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Mozart: Fantasia K. 397 in D Minor

Piano Sheet Music to Download and Print or to View in Mobile Devices

Wolfgang Amadéus Mozart :
Fantasia, K. 397
Fantasia K. 397  in D Minor by Mozart piano sheet music
Key: D Minor Year: -
Level: 6 Period: Classical
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Instructive - all parts (523 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext (105 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Edition (131 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: Practice Guide (523 kB)
piano music mp3 recording Fantasia K. 397 - FREE SAMPLE (mp3 file)

From darkness to light

Mozart's D minor Fantasy is an incredibly rewarding piece to play. In terms of technique, it is a work that can be mastered by intermediate or moderately advanced pianists - the improvisational character of the music makes it shift a lot from page to page, but within the different sections, there are many recurring, relatively easy patterns. However, in terms of musical shaping and interpretation, it is a considerable challenge even to the most advanced and experienced musician.

Mozart starts with a quiet, somber introduction to set the key and the mood. Both this introduction and the singing melody that follows belong to Mozart’s darkest moments. The repeated e and the heavy, chromatically descending octaves of measures 20-22 seems to take us to the gloomiest regions of the human soul. There follows a more rhythmic section of nervously palpitating music, before the first melody returns. This time it is interrupted by an extremely fast passage, a dramatic outburst covering the entire range of the keyboard.

The somber character of the music is continued until measure 55, where the mode changes to D major, giving to this piece a surprisingly joyful and relaxed ending. The troubled atmosphere of the first part totally disappears. Perhaps Mozart felt he had to compensate for the extreme darkness of the first part? Or was he able to return to a happier state when having relieved himself of anguish at the keyboard? In either case, perhaps one of the main challenges when performing the Fantasy is to make this complete change of mood convincing.

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Practice & Performance Tips:
Think of the first note of this introduction (low D) as a seed that starts to germinate and take shape. It is interesting that Mozart writes the bass line (downbeats) with long notes. This is called “finger pedal” and makes the harmonies ring more without the performer having to use too much pedal.
Practice all the arpeggios by blocking the notes to form chords. Blocking chords will help with memorization and also with shaping. Try to hear the chord progression outlined here and strive to shape this introduction that ends on the dominant chord (an important chord that prepares the listener for the theme).

Remember that the term Adagio means “at ease”. Try to feel this section in two (remember that the time signature is 2/2, cut-time).
Mozart loved hearing and writing operas. He was definitely thinking about an aria when he wrote this beautiful melodic line. Give a singing tone to your melody while your left hand holds the bass notes (the composer is using the finger pedal technique again!). Moreover, can you play the double notes in the left hand lightly? The soft touch here will provide just the right... Sign up for a Gold membership to read the practice tips.

Posts in the piano forum about this piece by :

xx Mozart k397 Fantasy in D minor scale runs, help!
July 29, 2016, 04:03:39 AM by rovis77

Hi, how do you measure the scale runs, there are irregular grouping of 10 notes per beat, etc. That sounds difficult. any tips?. Or it just means that the should be played as fast as possible?

xx All Mozart Program
December 03, 2010, 04:33:24 AM by iumonito

Y'all are invited!

I'll be playing an all-Mozart program at Highlands Presbyterian Church, 6909 Smoky Row Rd, Columbus Ohio, January 9, 2 pm.

Here is the program:

Variations on "Je Suis Lindor," K. 354
Sonata in Fa Major, K. 332
Fantasia in D Minor, K. 397
Sonata in D Major, K. 576

If you are nearby, I hope you can make it!

xx Fantasy K397 interpretations and reading
February 28, 2010, 05:07:50 PM by adaubre

I've noticed that the passage I've posted below seems to be commonly played in a way that does not match what is written.

On the manuscript excerpt I've posted, the 2nd bar in clearly shows a D and E with a staccato markings above them.  And yet, consistantly I hear people playing it legato.  Here are just two examples:



The question is:  seeing as so many people are playing this legato, and of course, seeing as my view on things is far from "perfect", I'm wondering if there are manuscripts out there that don't show the marking - or, that the marking is viewed as "optional" by many who are interpreting.

Another common angle on the D and E (and the other instances of the theme), is that it is played as a 32nd note rather than a 16th note.  In the example below (a very  mechanical interpretation in this case actually serves to highlight the point), the D, which is clearly written as a 16th note, is being played as a 32nd.   So the question is as above, is this a common approach to the D and E (and the other instances of the the theme)?


Do we not lose the dramatic affect of the moment if we play them a) Legato and b) as 32 notes?

