Mozart Violin Sonata K302: Transcribed For Cello
Eb major is not an easy key on the cello. The fact of not being able to use the open A string or harmonic, together with the frequent and unavoidable use of extensions, makes some of the passages in this two-movement Sonata really quite awkward.
FIRST MOVEMENT: Allegro
The melodic passage in bars 10-14 (and again in bars 116-120) of the first movement has been transposed down an additional octave for both the “Concert Version” and the “Easier Version”. Some chords have been revoiced (bars 25, 68 and 180). The third note of bars 57 and 58 is a C in every published edition but this note does not belong at all to the chord of these two bars (Eb major) and therefore sounds very dissonant. In the second of these two bars (bar 58), the C is acceptable because it leads stepwise down to the Bb of the following bar but in bar 57 an Eb on the third beat would sound much better than Mozart’s C.
Exactly the same dissonance occurs in the recapitulation’s equivalent passage (bars 169 and 170) where Mozart’s F does not belong to the Ab major chord. The fact that Mozart used exactly the same dissonance in both passages suggests that these are not typos (notation errors) and we had better not “correct” them, at least not in a published edition ! The suggested non-dissonant notes have however been added in parentheses.
Here below is a play-along audio of the piano accompaniment, kindly played by Malika Gaimbetova and downloaded from her YouTube Piano Accompaniment channel. A two-bar introduction has been added so that we can know when to start playing.
SECOND MOVEMENT: Rondeau (Andante grazioso)
The piano doubles the cello’s melodic line in 62 bars of this movement (30%) which makes it sound (and feel) like a “beginner’s” or “baby” sonata. So, even though no notes have been changed in the cello part of this movement it would be very tempting to remove many notes from the piano part. Bars 25-34, and also the final 12 bars, have been transposed up an octave to get them out of the cello’s “elephant” register. Now, those bars sound in the same octave as the violin.
Here below is a play-along audio of the piano accompaniment, kindly played by Malika Gaimbetova and downloaded from her YouTube Piano Accompaniment channel.