That such deep sadness can be dispelled at all is quite amazing but the final Allegro assai manage a light heartedness and an exuberance that are not occasionally without a backward glimpse aimed towards a tinge of sadness beneath that apparent stream of joyous melody. The film in this case was the rather sentimental story of Elvira Madigan directed by the Swede Bo Widerberg.
So well known did the slow movement of the Concerto become that since then the Concerto itself has on many occasions been given the subtitle Elvira Madigan. The opening Allegro maestoso is permeated by a theme in March rhythm punctuated by fanfares in the winds and an affecting and simple second subject.
After the usual orchestral introduction there is a particularly fine entrance for solo piano. The following Andante, mentioned above in the context of the film, bases a soaring almost vocal melody without words above a pizzicato string accompaniment. Finally, the Allegro Vivace is a good humoured Rondo taking in several changes of key before reaching its final Cadenza and Coda. Written in Salzburg in April , the first of the Piano Concertos K37 is in F major and scored for oboes and horns with strings and a pianoforte or harpsichord.
The Concerto is based upon music Mozart would have encountered whilst travelling in Paris between and The C major Andante is of unknown origin whilst the final Allegro is based on work by the Strasbourg based composer Leontzi Honauer.
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It is fair enough to say that the C major Concerto K is the concluding work in the series of great Concertos composed between and After this there is a break in composition before the two final Concertos where Mozart concentrated on his final major Symphonies and the opera Don Giovanni. Indeed this Concerto was followed immediately by the Prague Symphony and the C major Quintet rather than any further Concertos.
The C major is a suitably grand work related to its predecessor in the same key, K Again Mozart takes a March theme for his opening Allegro, a theme which enters in the minor key scored for the string section and flutes, oboes, bassoons and horns. The mood of the movement is already symphonic, pointing forward to what was to follow. Finally, the concluding Rondo is a less exuberant piece than may normally have been expected at this point, more in a style of confident affirmation which at times becomes even stormy and agitated.
Mozart has been accused of a degree of indifference at this point but this is hardly relevant in context of the drive and positive nature of the Concerto as a whole. Whilst in London Wolfgang played alongside Johann Christian Bach, the most influential musician in Britain at that time. Both man and boy set each other tasks at improvisation and it was felt that Mozart consistently bettered the elder player.
Johann Christian Bach held no grudge and the two became firm friends although they did not meet again until Mozart visited Paris in , at which time Bach was supervising the first performances of his opera Amadis. To give him practice in composing for orchestra, Leopold set young Wolfgang the task of arranging various piano sonatas by wellknown and respected composers of the time for solo keyboard and small orchestra. It is scored for solo keyboard, two oboes, two horns and strings.
Raupach, whose first and final movements from his Sonata op. His opera Alceste, produced the year in which he became Kapellmeister was one of the first successful Russian operas and its sombre style anticipated that of Gluck, whose own version of Alceste had such an overwhelming effect on Mozart in Vienna in For a short time Raupach left Russia and found work in Hamburg and Paris where he met and heard Mozart , returning to St Petersburg in However he failed to achieve the same success in that city as heretofore and he died there in relative obscurity.
Little is known of Schobart other than that he was in Paris in around and that he died in great agony alongside other members of his family having consumed poisoned mushrooms.
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The same musical forces are used for the other two concertos on this disc. She created such a sensation that Mozart named his Piano Concerto no. Before the orchestra has finished its customary introduction one hears the piano trilling on a high B flat before launching into its own theme.
The beautifully melancholic slow movement is in C minor the first Mozart concerto movement in a minor key and its form and character resemble a recitative and aria from an opera seria. The exhilarating Rondeau finale changes gear suddenly to introduce a minuet passage with four variations. The Piano Concerto no. Mozart offered the scores for sale at the relatively high price of six ducats possibly due to the fact that a large debt was about to be called in and announced the imminent sale of arrangements for piano solo and string quartet thus making it possible for chamber groups and amateurs to play but was later forced to cut the price.
It must have been particularly galling for the composer to witness the firm of Artaria making a tidy profit on these concertos when they were published in As a tribute to Johann Christian Bach, who had died in , Mozart used a theme by his late friend in the Andante movement.
These apprenticeship works cannot be dated with precise accuracy but it is thought that they were composed in about ie when the composer was about eleven years old. Mozart learned much from the works of Johann Christian Bach, whom he met and accompanied in London.
This style has been referred to as galant, music that is graceful, refined yet also spirited in the finale movements. Following these apprenticeship works there was a gap of a few years until December when Mozart produced his first keyboard concerto which did not stem from the work or works of other composers.
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The concerto, known as the Piano Concerto no. The concerto reveals a certain amount of charm, but also demonstrates a lack of experience with scoring with often uneccessary doubling of parts the work is scored for two oboes, horns and trumpets with timpani and strings in addition to solo keyboard , although Mozart later remedied this to a certain extent by altering the wind parts. Following its premiere in this new movement became hugely popular and Mozart chose to retain this later movement when the work came to be published in The bright and vivacious Piano Concerto no.
