Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mozart Concerto nº9 K. 271 (Jenamy) also called Jeunehomme

This concerto was written by Mozart (aged 21) in 1777 when he was stilll in Salzburg. This concerto follows the "classical form" of a concerto. This means three movements the first being generally an Allegro the second an Adagio or andante and the third again a quicker tempo. We will find this form frequently.

As a curiosity we can say that it has has been for a long time misnamed and called "Jeunehomme". In reality it was thought that this piano concert was intended to be played by a French pianist named "Jeunehomme" which could never be identified. Recently a musician Michael Lorenz in an outstanding research work discovered the reason why such person could not be found: The person did not exist or better phrased had a different name. In fact the concert was composed and dedicated to Victoire Jenamy (1749-1812), a daughter of Jean-Georges Noverre, a famous dancer who was one of Mozart's best friends. You can find an article describing this research here.

As far as the concert goes as I told you it has three movements and right from the scoring (the set of used instruments) its completely different from the latter concertos (some of which are also on this list) mainly because the wind section is far less developed.

Now just as short guide I will point out some of the parts I particularly like in this concerto. After all the purpose of this blog is to try to seduce you in liking classical music.

You can hear the first movement (Allegro, in E-flat major) here played by Mitsuko Uchida. This movement is interesting by the appearance of the piano almost in the start in a structure called question-reply with the orchestra. Just listen the 12 first seconds and we will be able to hear first the orchestra and then the piano, again the orchestra and the piano playing just like they were talking to each other.

The second Movement (Andantino, in C minor) which you can hear here (first part) is personally my favorite in this concerto. Just listen here (this movement is divided in two videos because the total length exceeds ten minutes) the passage between minutes 2:00 and 4:00 to have a glimpse on the ethereal nature of the melody.

The third movement (Rondo (Presto), in E flat major) starts off with an amazing piano solo that would set the trend for more then a century. Just listen to it here.

In this concerto the Japonese pianist Mitsuko Uchida has played with the Mozarteum Orchestra directed by Jeffrey Tate. The recording is from Salzburg 1989.

Do not forget that although You Tube is wonderful to enable us to listen and compare beautiful works of art and that it surely enables many more people to listen to absolutely historical recordings (We will be showing you some of these also), still the quality of sound is not the same as a good CD recording or a good digital copy bought in a digital music store. So if you liked this concerto I would advise you to go out and listen to it alive if you can or buy a good recording of it.


NB said...

" a structure called answer-reply with the orchestra."

Answer-reply? something is not quite right here...

Fernando Vasconcelos said...

Ooops ... I meant question-reply :-) Of course a structure answer-reply would be revolutionary, not classical :-) . Corrected in the post also. Thanks for the input.