W. A. Mozart: Fantasia in D minor for Piano (cont'd)

Interpretative Paradoxes in the Fantasia

The paradoxical aspects of the Fantasia (structural, stylistic, genre) bring about a number of interpretation problems. The major reason for the interpretation difficulties is that, leaving this piece unfinished (without the last 10 measures), Mozart, in fact, had never gotten to the detailed interpretation markings. In the original text (urtext), there are just a few tempo and dynamic markings, and even those cannot be taken as an absolute imperative. “Given the absence of a manuscript, no dynamic markings have to be unthinkingly accepted.”6 The same is true for all kinds of interpretation markings in the piece. In addition, the nature of the genre (fantasia) presumes a certain freedom of interpretation (especially in tempos), which results in co-existence of numerous completely different interpretations of the piece. It would not be an exaggeration to say that there are no two similar performances of the same piece (at least, among those available to me).

The list of the scores and the recordings observed in this paper is as follows:


  1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. “Sonatas and Three Fantasias for Piano”. Original Version (URTEXT) (Edwin F. Kalmus, Publisher of Music, New York, N.Y.).
  2. Progressive Series Compositions”. W. A. Mozart, Fantasia No. 1 in D minor. Revised edition. London, 1913.
  3. At the Piano with Mozart”. Edited by Maurice Hinson. Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.
  4. Mozart’s 21 of Most Popular Pieces for the Piano”. Alfred Masterwork Editions.
  5. Anthology for the 7-grade students of Children’s Music Schools.” Russian Edition.

Recordings (all pianists are of different generations and nationalities):

  1. Andrei Gavrilov (Russian pianist). (CD title: “Great Pianists of the 20th Century”.)
  2. Christian Zacharias (German pianist) (CD title: “Mozart – Piano Works”)
  3. Jorg Demus (Austrian pianist)
  4. Lili Kraus (Hungarian pianist) (CD title: “Lili Kraus - Mozart, The Complete Piano Sonatas”)
  5. Robin Alciatore (American pianist)

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6 Michael Davidson, page 229.

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