According to Mozart’s own catalogue, K. 491 was completed on 24 March 1786 – it was Mozart’s only piano concerto aside from K. 466 that was in a minor key. It was probably first performed two weeks later as part of an “academy” at the Burgtheater in Vienna. Mozart was extremely pressed for time while composing this work, a fact that is shown both by the cursory way in which the autograph was written and by the repeated corrections. Unlike earlier publications, our edition contains the definitive version as in Mozart’s manuscript. The piano reduction of our edition was undertaken by the celebrated pianist András Schiff, to whom we also already owe our reductions of the concertos K. 453, 467, 488 and 503 (HN 765, 766, 767 and 825). He also supplied the fingerings for the solo part, the cadenzas and the lead-ins.
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Except for the Concerto in d minor, K. 466, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s (1756 – 91) Piano Concerto K. 491 in c minor is his only one in a minor key. Out of all of Mozart’s 25 piano concertos it was these two, probably due to their more sombre character, that principally appeared on the concert programmes of the great pianists in the 19th century, a time entirely … more
About the composer
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart is one of the few composers to have produced masterpieces in all genres. On the concert tours he undertook in his early years (London, Mannheim, Italy, Paris) he gained many varied musical impressions that he assimilated in his youth and which formed the prerequisite for his later consummate musical language.
|1756||Born in Salzburg on January 27, the son of musician and later court composer Leopold Mozart. His early regimented musical education from his father began in 1761, first compositions at age five.|
|1763–66||Extended concert tours through various German cities and to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Switzerland. He composes his first sonatas for violin and piano, K. 10–15, dedicated to Queen Charlotte, as well as the first symphonies from London, K. 16 and 19, which show the influence of the works of Johann Christian Bach and Karl Friedrich Abel (the three-movement Italian sinfonia form).|
|1767||Premiere in Salzburg of the sacred light opera “Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebotes,” K. 35 (written with Michael Haydn and Anton C. Adlgasser), and the intermezzo “Apollo et Hyacinthus,” K. 38. Journeys with his father and sister to Vienna.|
|1768||Probably the premiere in Vienna of his Singspiel “Bastien and Bastienne,” K. 50. Composition of his first masses.|
|1769||Performance in Salzburg of the dramma giocoso “La finta semplice,” K. 51.|
|1769–71||Two tours to Italy; he meets Farinelli, P. Nardini, and Padre Martini, among others, and, on the second trip, Hasse. Premieres in Milan of his opera seria “Mitridate, Re di Ponto” in 1770 and of the festa teatrale “Ascanio in Alba” in 1771. Composition of symphonies and his first string quartet (1770, K. 80).|
|1771||Composition of the oratorio “La Betulia liberate,” K. 118, in Salzburg/Italy.|
|1772||Premiere of the serenata drammatica “Il sogno di Scipione,” K. 126, for the accession of Salzburg Archbishop Hieronymus Count Colloredo. He receives an appointment as salaried concertmaster of the Salzburg Court Chapel (of which he had been an unpaid member since 1769). Third journey to Italy with his father, premiere in Milan of the dramma per musica “Lucio Silla,” with general success. The final trip to Italy spells the ends of his youthful phase of appropriation; he has tested out all important instrumental genres (symphony, sonata, string quartet) and all the main genres of opera (Singspiel, opera buffa, opera seria, festa teatrale).|
|from 1773||Composition of string quartets (K. 168–173) under the influence of Haydn, and of symphonies, divertimenti, serenades. He increasingly devotes himself, contingent upon the duties of his post, to liturgical music; several masses are written. Begins to compose violin and piano concerti.|
|1775||Premiere in Munich of the dramma giocoso “La finta giardiniera” and the serenata “Il Rè pastore.” Piano sonatas, K. 279–284.|
|1777||He vacates his post temporarily to undertaken a promotional tour with his mother to Munich, Mannheim, and Paris.|
