Mozart – Contradance, K. 534, “Das Donnerwetter”

by Max Derrickson

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (born Salzburg, 1756; died Vienna, 1791)

Contradance, K. 534, “Das Donnerwetter”

Originating inEngland, and then all the rage in the French courts by the mid-Eighteenth Century, the contradance was emulated throughout all of Europe, especially in high-society fad-proneVienna.  The dance was typically quick paced with strong duple meters (in 2/4 or 6/8) and was stepped in lines by groups.
[. . .]
it means “thundery weather” — until we hear the military drum and the piccolo.  Here is Mozart at his most fun-loving and musically mischievous in providing a stormy dance for some Beautiful People’s latest musical craze.