The Sonata in D major is the last of the Six Sonatas K. 279–284 that Mozart had in his luggage when he set off for Paris in September 1777. He had already successfully performed this music in Munich, Augsburg and Mannheim, a fact he proudly told his father back at home. He gave the works particularly rich dynamic markings and also found unusual solutions concerning their formal aspect, for instance having a slow Rondeau en Polonaise as the middle movement of the Sonata in D major.
Mozart dedicated this Sonata to a Freiherr Thaddäus von Dürnitz – which is why it has often been called the Dürnitz-Sonata. It is undoubtedly the best, the most brilliant and the most technically demanding of these six early Sonatas. Understandably, Mozart retained a special affection for it and continued to perform it himself. It was this Sonata of which he said that it sounded incomparable on Stein's new fortepianos.