Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Rondo for Piano and Orchestra
Supposedly composed in 1782, around the same time as some of his popular late concertos, Rondo for Piano and Orchestra is a lively work that showcases the composer’s flair for melodic writing. There is still much speculation as to why this work was composed, and whether it was intended to be used as a finale for a full concerto. The manuscripts for Rondo suggest individuality, so, more often than not, that is what is now accepted.
Only lasting between 8-10 minutes in duration, Rondo is marked ‘Allegretto’. As with many of Mozart’s works, the introduction consists of the strings playing the main theme of the piece. As is seen in many of Mozart’s other similar works, the orchestral introduction is fairly lengthy, with the piano emerging after at least one minute of music. The piano then pronounces the main theme, but this time in a more delicate manner. The light playing required for the piano part creates softness around this piece, which perhaps plays into its eternal charm.
The second theme has a different kind of character and is slightly more serious in tone. The music very quickly moves on to a new playful section that interweaves frivolous melodies and more dreamier sections together to create an interesting and unique balance of music. As the music heads into the triumphant coda section, the piano begins rumbling up and down the piano creating ripples of music across the orchestra.After a quiet reprise of the opening theme, Rondo concludes triumphantly with the piano and orchestra uniting for the final time.
Although perhaps not as popular as some of his full-scale piano concertos, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Rondo for Piano and Orchestra is an exciting display of melodies, textures and rhythms. From the dreamy central section to the playful finale, Rondo remains a staple for all Mozart lovers.
Ⓒ Alex Burns