This is one of two horn concerti of Mozart to omit bassoons. It is also one of Mozart's two horn concerti to have ripieno horns (horns included in the orchestra besides the soloist), though in contrast to K. 495, the solo horn in this one does not duplicate the first ripieno horn's part in the tutti passages.
Mozart's good-natured ribbing of his friend is evident in the manuscript inscription "W. A. Mozart took pity on Leitgeb, ass, ox and fool in Vienna on 27 May 1783."
^Martha Kingdon Ward, "Mozart and the Bassoon" Music & Letters30, 1 (1949): 9
^Ralph Leavis, "Mozart's Last Horn Concerto" Music & Letters34, 4 (1953): 316
^Andrew Steptoe, Mozart. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (1997): 94
^Jean-Pierre Marty, The Tempo Indications of Mozart. New Haven & London: Yale University Press (1988): 43. "The very absence of sixteenths is also an incentive towards overly fast tempos, and this is why the finales of the Horn Concertos K.386b, 417 and 447 are almost always performed faster than 88/264. Yet, the finale of K.417 ends with a coda marked Più allegro, and the finale of the fourth horn concerto (K.495), though very similar in style to the other three, is marked Allegro vivace."