I have the Wiener Urtext edition of the Mozart K331 (see cover image). As you can see in the picture, the 4th note of measure 55 of the Rondo Alla Turca is A (E#FGA). However, I saw two videos where people play the F note: E#FGF. I found an online sheet music that claims to be based on urtext editions and it also has F instead of A (somehow it's measure 59 there, not m.55)(see image).

In the preface of the Wiener edition, re available sources, it says "For two other sonatas (K.331 and K. 570), at least some fragments of the original manuscript have been preserved."

So which version is (more likely?) the original Or most adopted?

enter image description here enter image description here

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


The below comes from the Henle commentary on their 2021 edition.

55 u: In F1 4th note indistinct, rather b2 than a2; F4 has b2; C, CPR have a2, rendered thus in our edition, cf. also M 39. Many later editions correct the reading of F4 to f#2.

The sources referenced are given substantive explanations in the commentary, but briefly:

  • C: Undated copyist's manuscript. It " became known in 2016. It contains numerous textual mistakes." Possibly dating to 1760s or 1770s.
  • CPR: Copyist's manuscript. Likely late 18th century.
  • Fn: First edition, nth printing.

Henle is also saying that the A is preferred over F# by comparison with m. 39, which contains the same musical material, but leading to a cadence on C# minor rather than F# minor.

K.311 m. 39

Since the corresponding sections of the piece are largely parallel to each other, Henle considers the earlier passage to be the defining factor. This, given that the copyists agree, the first editions are ambiguous (or presumptively wrong), and the F# is an editorial correction not backed up by other sources.

However, the F# (instead of A) is harmonically justifiable as a necessary modification to avoid the awkward diminished fourth from A to E#.

  • Thank you so much! This is more detailed than I could have expected. (Does b^2 refer to the F# note, a^2 refer to the A note?) Jun 3, 2023 at 4:50
  • @GrandAdagio No, b2 literally means the note b, one step above the a used in their edition.
    – Aaron
    Jun 3, 2023 at 4:57
  • Oh, I see, so some even printed B instead of A. Thanks again for taking the time to find the answer. Jun 3, 2023 at 5:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.