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Classical Conversations

In Studio A with Michael Coonrod (2021)

Pianist Michael Coonrod

After Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died, his wife Constanze sold off the individual pages of the score to his Rondo in A major for piano and orchestra (K. 386).

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Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Autograph manuscript of the opening of the celebrated Rondo in A for Piano and Orchestra, K. 386, SIGNED AND DATED BY THE COMPOSER ("di Wolfgango Amadeo Mozart[paraph] / Vienna gli 19 d'oct:bre 1782.") ink on paper

The individual pages (at least ten) were scattered around the world. Some were owned by private collectors, some are in libraries and others are still lost.

For example Sotheby's sold off a page (right) in 2017 to an unknown collector.

About a hundred years ago, a group of people tried to put all the individual pages back together so that this Rondo could finally be performed.

You can hear the reconstructed piece this weekend during the Benzie Area Symphony Orchestra's Mostly Mozart concert. Pianist Michael Coonrod will be the soloist.

He came to Studio A to talk about this piece and play excerpts from it.

"I've tried to get students to play it, but it isn't flashy enough," Coonrod said with a laugh. "But old me, I love the beautiful moderate tempo. It's quite colorful."

Coonrod wrote his own cadenza (a passage for the soloist to show off their virtuosic playing) for this performance.

He explained how he used the existing melodies in the piece to help him come up with his original cadenza.

Coonrod will perform this Rondo with the Benzie Area Symphony Orchestra and conductor Tom Riccobono on Sunday, Oct. 3 during the Orchestra's Mostly Mozart concert.

The performance starts at 4 p.m. at the Benzie Central High School Auditorium. Click here for more information.

Stefan Wiebe engineered this edition of Studio A.