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Piano Technique: Here come the crossed hands in Mozart Sonata in A Major, K. 331 (Variation 4) Videos

Breathe a sigh of relief if you’ve managed to brave the difficult parallel octaves in forte legato! (Variation 3)

Mozart is not done. He challenges you in Variation 4 with left-hand-over-right maneuvers. So be ready to relax your wrists and arms. Otherwise, you’re in for a bumpy ride.

Count your blessings that Domenico Scarlatti had no HAND in this variant. If he’d risen from the dead and composed no. 4, you’d be snowed with hand-over-hand parallel 18ths–meaning a progression of Left over Right with an octave ABOVE the 10th distance in careening sequences. It’s worse than being on the ski slopes.

So take a deep breath if you dare to tackle the terrain.

Sonata in A Major comes to mind– K. 113.

Domenico’s dizzying acrobatics definitely puts Mozart into perspective–He seems more sympathetic to the player.

In any case, relax and enjoy the ride.


In the video attached, I examine ways to practice Variation 4, with attention to its largely homophonic motion. (moving in chords, with alternating thirds in the alto–doubled in the soprano) The soprano, alto and bass are parceled out, and then re-integrated in a harmonious choir. For certain, the soprano needs to take the lead to avoid being drowned out by the alto.

In the end, everything comes together with time-honored, thoughtful practicing and attentive listening.

My play through:

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