Sonata in Bb Major (K378/317d) by W.A. Mozart
Edited by Doris Geller
For Flute and Piano
As is generally known, the flute was not amoung Mozart's favorite instruments, something which is borne out by the fact that he wrote only four chamber works for it, namely the 4 quartets for flute, violin, viola and violoncello. Even the “Flute Sonatas” – the early sonatas Op10, 11, 12 and 13 which have been available in print for some time – are merely arrangements of sonatas for keyboard and violin. At that time, the term 'keyboard' implied the harpsichord and did not, as a rule, come to be applied to the pianoforte until about 1780. Thus Mozart expressly stipulateds the use of the harpsichord in the manuscript of his Sonata in Bb Major (K378) composed in 1779. This sonata appeared in 1781 as part of the second series of 6 Sonatas for Keyboard and Violin, this order of mention being typical of the period. The keyboard was considered to be the main instrument involved in the musical proceedings, the melody Instrument being accorded an accompaniment function.
Mozart composed 35 sonatas for this combination of instruments but not a single one involving the flute! This violin sonata has been selected as a means of providing flutists with an opportunity for performing music by Mozart in conjunction with a keyboard instrument. The sonata is ideal for performance on the flute without any radical changes having had to be made to adapt the violin part to the playing technique peculuriar to the flute. It has even been possible to retain the original key of Bb.