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Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 is a typical example of his craft, and of the classical period's best work. Find out exactly why this, one of his latest, is among the best.
The piano concertos of Mozart are one of the greatest examples of the blending of practical musicianship with sheer musical genius, and No. 23 is no exception. They run from mere childhood offerings, which are themselves still wonders to behold, via the great masterpieces of Mozart’s Viennese years, right through to his final years, when his concertos were marked out as coming from the pen of a genius.
He composed his Piano Concerto No. 1 when he was eleven years old and Piano Concerto No. 27 when he was near death at the age of thirty-five. Piano Concerto No. 23 comes right smack-bang in that Viennese masterpiece period. It was probably written around the same time as his opera The Marriage of Figaro was premiered, and was almost certainly included in one of Mozart’s numerous but necessary subscription concerts. Indeed, around twelve of the twenty-seven concertos were composed across a two-year period from 1784 to 1786, when Mozart would have been between twenty-eight and thirty. As with many of his piano concertos, it is a very positive-sounding work, nearly always trying to look on the bright side.
Illustration: Mark Millington