On 8 June I shall be playing in a world premiere performance of a Mozart Piano Concerto.
Yes, you did read that correctly. And no, another one hasn’t been rediscovered in a dusty archive. The concerto I’m performing in the Music in New Malden series next Sunday is the sunny and much-loved A major, K.488. But the novelty is it’s in an arrangement for a sextet of classical winds and piano – a ‘historically informed’ arrangement, no less for period instruments, by classical bassoonist Robert Percival.
We recall the work in its original form as luminous in its woodwind colours (especially featuring the clarinet – only three of Mozart’s piano concertos do so). In this chamber version, the clarinets basically take on the role of the violins, and to great effect as the arrangement is highly skilled, and bears the hallmark of a player steeped in period wind performance. K.488 works splendidly well for these forces, encouraging even more of a chamber music approach than normal. The interplay of contrasting colours, inventive textures, sheer beauty of sound from the winds (for instance in the quasi-chorale towards the end of the first-movement exposition) and energetic dancelike articulations in the finale invite you to explore this concerto afresh. I can’t wait!