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Variations on Ah vous dirai-je, maman 'Twinkle, twinkle, little star', K265


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s dozen Variations on ‘Ah vous dirai-je, maman’, on the melody known to British children as ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’, were composed in Vienna during either 1781 or 1782. There is here not Daquin’s naivety but a seeming ingenuousness that is maintained until the end, although some resourceful feats of variation writing are carried off behind the facade of simplicity; note in particular the variation in the minor, laid out in string quartet style.

from notes by Max Harrison © 1986

Les douze Variations sur «Ah vous dirai-je, maman» de Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – mélodie connue des petits Britanniques sous le nom de «Baa, baa, black sheep» – furent composées à Vienne en 1781 ou 1782. Ici, nulle naïveté à la Daquin, mais une ingénuité apparente, maintenue jusqu’au bout, même si certaines prouesses ingénieuses qui ponctuent l’écriture de ces variations sont accomplies derrière le paravent de la simplicité; remarquons, notamment, la variation en mineur, conçue en style de quatuor à cordes.

extrait des notes rédigées par Max Harrison © 1986
Français: Hypérion

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts zwölf Variationen über „Ah vous dirai-je, maman“, über die Melodie, die deutschen Kindern heutzutage als „Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann“ bekannt ist, wurden 1781 oder 1782 in Wien komponiert. Darin findet man nichts von Daquins Naivität, vielmehr eine scheinbare Unschuld, die bis zum Ende durchgehalten wird, obwohl sich hinter der Fassade des Einfachen einfallsreiche Variationsführungen verbergen; man beachte insbesondere die Moll-Variation, die im Stil eines Streichquartetts angelegt ist.

aus dem Begleittext von Max Harrison © 1986
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller


For Children

Track-specific metadata for CDH55194 track 4

Recording date
20 June 1985
Recording venue
St Michael's Church, Highgate, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. For Children (CDA66185)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: May 1987
    Deletion date: November 2004
    Superseded by CDH55194
  2. For Children (CDH55194)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: March 2005
1.Audio tour Ansel Adams: Detroit Institute of Art, Michigan, USA, 2007
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