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The year is 1789. Stalked by mounting debts and penury, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) wrote to one of his debtors about a promising commission to write six easy keyboard sonatas for a royal patron. Only one sonata, his last in D major, K.576, dates from this period, but it is hardly easy by any technical standard, particularly in the rapid agile finger work called for in the concluding Allegretto. If this is indeed one of the sonatas he intended to provide, it is perhaps the “easy” style to which he was referring; the sonata is, throughout, tuneful and lighthearted, betraying no anguish from the composer’s own diminished circumstances. Far from being valedictory, from the jaunty hunting-horn opening to its dancing conclusion, this sonata presents Mozart at his sunniest.

— Grant Hiroshima