Mozart: Piano Concertos 1 - 4
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart began learning how to compose piano and harpsichord concertos when he was 11 years old. Unlike his studies of the art of opera composition by other composers, his father, Leopold, handled young Mozart’s education of the complex structural problems of composing in the piano concerto form.
Piano concertos 1 through 4 were probably devised by Leopold as a compositional teaching method for Wolfgang. Though these works were long considered to be original, we now know that the concertos are actually orchestrations of sonatas by various German composers. Each sonata was re-imagined by Mozart into the form of a complete piano concerto.
To support this theory, Leopold excluded the first four concertos from his 1768 list of Wolfgang’s early compositions suggesting that Leopold may not have considered them true compositions by his son. Also, the autographs of the four works show them to be joint projects by father and son and concerto number 4 is mainly in Leopold’s hand.