous variations, those in C-Major, KV 265, on an old French song "Ah, vous dirai-je maman", certainly is an intriguing piece of music. Mozart was undoubtedly one of the best composers of variations, however, these variations are of a simplicity in both structure and ornamentation, that sometimes almost feels like minimal art.
Are they hard to play? No, if you compare them with other variations, as for instance the Gluck variations which I recorded for YouTube lately. And yes, if you tend to make use of legato, articulation and overlegato, to emphasize baselines, melodies, repetitions, and so on. And... Mozart remains Mozart, you can never loose concentration.
On the clavichord? yes, sure. In 1781/2, the year of its birth, Mozart did not even have his own pianoforte yet, and as all 18th century keyboard players, he for sure played it on a clavichord, that probably was not even too much different from the one in this recording.
Bonus: Aspects of Tempo Rubato in the 18th c. Inspired by Paul Simmonds 1994
Reading through a pile of old numbers of "Clavichord International", probably one of the most international and best organized magazines, I came across several articles (among other) by Paul Simmonds, on performance practices in the 18th c. These little articles -we would call them blogs in our time - show the hand of someone who is really well informed and still today, these articles are very, very worthwhile reading.
An special word of thanks to Paul Simmonds, a great player, someone who meant and means a lot for the early keyboard instruments and the clavichord in special. You can go to his website here:
And in a mail yesterday, Paul was so kind to let me know that these little articles formed the foundations of a book on 18th c. performance practice! You can find more info here:
Consider becoming member of one of the well-connected clavichord associations and ordering the magazine as well:
Dutch Clavichord Genootschap: http://www.clavichordgenootschap.nl/
Britisch Clavichord Society: http://clavichord.org.uk/Home.html
Boston Clavichord Society: http://www.bostonclavichord.org/
Finnish Clavichord Society: http://klavikordiseura.fi/
German clavichord Society: http://www.clavichord.info/engl/home2...
Swiss Clavichord Society: http://clavichordgesellschaft.ch/de/scg