Mozart originally composed the Rondo in C major, K373 for violin and orchestra in April 1781. One of the last concerts he gave in his native Salzburg, a city he had grown to detest, included this amiable composition, with its solo part of beautifully varied figuration and no special virtuosity. By June of that year he had moved to Vienna, where he was feted for a while, but as he had been warned by Count d’Arco, “… after a few months the Viennese want something new.” The soloist in the premiere of the Rondo in C major was the leader of the Salzburg Court Orchestra, Antonio Brunetti, who certainly played all of Mozart’s violin concertos although the composer had written them all for himself to play initially. The Rondo is marked Allegretto grazioso and has a principal theme of conventional elegance, but the alternating episodes provide marked contrast. Two of these visit minor keys, the first beginning in A minor and characterised by wide leaps in the solo violin, the second (in C minor) enhanced by a rich accompaniment including pizzicato violins. The quiet ending, taking the soloist to its highest note in the piece C, more than an octave above the stave, is delightfully unexpected. The quite commonly played arrangement in D major for flute—not by Mozart—appeared after his death.
from notes by Phillip Borg-Wheeler © 2016