They are in fact some kind of mini operas, in which the soloist and orchestra play the leading parts. Throughout sing-song melodies, rising tensions, and cascading releases, the two react to each other. In the case of the piano concerto no. 17, the inspiration is clear: the melody in the last movement was supposedly sung by Mozart’s pet starling.
Conducting from behind the grand piano while playing has always had a magical touch: the orchestra and soloist truly become one. Of course, this double role is also very demanding for the soloist-cum-conductor. Legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida is renowned for her Mozart interpretations.
Mozart Piano concerto no. 17 | Widmann Choralquartett (version for chamber orchestra) | Mozart Piano concerto no. 22
Mahler Chamber Orchestra | Mitsuko Uchida piano, musical direction