Mozart Analysis

Piano Concerto no 23 in A Major
Features of Classical Music
• Texture: Light and clear mainly homophonic
• Melody: Elegant and expressive
• Instruments: Orchestra grew from Baroque
Period. Piano featured lots.
• Form: Chamber music along with symphony,
sonata and concerto gained popularity. Sonata
form developed.
• Features: Alberti Bass – repeated figure in LH
– broken chord
Mozart’s Styles
Skilled composer and pianist
Clear form and structure
Uses many themes linked brilliantly
Classical period usually had keys modulating
to related keys but Mozart often used
unexpected keys….SURPRISE!!!!
• Mozart developed the clarinet…writing solo
pieces for it.
Classical Form
• Concerto – Solo instrument contrasted against
the orchestra
• Cadenza – Solo section usually inserted at the
end to show the skill of the player.
• Ternary form – 3 part form where the first part
is identical to the last ABA
• Sonata Form – form in 3 sections Exposition,
Development and Recapitulation
Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major K488
3 movements
Movement 1 – Sonata Form
Movement II – Ternary Form
Movement III – Sonata-Rondo Form
Sonata Rondo Form uses the recurring theme
idea of Rondo with the Sonata plan form
Form Comparisons
SONATA FORM – Movement I
1st Movement Analysis
Orchestral Exposition bars 1-66
Bars 1-8 Theme 1a
• A Major (Violin)
• Repeated by WW
Theme 1b bars 18-22 (violin)
• Rhythmic tune played by WW and strings
• Links 1st and 2nd Theme
1st Movement Analysis
Orchestral Exposition bars 1-66
Second Subject – Theme 2a (1c) bars 30-35 (Strings
repeated by WW not in Dom at this stage)
• Lyrical in nature contrasts other themes
Bars 46-52 – Theme 2aa (1d) bars energetic and
vibrant dialogue between strings and WW
• Closes orchestral exposition
1st Movement Analysis
Piano Exposition bars 67-156
Bars 67-74 Theme 1a
• A Major (Piano with string acc.)
• Repeated version decorated hugely
Theme 1b bars 83-98(piano)
• Broken chord acc in piano
• Scales and sequences in RH
• Links 1st and 2nd Theme – links to E Major
1st Movement Analysis
Piano Exposition bars 67-156
Second Subject – Theme 2a (1c) bars 99-106(Piano with
block chord) Repeated by Fl, Bassoon and 1st Violin
• Lyrical in nature contrasts other themes
Bars 115-136 – Theme 2aa (1d) Melody on piano
with Orchestral acc – Alberti bass
1st Movement Analysis
Piano Exposition bars 67-148
Bars 114-137 – Theme 2aa (1d)
• Piano plays wildly elaborately
Bars 137 – material from 1b acts as codetta still in E
Theme 3a (1e) bars 143-149 violin
• Sounds like new section but appears later in recap
so really belongs to the exposition. Describe it as a
‘development theme’.
1st Movement Analysis
Development b156-170
Bars 156-170 – Theme 3 (1e) Part One
• Expecting keys of A Major-E Major – D Major – 3 related minors
F# minor – C# minor – B minor
• However Mozart does not do this
• Key sequence uses falling 3rds E-C and C-A
Bars 156 – 4 bar phrase in E minor
• Dialogue between clarinets, bassoons and horns
Bar 160
• Repeated above idea in C Major
Bar 164
• Repeat but extend now in A minor
• Piano continues with idea ending in F Major
• Strings take idea into D minor
1st Movement Analysis
Development b170-198
Bars 170 – Theme 3 (1e) Part Two
• C material developed again
• Cl and fl play in canon at a 4th
• RH plays scales and semi-quaver passages
Bars 177
• F major chord begins preparation to bring piece back
to dominant E which brings music back to A for recap.
• B178-185 repeated E’s on low strings and horns
• RH plays scales and broken chords
• B197 rising chromatic scale
1st Movement Analysis
Recapitulation b198-314
• Fusion of orchestral and piano exposition.
• Material is shared between soloist and
• Old themes returned but with renewed
freshness due to 1E being used in
1st Movement Analysis
Recapitulation b198-314
• B198 – 1A as usual except with strings and flute.
• B213 – 1B as b82 with piano joining in. All in A
• B229 – 1C now in original key (compare b99)
• B244 – 1D compare with b114
• B261 – Decorated piano passage with Cadenza in
sight 1E is re-introduced
• 1E played 3 times:
– Soloist
– Clarinet and Bassoon
– 4 part counterpoint with piano decoration
1st Movement Analysis
Recapitulation b198-314
• Theme 1E is original simplicity not like its
appearance in exposition two.
• Alberti bass b272 – ends on trill at b283
• B284 – Orchestra play 1B only 6 bars ends with 2
beats rest.
• B290 – 1E arrives again stating its importance –
very exuberant playing of the theme.
• B297 – Cadenza begins – soloist usually improves
but Mozart wrote it out…taking no chances for
the movement to become disjointed.
• B298 Coda – material from 1D used to close coda.
2nd Movement
• Ternary form with 3 clear sections and a final
• Section A begins in F# minor and ends in A
• Section B uses one new idea
• Section A1 uses 2 of the A themes but alters
the 3rd theme
• This movement uses the siciliana form which
is a swaying rhythm in compound or duple
2nd Movement
Section A Bars b1-35 F# minor to A Major
Section B – b35-53 A Major
Section A1 – b53-92 F# minor
Coda - b92 – A Major
2nd Movement
Adagio – Section A
• Theme 1 b1 – F# minor – 11 ½ bars
– Dotted Rhythm
– Syncopation
– Wide leaps
Theme 2 b12 F# minor – 8 bars
– No piano
– 2 bar idea played as sequence
2nd Movement
Adagio – Section A
• Theme 3 b 20 – F# minor-A Major – 8 bars
– Homophonic
– Turn, dotted rhythm
– Staccato and chromatic movement
– Repeated notes
– Modulation to A Major
2nd Movement
Adagio – Section B
• Theme 4 – b35 – 4 bar melody
– Flute plays
– Triplet arpeggios on clarinet
– Rising scales on ww
2nd Movement
Adagio – Section B
• Theme 4 – b39 – 4 bar melody repeated
– Played on flute, piano and clarinet
– 2nd clarinet plays 3rd below and LH plays arpeggios
– Horns play dominant pedal
B43 – 8 bars of dialogue and sequences on
orchestra and piano
B51 – 2 bar transition from A Major to F# minor
2nd Movement
Adagio – Section A1
• Theme 1 - b53 – F# minor
• Music of b1 repeated and extended
• Theme 2 – b68 – F# minor
• Repeats music of b12
• Theme 3 – b76 – F# minor
4 bar melody on piano and strings
RH plays semiquaver version of theme 2
Grace notes and turns in RH
Alberti bass on LH
2nd Movement
Adagio – Section A1
• B80 – 4 bars of LH and Bassoon in dialogue
• B84 – 8 bar link passage with wide leaps on
• B88 – 4 bars repeated with wind
2nd Movement
• B92 – 8 bars theme 2 melody on flute with
violin broken chord
• Repeated semi quavers on RH
• 1st clarinet joins flute
• 1st bassoon joins an octave lower
• Perfect cadence - F# minor ending

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