Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca, but played on cheeks with terrifying accuracy

15 February 2021, 17:10

Tahir Ansari ‘plays’ Mozart
Tahir Ansari ‘plays’ Mozart. Picture: Facebook / Tahir Ansari

By Kyle Macdonald

Hungry for some virtuosic Mozart? Here's a jaw-dropping performance for the ages.

Let's face it, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Rondo alla Turca gets a lot of interpretations. Originally from the Austrian composer's Piano Sonata No. 11 in A, the breathless movement is one of the best-known works of all classical music.

The playful finale has been performed on the piano, historical harpsichords, arranged for jolly strings, toy pianos, and even virtuosically finger-clicked.

But this performance may be the *cheekiest* of them all.

Singaporean creative Tahir Ansari uses face percussion in his reading of this famous movement. Changing the shape of his mouth to alter the pitch, he perfectly holds a melody over a keyboard accompaniment.

Watch below. We're seriously impressed by his Mozartian chops.

Mozart's Rondo alla Turca, played on cheeks

And before you inflame your cheeks by trying a piano sonata yourself, here are a few fun facts...

The word Rondo is a term for a structure of music when one theme is returned to throughout a movement, interspersed with contrasting sections. Kind of like a chorus that returns time and time again.

Mozart himself titled this Rondo ‘Alla Turca’, as he was imitating the sound of Turkish Janissary bands, which was much in fashion at the time.

Our friend Wolfgang also had a famous sense of humour. There's a story of him fooling around with his pal Joseph Haydn, using his nose on the piano. He also found much mirth in other sounds the human body could create, but we'll leave that discussion to David Walliams and his Marvellous Musical Podcast (but it's very, very entertaining).