Mozart composed 27 piano concertos in his lifetime, and Number 17 was one of six piano concertos written in the same year. As a pianist and a wind player, this concerto highlights some of my favorite instruments. During this time period, string instruments typically carried the melody while the piano was resting. However, in this concerto, the flute, oboes and bassoons play the lead roll while the strings become backup voices.
One of the most delightful aspects of Mozart’s music is his ability to engage the listener. Even if you don’t know a piece, his easily recognizable melodies make you want to hum along, nod your head and tap your toes. In fact, the theme on Piano Concerto Number 17 is so easy to repeat, that Mozart taught his pet starling to sing the first five bars.
Here you can see an excerpt from the concerto, performed by Menahem Pressler. You can listen to the entire work on Spotify at Strings Music Festival.
Steamboat Springs Live Music
Pianist Menahem Pressler will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto Number 17 at Strings Music Festival on June 30th. Tickets for the concert will go on sale Wednesday, April 10th at 10:00am Mountain Daylight Time. Order your tickets online or call the Box Office at (970) 879-5056 x 105.