Take physic, pomp

The Friday OT: Murray Perahia plays Mozart’s Piano Concerto No20 in D minor (K466)

Once upon a time “the pianist’s pianist”, Murray Perahia, recorded all 27 Mozart piano concertos in a single cycle and this is from that collection. Number 20 is known most for two reasons 1) it was featured heavily in the movie Amadeus and 2) it’s one of his best. But it’s Friday OT because in the 20, even rank amateurs such your humble scribe can catch a glimpse of Mozart’s genius.

The “Romanze” 2nd movement of the 20th is one of Mozart’s most famous compositions: The melody is presented from the start, the string section interplay, etc. Then the genius on display, as one of Mozarts things at the time was to deconstruct tunes right down to their bones at some point during their movements. It happens in several pieces in this period (18th, 21st) but none nails it like this one. Check out minutes 22:00 to 22:30 on the YouTube, as along with Perahia’s touch Mozart boils down this whole piece to virtually nothing. No strings backing, all piano and no forte, one finger is enough to play the few notes left on the page. It’s Mozart looking up from the keyboard, turning to his audience and saying, “Hey, all that beauty you just heard? It was just these dozen notes. Easy.” Then to make sure you know how easy it was, he pulls the strings back in and off it soars again.
A day with some Mozart is better than a day without. Youtube here.

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