A downloadable version of the score is available here.
The present arrangement of the Andante KV. 501 aims to suggest a version for guitar the way it might have been written around 1800 – i.e. the way a guitarist-composer of that period might have realised the arrangement, had he or she known Mozart’s original.
KV. 501 was composed in early November 1786 at a time when Mozart had already established himself as a free composer in Vienna. In the same year Mozart had seen the premiere of Le Nozze di Figaro KV. 492 and conceived mature works like the Prague Symphony KV. 504. In comparison, the Andante KV. 501 is a small-scale and seemingly modest piece, which Mozart entered in his private catalogue simply as “Variazioni für das Klavier auf 4 Hände”. The work was published the following year with Anton Hoffmeister in Vienna.
The intended instrument for KV. 501 would either be the forte-piano or the harpsichord. For stylistic reasons it is likely that Mozart might prefer a forte-piano. The sound of two modern guitars in many aspects is similar to that which Mozart might have heard with this choice of instrument.
Even if KV. 501 appears just an intimate and small-scale work within Mozart’s oeuvre, a close look will reveal the piece to be chamber music of very rare perfection. These wonderful musical qualities are fully preserved in the present guitar version as should be the sheer joy of Mozart's genius imagination.
Copenhagen, October 2022