Mozart Piano Concerto no. 5 in D, K175

performed by the English Chamber Orchestra under Jeffrey Tate, Mitsuko Uchida, piano Finally something original. So it’s been 24 hours since our last Mozart concerto, and a few years since our little composer put his pen to paper for another concerto. This one, however, is original. I’ll make mention that I’m not including the three unnumbered concerti orchestrated from sonatas of J.S. Bach, mostly because they’re not numbered and because I didn’t know they existed (because they aren’t included in any of the box sets I’ve been browsing), mostly the latter. I might get around to them eventually, but then … Continue reading Mozart Piano Concerto no. 5 in D, K175

Mozart Piano Concerto no. 4 in G, K41

performed by Philharmonia/Ashkenazy, or below by Perahia/English Chamber Orchestra Maybe I’ve figured out what it is. I would say confident! This piece feels even more confident than the third. I feel better about thinking of that word. Why? Well, think of a composer who changed throughout his career. That shouldn’t be hard. Sibelius comes to mind, for no particular reason. His first two symphonies (taking them as an example) are quite traditional in their Romantic-ness, but then with the third, things change. It’s pared down and almost neo-classical. And then he becomes even more unique, all the way up to … Continue reading Mozart Piano Concerto no. 4 in G, K41

Mozart Piano Concerto no. 3 in D, K40

performed by either Ashkenazy/Philharmonia, or below by Perahia/English Chamber Ochestra Number three. The year is (still) 1767, and our little composer is still eleven years old. Everything is the same, except we get trumpets in addition to keyboard, strings, horns and oboes. Again, three movements, but none of which based on Raupach. Wikipedia says: The first movement is based on the initial movement of Honauer’s Op. 2, No. 1. The second on one by Johann Gottfried Eckard (op. 1, no. 4 ), the most famous keyboardist of his day. The third movement is based on C. P. E. Bach‘s piece … Continue reading Mozart Piano Concerto no. 3 in D, K40

Mozart Piano Concerto no. 2 in Bb, K39

by Ashkenazy/Philharmonia or below, as usual, by Perahia/English Chamber Orchestra Yesterday’s piece was K37, and this is K39. It seems the young, ambitious, precocious Mozart took a break from his string of piano concertos for his K38. He wrote an opera. At eleven years old. And then he came back to piano concertos, and that’s where we are today. Following the circle of fifths for flats, we come from F major yesterday to Bb major today. This concerto was written only a few months after yesterday’s K37, and uses the same forces. It is a few minutes shorter, and also … Continue reading Mozart Piano Concerto no. 2 in Bb, K39

Mozart Piano Concerto no. 1 in F, K37

performed by The Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, (or the below with Murray Perahia and the English Chamber Orchestra) As mentioned yesterday, we’re starting a very long stretch of almost-daily posts, with lots of piano works by some very important composers.  For future reference, all Mozart concertos will be taken from the above-mentioned Ashkenazy/Philharmonia set. We begin today with the first of five Mozart piano concertos. This one was written when the young composer/pianist was eleven years old. It turns out these works were long considered to be original, but later found to be orchestrations of other German works. A … Continue reading Mozart Piano Concerto no. 1 in F, K37

Aaron Copland: Clarinet Concerto

performed by Martin Frost and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra So here we are in our final installment of a brief but surprisingly enjoyable miniseries on the clarinet.  What’s left? Well, we haven’t had a concerto yet, and this week’s piece brings us solidly into the modern era, with a piece written within the lifetimes of some people still around today.  Copland’s clarinet concerto was written shortly after his third symphony. I feel like this shouldn’t be the piece we use to first represent Copland on the blog, as he has lots of other stuff worth talking about, but in the … Continue reading Aaron Copland: Clarinet Concerto

Centenniel Music Post: Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 in Dm, op. 30

performed by the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin under Riccardo Chailly; Martha Argerich, piano // This is intimidating. I guess everything about this piece is except for listening to it, and sometimes even that. There’s so. much. to. say. about this piece that I almost don’t want to try. There are so many theses, recordings, liner notes, program notes, concert talks and everything else about this piece that it would be ludicrous for me to think I have anything else to add but my own opinion and feelings of the piece, so that’s pretty much all I’m going to share, aside from some basics. For the technical bits … Continue reading Centenniel Music Post: Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 in Dm, op. 30

184 Years is a Long Time

This is something that baffles and fascinates me. I may have mentioned it here in passing before, but let’s talk about it some more.  We’re on a  little string of piano concertos here (first Arensky, then Rachmaninoff, then Prokofiev, and the next two weeks [well, this week and next week] [at least]), and Mahler is getting VERY in the way of me preparing for these. I’ve been on a kick with listening to LOTS of different interpretations of his pieces (at the time of this writing, I’m currently finishing up a listen to Boulez’s performance of the eighth with Staatskapelle … Continue reading 184 Years is a Long Time

Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, op. 26

performed by the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, Yefim Bronfman, piano (while I mention Wang below, and Argerich many times, I do quite enjoy Bronfman’s performance here. It’s a new album for me and I was pleased enough to listen to it instead of the other Argerich recordings and Wang’s with Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra; they’re all great) The above is of the wonderful Yuja Wang and the Concertgebouw, under their (soon-to-be) new maestro, Daniele Gatti. The above is of Ms. Martha Argerich herself. The first recording I had of this piece was of her and … Continue reading Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, op. 26

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in Cm, op. 18

performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Jascha Horenstein, Earl Wild, piano This may not be the most popular version of the work, but it’s the one I ‘learned’ this piece from; it’s the one I came to love this piece as a result of, and no other performance compares. It may be a bit brisker than a few other interpretations, but it’s perfect. These people knew what they were doing.  and this is a must-watch   Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Nikolai Lugansky) from Philharmonia Orchestra on Vimeo. So…. This is an important piece. I’d been thinking what to … Continue reading Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in Cm, op. 18