Though 18 piano sonatas is a respectable amount for any composer, Mozart also left almost as many – namely 15 – variation cycles. Variations on popular themes, but also on original tunes, were a kind of fashion craze back then, and Mozart made his contribution in this field as well.
Certainly, financial considerations played a role here; after all, fashionable items sell well. Thus Mozart’s variations, in contrast to his piano sonatas, were all published during his lifetime. The fact that these were articles of taste did not mean that they were not of the finest quality, especially with Mozart. In these variations, a wealth of imagination and stylish elegance come together for joyful music-making. One should not underestimate them, but simply take pleasure in these wonderful works.