1767: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major

TUESDAY, September 22, 2020 – 3:13 AM

(This is a very unusual Mozart concerto because although it is written in major, it flips to minor for the second movement. Mozart did not write this music. It is someone else’s, so at age he was learning to orchestrate.)

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major,  age 11


  • Allegro, G major
  • Andante, G minor
  • Molto allegro, G major


  • solo piano or harpsichord
  • 2 horns 2 flutes
  • strings

Mozart began his series of numbered piano concertos with four that he wrote at the age of 11. They are orchestrations of sonatas by various other composers. Mozart and his family became acquainted with them or their composers during their visits to Paris in 1763–1764.

The first and third movements are based on ones by Leontzi Honauer (Op. 1, No. 1), and the middle one on Hermann Friedrich Raupach.

The outer movements of this concerto are in G major. The slow movement is in G minor. They key was determined by the compositions chosen, but it was Mozart’s choice to pick a contrast. His default of choosing relative minor for the change came later.

This is the first of five piano concertos by Mozart where the slow movement is in a minor key. In all the later ones – and the ones that were original – Mozart always moved to the relative minor key. In his later style, for instance, the slow movement would have been in E minor.


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