Accompanied by the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Arthur and Lucas Jussen brothers perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Concerto for three pianos and orchestra in F major, No. 7, K. 242 (Piano Concerto No. 7). Conductor: Markus Stenz. Recorded on September 23, 2016, at the TivoliVredenburg Utrecht. Mozart eventually recomposed it for himself and another pianist in 1780 in Salzburg, he rearranged it for two pianos, and that is how the piece is often performed today. The concerto is often nicknamed “Lodron” because it was commissioned by Countess Antonia Lodron to be played with her two daughters Aloysia and Giuseppa.
Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 7
Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 7 in F major, K. 242, holds the distinctive title of being his only concerto written for three pianos. Composed in 1776 in Salzburg, the concerto was crafted for Countess Antonie Lodron and her two daughters, Aloysia and Giuseppa. The family were students of Mozart, and he composed this piece with the intention that he would perform alongside the two daughters.
The instrumentation of this concerto, aside from the three pianos, includes an orchestra comprising strings, oboes, and horns. The piece is affectionately nicknamed the “Lodron Concerto” in honor of the family for whom it was written.
Notably, Mozart later rearranged this work as a concerto for two pianos, K. 242a, likely for more practical considerations, as having three pianos and performers was logistically more challenging for many performances. In this version, Mozart reworked the material of the third piano part into the remaining two, allowing the piece to maintain its character while being more easily executable in different settings.
The concerto, while not as frequently performed as some of Mozart’s other piano concerti, remains a testament to his adaptability and the close relationships he often formed with his students, crafting works specifically suited to their abilities and circumstances.
The first movement of Mozart’s adapted Piano Concerto No. 7 in F major, K. 242a, for two pianos, embraces the classic sonata-allegro form that Mozart frequently used in his concerto works.
Initiating with a ritornello, the orchestra lays out the principal themes, a standard approach in classical concertos, offering a foundational musical landscape that will be further delved into throughout the movement. Following this introduction, the two pianos gracefully step in. In this two-piano version, Mozart seamlessly weaves the material of the original third piano part into the two remaining parts, ensuring a harmonious blend and interplay between them.
The ensuing dialogue between the two pianos and the orchestra unfolds as a vibrant musical conversation. There are moments where the pianos mirror each other, exchanging motifs, while at other times they unite with the orchestra to elaborate on the thematic content. This dynamic back-and-forth is a testament to Mozart’s skill in creating intricate musical dialogues that remain captivating.
The overarching mood of the first movement is one of cheerful exuberance, a reflection of the festive ambiance for which the concerto was initially penned. Concluding with a recapitulation and a coda, the themes are revisited and solidified.
In this two-piano rendition of the first movement, Mozart’s unparalleled talent shines through, demonstrating his knack for melody, structural form, and the deft handling of interplay between soloists and orchestra. The reimagined version for two pianos underscores his adaptability and his genius in crafting a coherent and delightful musical piece.
The second movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 7 in F major, K. 242a, presents a shift from the lively character of the first movement, venturing into a more introspective and lyrical realm.
As is typical for Mozart’s central movements in his concerti, this Andante is a testament to his mastery in infusing music with emotional depth and expressiveness. The pianos engage in a delicate dialogue, their melodies and harmonies intertwining as if in a heartfelt conversation.
The orchestration here is restrained, creating a backdrop that allows the pianistic elements to shine. The harmonies and melodic patterns Mozart employs encapsulate the grace and sentimentality he is so renowned for in his slower movements.
3. Rondo: Tempo di minuetto
The finale of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 7 in F major, K. 242a, brings the concerto to a close with energy and buoyancy. Marked as a Rondo, this movement is characterized by the recurrent return of a main theme, interspersed with contrasting episodes.
The primary theme of the Rondo is lively and memorable, and Mozart uses it as an anchor throughout the movement. As the piece progresses, contrasting episodes provide variety, allowing for explorations of different musical ideas and textures. These episodes typically delve into various keys, melodic contours, and rhythmic patterns, giving a sense of journey and exploration.
The interplay between the orchestra and the pianos remains dynamic and engaging. As the movement advances, the themes introduced in the episodes often undergo development and transformation, further showcasing Mozart’s compositional genius.
- Piano Concerto No. 7 (Mozart) on Wikipedia
- Chopin: Ballade No. 4 [Sophie Druml] - December 2, 2023
- David Nadien plays the “Pas de deux” violin solo from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake - December 2, 2023
- Mario Lanza sings “Because” [From The Great Caruso] - December 1, 2023