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Tag: andantes

Piano Concerto no 21 in C major, K 467 – Mozart


    Andante (Sonata of the Pyramids) (1909) 


           Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis





much like adagios, andantes, the 

next step up with respect to pace

in musical compositions from 

adagios, are rarely intended to be 

alone, are part, most often, of a 

larger creative intention, though 

they must appear singly here and

there somewhere in the literature, 

though where, I don’t yet know


and I’ve looked


but here’s an andante you’ll surely 

remember, a Mozart, not surprisingly, 

he was young and exuberant, adagios

would’ve been not immediately given

to so youthful an artist, consequently 

less prevalent in their music, nor his,

Beethoven would be more ripe for 

adagios, indeed crushing adagios,

eventually, in a more conflicted time, 

but that’s another story 


it’s the middle movement of his

inspired 21st Piano Concerto, no

less, itself, a monument to Western 

culture than its iconic central piece

work that for my generation most 

defined the essential Mozart




note that the anguish, at even this

accelerated tempo, from the 

foundational adagio, is crushing

still and, still, utterly unforgettable


R ! chard


a friend writes,

I thought I could rely on you to call an adagio by it’s right name! If not you, I ask, who can I trust? Certainly not Colin. I asked him about andante and he thinks it is slightly undercooked pasta! In all seriousness though Richard, we do forgive you and we do most enjoy you subllime cultural offerings.
yes, and thank you, and adagios are of course very long
Spanish goodbyes, as in “adagios amigo”  
they don’t often stand alone, they’re usually part of a greater
composition, Classically in the middle, between two more
sprightly movements, and the form didn’t especially change
even through the later, Romantic, Impressionistic, and more
modern even musical periods 
when they have stood alone they’ve usually been excerpted
from a composer’s larger composition for its individual
potency and mass appeal, intact, or sometimes modified,
and often modified even further, time begins to tell 
two adagios stand out in musical history  
Albinoni’s, 1671 -1751, would’ve been the middle movement
of a trio sonata – three instrumentalists playing three individual
pieces as a musical unit – according to Remo Giazotto, musicologist
1910-1998, who’d found fragments, he said, in the burned out
remains of an archive in Dresden after the Second World War
later it was determined to be Giazotto’s very own composition,
not at all Albinoni’s  
wow, man
Barber’s Adagio for Strings, was lifted from his String Quartet,
Op. 11, again from the customary middle, and arranged for string
orchestra, to universal approbation, a bud turned into an oracular 
flower, speaking for millions 
adagios are slow, usually mournful affairs, often transformed
into profound, even transcendental, reverence 

Mozart’s Piano Concerto no 21, K 467 (1785)

to my astonishment, not to mention my embarrassment,
upon learning just now, with this video, that the andante
to Mozart’s Piano Concerto no 21, K. 467, is not an adagio
as I’d been informing anyone I’d been trying to enlighten
about that tempo, breaking into, no, gently acceding to,
ever, the delicacy of the bucolic music in a voice that
had already often rendered the tune’s lyrical, incandescent, 
curves to the best of my fervent ability, I had to cede
years and years of my false assumption to the cold
irreversible judgment of black fact, I was wrong, I had
been wrong, am wrong, March 13, 2012
it doesn’t happen often, therefore the date
meanwhile beware of my pronouncements, where possible,
where pertinent, check your facts 
though that andante really feels like an adagio, don’t you
this middle movement had been the theme to a celebrated
movie when I was young – a Swedish movie, “Elvira Madigan“,
about a tragic couple who hadn’t survived the rigours of love,
a true and compelling story – and had become known through
this film, thereby introducing Mozart culturally to an entire
generation nurtured on movies
the andante is now probably again recognized as primarily
a work of Mozart’s, I’ll wager because of the film still now
his most famous, the film itself, “Elvira Madigan“, not having
had the shelf life of essential art, having become a historical,
though circumstantial merely, curiosity     
you won’t hear the fury of Brahms or Beethoven in
Mozart, he is of an another, earlier era, of courtesy and
controlled emotions, there is tenderness of course, but
never overt imperiousness or passion, just courtly music,
razzle dazzle and panache, that has lasted unscathed,
not at all blemished nevertheless for already 250 years