Mozart wrote his piano concerto in B flat major, No.18 for the blind virtuoso pianist, Maria Theresa von Paradis, hence the nickname of the concerto, “Paradis”.
His father, who was in the audience, wrote that he was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of it and was “moved to tears”. Quite unusual is the middle movement in g minor which features a set of variations – it gets quite stormy. The finale rocks with hunting horn fanfares, bringing the concerto to a delightful close.
The first performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 took place in Vienna, between the acts of a performance of Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf’s oratorio, ‘Esther’. Although Dittersdorf was a decent composer, I can well imagine that Mozart’s concerto and his playing were the true hit of the evening!
This concerto is the first in a group of three that Mozart composed which feature the clarinet in the orchestra. My personal favorite is the next one in the series, No.23. Have a listen and see if you agree!
W.A.MOZART: PIANO CONCERTOS
Piano concerto No. 18 in Bb major, K 456
Piano concerto No. 22 in Eb major, K 482
Ronald Brautigam, fortepiano
Michael Alexander Willens
Eine Co-Produktion mit Deutschlandfunk