Mozart Stallman Rondo in A minor Two Flutes and Piano

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Duration: 10 min.

Written just two months before the great String Quintet in G Minor, the Rondo in A Minor is perhaps one of the most personal, dissonant and original statements of Mozart’s entire chamber music output. Each return of the limping, siciliano-like theme is progressively adorned by expressive chromatic treatment and sobbing appoggiatura figures, that offer scarcely any let-up in the work’s sense of futility and despair. Like a desolate Lied from Schubert’s Winterreise, the Rondo’s unrelenting bleakness comes to us straight from the composer’s heart, an intimate sharing of personal suffering and tragedy. The Rondo’s apotheosis is found in its coda, a final coming to rest over a billowing cloud (bass triplet arpeggios). The harsh dissonance of Bb against a pedal-point on A is at last released, and with it, Mozart’s gnawing grief. The A Minor Rondo points directly to the early Romantics and their “confessional” style, one that Chopin would later develop to its fullest expression in his Nocturnes.


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