Monday Mozart: Piano Concerto no. 17

>> Monday, June 8, 2009

A favorite Mozart piano concerto to brighten up your Monday.

Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major, KV. 453, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was written in 1784.

The work is orchestrated for solo piano, flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and strings. As is typical with concertos, it is in three movements:

1. Allegro
2. Andante in C major
3. Allegretto Presto

According to the date that the composer himself noted on the score, the concerto was completed on April 12, 1784.

The date of the premiere is uncertain. In one view, the work is said to have been premiered by Mozart's student, Barbara Ployer, on June 13, 1784 at a concert to which Mozart had invited Giovanni Paisiello to hear both her and his new compositions, including also his recently-written Quintet in E flat for Piano and Winds. Afterwards, Ployer was joined by Mozart in a performance of the Sonata for Two Pianos, K. 448. Another possibility, advanced by Lorenz (2006, 314), is that Mozart did not wait over two months to premiere the work, but performed it in his concert with Regina Strinasacchi on 29 April 1784 at the Kärntnertortheater.

The finale is a set of variations on what Alfred Einstein has described as a birdlike theme, which Mozart taught his pet starling to sing. The movement ends with an extensive coda.

JE Gardiner, Malcolm Bilson, English Baroque Soloists


Kathy Handyside June 8, 2009 at 1:07 PM  

Malcolm Bilson is one of the most gracious and nice people you'd ever want to meet. I met him at a performance clinic I attended with my piano instructor, and again at a concert he gave in Ann Arbor with Penelope Crawford. Penelope Crawford brought two of her original antique fortepianos and she and Bilson gave the most wonderful concert! I had with me the booklet from a CD collection of Malcolm Bilson performing all of Mozart's piano concertoes on fortepiano. I shyly walked up to him and asked if he'd sign the booklet and he did, then spent several minutes talking with me and THEN he let me play one of the fortepianos! Very very nice man.


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