Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Piano Concertos

Article

August 15, 2022

The Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Concertos for Piano and Orchestra is a set of twenty-seven works in this genre written by the Austrian composer between 1767 and 1791. The structure of these concertos is written in three movements following the classical scheme: a fast first movement (usually an allegro), a slow second movement (usually an Adagio or an andante) and a fast third movement (usually allegro, although it also appears with indications of allegretto or presto).[1] As for the form, the first movements are always composed in tripartite bitematic form or sonata form, the second movement in abbreviated sonata form, while the third is usually a rondo. .[1] All the concertos are written in major keys, except two: No. 20, in D minor, and No. 24, C minor. The concertos present their second movements in the key of the dominant, with the exception of seven: two written in a minor key (numbers 20 and 24), in which the second beat is in the key of VI, and another five concertos, whose seconds movements are written in the relative minor of the main key: No. 4 (KV 41), No. 9 (KV 271), No. 10 (KV 456), No. 22 (KV 482 ) and No. 23 (KV 488).[1] In his piano concertos, Mozart exhibits enormous technical skill and a complete mastery of the resources offered by the orchestra, creating a wide range of affects and emotions.[2][1] His concertos present, in general, a improvisatory and virtuosic character, especially in the first movements, which exploit all the technical possibilities of the piano of the time.[2] classical and are the most influential for posterity.[1] Three of his piano concertos (numbers 20, 21 and 23) are among the most recorded and well-known works in the classical repertoire.[2] The first complete edition of the concertos was Richault's around 1850. Since then sheet music and autographs have been available through the publications of, among others, W. W. Norton, Eulenberg and Dover Publications.[3]

The piano concertos

In history, the first piano concertos were written, among others, by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Christian Bach, Antonio Soler, Georg Christoph Wagenseil, Johann Schobert, Johann Baptist Vanhal and Joseph Haydn. Even earlier, in Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, the keyboard part is the most prominent among the instruments. These works, with their alternation of orchestral tutti and virtuosic solo passages, owe their structure to the tradition of baroque arias, from which the first movements of Mozart's piano concertos inherited their basic ritornelic structures. A similar structure can be seen in the violin concertos of Antonio Vivaldi, who established the form, along the framework in three movements of the concerto; or in Viotti, who divided the concert into six sections.[4][5]​ Mozart gave importance to his piano concertos, some of which were conceived to be performed by himself in Vienna between 1784 and 1786.[6][7][8] It should be mentioned that the composer's father made him write a "harpsichord concerto" at the age of four, a few months after beginning his composition studies.[9] According to Philip Radcliffe, the classical concerto is perhaps the closest genre to opera; therefore, it is not surprising that Mozart, one of the few great composers who felt a strong attraction to both opera and instrumental music, found the concerto a particularly enjoyable form.[9] Mozart's concertos for piano and orchestra were studied by Donald Francis Tovey and