Wednesday Music: Mozart’s Piano Adagio in B Minor

I know it is already Thursday where a lot of my readers live, but luckily it’s still Wednesday where I am, so I’ll call this a Wednesday Music post anyway. 🙂 Today’s piece is Mozart’s Adagio in B minor for Piano, K. 540. Here’s a bit about it.

  • Mozart rarely used the key of B minor in his works. In fact, there’s only one other instrumental piece he wrote that is in B minor. It’s the slow movement from the Flute Quartet No. 1, K. 285, a piece I’m actually not familiar with.
  • This piece was written in the last few years of Mozart’s life. He entered it into his catalog of works in 1788. Longtime Wednesday Music readers may recall that he died in 1791.
  • The length of this piece can vary between six and twelve minutes, depending if the performer decides to repeat certain sections. A lot of music has repeats written in it (there are symbols that tell you what to repeat and how many times to do it), but for some reason, ambiguity exists for this piece.


Or click here to see on YouTube.


4 thoughts on “Wednesday Music: Mozart’s Piano Adagio in B Minor

  1. Huh… I have not heard of any pieces before which musicians whether or not to play repeats. Very odd. The repeat usually plays an important role. I can’t imagine what would’ve allowed for such ambiguities. Even so, this piece is interesting in itself because of the softer, joyful melody intertwined with the darker, somber minor tones. Very unique.


    1. I agree! I thought it was very strange when I read that. I searched for performances on YouTube and they indeed do vary between 6 and 12 minutes, so I guess there’s some real ambiguity there.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can understand why this is not popular Mozart like many of his piano sonatas. It is not very lyrical and there are some surprizing angry bursts. The bass to treble question and answers are very beautiful , thats my old Mozart shining through the anguish.
    Trained musicians will no doubt understand this rather unusual piece better than the average enthusiast.


Comments are closed.