Serenade No. 12 (Mozart)

The Serenade No. 12 for Winds in C minor K. 388/384a, was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1782 or 1783. The work is sometimes called "Nachtmusik". In 1787, Mozart transcribed the work for string quintet. This transcription survives as String Quintet, K. 406/516b.


The serenade is scored for 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, and 2 bassoons.


There are four movements:

  1. Allegro, C minor, sonata form
  2. Andante, E-flat major, sonata form
  3. Menuet & Trio, C minor, Trio in C major, ternary form
  4. Allegro, C minor, ends in C major, variation form with the fifth variation (in E-flat major) augmented.

The minuet is a canon. The oboes carry the melody with the bassoons answering one bar later. The trio is also canonic with the response to the melody played upside down.[1] The finale is a set of variations containing a central episode in E-flat major and a coda that turns to C major near the end.


  1. Zaslaw, Neil, The Compleat Mozart: a Guide to the Musical Works, p. 246-247 (New York, 1990) ISBN 0-393-02886-0
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