Piano Concerto No.4

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano Concerto No.4 in G major


About this work

The piano concertos of Mozart are considered to be the finest of all of his works written for piano. The first concertos published by Mozart, however, were not only not his finest compositions, but were not technically his compositions. Rather, they were arrangements of piano sonatas written by composers of the day, including Johann Gottlieb Eckard, Johann Schobart, and C.P.E. Bach. This patchworking of other composer's works was not only common, but was, in a sense, considered a way to honor other composers. The concerto in G Major, K. 41 was the last of these exercises in orchestration and arranging. Written in 1767, when Mozart was eleven, the work demonstrates an innate sense of orchestral staging and the use of instrumentation as a coloristic device, which, when refined as the composer matured, contributed so actively to the success of his later works.

The first movement is less dramatic than those of the earlier concertos. Its brighter tone and its vivacity are reminiscent of many finale movements. The second movement is also different from those preceding, in that it is written in the minor mode. This bittersweet reflection visits the major key briefly, but returns to the pathos of the opening. The finale is an exciting showpiece for the soloist, with its flashy finger work, its pulsating rhythmic intensity, and its effervescent character.