I have just learnt about the Concerto Sonata Form and was trying to practice by listening to Mozart's 4th Violin Concerto K. 218. The teacher got us started, and I just want to see if I can finish breaking it up into its main parts.

I can detect the 3 themes (2 of which are introduced in the first exposition) and the 3rd is the solo theme introduced by violinist in the 2nd exposition.

I think the Recapitulation begins (4:46) with the solo-theme, and I can also detect the 2nd-theme (5:52).

But between the solo-theme & the 2nd-theme I was expecting to hear the 1st-theme.

I'm totally confused now. The orchestra (ripiano) ends the solo-theme (5:02) with (i think) the second phrase of the 1st-theme is that it? And is what follows (5:11) some sort of variation on the 1st-theme?

1 Answer 1


After listening to that Mozart concerto first movement, I am also forced to conclude that the first phrase of the exposition is entirely missing from the recapitulation before the cadenza. This is easier to determine with a video of the concerto with scrolling sheet music, such as this one of a Grumiaux recording.

You are right that 5:02 of your Oistrakh recording quotes a later phrase in the 1st-theme.

However, due to significant harmonic differences (e.g. emphasis on the G major chord and the note C natural) and use of running 16th notes, I do not believe 5:11 (or 5:02 of the Grumiaux) is a variation on the 1st-theme (assuming the 2nd-theme starts at 0:49 of the Oistrakh).

A scholar reports in http://www.lcsproductions.net/MusicHistory/MusHistRev/Articles/MozrtCncrtFrm.html that such great variation in theme content and order in Mozart concerto first movement recapitulations is to be expected.

  • Thank you and appreciate the reference. How did you find that link :-)
    – hba
    Commented Feb 27, 2022 at 2:14
  • 1
    @hba - I found the YouTube link with a Google search for "Mozart K.218" and the other link with a Google search for "concerto first movement form".
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented Feb 27, 2022 at 8:26

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