Mozart From Variations
Variations for piano of the children’s song Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
About the video
- Published online 29 August 2023.
- The video is approximately 7 minutes.
- A musical excerpt from the series Mankind and Music, episode 1.
The melody to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is from France. It was published in 1761, but it was likely composed several decades earlier. Its creator is unknown and when Mozart composed the twelve variations, the song was called Ah vous dirai-je, maman (Oh! Shall I tell you, Mama).
The melody gained popularity in the first half of the nineteenth century and several new texts were composed to go with it. The one that would become best-known of all was written by English Jane Taylor.
Each of Mozart’s twelve variations has a slightly different character. In the first variation, the melody is expressed by the right hand, while the second races along in rapid-fire sixteenths by the left hand. The eighth variation is the only one in which Mozart switches to a minor key, and in the twelfth and final variation, he breaks the pattern and uses triple metre.
This excerpt of music is from episode 1 of the series Mankind and Music. The five episodes are available to watch here on Konserthuset Play. Why does music exist? What happens to us when we make or listen to music? In this series, we explore answers to these questions together with musicians, listeners and researchers.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Theme, Variation 1, Variation 2, Variation 8 and Variation 12 from Variations on ”Ah vous dirai-je, maman” in C major KV 265
Stefan Lindgren piano