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Mozart: Sonata for Two Pianos, KV 448

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Mozart: Sonata for Two Pianos in D, KV 448 – Lucas & Arthur Jussen

Lucas & Arthur Jussen – Mozart: Sonata for Two Pianos in D, KV 448 Live recording – 25 June 2019, Konzerthaus Dortmund

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The Sonata for Two Pianos in D major, K. 448, is a work composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1781, when he was 25. It is written in sonata-allegro form, with three movements.

The sonata was composed for a performance he would give with fellow pianist Josepha Auernhammer. Mozart composed this in the gallant style, with interlocking melodies and simultaneous cadences. This is one of his few compositions written for two pianos.

The sonata is written in three movements:

I. Allegro con spirito

The first movement begins in D major, and sets the tonal center with a strong introduction. The two pianos divide the main melody for the exposition, and when the theme is presented both play it simultaneously. Mozart spends little time in the development introducing a new theme unlike most sonata forms, and begins the recapitulation, repeating the first theme.

II. Andante

The second movement is written in ABA form.

III. Molto allegro

Molto allegro begins with a galloping theme. The cadences used in this movement are similar to those in Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca.

Mozart’s K 448 was the composition used in the original study that led to the theory of the so-called Mozart effect, which posited that listening to the piano sonata improved spatial reasoning skills, later widened in pop-science to an increase in IQ in general.

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