Uploaded on Dec 7, 2008
John Elliot Gardiner
The English Baroque Soloists
The Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major (K. 488) is a musical composition written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It was finished, according to Mozart's own catalogue, on March 2, 1786, around the time of the premiere of his opera, The Marriage of Figaro. It was one of three subscription concerts given that spring and was probably played by Mozart himself at one of these. The concerto is scored for flute, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns and strings.
It has three movements: 1. Allegro in A major and common time
2. Adagio in F-sharp minor and 6/8 time
3. Allegro assai in A and crossed common time.
The first movement is mostly sunny with the occasion melancholic touches typical of other Mozart pieces in A major.
The second movement, in ternary form, is impassioned and somewhat operatic in tone. The piano begins alone with a theme characterized by unusually wide leaps. This 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