Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Bassoon Sonata


The origins of Mozart's Sonata for Bassoon and Cello are shrouded in mystery: no autograph manuscript exists and the work was not published until 1805, fourteen years after Mozart's death. Along with the Bassoon Concerto it is one of two surviving works that Mozart composed for the instrument. They were possibly composed in 1774 when the 18-year-old Mozart was staying in Munich and had made friends with an amateur bassoonist called Baron Thaddäus von Dürniz. While the bassoon line in the Sonata is the principal part, the cello line is essentially an accompanying bass line rather than an equal partner. The piece may have been intended as a trio sonata, with the piano filling in the harmony, and the work has been often performed in this way. This new arrangement adds a violin and viola line to the cello original to make a light but complete harmonic accompaniment to the bassoon. It aims to have sufficient interest and character while never obscuring the elegance, grace and wit of the bassoon part.


Instrumentation: bassoon, violin, viola, cello


Watch a performance of the arrangement here: