Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467 is one of the most iconic pieces of Mozart’s solo piano work. Written in 1785, it has since been performed countless times, inspiring and captivating listeners until this day. It is a beautiful and complex composition that has achieved fame due to its unique elements, including its use of deceptive cadences and romantic melodies.

History and Release

Mozart wrote this piece during the classical period in Vienna. He published the piano concerto in the spring of 1785 with the help of his publisher Tobias Haslinger in Vienna. It was originally titled Köchel Verzeichnis 467. It was then later re-titled by Ludwig von Köchel in 1862 to Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major.

In concert, this piece has been played with both piano and orchestra or separate instruments in chamber music settings. This has enabled a variety of interpretations. Additionally, in the mid-19th century, a less sophisticated interpretation without orchestra was popularized by Franz Liszt. Liszt simplified the entire arrangement, which allowed it to be performed as a solo piece on the piano.


This composition is a collection of three movements, each with its own distinct style. The first movement, Allegro Maestoso, is a sonata-allegro form with a dynamic and energetic opening that ultimately transitions into a restless finale. The second movement, Andante, is a slower paced piece that is both captivating and gentle. Lastly, the third movement, Rondo: Allegro, is a brisk and joyful tune that is full of bright, uplifting harmonies.

One of the main aspects that makes this piece truly unique is its use of deceptive cadences. These cadences are used to disrupt the listener’s musical expectations and create a more dramatic effect. Moreover, the melody of this piece is also very romantic in nature due to the harmonic progressions used in each movement.


The composition's popularity has been largely attributed to its multilayered structures and inventive harmonic progressions. Its difficulty has also created quite a stir with pianists, as it is considered to be one of the most difficult classical pieces. Additionally, its wide range of interpretations, from piano and orchestra performance to solo piano renditions, has also helped to keep the piece alive in contemporary culture.

This piece has also been frequently lauded in popular media for its distinctive sound. In films such as Amadeus (1984) and Elvira Madigan (1967), this piece can be heard in various scenes and sequences. Additionally, many versions of this piece can be found online, and it continues to be performed in concerts throughout the world.


Mozart's Concerto No. 21 in C Major is one of the most iconic and recognizable pieces of classical music. Its unique elements and Romantic melodic content have survived through centuries and continued to inspire and captivate listeners. Its popularity can be attributed to its complexity, as well as its various interpretations and frequent appearances in popular media.

Publication date: 23. 02. 2023