Three German Dances, K. 605

This third series again bears witness to (in the words of Stanley Sadie in his article on Mozart in the New Grove Lexicon) “just what masterful knowledge and artistic invention Mozart invests in this modest dance pieces”. Motion in scales prevails in the first piece in D major. In the principal section, descant scales always descend, those of the bass head upwards, while in the trio, this is reversed. In the G major German dance, unexpected solutions follow one another. The interesting feature of the principal section is the imitation between descant and bass from which – in the second set of eight bars – a regular canon in the minor seventh develops. In the trio, plucked strings adds spark to the sonority, while the woodwind's chromatic rising figures makes for an unusual effect. The closing C major piece (Die Schilltenfahrt) evokes the mood of winter sledging: in the trio, two post horns and five slay bells join in. The series is rounded off with a long coda in which the unusual instruments are heard again.