The Bassoon Concerto in B flat major was Mozart’s first wind concerto, and he was just 18 years old at the time of writing. But with 25 symphonies already to his name, together with several piano concertos and numerous other works, he was already an experienced composer and orchestrator and this work displays competent and idiomatic writing for bassoon.
With repeated notes and bold leaps the opening movement draws out the bassoon’s comedic character. The second reveals its more expressive side with a tender and eloquent aria. Here, the opening phrase is based on a tune Mozart jotted down as an eight-year old child, and is one he was to return to in later works, including in his opera, The Marriage of Figaro.
In the final movement, the orchestra presents the dance-like recurring refrain while the soloist is given the task of leading the two contrasting episodes before joining the orchestra for the penultimate statement of the main theme.