Mozart Piano sonata no. 2 in F, KV280

performed by Mitsuko Uchida second movement third movement As with many of the pieces we have discussed in rapid succession, this piece was written soon after yesterday’s sonata. Do remember the statement we made about the clump of the first four piano concertos: with such little space between them, and from such a young composer, I wouldn’t expect to see any large degree of development or advancement from one piece to another. What I do feel like I see, as mentioned with the juvenile orchestrations, is greater confidence. The young Mozart is, perhaps, getting his sea legs, as it were.  … Continue reading Mozart Piano sonata no. 2 in F, KV280

Mozart Piano sonata no. 1 in C, K279

performed by Mitsuko Uchida second movement third movement   No more concertos for now. Move ahead another year, and our dear composer is now 18 years old. He’d have graduated high school by this time if that’d been a thing, and he finally got around to writing his first full piano sonata. I’m interested as to why it isn’t until now that his first completed piano sonata is composed. That being said, he’d written tons of smaller things in his youth, but his first completed three-movement work for solo piano comes some time after his first opera or concerto or … Continue reading Mozart Piano sonata no. 1 in C, K279

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. 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

Leoš Janáček: Sinfonietta

performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under Sir Charles Mackerras 1Q84 I was doing some reading about this piece a number of months ago, trying to decide whether it would take this spot in the blog or not, and one thing led to another, and that secured its spot for today’s post. The other option was something longer and more Alpine, but that will be for later. Plenty of German and Austrian stuff already. I only became familiar with this piece when it was listed on the program for this concert a while back, with Maestro Antoni Wit conducting Eastern European … Continue reading Leoš Janáček: Sinfonietta

Schoenberg: Drei Klavierstücke, op. 11

This article has been marked as in need of a revisit. That’s where I feel like I didn’t do the piece justice or have more to say (usually because I didn’t know it nearly well enough or didn’t have the right perspective). I’ll keep the original article for posterity, but publish a new version that will eventually be linked here for my new take on it. performed by Maurizio Pollini That looks intimidating, those three links, but honestly, these pieces aren’t terribly overwhelming. In total, they come to about 13 or 14 minutes of music. Very delicious, important music. While … Continue reading Schoenberg: Drei Klavierstücke, op. 11