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Fortepiano by J. A. Stein, Augsburg

The Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491, is a concerto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for keyboard (period fortepiano pictured) and orchestra. He composed it in the winter of 1785–86 and completed it on 24 March 1786. He played the solo part in the premiere in early April that year at the Burgtheater in Vienna. The work is one of only two minor-key piano concertos by Mozart, the other being No. 20 in D Minor. It features the largest array of instruments of any Mozart concerto: strings, woodwinds including oboes and clarinets, horns, trumpets and timpani. The concerto consists of three movements. The first, Allegro, is in sonata form and is longer than any opening movement of Mozart's earlier concertos. The second movement, Larghetto, features a strikingly simple principal theme, and the final Allegretto presents a theme followed by eight variations. The work is one of Mozart's most advanced compositions in the concerto genre. Early admirers included Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms. The musicologist Arthur Hutchings considered it to be Mozart's greatest piano concerto. (Full article...)

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