Mozart: Piano Sonata in A Major K. 331 (Alla Turca)…

Edited by Wolf-Dieter Seiffert.
G. Henle Verlag, 2015.
iv + 26pp, €7.00

This is not merely an offprint – it is a new edition. Mozart’s pages were split, and only the last page survived until a double leaf of the autograph was recently found in the National Széchényi Library in Budapest. Apart from the limited autograph sheets, the editor also found a copyist’s MS in Prague – an extensive report can be downloaded at www.henle.com. There are two early editions, in 1784 and what was called a fourth impression, though K331 was reset by three engravers.

I’ve compared the new edition with the Bärenreiter Collected Works, in this case quite late (1986). There is a difference in the first two bars: Bärenreiter has a slur for the first two of a group of three quavers, whereas Henle (referring to the 2015 edition) slurs all three. (I don’t edit Mozart, but the problem of slurring 6/8 or 12/8 rhythms in Handel, whose music I spend a lot of time editing, are often ambiguous.) Comments are helpfully noted on the musical pages as well as in the separate critical notes. The newly discovered four pages cover the end of the first movement and beginning of the second. (Why are the bar numbers not stated to show the exact beginnings and ends?) Could not the new pages have been printed at half-size on the two blank pages at the end? The Sonata itself is one of Mozart’s most popular works, and I expect that rival editions will appear.

Clifford Bartlett