Mozart places melody at the very heart of his concertos. Introverted and sometimes uncertain at the start of Concerto no.17, it is subsequently transmuted into birdsong – foreshadowing Papageno’s tunes – and leads to a finale worthy of an opera buffa. Imbued with majesty in Concerto no.22 (contemporary with Le nozze di Figaro), it takes on a tinge of bitterness in the work’s slow movement, before returning to more joyful melodic motifs, one of which will recur in Così fan tutte. Never have opera and concerto been so close.
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