Piano Concerto No. 17 (Mozart)

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The Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major, KV. 453, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was written in 1784.

The work is orchestrated for solo piano, flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and strings. As is typical with concertos, it is in three movements:

  1. Allegro
  2. Andante in C major
  3. Allegretto – Presto

According to the date that the composer himself noted on the score, the concerto was completed on April 12, 1784.

The date of the premiere is uncertain. In one view, the work is said to have been premiered by Mozart's student, Barbara Ployer, on June 13, 1784 at a concert to which Mozart had invited Giovanni Paisiello to hear both her and his new compositions, including also his recently written Quintet in E flat for Piano and Winds. Afterwards, Ployer was joined by Mozart in a performance of the Sonata for Two Pianos, K. 448. Another possibility, advanced by Lorenz (2006, 314), is that Mozart did not wait over two months to premiere the work, but performed it in his concert with Regina Strinasacchi on 29 April 1784 at the Kärntnertortheater. As a general consensus for researchers, it can be said with relative certainty that the work premiered during the mid-to-late spring of 1784, following its completion.

The concerto is noteworthy for its unmitigatedly joyous tone right from the opening figure to the emphatic closing chords. Minor key is rare and is heavily subordinated to major; even among Mozart's works this one stands out for its exuberant cheerfulness. The third movement is in the form of a theme and variations with coda; the melody of the theme is one of the finest in its creator's entire output. The coda features the material at doubled tempo and provides for a frenetic, whirling close to the piece.

References[edit]

  • Hutchings, A. A Companion to Mozart's Piano Concertos, Oxford University Press.
  • Lorenz, Michael (2006) "New And Old Documents Concerning Mozart's Pupils Barbara Ployer And Josepha Auernhammer", Eighteenth-Century Music 3/2, (Cambridge University Press).

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