Movement 1: Allegro vivace assai
Movement 2: Menuetto: Allegretto – Trio
Movement 3: Andante cantabile
Movement 4: Molto allegro
What is remarkable, however, is that this vivacious and spontaneous-sounding music gives only the minutest hint of the immense effort which went into its composition. The witty and genial Minuet, with its darker G minor Trio, and especially the wonderful C major Andante, could have been written with the same fluency as the Don Giovanni Overture—allegedly composed in a single night. The listener could be forgiven for failing to notice that the finale is actually a remarkable technical achievement. Here Mozart gives us not a straightforward fugue but a tautly argued sonata allegro in which an almost liturgical fugal style is juxtaposed with passages of simple tune-plus-accompaniment—with irresistibly comic effect. Perhaps the most delightful moment of all occurs at the very end: a piano reprise of the opening fugal subject runs into a simple homophonic cadence; after so much contrapuntal disputation the four voices have managed to conclude in quiet accord.
from notes by Stephen Johnson © 1991