Schumann: Papillons, op. 2

performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy, or below by Murray Perahia I feel I must add a few words about the origin of the Papillons, for the thread that is meant to bind them together is scarcely visible. You will remember the … Continue reading Schumann: Papillons, op. 2

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