Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca is the third movement from his Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major and dates from around 1783. Also popularly known as the Turkish Rondo or Turkish March, this movement is often heard on its own and is one of Mozart’s best-known piano pieces.
In the piece Mozart imitates the sound of Turkish military bands, the music of which was very much in vogue at that time. This style is typically very percussive, noisy and rhythmic – features that are immediately recognisable here, especially in the use of the rapid arpeggios in the accompaniment where it is clearly meant to produce a percussive effect. In Mozart’s time this piece was sometimes performed on fortepianos built with a Turkish stop, allowing it to be embellished with extra percussion effects so don’t be afraid to get those keys rattling!