Fantasia in D minor, K. 397 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Fantasia in D minor, K. 397 is a significant solo piano piece composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Written in 1782 at the age of 26, this song ultimately expressed Mozart's anguish over his diminishing public reputation as an artist and musician in Vienna. The manuscript is believed to be lost and all that remains is the printed version by Artaria.

History and Release of the Piece

Mozart composed the solo piano piece in 1782, after his arrival to Vienna, during the first year of his marriage. The piece was the first of a series of three piano pieces, including the lesser-known Fantasia in C major, K.475 andAdagio in B minor, K. 540. Fantasia in D minor, K. 397 is published by Artaria, and it is thought that Mozart himself revised the piece before its publication. Today, the piece can be found in concert programs, recordings and has spawned several arrangements.

Analysis of the Composition

The piece is made up of six systematically related segments in a form of slow introduction, a combination of introductory and fugal parts, a darker middle section, and interludes between them. Starting with a melancholic and lyrical introduction, the piece progresses to articulation of a short motif of two eighth notes followed by a quarter note that lasts for the duration of the piece. As the motif is repeated in different registers, ornamentations are used to create variation. Mozart also made use of harmonic and dynamic contrasts throughout the piece.

Why is the Piece so Popular?

The beauty of the piece is that the sequence of emotions it conveys unfolds with immediate clarity. It's short and concise-yet it still manages to tell the story of Mozart's state of mind. As many musicians and listeners have noted, the composition shows a deep understanding of the keyboard and its capabilities. The piece is generally simple and readily accessible to both experts and amateur musicians alike, which has contributed to its immense popularity.

Fantasia in D minor, K. 397 is commonly touted as one of Mozart's finest piano pieces. Its rich melodic and harmonic content have inspired generations of musicians and its enduring popularity stands testament to its timeless appeal.

Publication date: 22. 02. 2023