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April 29, 1784, the first performance of the sonata n. 40 in B flat major for violin and piano, K 454
On 24 April 1784 Mozart wrote to his father: «We have here the famous Mantuan Strinasacchi, an excellent violinist. His performances excel in both good taste and sentiment. At the moment I'm just writing a Sonata that we will play in the theater next Thursday on the occasion of his academy ». The concert took place on April 29 at the Porta Carinzia theater, in the presence of Emperor Joseph II.

Like almost all the works of the Viennese period, the Sonata was written for its performance, or more correctly, for a concert given by a young Italian violinist. Mozart wrote to his father about the occasion: “We have here the famous Mantuan Strinasacchi, an excellent violinist. His performances excel as much for good taste as for sentiment ". The attractive and gifted Strinasacchi inspired Mozart to do something more than the conception of a 'strong' piece; the Sonata in B flat is a composition of royal stature, a gem of an opera, as surprising for its musical substance as for its fiery instrumental happiness.

Mozart's biographer, Alfred Einstein, compared the introduction of the Sonata to a Triumphal Arch through which one passes through the majestic Allegro. In the actual movement, as in the entire Sonata, the interaction of the duo is similar to a concerto in the best Mozartian way, meaning that each instrument has a life of its own, the writing allows for equal amounts of independence and joyful compatibility.

The Andante is the centerpiece of the Sonata, reaching a range and depth beyond what even a Viennese audience would expect - or perhaps would like - in a violin sonata. Eighteenth-century music expert Cuthbert Girdlestone calls the key to Mozart's joy and serenity in B flat, and the outward movements of the Sonata fully justify the observation.

Regina Strina Sacchi, coniugata Schlick (Ostiglia, 1762 circa – Dresda, 11 giugno 1839)

Queen Strina Sacchi (Ostiglia, around 1762 - Dresden, 11 June 1839)

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