Emanuel Ax with conductor Eduardo Mata from the RCA recording of the Mozart Piano Concerto in D Minor K.466 with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, RCA ARL1-3457.
(Photo: Jeanne Deis Courtesy of SONY BMG MUSIC (CANADA) INC.)

Of all Mozart's piano concertos, only two are written in a minor key. The D Minor Concerto is the stormiest. It was the one Mozart Concerto that Beethoven played and wrote cadenzas for. As did Brahms. It was the one the romantics loved the most, that to them made Mozart more than just a gifted forerunner to Beethoven: the gloom, the struggle and passion, the tragic mist – most appealed to their 19th century sensibilities. And of all the late concertos, this is one that Emanuel Ax has chosen to illustrate Mozart’s genius in the piano concerto.

This concerto was debuted in Vienna on February 11, 1785 only a day after it was completed. Mozart’s father noted in a letter to his daughter Nannerl that the copyist had not completed the score when they arrived and that “the rondo of which your brother hadn't time to play because he had to revise copies [of the orchestral parts]." The D minor key is quite significant to Mozart. Some of his most prominent and emotional work were written in D minor including the Requiem and Don Giovanni. This concerto was so well respected and admired that both Beethoven and Brahms wrote their own set of cadenzas for the work.

Mozart Piano Concerto in D Minor K.466
Mov't 1 Geza Anda/Camerata Academica des Salzburger Mozarteums
DDG 469 510-2

Mov't 1 Gulda/Vienna Philharmonic/Claudio Abbado
DDG 453 079-2

Mov't 2 Malcolm Bilson/The English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner
ARCHIV 419 609-2

Mov't 3 Emanuel Ax/Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Eduarto Mata
RCA ARL1-3457