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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: V.A.Mozart – 12 Variations on a French folk song ”Ah, Vous dirai-je, Maman” .

V.A.Mozart – 12 Variations on a French folk songAh, Vous dirai-je, Maman” .
Composed during 1781-1782 K.265, in C-Dur
This theme is widely known as a children’s song ( such as ”Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, ”Alphabet Song” and others).
Performed by Anastasia Kaminskagia during a piano recital in Athens on 26th of January 2013.
The lyrics ( French and English) are the following:

Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman
Ce qui cause mon tourment?
Papa veut que je raisonne
Comme une grande personne
Moi je dis que les bonbons
Valent mieux que la raison.

Ah! Shall I tell you, Mommy
What is tormenitg me?
Daddy wants me to reason
Like a grown-up person
Me, I say that sweets
Are worth more than reasoning.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman”, K. 265/300e

"Ah! Vous Dirai-Je, Maman", sheet mu...

“Ah! Vous Dirai-Je, Maman”, sheet music with illustration from a French children’s book Vieilles Chansons pour les Petits Enfants: Avec Accompagnements (Old Songs for Small Children with Accompaniments). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman”, K. 265/300e, is a piano composition by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composed when he was around 25 years old (1781 or 1782). This piece consists of twelve variations on the French folk song “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman“. The French melody first appeared in 1761, and has been used for many children’s songs, such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” and the “Alphabet Song“.

This work was composed for solo piano and consists of 13 sections: the first section is the theme, the other sections are Variations I to XII. Only Variations XI and XII have tempo indications, Adagio and Allegro respectively.

For a time, it was thought that these Variations were composed in 1778, while Mozart stayed in Paris from April to September in that year, the assumption being that the melody of a French song could only have been picked up by Mozart while residing in France. For this presumed composition date, the composition was renumbered from K. 265 to K. 300e in the chronological catalogue of Mozart’s compositions. Later analysis of Mozart’s manuscript of the composition by Wolfgang Plath rather indicated 1781/1782 as the probable composition date.
The variations were first published in Vienna in 1785.