Sunday, 17 August 2008

147. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Piano Concerto no. 23 (1786)


Title: Piano Concertos Nos. 8, 23, 24
Performer: Wilhelm Kempff, Bamberger Symphoniker
Director: Ferdinand Letiner
Year: 1960
Length: 25 minutes


Here is yet another Piano Concerto by Mozart, and each one of these keeps being a masterpiece in its own right. This one was possibly one of the most beautiful until now, with a perfect first movement, an emotional and truly delicate second and a jaunty third.

There is very little to point at here that isn't nearly perfect. Wilhelm Kempff is also one of the all time great pianists, so again it is very hard to point anything out to him when he fills the whole work with colour and feeling.

So this is probably one of my favourite Piano Concertos until now, and Mozart seems to be able to do no wrong, yes the genius category is apt, and we all knew that, but it is never too much to remind ourselves of the "why". And this is one of those pieces.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The first movement is mostly sunny with the occasion melancholic touches typical of other Mozart pieces in A major.

The second movement is impassioned and somewhat operatic in tone. Formally this is a sonata form, the piano entering immediately with a theme that has unusually wide leaps; and also as with many such minor-mode sonata movements with Mozart, we hear an effective device where the major-mode secondary material in minor in the end. It is the only movement by Mozart in F sharp minor.

The third movement is a rondo, shaded by moves into other keys as is the opening movement (to C major from E minor and back during the secondary theme in this case, for instance) and with a central section whose opening in F sharp minor is interrupted by a clarinet tune in D major, an intrusion that reminds us, notes Girdlestone, that instrumental music at the time was informed by opera buffa and its sudden changes of point of view as well as of scene

The adagio with Giulini conducting and Horowitz on the Piano:

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