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Mozart’s Piano Concerto #21

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1 Mozart’s Piano Concerto #21

2 Piano Concertos Concertos were invented in the Baroque period as a form where a soloist or small group contrasted with the rest of the orchestra. Concerto Grosso’s have multiple soloists against the whole orchestra (Eg. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos). Solo Concerto’s have one soloist vs. the orchestra Concertos provided an opportunity for soloists to show off their skill within the “big orchestra” sound. (Kind of a combination of symphony and sonata.) Musically, the soloist sometimes cooperates with the orchestra, and sometimes competes.

3 Background Mozart wrote 27 piano concertos over his lifetime.
Half of them were written in Vienna for his subscription concerts featuring himself as the piano soloist. These concerts were very popular and made Mozart a lot of money. Mozart wrote an amazing 11 piano concertos during a two-year period in Vienna (Feb Mar. 1786). One of them is his Piano Concerto #21. Mozart’s later piano concertos became the model for solo concertos until today.

4 Concerto Form Concertos have 3 movements
Fast, modified sonata form Slow Fast, Rondo or Sonata form In Concerto-Sonata Form, the soloist joins in the repeat of the exposition and plays a lengthy cadenza that ends with a trill before the Recapitulation.

5 Cadenzas
Cadenza: A virtuosic (very difficult) part played by the soloist alone (the rest of the orchestra stops playing and waits) right before the song returns to the main theme. Cadenzas were often improvised on the spot by the performer. They often include fast notes and difficult leaps, and always end in a trill.

6 Mozart: Piano Concerto #21, Mvt 2
This slow movement is often called “Elvira Madigan” after a movie in which it was featured in 1967. There are three sections to this movement. Describe each movement as best you can (instruments, dynamics, mood, key changes, etc.)

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