Our composer for this week is none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, an Austrian composer who lived from 1756-1791. Though he lived for only a short 35 yrs. he composed over 600 works which include 41 symphonies, 27 piano concertos, 23 operas, in addition to sonatas for piano, violin, horn, bassoon, flute and compositions for various combinations of instruments. Just as Bach brought to its fullest expression the music of the Baroque era, so Mozart developed and created, to what some have declared perfection, the style of the Classical era.
The Concerto in A Major K. 488 is a much-loved and frequently performed concerto. Listen to the themes introduced by the orchestra as the piano plays along as just another instrument. When the piano part finally enters as the soloist notice how the thematic material is played back and forth between the orchestra and the piano as if they were having a conversation. And can you say scale skills?! Much of the development of themes in music of the Classical era is done by use of scales and arpeggios. Listen for cadences which are often preceded by a trill. And finally, listen for the cadenza which is at the very end of this movement played right after the big half cadence played by the orchestra. The pianist in this performance is Zoltan Kocsis.