Twelve Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman"

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Twelve Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman", K. 265/300e, is a piece of music for piano. It was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1781 or 1782. The variations were first published in Vienna in 1785.[1] The piece consists of twelve variations on the French folk song "Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman". The French melody first appeared in 1761. It has been used for many children's songs, such as "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" and the "Alphabet Song". Only Variations XI and XII have tempo indications, Adagio and Allegro respectively.[1]

It was once thought that this piece was composed in 1778 when Mozart was briefly living in Paris. It was assumed that he could only have picked up a French folk song while living in France. Based on this assumption, the piece was re-numbered from K. 265 to K. 300e in the chronological catalogue of Mozart's compositions.[1] Later analysis of Mozart's manuscript indicated 1781/1782 as the probable composition date.[2]

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Variationen für Klavier, Kritischer Bericht (Fischer, 1962), vol. IX/26, p. 54–73, Neue Mozart-Ausgabe (German)
  2. Based on booklet notes by Robin Golding, 1991 for Daniel Barenboim's Mozart: The Complete Piano Sonatas and Variations, EMI Classics 8 CD box No. 5 73915 2