A Portrait Sketch by Mozart

Barbara Ployer by Mozart

On June 9, 1784, Mozart wrote to his father: “I am fetching Paisiello in my carriage, as I want him to hear both my pupil and my compositions. Tomorrow we will go to the country [the country house of the Ployer family in Dobling] where young Babette will play her her new concerto in G [K453] – then I my quintet – and then we will both play my big Sonata for 2 Claviers [KV 448].” The “young Babette” was Barbara Ployer, whom Mozart met in Vienna, and who was one of his most accomplished amateur pupils. The sketch of her above appears in the margin of “her new concerto in G”, which she had commissioned earlier that summer. The “big sonata for 2 Claviers” in D Major is played in the clip below by Daniel Barenboim and Martha Argerich.


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