Minuet in G is the first movement from a trio sonata, K. 575, written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1787 and published on February 3 of that year. The minuet was composed before January 23, 1787 when Mozart performed it at a soirée for Emanuel Joseph von Breuning; it was published first as a stand-alone piece for keyboard and later added to the piano trio movement.
The minuet is in three parts. The middle part (in G minor) is like the second sigh of sadness, with chromatic steps that create an effect similar to that of grief. The entire minuet is written in two-part counterpoint, but is not very strict in that respect; it uses lots of chromatic notes and suspensions.
The minuet was used as the theme song for British broadcaster Channel 4’s highlights show “Minute by Minute” when they went to a studio based format in 1993. It was replaced by Classic FM’s “Theme from Classic FM” in 1999, the first Classic FM theme.
The song is also featured in Billy Joel’s song “Vienna”, from the 1986 album “The Bridge”. It is referenced twice more in his 1993 hit “Leningrad”, both times towards the end of the track. Steve Howe used this minuet as a jam piece during his first solo tour in the fall of 1978. An excerpt appears as a guitar duet with Steve Hackett during their 2010 live performance at the Royal Albert Hall (released in 2011 on “At The Edge Of Light”). A portion of this minuet was used by American composer Ruth Crawford Seeger for her composition, “A Folk Tune.”
The minuet theme was used by Dutch composer Johan Wagenaar in his famous composition “De Zomermot” (The Summer Minuet) and also by Louis Vierne in the 4th movement of his Organ Symphony No. 5 for the line “”Or ce sera le dernier adieu””.
One of the infamous “drunkard’s walk” sequences of fractal geometry is called the Minuet Path.
A small excerpt has been used in a song by Piet Veerman, named “Lijf en ziel” (“Body and soul”)