Piano Concerto in D Minor K466.
By the beginning of the 1780's the piano concertos had become the most
fashionable of concert pieces. On the 9th of March 1785 Mozart described
his latest composition simply as: "A Piano Concerto".
This extraordinary understatement belies the remarkable achivement
of his Piano Concerto in C Major K467, written only one month after
he had completed the magnificent Piano Concerto in D Minor K466.
Mozart had managed to produce two equally brilliant works,
one after the other, reflecting extreme contrast of emotion with the D minor
full of passion and contrast and the C major with an air of calm and elegance. The K466 is the first of only two Piano Concertos written in key minor
and is a vivid expression of some of Mozart's most heartfelt music and
it is perhaps the reason why this work has been performed by so many
of the following century's musicians. The work as a whole is full
of memorable themes, with the first movement - Allegro creating an
emotionally charged atmosphere. The second movement - Romance brings us back
to calm with its lovely melodies, in preparation for the intensively passionate
"fireworks" of the third movement - Allegro Assai.
Sonata for Piano in B Flat Major K281. Because of the Andante amoroso,
this sonata is one of Mozart's most unusual. The first movement -
Allegro with it's light mood, displays the enormous range of Mozart's
musical imagination. The second movement - Andante amoroso, which displays
so much depth of feeling and love, could suggest that the Sonata was
actually written in 1777, the year Mozart fell in love with the 16 year
old soprano, Aloysia Weber. The third movement - Rondeau: Allegro is full
of charm and fun and requires to be performed by a pianist with a light
touch and great technical ability.
"A Musical Joke" in F Major K522. Sometimes called the 'Village Musicians'
, it was written for 2 violins, viola, bass and 2 horns and completed on
the 14th June 1787. Being the fun loving person he was, Mozart paints
a gently ironic picture of the work of a mediocre composer being performed
by enthusiastic amateur musicians. While maintaining a complete 4 movement
structure the piece includes a number of compositional deviations easier
detected by an expert than by the ordinary listener. However, anyone
hitting two neighbouring notes on a piano will hear a jarring discord. By placing the instruments in 4 different keys at the same time,
Mozart lands his unlucky village musicians with a number of sharp
discords still happily unaware of the chaotic conclusion to come in the last
three chords. In the third movement - Adagio cantabile it is clear that
Mozart found it difficult to maintain the role of the less than able
composer, as this movement is remarkably beautiful and again
underlines the musical genius of Mozart.