Celebrating Mozart’s unique contribution to the piano concerto form – he wrote 23 original full concertos, preceded by a handful of early experiments, and performing many of them himself – is a series of six concerts, at St John’s Smith Square.
By way of a coda, a final seventh is dedicated to the composer who was most enriched by his legacy, Beethoven.
The London Mozart Players under Howard Shelley, who also plays the piano part, explore some of the key Mozart piano concertos at lunch-time concerts that begin with the audience’s choice, on 21 September: music-lovers are invited to pick from concertos No 17, 20 and 21, and to the cast their vote here.
Next comes PIano Concerto No 13, written when Mozart was 26, and introduced and played on 26 October. On 16 November, the Piano Concerto No 14, considered be the composer’s first mature concerto, continues the Mozart Explored series, and on 7 December, the musicians reach the landmark Piano Concerto No 15, one of two which the composer unveiled in Vienna in 1784. Of No 15 he wrote: "I consider them both to be concertos which make one sweat; but the B flat one beats the one in D for difficulty.”
That Concerto in D, No 16, follows, on 18 January, with its bold trumpets and timpani. The Mozart series ends on 15 February with the Piano Concerto No 26, nicknamed The Coronation, marking Leopold II’s crowning as Holy Roman Emperor in 1790. The solo part was unfinished – and indeed, there are fragments of other concertos begun after this one but not completed before Mozart’s death the following year, at the age of 34.
Howard Shelley and the London Mozart Players open the next chapter in musical history with a performance on 22 March of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in D minor, the composer’s arrangement of his own Violin Concerto.
All in all, an enthralling insight, and definitely one of the most civilised ways to take a lunchtime break.
|What||Mozart Explored, St John's Smith Square|
St John's Smith Square
30 Smith Square, London , SW1P 3HF | MAP
|Nearest tube||Westminster (underground)|
21 Sep 16 – 22 Mar 17, 1:05 PM – 1:55 PM
|Website||Click here for further information and booking|