1784: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 18 in Bb major

TUESDAY, February 25, 2020

(This is a very unusual Mozart concerto because although it is written in major, it flips to minor for the second movement. I’ve set the video to start where that switch happens. You can listen to the whole thing by sliding the drag bar to the beginning, but I really want you to listen to the slow movement first. Try experiencing that darker and more thoughtful mood first, then listen to the whole concerto, if possible to notice how important that switch is. That switch only happens five times in all 27 concertos, and it never happens – EVER – in the symphonies or pianos sonatas.)

This whole post is blue, because I’m thinking of “blue” as perhaps just a little bit darker in mood. That is how this makes me feel.)

Piano Concerto No. 18, in Bb major, K. 456 (1784) – age 28…

This is the third of the five piano concertos with the slow movements in a minor key, this time in G minor. G minor was a special key to Mozart, one he reserved for tragedy. Did something difficult happen that year? His life became increasingly difficult as he got older, and I don’t know enough about his life to say what might have happened at this time, but he certainly was in a very serious mood in the middle movement, which is a theme and a set of variations.

The work is orchestrated for solo piano, flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and strings – for Mozart this was a large group.


1 thought on “1784: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 18 in Bb major

  1. An excellent idea to highlight the ones having a minor movement in blue, and then time stamping each one for that. We can easily flip forward a bit to experience the transition.

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