12 Of The Greatest Mozart Piano Pieces Of All Time

Written by Robert Jackson
Last updated

If you love classical piano music, then there is a good chance that you love Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Even though he lived a relatively short life, he was also a prolific composer during his time. Because of his musical prowess, many of his piano pieces are still played to this day. Indeed, there are people of all skill levels who are able to play music by Mozart.

At the same time, because he wrote so many pieces for the piano, you might be wondering where to start. Take a look at 12 of the greatest Mozart piano pieces below, and consider tackling them on the piano yourself. Let’s begin!

1. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Serenade No. 13

There is a good chance that this first piece, “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” is Mozart’s most famous piano work.

It is translated to “A Little Night Music,” but there are some who say that Mozart did not intend to give the piece its name.

This is a piece that was originally written for a string quartet, but there are plenty of arrangements that are perfect for the solo piano.

Unfortunately, this piece was not published until after Mozart had already passed away, but his memory lives on in the piece.

There are numerous movies and TV shows that have incorporated this piece into the score, and it remains popular among children learning how to play the piano.

2. Sonata In C Major, No. 16

Mozart’s “Sonata In C Major” is another piece that was not published until after he had already passed away, but it remains one of his most popular songs.

This piece has a distinct melody that will stick in everyone’s minds for a long time after the peace has ended.

The song is sometimes called by its nicknames “sonata facile” and “sonata semplice,” meaning “little piano sonata for beginners.” It’s also one of the most popular pieces among beginner pianists.

3. Rondo Alla Turca – Sonata No. 11

There is a good chance you have heard “Rondo Alla Turca” before if you haven’t tried to play it already.

It remains one of his most popular piano pieces, and it is particularly among children who are learning how to play the piano.

This piece was influenced by some of the Turkish Janissary bands that were around during the time, thus the name of the piece.

The piece is a rondo because of the structure. There is an alternation that takes place between the main theme and numerous other episodes.

The variation in the music shows how Mozart was pushing the boundaries of music that were commonly accepted to this point. Many other composers followed in his footsteps, making this a watermark piece in classical piano.

4. Lacrimosa, Requiem In D Minor

“Lacrimosa” means crying or weeping, and the term is appropriate for this piece.

According to legend, Mozart was commissioned by a messenger to write music for his own funeral. As the legend goes, he passed away while writing it, and someone else attempted to finish the music and take credit for the composition on his own.

The plot was foiled by Mozart’s wife, and it was appropriately attributed to Mozart. Despite this, the piece is no less sad.

5. Don Giovanni

This is a popular opera piece that is widely considered to be one of the greatest pieces ever written for classical piano.

“Don Giovanni” was based on the fictional Spanish character Don Juan who was also known as Don Giovanni in Italian.

This piece is a perfect demonstration of Mozart’s skills with opera music, as it passes from explosive chords to tender melodies and even a few sad notes in between.

6. The Marriage Of Figaro

This is a popular piece from an opera, and it showcases how Mozart could take piano music and join it with some of the most popular operas of the time.

The song comically depicts the love story between two servants, Figaro and Susanna. While Mozart composed the melody, Italian poet Lorenzo Da Ponte was the person behind the lyrics.

“The Marriage of Figaro” is a piece that has a playful, bouncing melody that is representative of the Aria music that was popular back then. 

7. Fantasia In D Minor

This is easily one of Mozart’s most popular works, and it can be played by people of intermediate piano skill levels.

The piece starts off with some rolling triplet groups and a slow melody up top. Then, the piece transitions into something significantly happier, as the true fantasy continues to unfold.

The song, however, is considered incomplete. The original manuscript was never found, and it is debated whether Mozart never completed the piece’s conclusion or whether it truly got lost over the years.

The existing conclusion of the song is said to have been composed by German musician August Eberhard Müller.

8. Piano Concerto No. 24

This is one of the very few pieces that Mozart wrote in a minor key, and that makes it one of his most important.

Even though a concerto is meant to be performed with an entire orchestra, you can still learn the solo work on your own.

Reportedly, Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the early admirers of “Piano Concerto No. 24,” and this piece had a significant influence on Beethoven as he wrote his own work.

9. Piano Concerto No. 21

Here is another Mozart piano concerto that most people will instantly recognize. It has been used in a number of movies and TV shows, and there is a good chance that you have heard it before.

It is also incredibly challenging, and it shows off all of the skills that Mozart had as a composer. The short cadenza will immediately grab the attention of the audience, and it will only build from there.

Even though it is meant to be played with an entire orchestra, the piano music alone is enough to wow just about everyone.

10. Minuet In G

This is the very first piece that Mozart ever wrote. He was only five years old when he composed it, making him a clear child prodigy.

It is obvious that there is a lot of youthful exuberance in this piece, and you might envision Mozart as a boy writing the piece.

Mozart would go on to publish hundreds of pieces after he wrote this one, but it remains a favorite among people of all skill levels.

11. Piano Sonata No. 12 In F Major

Mozart was a master of the piano sonata, and this is a piece that showcases all of his skills. It was written while he was visiting Munich or Vienna.

 It is believed, however, that Mozart wrote “Piano Sonata No. 12” during the summer of 1783, when he introduced his musician wife, Maria Constanze Cäcilia Josepha Johanna Aloysia Mozart, to his father.

12. The 12 Variations Of “Ah Vous Dirai-je, Maman?”

This piece is Mozart’s version of the French children’s song “Ah Vous Dirai-je, Maman?” which translates to “Oh! Shall I tell You, Mama?”

Mozart’s 12 variations made the melody known globally, and it has since been used for other popular nursery rhyme songs, such as the “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “Alphabet Song,” and “Baa, Baa, Blacksheep.”

In this piece, Mozart’s variations of the simple melody display his dedication to experimenting with musical rhythm, texture, and harmony. It is one of the popular piano pieces for children, as it is quite easy to play and the melody is quite memorable.

Consider Giving These Mozart Piano Pieces a Try

These are just a few of the hundreds of pieces that Mozart wrote for the piano. Even though you should certainly listen to as many as you can to try to get a full feel for what he can do, you may want to start with these pieces.

Some of them are more difficult than others, so even if you are new to the piano, you may want to tackle a few of them for yourself.

You can see exactly why Mozart remains one of the most beloved classical piano composers even to this day.

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Written by Robert Jackson
Robert is a professional pianist and writer who's been playing the piano for over 20 years. He studied music education at college and now works as a full time musician and piano teacher all over the country.