This engaging work is clearly more sophisticated than its predecessor and one gains the impression that Mozart composed the piece as much to show off his skill at the keyboard as to entertain the public. And entertaining it certainly is, with delicacy and rhythmical brilliance marking the opening Allegro aperto movement, a tender and expressive Andante and a finale that was the first of many Rondo with variations Mozart used to close the concertos. Following his precipitous move to the Austrian capital it did not take long for Mozart to discover the Viennese liking for technical brilliance and drama once he arrived in that city following his escape from the rather stifling atmosphere of Salzburg.
Always someone that lived beyond his means, Mozart strived to make ends meet by appearing as often as possible in public showing off his formidable and inventive prowess at the keyboard. Consequently piano concertos appeared thick and fast: for example six piano concertos were composed during , of which the fourth that year, the G K was completed on 12 April. He also found time to move house in Mozart Complete Edition 9 January of that year and again in September having just recovered from a kidney infection that laid him low for a few weeks. At the end of the year he joined the freemasons, presumably hoping to acquire important contacts.
There is more drama in the second movement marked Andante following a contemplative beginning demonstrating the close stylistic link that Mozart displayed between his concertos and opera.
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The Allegretto finale is a typically joyous Rondo with variations. Amazingly too, despite the closeness of composition, each of these works bears the stamp of its own originality. Scored for a relatively large orchestra including trumpets and timpani and with an accent on the wind soloists, the D major Concerto has a distinctly symphonic feel about it.
The opening Allegro is a typical Mozartean March movement with an accent on the heroic mood but with an unusual and unexpected quiet section in its recapitulation. This is followed by a slow song like Andante with the added bonus of a final contrapuntal climax and then a Rondo marked Allegro di molto which initially appears to owe much to the spirit of Haydn but also contains a surprisingly serious development section.
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This F major work was written for the composer himself to play and shows a progression of ideas and geniality throughout its three movements which makes it a particularly satisfying work taken as a whole. This proud and somewhat arrogant introductory movement prefaces the charming Allegretto in C major that follows.
That final movement seems to act as a combination of Sonata form, Rondo and Fugue, all with hints of the genius of a Mozart comic opera. Later as a young man he was to take commissions for his musical compositions from princes and noblemen, professional musicians and amateurs alike as well as still performing his own works. His life and work in Salzburg, the town of his birth were to be unhappy experiences, blighted by his dislike of the fractious Archbishop Colloredo, his main employer. It was there in the capital city of the Empire and centre of European culture that Mozart was to blossom and to find better fortune.
Vienna was in all respects unwilling to encourage any sort of revolutionary activity both in politics and the Arts but Viennese Society was ready to accept talent and to, if somewhat grudgingly, offer some sort of patronage to its most renowned musician.
It would take Beethoven and his more aggressive stance to change the climate of things musical in the city but at least the atmosphere was conductive to Mozart producing some of his finest masterpieces to which the Piano Concertos composed between and are a major part. The first of the Piano Concertos of was the famous D minor work, the first of any of the Concertos to be written in a minor key and the only one that remained popular throughout the nineteenth century. There is a new dynamic in the opening movement showing an antagonism between soloist and orchestra which would finally become the touchstone of works such as the Brahms Piano Concertos.
The final Allegro is both passionate and dramatic with much chromatic writing, full of pessimism until the key turns to the major and a glimpse of optimism.
The E flat major Concerto K is somewhat rare among the cycle in that it is one of only three of the Concertos that substitutes clarinets for oboes and that it has a slow movement in the minor key. The lack of formality in this Concerto owes much to the opera The Marriage of Figaro on which Mozart was working at the same time. This is a return to a simpler form of Concerto after Mozart perhaps feeling that his recent works had progressed a little too far away from the conservative tastes of his Viennese public.
It is perhaps even fair to suggest that the opening and closing movements of the Concerto are somewhat backward looking and even routine.
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Routine is certainly not a word that could be used in connection with the central Andante in C minor which Mozart was obliged to repeat as an encore at his concert on 23rd December. This is a mixture Mozart Complete Edition 10 of arioso and variation which also contrasts major and minor keys in a unique expression of sadness, despair and final consolation. From the clavichord he took the idea of the struck string and from the harpsichord the principle of dampers fitted with cloth.
This aloud for a new range of dynamics ranging between piano and forte together with the idea of a pedal to dampen the sound. Those early instruments can be seen in the early pianoforte housed now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. These were then followed by the instruments of John Broadwood in England and those by the Brothers Erard of Strasbourg which were to combine the benefits of the English and German actions.
This prototype was to be adopted under licence by firms such as Steinway, Bechstein and Pleyel. P E Bach were writing for it in favour of the older instrument.