During the years 1782 to 1785—a period that coincided with a great vogue for public and private concert giving—Mozart was in great demand in Vienna as a composer, performer, and teacher. The intensity of his performance activity during Lent alone is scarcely to be believed; he played somewhere almost every evening for weeks on end. Most of these performances included one or two of his own keyboard concertos, by which he could present himself to his public as, simultaneously, composer, keyboard virtuoso, and orchestra leader.
During this four-year period, Mozart also composed twelve lapidary keyboard concertos, began two others, and wrote new finales for two more. Although complete manuscripts do not exist for all of Mozart’s compositions, documentation for the Keyboard Concerto in B flat major (K. 450) is especially rich. For K.450, there are brief sketches, longer drafts, completed manuscripts, first editions, Mozart’s own comments, and early reviews. This depth of documentation makes K. 450 a fruitful case study on Mozart’s compositional process.
© 2002 Division of Rare & Manuscript