Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus / Piano Concertos #11, K. 413, #12 K. 414, #13 K. 415 (K. Bezuidenhout, Fortepiano
Mozart (1756-1791) wrote 23 concertos for piano and orchestra between 1773 and 1791. Many he composed for himself to play. About 18 months after he arrived in Vienna in Autumn 1782, Mozart wrote this CDs’ three concertos, numbers 11, 12 and 13, for his use in subscription concerts. He described them in a famous letter to his father: These concertos [Nos. 11, 12, and 13] are a happy medium between what is too easy and too difficult; they are very brilliant, pleasing to the ear, and natural, without being vapid. There are passages here and there from which the connoisseurs alone can derive satisfaction; but these passages are written in such a way that the less learned cannot fail to be pleased, though without knowing why. . . . The golden mean of truth in all things is no longer either known or appreciated. In order to win applause one must write stuff which is so inane that a coachman could sing it, or so unintelligible that it pleases precisely because no sensible man can understand it. The 3 concertos all differ, but all exhibit brilliance, vitality and lyricism, and a pleasing, often witty dialogue between the piano and orchestra. The fortepiano, utilized in this recording, was the piano of Mozart’s day, and has leather covered hammers and thin, harpsichord-like strings, producing a more delicate, softer sound with shorter decay time than the sound of today’s grands.