MOZART - STARR; Adagio in B minor, KV 540, for orchestra (originally for piano)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Full details...
page one of MOZART - STARR; Adagio in B minor, KV 540, for orchestra (originally for piano)

Which method of viewing music should I use?

Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:


seView, is the most compatible option. You should be able to view music on all modern web browsers including most mobile devices. Even if your device does not support javascript you should still be able to preview at least page one of the music.

You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.


Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. As modern web browsers are updated, Scorch is no longer compatible with many browsers. Scorch has never been compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.

If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.

Static preview

The static preview shows a basic image of the first page.

Interactive preview

The interactive preview also shows a preview of the first page, but it's a bit slower to load. The preview is displayed using the Sibelius Cloud Publishing technology from Avid. With most scores, this technology will provide a higher quality preview, as well as being able to switch to full screen mode and also play the displayed music to you.

Printing after purchase

After you have purchased this item the Cloud Publishing technology is utilised to provide the printing mechanism for the music. As such, we recommend checking that the Interactive Preview displays correctly on your device before committing to a purchase.

Full details

The Adagio in B minor, KV 540, is one of Mozart's most mysterious and soul-searching works. Originally composed for piano, it is an orphan movement. It is not part of a piano sonata or a suite of movements. Nor is it an unfinished piece. Mozart entered the composition into his personal catalog of finished works, dated Vienna, March 19, 1788. He also noted the key, B Minor, in his personal catalog.

This the only complete work in B Minor that Mozart ever composed - although there is one movement, the slow movement of Mozart's early D major Flute Quartet, KV 282, that is also in B minor. There are no piano sonatas in B minor - or symphonies, string quartets or violin sonatas, for that matter. Many writers have conjectured that each key held a specific emotional significance and color for Mozart. If that was so, then from this one towering example dating from Mozart's mature years we may infer that, to the composer, B Minor meant desolation.

But this piece has a surprise ending. It is the musical equivalent of an O. Henry twist at the end. I won't spoil it for those who have never heard the piece before. The philosophical and emotional implications of this ending are highly significant.

When I first read through this piece years ago, I said to myself: this is not piano writing. The orchestral nature of the piece jumped off the page. Everything is sustained and polyphonic. Within the soft sostenuto texture, Mozart has added heavy sf accents, the sort of weight he typically gave to the strings in his symphonies by doublings with woodwinds and horns on selected notes.

The many repeated 16th-notes, when played forte, become tiresome on the percussive piano (and even more so on the fortepiano) - but they sound deeply moving when played by a string section.

I resolved then to orchestrate the piece, but it was only recently that I undertook the task. The movement is scored for a typical Mozart symphony orchestra of his last years. With repeats, it lasts about 11 minutes. Eleven minutes makes for a long adagio – but these are eleven minutes of pure inspiration. In my opinion, performance of this late masterpiece by an orchestra results in an overwhelming emotional experience.

In addition to perusing the score with SCORCH and listening to the music produced with basic MIDI sounds, you can also listen online to the MP3 recording of the piece, produced with enhanced musical sounds. And, if you wish, you can download this MP3 file for repated listening.

I hope you will let me know what you think of my orchestral arrangement of Mozart's Adagio, KV 540. You can either drop me an email by clicking on the button EMAIL THE PUBLISHER; or write an online review. I am always interested in reading comments from listeners on my works and orchestrations.

Score ID
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
11 minutes
Classical music

For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Reviews of MOZART - STARR; Adagio in B minor, KV 540, for orchestra (originally for piano)

Sorry, there's no reviews of this score yet. Please .

You might also like...