Violin Concerto No. 3 (Mozart)

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Violin Concerto in G major
No. 3
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
KeyG major
CatalogueK. 216
Composed1775 (1775)
MovementsThree (Allegro, Adagio, Rondeau)
  • Violin
  • orchestra

The Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K. 216, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg in 1775 when he was 19 years old. Mozart called it in a letter to his father the Straßburger-Concert, and researchers believe this epithet comes from the opening orchestral motive in the third movement, a local, minuet-like dance that had already appeared as a tune in a symphony by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf.[1][2]


Solo violin, two violins, viola, cello, double bass, two horns, two oboes (except second movement), two flutes (only in the second movement).


The piece is in three movements:

I. Allegro[edit]

\relative c''' { \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"violin" 
  \key g \major
  <g b, d,>4\f g4.\p fis16(g) fis(g) fis(g) | <d d,>4\f d4.\p cis16(d) cis(d) cis(d) | <b d, g,>4\f b4.\p c!8\trill d-![ e-!] | g,(fis) fis4-! r2

The Allegro is in sonata form, opening with a G major theme, played by the orchestra; the main theme is a bright and happy discussion between the solo violin and the accompaniment, followed by a modulation to the dominant D major, then its parallel key D minor. It experiments in other keys but does not settle and eventually heads back to the tonic, G major, in the recapitulation.

II. Adagio[edit]

\relative c' { \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"violin" 
\key d \major
\tempo 4 = 50
\partial 8 a'8-!\f fis8 (a d fis) e16 (d) d4 \appoggiatura e32 d16 cis32 b32 b16 (a) a4 \tuplet 3/2 {a16 (b g)} g4 (fis8) d'\p \appoggiatura cis16 b8-! b8-! \appoggiatura b16 a8-! a-! gis4 (g) fis}

The second movement is in ternary form and the dominant key of D major; the orchestra begins with the main theme, which the violin imitates one octave higher. The winds then play a dance-like motif in A major, which the violin concludes by its own. After a conclusion in A, the violin plays the main theme again, remaining in the same key; when it should have sounded A natural, it sounds A sharp, and the melody switches to B minor. It soon modulates back to A major, and to the home key of D major through the main theme. After the cadenza, the violin plays the main theme again, thus concluding the movement in D.

This is the only movement in five violin concertos by Mozart where instead of oboes a pair of flutes are used.

III. Rondeau[edit]

\relative c' { \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"violin"
\key g \major
\time 3/8
\tempo 4 = 130
\appoggiatura d16 d'4\f c16 (a) g8-. g-. g-. \appoggiatura e16 e'4 c16 (a) fis8-. fis-. fis-. g (d) b'-! a (d,) c'-! b (d,) d'-! b4 (a8) }

The finale is a rondo which commences and concludes in G major and in 3/8 time. Mozart inserts into the rondo a short G minor Andante section followed by a longer G major Allegretto section, both in cut time.[3]

Notable recordings[edit]

Year Violin Conductor Orchestra Record company Format
1962 Arthur Grumiaux Colin Davis London Symphony Orchestra Philips Records Vinyl[4]
1987 Takako Nishizaki Stephen Gunzenhauser Cappella Istropolitana Naxos Records CD[5]
2007 Hilary Hahn Gustavo Dudamel Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR Deutsche Grammophon Multiple


  1. ^ Lempfrid, Wolfgang. "Wolfgng Amadeus Mozart: Konzert für Violine und Orchester in D-Dur, KV 218" (in German). Retrieved 30 July 2019., EMI CD booklet contribution
  2. ^ Steinberg, Michael (1998). The Concerto: A Listener's Guide. Oxford University Press. pp. 324–325. ISBN 978-0-19-513931-0.
  3. ^ Irving, John. "Richard Tognetti - Australian Chamber Orchestra - Violin Concertos 3 & 5 - Sinfonia Concertante: Liner notes" (PDF). BIS Records. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Mozart – Arthur Grumiaux – The London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis – Violin Concerto No. 3 In G Major, K.216; Violin Concerto No. 5 In A Major K.219". Discogs.
  5. ^ "Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 / Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major". Naxos Digital Services Ltd. Retrieved August 29, 2011.

External links[edit]