London Sketchbook (Mozart)

The London Sketchbook (German: Londoner Skizzenbuch}), K.15 a–ss (Anh. 109b) is a series of 43 untitled pieces and sketches written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart between 1764 and 1765 while in London (see the Mozart family's grand tour). The set of works is denoted by its K6 number, followed by its respective letter, i.e. 15a, 15b, 15c, etc.

Most pieces are extremely short, normally lasting from 40 seconds to a minute; however, some span as long as four minutes in total (see K. 15t). According to the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe, the intended purpose of this book was not for musical exercise, as once thought, rather for the young Mozart, who had just learned how to use pen and ink, to write down his own inspiration without needing anyone's help. Corrections by his father Leopold appear in pencil only.[1]


First page of music from Mozart's "Londoner Skizzenbuch" 1764
Second page
Third page
Fourth page
Fifth page

Notable recordings

Several recordings have been made of the Sketchbook in recent years. Most are recorded on their intended instrument, the piano. However, in 1991 with the release of the Complete Mozart Edition, Vol. 45, Erik Smith orchestrated nearly all of the pieces here for winds and orchestra. With his orchestration he also grouped several pieces together to create a full, multiple-movement work. For example, he arranged K. 15b, a, and f as a single divertimento in C. Hans-Udo Kreuels also did a recording of the Sketchbook in 2003, as well as completing two of the fragmented works, K.15rr, and 15ss.[2]


  1. Plath 1982, p. XXII
  2. Mozart: London Sketchbook at Naxos


External links

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