Mozart enters three types of dances in his corpus. The Deutscher Tanz, popular and daring, announces the waltzes of Vienna. The minuet danced by couples trends to become old fashioned in this festive atmosphere where they prefer the contredanse danced in groups like a quadrille.
The exoticism is another theme enjoyed by the musician as it is amply demonstrated in 1782 with Die Entführung aus dem Serail. The declaration of war from Turkey to Russia in September 1787 puts that theme trendy in Vienna, not without some insouciance since Austria is ready to engage troops on Russia's side.
On May 24 in London, Sotheby's sells the musical autograph manuscript by Mozart of a dance inspired by Turkish rhythms, lot 123 estimated £ 500K.
The contredanse is written for an orchestra of two violins, a flageolet, two clarinets, a bassoon, a trumpet, a drum and a double bass, an interesting set conceived to mimic an exotic tone although it does not use any oriental instrument.
This opus K.535 is documented on January 23, 1788 under the title Die Batallie which is a clear allusion to the military events in progress. The autograph manuscript title is the French translation with a spelling error: La Battaille.