- MOZART Piano Concerto No. 13 in C Major, K. 415
- JANÁCEK Concertino for Piano and Chamber Ensemble
- SCHUMANN Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44
- Zankel Hall, Manhattan, NY
- Jonathan Biss, Piano
- Elias String Quartet: Sara Bitlloch, Violin, Donald Grant, Violin, Martin Saving, Viola, and Marie Bitlloch, Cello
- Carol McGonnell, Clarinet
- Eric Reed, Horn
- Brad Balliett, Bassoon
Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.13 in C major consists of three movements: allegro, andante, and allegro. The first movement starts with a burst of energy. Although it begins in piano with the violins and violas and basses, the orchestra join in shortly after with a fanfare theme signaling its dominant presence. The second movement is more of a lyrical melody with focus on a ternary form. The last movement incorporates many musical techniques that extend the finale. It contains an adagio, repetition of themes for reinforcement, and even a recapitulation. Eventually it ends, and does so in a way that shocks the audience. “When the audience demanded the final rondo by way of an encore, he surprised everyone by offering them a free improvisation that was loudly applauded. the emperor, too, remained to the end, not leaving his box until Mozart had left the platform” (Albert 713).
Janacek’s Concertino for Piano and Chamber Ensemble was composed in the spring of 1925. This piece is separated into multiple movements with each one representing a very specific aspect. Movement 1 suggests the setting, spring, and the introduction of a hedgehog. Movement 2 reveal a squirrel running and jumping from tree to tree. It is a scene of happy playful spring animals. Movement 3 introduces an owl. The last movement combines all the animals together and features a climatic theme (Zemanova 108-110).
Schumann was one of the first few composers to successfully experiment with the piano combined with the string quartet. Piano Quintet in E- Flat Major, Op. 44 utilizes the brilliance of the two groups, piano and string quintet. The piece is in 4 movements and quickly establish the creativity and potential of the two groups.
Albert, Herman. “Engagement and Marriage.” In W.A. Mozart. Edited by Cliff Eisen. 713. Yale University: Yale University Press, 2007.
Chissell, Joan. Schumann Piano Music. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1972
Zemanova, Mirka. “Concertino.” In Janacek’s Uncollected Essays on Music. Edited by Mirka Zemanova. 108-110. Great Britain: Marion Boyars Publisher, 1989.