About this work
Mozart originally composed this Rondo to serve as the finale to his Piano Concerto No. 12 (K. 414), but because certain passages bore a similarity to ones in that work's first movement, he discarded it and wrote a different closing panel. His decision to abandon the work, however, came before he completed it, leaving the piece with some of its instrumentation unfinished. In the end, though, completion of the Rondo in A major posed no serious problems. Marked Allegretto, it is one of the composer's more popular concertante orphans and certainly one of his finer such efforts. The strings open the work with the chipper main theme, their pacing lively but unhurried. The piano is silent for more than the first minute, giving the piece a sort of first-movement-like opening. It takes up the theme gracefully and gently, imparting a greater sense of intimacy. A second melody, mixing playful and dreamy elements, is then introduced by the piano, after which the opening theme is reprised. A third, more serious theme appears about midway through to give this Rondo its Classical A-B-A-C-A-D rondo structure, the D representing the brilliant coda that follows the cadenza. This masterful piece typically has a duration of ten minutes.
Curated by Vitaly Vatulya, Saxophonist