Here is an interpretation which, still in my opinion fails to make the staccato note a "moment", but does play the notes as written: a 16th note.



August 12, 2008, 07:31:22 PM by matterintospirit

Repost. Posted last year and grew to really dislike that recording. Have been working on it ocassionally since that time. This I like better.

xx Question about Mozart D minor fantasia.
December 25, 2007, 06:25:18 PM by Petter

Im learning this from the sheet music available here on Pianostreet.com and I have a question about the 2nd presto part (bar 44). In the 4th note bracket with all the ascending 16th notes theres an extra "a" note that breaks the symmetry of this phrase (At least thats my impression) . Anyone know if this is a typo or not?
 And what publisher do you recommend for sheet music when it comes to Mozart?

xx Pedal in Mozart
November 02, 2007, 04:00:24 AM by elsie07

I did a search on pedaling Mozart's music, but I still have a couple questions.  The piece I am currently playing and wanting to find information for is Mozart's K. 397.  I learned the piece about six months ago, but am polishing it up again for a college audition.

1. My music professor says that using pedal in Mozart is a big no-no.  He plays piano, but does not teach it (he teaches voice and music appreciation), but I still want to consider what he says because he does have a lot of knowledge about the piano and stylistic practices.  What are your thoughts on using pedal in Mozart's music?

2. If you think that pedaling Mozart is acceptable, how much is ok?  How do you avoid "romanticizing" Mozart (assuming that this should be avoided)?

3. What are some other stylistic practices to keep in mind when playing Mozart?

4. Finally, if pedal is not acceptable, should I be reasonably concerned about playing the K. 397 for a college audition?  It is for a different professor than the one I mentioned earlier...but this other professor has a DMA in piano performance from Peabody, and I have no idea how picky he is about pedaling and such. *gulp* Undecided

I tried playing the K. 397 without pedal, but it sounds so dry!  Maybe I'm just not used to it without pedal, but to me, it just sounds so much more beautiful with the pedal!  And I don't use the pedal constantly, but I wouldn't say that I use it sparingly, either.  The sections in which I use pedal are: arpeggios in the opening section (m. 1-11); measures 12-15, 19-22, 29-33, 35-37, 46-55, twice in m. 64-71 to make a jump smoother, and m. 72-86.

I have been told by my teacher to use pedal as needed, but that it should never be obvious.  I also use a lot of tempo changes - "stretching" the music out.  I don't know if that makes any sense; it is rather difficult to explain without demonstrating, and I don't have any recording equipment to put a recording of myself on here for y'all to hear what I'm doing.

If anyone has suggestions or advice, I would greatly appreciate it!  Thanks very much! Smiley

xx Mozart "Makeover" Fantasy in D minor K. 397
August 30, 2007, 08:13:21 PM by matterintospirit

Thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts. and thnx to my little digital recorder. I see better now the direction i need to go in. i like this version better (except for flubbing a run and few other control problems), and see more what i need to work and refine etc. i have an "improved" concept/picture of the peice now, i think. never wuz very "Mozartian."  Grin

xx Fantasy in D minor K. 397-----------Mozart
August 29, 2007, 08:49:56 PM by matterintospirit


xx Recital.... MOZART K397 Fantasia in D Minor ADDED LINK!
June 21, 2007, 07:25:20 PM by totallyclassics

Sorry, if you visited this thread and the link was not there!  I just added it!   I don't post often! Still trying to get it all figured out!

This is my FIRST live performance!  I am 41 and  I have been playing for 3 years.  I studied this piece off and on all semester with my teacher.

It is one of my favorite pieces.

I had a few bobbles, and a deer in the headlights moment, but all in all I feel good about this!




xx Mozart Fantasy in D minor K. 397
December 15, 2006, 05:35:54 AM by lazlo

Open for comments. I realize its not perfect. But there was no manipulation at all (which will probobly be obvious).

xx mozart d minor fantasia and chopin 1st ballade
May 01, 2006, 08:54:24 PM by el nino

hey guys,i have a recording of myself playing at a competition i think a week ago. these pieces im going to play at another competition in 15 days+papandopulo:dance study(croatian composer) and beethoven 1st movement of waldstein sonata.

mozart fantasia:

chopin ballade:

comments and critics are welcomed Grin

xx Mozart Fantasy in Dm - Preparations?
December 23, 2005, 06:31:54 AM by kwtam338


I plan to learn the Mozart Fantasy in Dm but it is like two or three levels above my current skills. So I wonder if there are etudes or easier pieces that I should learn first to prepare for it.

Thanks in advance and Merry Xmas!!!

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