Written by: Timothy Sonniah
Amadeus Mozart is quite famous for music because of the piano concerts he composed between 1756-1791. The Piano Concerto No. 12 is among these concerts that Mozart created. The concert had everything one would expect: strings, oboes, a solo piano, horns, and two bassoons. Although it was composed of the above instruments, it was similar to other concerts that Mozart had created; one could use a keyboard and a single string.
The concert has three sections, which are Allegro, Andante, and Allegretto.
The Allegro commences with an epic rhythm created by the use of a violin. The violins effectively create quirks, scotch snaps, which are rhythmic and other syncopations. Due to the slipping and skipping of the violin over pizzaco bass lines, which are quite tentative, a humorous theme is created, making the concert lively and entertaining.
In addition to this, the pianist incorporates new themes. To a layperson, these themes that the pianist introduces may appear to be out of place; thus, the orchestra takes the lead intending to pull back the pianist to the humorous theme. Although many individuals may think that Mozart’s piano concerts are against Sonata’s rules, he skillfully sticks to the rules but in a twisted manner.
Unlike the Allegro, the Andante is simple, precise, and direct to the point; he uses the subdominant D major and twisting the themes by making several variations. Mozart uses a chorale for strings to introduce themes in the concerts; these themes are emphasized by the solo pianist who later goes on to play the aria-like version. Moreover, unlike the Allegro, where humor is quite dominant, the Andante is dominated by a melancholic theme; accompaniments create the rhythm.
In the end, the theme’s sound resembled a lullaby. Mozart skillfully brings out several emotions effectively by combing different instruments. The Andante could be said to be a musical memento mori due to the melancholic theme, which is quite dominant in it.
With the atmosphere created by the Andante, an epic grand finale is necessary as failure to this would not bring the expected energy and vibe from the concert. The Allegretto is an elegant finale that’s endowed with grace by different instruments. Here, Mozart combines two different themes; one is angular, while the other theme is smooth to come up with an excellent end to the concert.
By combining the two themes, he comes up with a rounded binary form, which is as perfect as the Sonata form’s ideal movements. The timestamp ranges in between 09:55 to 16:48 minutes. Here, the tempo refers to being larghetto, which means it’s slower than the one in Allegro, while at the same time, it’s reasonably fast.
Unlike concerts held by other artists, The Piano Concert no 12 was quite different due to its peculiarity in changing tempos, mood successions, creation of rhythm, and sudden hesitations in between the performance to create anticipation in the grand audience entrance.