Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C

Most teenagers listen to stuff I don’t understand. This is something I do. Number 21 kept me sane as I travelled to and fro college in Calcutta in the 90s, gritting my teeth against the diesel fumes of public buses and retreating to my private world on my Walkman. Three cheers for I’ll Tell You Later.

Fly On

The time between January 1784 and December 1786 was arguably the most productive period of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s career. He wrote an incalculable variety of music, from string quartets dedicated to Joseph Haydn to no fewer than 12 piano concertos and of course his celebrated ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ (‘The Marriage of Figaro’). On the 9th of March, 1785, he made an entry in his thematic catalogue, “A piano concerto”. A day later, he premiered his new piece at the Burgtheatre in Vienna himself, improvising on the cadenzas in the First and Third Movements to a riveted audience. More than two centuries later, his Piano Concerto No. 21 in C (K. 467) still draws spellbound audiences and delights them with its unique charm.

While Chopin wrote exclusively for the solo piano and Beethoven pioneered the symphony, it was the realm of the concerto in which Mozart blossomed, writing 23…

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