Piano Concerto No. 9 (Mozart)
|Piano Concerto in E-flat major|
|by W. A. Mozart|
Mozart in 1777, the year of the composition, painted in Bologna by an unknown artist
|Movements||Three (Allegro, Andantino, Rondo, Presto)|
Mozart completed the concerto in January 1777, nine months after his Piano Concerto No. 8 in C major and with few significant compositions in the intervening period. He composed the work for Victoire Jenamy, the daughter of Jean-Georges Noverre and a proficient pianist. Mozart performed the concerto at a private concert on 4 October 1777. Jenamy may have premiered the work earlier.
It consists of three movements:
The first movement opens, unusually for the time, with interventions by the soloist, anticipating Beethoven's Fourth and Fifth Concertos. As Cuthbert Girdlestone (1964) notes, its departures from convention do not end with this early solo entrance but continue in the style of dialogue between piano and orchestra in the rest of the movement. Mozart wrote two cadenzas for this movement.
The second movement is written in the relative minor key. In only five of Mozart's piano concertos is the second movement in a minor key (K. 41, K. 271, K. 456, K. 482, and K. 488. K. 41 is an arrangement). Mozart wrote two cadenzas for this movement.
III. Rondo (Presto)
The third movement which opens with the solo piano is in a rondo form on a large scale. It is interrupted, surprisingly, by a slow minuet section in the subdominant key of A♭ major (a procedure Mozart would repeat with his 22nd concerto, 1785, also in the key of E♭ major). The work ends in the original tempo.
The work is highly regarded by critics. Charles Rosen has called it "perhaps the first unequivocal masterpiece [of the] classical style." Alfred Brendel has called it "one of the greatest wonders of the world." Alfred Einstein dubbed it "Mozart's Eroica." Cuthbert Girdlestone was not quite as effusive in his praise, however, noting that the slow movement, while a great leap forward for Mozart, was still somewhat limited and the work as a whole was not equal to the piano concertos from the composer's peak in Vienna from 1784 to 1787, nor equal to his best compositions overall.
The work has long been known as the Jeunehomme Concerto. Théodore de Wyzéwa and Georges de Saint-Foix claimed that Mozart wrote the piece for an unnamed French pianist 'Jeunehomme' (French for "young man") visiting Salzburg. This name for the dedicatee is incorrect; in 2004 Michael Lorenz demonstrated that the dedicatee was actually Victoire Jenamy (1749–1812), a daughter of Jean-Georges Noverre, a dancer who was one of Mozart's friends. Mozart had made Victoire Jenamy's acquaintance during his stay in Vienna in 1773.
- Girdlestone 1948, p. 94.
- Hewitt, Angela. "Piano Concerto No 9 in E flat major 'Jeunehomme', K271". Hyperion Records. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
- Steinberg 1998, p. 281.
- Rosen 1976, p. 59.
- "A Break From Romanticism With Some Mozart" by Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times, 20 April 2012
- "Mozart Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major, K. 271" by Ethan Allred, Chamber Music Northwest
- Girdlestone 1948, p. .
- Michael Lorenz, "»Mademoiselle Jeunehomme« Zur Lösung eines Mozart-Rätsels", Mozart Experiment Aufklärung, (Essays for the Mozart Exhibition 2006) Da Ponte Institut, Vienna 2006, pp. 423–29.
- Girdlestone, Cuthbert (1948). Mozart's Piano Concertos. London: Cassell. OCLC 247427085.
- Rosen, Charles (1976). The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (revised ed.). London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 0571049052.
- Steinberg, Michael (1998). The Concerto: A Listener's Guide. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019802634X.
- Konzert in Es ("Jeunehomme-Konzert") KV 271: Score and critical report (in German) in the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe
- Piano Concerto No. 9: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
- Michael Lorenz: The Jenamy Concerto
- Michael Lorenz: Alfred Brendel's Final Program Note
- Michael Lorenz: The Continuing "Jeunehomme" Nonsense