9 Variations on a Minuet by Jean-Pierre Duport, K. 573
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
for Flute and Harp (or Piano)
Transcribed, Edited, and Cadenza by Robert Stallman
Published by Carl Fischer
Includes score and flute part
The Variations on Jean-Pierre Duport's Minuet, K. 573 (originally for solo piano) are a product of Mozart's last years, created in preparation for a visit to the royal court in Potsdam during the spring of 1789. King Frederick William II of Prussia was a generous patron of music and gifted amateur cellist, carrying on the tradition of his famous flute-playing father, Frederick the Great. His cello teacher was the French virtuoso Jean-Pierre Duport, whom King William had appointed to the Prussian court. Knowing how much the king admired his teacher, Mozart chose to use Duport's naive, yet appealing melody as the springboard for a series of brilliant variations, assuring him a showcase for his own virtuosity at the keyboard.
Exuding the childlike wonder and capacity for joy that Mozart sustained throughout his life, these sunny and playful variations could almost pass for music from Mozart's youth. Only one variation reveals that they were actually written in one of his darkest periods: the Adagio in D Minor at the heart of the set. Of an unearthly sadness, the Adagio presages Pamina's famous aria “Ach, ich fuhls” from The Magic Flute, composed two years later.
– Robert Stallman
March 1, 2019