These Six Viennese Sonatinas were not originally composed by Mozart for the piano. They are a contemporary arrangement of the Wind Divertimentos, K. 439b which Mozart wrote in 1783.
The Divertimentos are notable for their conciseness of form and their melodic richness. They therefore make an excellent introduction to Mozart's piano music, even though they are not completely typical of Mozart's piano writing. We do not know for certain who made the arrangement, but Alexander Weinmann has shown that it was probably Ferdinand Kauer. The order of movements is not the same as in the original; moreover, some of the Trios have been exchanged and recapitulations have been shortened in some instances. The original voice leading has been replaced by voice leading suitable to the piano. The 20th century editions by Rehberg (Schott), Rowley (Peters) and the old edition by Kapral (originally published by Universal Edition) are based on a Ricordi reprint edited by Muggelini in 1907; its musical text is unreliable, and there are many arbitrary alterations. The present edition is therefore based on the first edition of the arrangement published by Artaria of Vienna in 1803. By comparing it with the score of the Divertimentos (Mozart Complete Edition, Series XXIV, No. 62, 1905) and with the first edition of the parts, it was possible to establish the precise articulation and dynamic markings and to add them where needed.
For piano pupils, simpler versions are suggested in footnotes, as are possible executions of ornaments. Metronome markings have been provided by the editor; like the footnotes, they should be taken only as suggestions.