Mozart: Concerto in D, K.537

Sheet Music Review by Alison Eales

According to an entry in his autograph thematic category,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his Piano Concerto in D major (K.537) in the early part of 1788. It therefore dates from long after his series of brilliant public performance of the Viennese piano concertos, which came to an end with the Concerto in C major K.503.

1787 was dominated by the success of Don Giovanni in Prague. Mozart probably composed the Coronation concerto in an attempt to regain his audience’s approval in Vienna.

A surprising feature of this concerto is its number of ‘blank spaces’ which must be faced by Mozart’s biographers, source critics and performers.

It appears that the first performance was arranged at very short notice, much to Mozart’s surprise. It would seem that the Offenbach music publisher, André based the first edition on Mozart’s manuscript, for the autograph contains multiple bars of rests; the left hand of the piano part was left unwritten for large stretches of time where it presumably functioned as an accompaniment.

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