|1778||Composition of the “Paris” Symphony in D major (K. 297). In Paris he experiences the quarrel between the proponents of Gluck and those of Piccinni. Publication of violin sonatas.|
|1779||Resumes his duties in Salzburg, as court organist. Coronation Mass in C major.|
|1781||Premiere in Munich of his tragédie lyrique “Idomeneo,” in which French and Italian elements are synthesized. Journey to Vienna. After his falling out with the Archbishop of Salzburg, he gives up his post, moves to Vienna, and earns his living as a free composer through concertizing and giving music lessons. His last great period of creativity begins.|
|1782||He becomes acquainted with the works of Bach and Handel through Baron van Swieten; after this he arranges Bachian fugues and incorporates the “learned style” (fugues and counterpoint) into his works beside the “galant style” (e.g. in the String Quartet in G major, K. 387, in 1782; Piano Sonata in F major, K. 533, in 1786; the Jupiter Symphony, K. 551, in 1788; “Die Zauberflöte” (“The Magic Flute”), and the Requiem in D minor, K. 626, both in 1791). Premiere in Vienna of his Singspiel “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” (“The Abduction from the Seraglio”). Composition of the Haffner Symphony in D major, K. 385.|
|1783||Mass in C minor, K. 427; Linz Symphony in C major, K. 425.|
|1784||Hunt Quartet in B-flat major, K. 458.|
|1785||Premiere in Vienna of the oratorio “Davide penitente,” K. 469. “Dissonance” Quartet in C major, K. 465.|
|1786||Premiere of the comedy with music “Der Schauspieldirektor” (“The Impresario”), K. 486, which Salieri’s competing work “Prima la musica e poi le parole” (“First the Music and Then the Words”) bests. Premiere in Vienna of the opera buffa “Le nozze di Figaro” (“The Marriage of Figaro”), whose extended action-packed finales form a highpoint of opera buffa. Prague Symphony in D major, K. 504.|
|1787||Serenade in G major (“Eine kleine Nachtmusik”), K. 525. He is named imperial and royal chamber composer. Premiere in Prague of the dramma giocoso “Il dissoluto punito ossia Il Don Giovanni,” a synthesis of serious and comic opera.|
|1788||Composition of the large Symphonies in E-flat major, K. 543; G minor, K. 550; and C major (Jupiter Symphony), K. 551. Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581.|
|1790||Premiere in Vienna of the dramma giocoso “Così fan tutte ossia La scuola degli amanti.”|
|1791||Premiere in Prague of the opera seria “La clemenza di Tito” and in Vienna of the Singspiel “Die Zauberflöte.” Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622. The Requiem remains unfinished. Dies in Vienna on December 5.|
About the authors
Der Verlag hat damit im wörtlichsten Sinne ein gutes Händchen bewiesen: Der Orchesterpart im Klavierauszug ist auf raffinierte Art einfach gehalten, fast vom Blatt zu spielen und klingt dennoch farbig. Die Fingersätze sind auch für den Normalverbraucher durchaus zu empfehlen. (...) Und schließlich überzeugen auch Schiffs Kadenzen und Eingänge, die viel Stilgefühl und Praxis verraten. Besonders bemerkenswert: Am Ende der großen Kadenz im ersten Satz zitiert Schiff wörtlich das Ende der Durchführung und schafft so einen zwingenden Übergang ins Tutti. All diese Zusätze und auch einige Varianten aus Mozarts Feder sind unaufdringlich ins übersichtliche Notenbild integriert. Eine mustergülige Ausgabe!
Henle's nieuwe urtext baseert zich voornamelijk op Mozart's autograaf. De hoofdtekst gaat uit van de definitieve versie, de vroegere versie wordt als alternatief daarboven afgedrukt. Dit maakt deze urtext tot een zeer bijzonder document, omdat de verschillende stadia van het compositieproces helder in beeld worden gebracht. Bovendien is in de solopartij, op plaatsen waar de solist niet speelt, een baslijn genoteerd. (...) Die orkestreductie is zeer goed vertaald naar de piano en vermeldt bovendien de originele instrumentatie tussen de balken. Kortom, een modelpartituur!
The volume is useful for a solo performer who needs to rehearse to prepare for a performance. The comments section is well documented and can be used in discussion with a conductor preparing the piece, so for someone needing to work through the piece this is a useful addition to a score library.