Cover image for Mozart's piano concertos
Mozart's piano concertos
Irving, John.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, [2003]

Physical Description:
xx, 274 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML410.M9 I738 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Mozart's piano concertos stand alongside his operas and symphonies as his most frequently performed and best loved music. They have attracted the attention of generations of musicologists who have explored their manifold meanings from a variety of viewpoints. In this study, John Irving brings together the various strands of scholarship surrounding Mozart's concertos including analytical approaches, aspects of performance practice and issues of compositional genesis based on investigation of manuscript and early printed editions. Treating the concertos collectively as a repertoire, rather than as individual works, the first section of the book tackles broad thematic issues such as the role of the piano concerto in Mozart's quasi-freelance life in late eighteenth-century Vienna, the origin of his concertos in earlier traditions of concerto writing; eighteenth-century theoretical frameworks for the understanding of movement forms, subsequent historical shifts in the perception of the concerto's form, listening strategies and performance practices. This is followed by a 'documentary register' which proceeds through all 23 original works, drawing together information on the source materials. Accounts of the concertos' compositional genesis, early performance history and reception are also included here, drawing extensively on the Mozart family correspondence and other contemporary reports. Drawing together and synthesizing this wealth of material, Irving provides an invaluable reference source for those already familiar with this repertoire.

Author Notes

John Irving is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Bristol. Previously he taught at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, Birmingham University and New College, Oxford.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

A few years ago, Irving (Univ. of Bristol, UK) published Mozart's Piano Sonatas (CH, Jul'98). With the present volume he ventures into more competitive territory; the literature on Mozart's piano concertos is rich, vast, and complex. The author's goal was to produce an "accessible, up-to-date handbook" for students, pianists, and listeners, and the outcome is very successful. Irving divides the discussion into two parts. In the first he considers the concertos together and derives principles that apply to the entire body of works or to various subsets. The second part is a "register" in which Irving discusses each work from a variety of perspectives, which may include text, genesis, reception, and performance practice. The book summarizes a great deal of modern scholarship. In light of its explicit role as "handbook" it may be the "handiest" book on Mozart concertos yet to appear, far more useful than Cuthbert Morton Girdlestone's famous Mozart's Piano Concertos (1948). An excellent treatment of an important repertoire, the book includes elaborate footnotes and an excellent bibliography. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All collections; all levels. B. J. Murray formerly, University of Alabama

Table of Contents

List of music examplesp. vii
List of tablesp. viii
List of figuresp. ix
Abbreviations and conventionsp. x
Music notationp. xii
Prefacep. xiii
Part 1 Contexts: Form, Reception and Performance
1 Heinrich Koch and the classical concertop. 1
2 Origins of Mozart's piano concertosp. 17
3 Movement forms I: first movementsp. 32
4 Movement forms II: slow movementsp. 60
5 Movement forms III: finalesp. 73
6 The listener's perspectivep. 93
7 Performance considerationsp. 128
Part 2 Mozart's Piano Concertos: A Register
Piano concerto in D major, K. 175p. 173
Piano concerto in B flat major, K.238p. 176
Concerto for three (or two) pianos in F major, K.242p. 178
Piano concerto in C major, K.246p. 181
Piano concerto in E flat major, K.271p. 185
Concerto for two pianos in E flat major, K.365p. 188
Three concertos in A major, K.414, in F major, K.413 and in C major, K.415p. 191
Piano concerto in E flat major, K.449p. 203
Piano concerto in B flat major, K.450p. 207
Piano concerto in D major, K.451p. 210
Piano concerto in G major, K.453p. 213
Piano concerto in B flat major, K.456p. 216
Piano concerto in F major, K.459p. 219
Piano concerto in D minor, K.466p. 222
Piano concerto in C major, K.467p. 225
Piano concerto in E flat major, K.482p. 228
Piano concerto in A major, K.488p. 231
Piano concerto in C minor, K.491p. 235
Piano concerto in C major, K.503p. 240
Piano concerto in D major, K.537p. 243
Piano concerto in B flat major, K.595p. 249
Bibliographyp. 252
Indexp. 271