W. A. Mozart - Rondo alla Turca




In Mozart's time, the Ottoman Empire still ruled Turkey. Their military bands, called Janissary bands, were quite popular, even in Europe. Mozart borrowed from their sound and rhythm to produce this work, which became one of the big hits of Mozart's day. Its popularity has rarely waned since then. 

This, the final movement of the sonata, captures the military bands' brassy sound. In its whirling feel, it can evoke another aspect of Turkish culture which has captivated Westerners--the whirling motion of the Sufi dervishes as they perform their ancient ritual of peace and wholeness, though the Rondo whirls at light speed, in contrast to the gentle movement of the Mevlevi.
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