Mozart: Piano Sonata K332: Transcribed For Cello With Simple Accompaniment

There is no reason why we couldn’t play each movement of this (or any) sonata as a stand-alone concert piece. The cello transcriptions of the first and third movements have been transposed down by a minor third (into D major) because this transposition makes them so much easier. The second (slow) movement doesn’t need this transposition to make it easier but if we play it with the outside movements then it does need the transposition in order to keep the original key relation to its neighbouring movements. Therefore the second movement is offered here in both the original and transposed keys.

FIRST MOVEMENT: Allegro

  1. Cello Part
  2.            Accompaniment Score
  3.            Engraving Files (XML)

Here is an audio recording of this movement in its original piano sonata form, played by the magnificent Walter Klien. It has been transposed down into our cello key so we can even play along with this master interpreter if we wish:

 

SECOND MOVEMENT: Adagio

Stealing the melody of this magical movement from the piano for the cello is like stealing an Aladdin’s cave full of treasures. It also gives us some insight into how Mozart improved his pieces on revisiting them. In the Original Piano Sonata Movement Score, from bars 21-34, two versions are shown. The upper stave version is from the First Edition whereas the lower stave version is from the autograph manuscript. The differences are fascinating as we can see how Mozart “improved” the melodic line in the First Edition, making it more interesting and elaborate than in the initial autograph manuscript. It is this “improved” melodic line that has been used for this cello transcription.

This movement is presented in both its original key and transposed down a minor third into G major. If we play it as a stand-alone concert piece then it (unlike the other two movements of this sonata) lies perfectly for the cello. If however we play it with the other movements of the sonata then we will certainly want to play it in the corresponding key to those other movements, transposed down a minor third (into G major).

The Easier Version has a few note changes but is principally made easier by having large sections transposed down by an octave. The accompaniment part offered here is the very simple harmonic carpet that Mozart wrote under the melodic line, which is played originally almost entirely by the left hand. No new notes have been added to thicken or enrich the harmonic texture, although this could easily be done. Because of the simplicity of this accompaniment line, it lends itself to being played by the harp, which is the instrument that has been used for the play-along audio accompaniment that is offered below.

In spite of the fact that Mozart notates many of the ornaments (turns) with written-out grace notes, we are still left with several options for their rhythmical interpretation:

Our decision as to which option to use is a question of both personal taste and the speed at which we play the movement. In the cellofun Easier Version the slower, triplet turn (option A) is always used, but in the Performance Versions (Edited and Clean) we use the faster turn (option B) for all the major key appearances and the triplet (slower) turn for the minor keys.

Here is the version, transposed down a minor third into G major, that we will use if we play the entire sonata. The grace note before the third beats of bars 16 and 36 has been lowered by a third to allow us to use the open string which gives a beautiful resonance (just like in the cello’s opening entry of the Haydn D major concerto). In this key, we don’t need an easier version because the highest note is only B, just above the midstring harmonic.

  1. Transposed Down A Minor 3rd: Edited Version
  2.             Transposed Down A Minor 3rd: Clean Version
  3.            Transposed Down A Minor 3rd: Accompaniment (Piano/Harp/Guitar) Score

Here is a simple audio play-along accompaniment, “played” on the harp. A two-beat (eight sixteenth notes) introduction has been added so that we can know when to start:

 

Here now is the original-key version that we can use if we play this movement as a stand-alone concert piece:

  1.    Original Key: Edited Version
  2.    Original Key: Clean Version
  3.     Original Key: Easier Version
  1. Accompaniment (Piano/Harp/Guitar) Score

And here is a simple audio play-along accompaniment, “played” on the harp for this original-key version. A two-beat (eight sixteenth notes) introduction has been added so that we can know when to start:

 

  1. Engraving Files (XML)

THIRD MOVEMENT: Allegro Assai

Even though the tempo marking is “assai” (= quite, moderately), this high-octane movement goes very fast and has some very challenging passages. Several different cello parts are offered with different degrees of difficulty. In one of the versions, all of the fast string-crossing passages (bariolage) are given to the piano because these figures suit the piano so well. So this “no bariolage” version has its own piano part.
This movement can also be played very successfully as a cello duo, in which the second cello has the simple accompaniment part.
  1. Cello Part: Performance Version: EDITED
  2.       Accompaniment Part For Second Cello
  3.        Cello Duo Version: STUDY SCORE
  4.        Piano Accompaniment Score
  5.        Cello Part: EASIEST VERSION
  1. Cello Part With No Bariolage
  2.         Piano Score With All Bariolage In Piano
  1.       Engraving Files (XML)

Here is an audio recording of this movement in its original piano sonata form, played by the magnificent Walter Klien. It has been transposed down into our cello key so we could, in theory, even play along with this master interpreter if we wished. Unfortunately, he plays it so fast that trying to keep up with him is mostly impossible !: