Sunday, 31 August 2008

156. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 26, "Coronation" (1788)


Title: Piano Concertos No.21 "Elvira Madigan", No.26 "Coronation"
Performers: Robert Casadesus, Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Director: George Szell
Year: 1962
Length: 29 minutes


Weirdly enough this was one of the most loved Mozart piano concertos in the 19th century and has now come to the point where it is really looked down on as one of the least good ones from his amazing sequence of final concertos.

I understand why it isn't loved as much now, it is a very easy concerto, almost a caricature of Mozart, it sounds extremely Mozartean. That said, however, it is a pretty beautiful one, particularly the amazingly romantic slow movement.

Still, it isn't one of the most original of Mozart's pieces, but his final piano concertos are all so good that it is hard to blame him for having one which seems a bit like going through the motions. They are great motions anyway.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The traditional name associated with this work is not Mozart's own, nor was the work written for the occasion for which posterity has named it. Mozart remarks in a letter to his wife in April 1789 that he had just performed this concerto at court. But the nickname "Coronation" is derived from his playing of the work at the time of the coronation of Leopold II as Holy Roman Emperor in October 1790 in Frankfurt am Main. At the same concert, Mozart also played the Piano Concerto No. 19, K. 459. We know this because when Johann Andre of Offenbach published the first editions of both concertos in 1794, he identified them on their title pages as being performed on the occasion of Leopold's coronation. Alan Tyson in his introduction to Dover Publications' facsimile of the autograph score (which today is at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York) comments that "Although K. 459 has at times been called a 'Coronation' concerto, this title has nearly always been applied to K. 537"

Gulda playing the second movement:

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