This dark and tragic sonata in A minor, composed in Paris in 1778, tends to be linked with the death of Mozart’s mother on 3 July 1778. While this of course cannot be ruled out, not a single concrete piece of authentic evidence exists that points to such a connection. Use of a minor tonality as the compositional realization of a personal experience of pain is a sort of interpretation that also falls considerably too short; Mozart’s art is far too multifaceted for it to be pinned so one-dimensionally to his biography. The sole authoritative source for the Urtext edition of this much-loved and much-played sonata is Mozart’s autograph manuscript (which in parts is difficult to decipher), as the first edition published in 1781 (together with K. 309 and 311) is riddled with errors.

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