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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(Born 27 January 1756 - 250 Years in 2006)

the belair collection

The sublime and the beautiful. The concept of classical music conjures up images of symmetry, refinement and even delicacy but the music itself can in fact express much emotion, from the often violent expressiveness of Bach to the sublime melodies of Mozart. Dittersdorf, Mozart’s friend, once wrote: “He was so astonishingly rich in ideas I could only wish he had not been so extravagant with them. He gives the listener no time to draw breath; for when one wants to ponder one beautiful idea there is another even finer one to drive the first away, and so it goes on …”  Such creativity both astonished and baffled many of Mozart’s contemporaries.

So did the logic with which he developed his ideas. Each feeds on and emerges from its predecessor with such inevitability that the music reflects unity as a skilfully cut diamond reflects light; each facet has its own fascination but is part of the majesty of the whole. Mozart gives an important clue to his intentions in a letter to his father when he says of some of his piano concertos that they are a “happy medium between what is too easy and too difficult; they are brilliant, pleasing to the ear, and natural without being too vapid. There are passages here and there from which connoisseurs can derive satisfaction; but these passages are written in such a way that the less learned cannot fail to be pleased, though without knowing why.”

Piano Concerto No. 7 for two or three pianos, "Lodron" in F major K.242. Mozart originally wrote it in February 1776 for three pianos.  However, when Mozart himself eventually played this concerto in 1780, in one of his last public performances in Salzburg, he rearranged it for two pianos, a version that makes greater demands on the soloists. In his classic biography of the composer - about Mozart's keyboard concertos - Alfred Einstein writes "…we shall not concern ourselves further with the purely galant Concerto for Three Pianos…” Mozart wrote it for his noble patrons, Countess Maria Antonia Lodron, and her two daughters and cast his patroness and her daughters in the most flattering light in the concerto. But, of course, Mozart could never be expected to conform to the demands of genteel society, and the concerto ends with a little joke - a trick coda, followed by the real thing.

Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major K.488.  In 1784, Mozart began his Catalogue of all my Works. Between January 1784 and December 1786 Mozart composed 12 piano concerti, all of them masterpieces. Among them, Piano Concerto No. 23 was composed for subscription concerts, or academies, that Mozart held during the winter months to earn a living. Mozart’s musical mind, as we know it, is abundantly evident in the first movement of Piano Concerto No. 23 and proceeds in an elegant and stately fashion to the second movement with its beautiful, gentle and lyrical melody in an atmosphere of peacefulness and tranquillity. The third movement carries over the melody and brings us back to the majesty of the first movement and on to a joyous finale.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)



Piano Concerto No. 7 for 2 Pianos in F Major K.242 
Rondo tempo di minuetti

Piano Concerto No.23 in A Major K.488

Allegro assai



Total playing time 53:16

download digital quality MPEG3 sound sample
      Free MP3 sample from Piano Concerto No. 23, track no. 4

Piano Concerto No.7: Mira Yevtich & Ksenia Bashmet, Piano Duo
Piano Concerto No.23: Mira Yevtich, Piano Forte
   Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
   Dmitry Yablonsky, Conductor

DDD Digital Recording. Moscow Radio Studio Five,  5/2005
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