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4 November 2014, 12:16
One of Mozart's best-known tunes, the 'Rondo alla Turca' is actually the third and final movement from his Sonata No. 11 K331 for piano.
Mozart composed Sonata No. 11 at the age of around 27 - perhaps in 1783 in Vienna or Salzburg. The third and final movement, known popularly as the Turkish March, is in the rondo form, and was entitled 'Alla Turca' by Mozart himself.
At the time Mozart wrote Sonata No. 11, the music of Turkish Janissary bands was very much in fashion. These groups are thought to be the oldest form of military marching bands in the world. Indeed, at that time in Mozart's life, anything Ottoman was very much in vogue, and you can see the influence of the empire in his opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which is set in a seraglio - a type of Ottoman harem or brothel.
Mozart's quick, simple, yet rustic melody has become so popular that it has inspired many to use it as a basis for new works...
Turkish pianist Fazil Say gives it the Jazz treatment
Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos' dizzyingly virtuosic transcription