Mozart wrote many of his 27 piano concertos for himself to perform (he also wrote concerti for two and three pianos). With the development of the piano virtuoso many composer-pianists did likewise, notably Ludwig van Beethoven, Carl Maria von Weber, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Sergei Prokofiev, and also the somewhat lesser-known Johann Nepomuk Hummel and John Field. Many other Romantic composers wrote pieces in the form, well-known examples including the concerti by Robert Schumann, Edvard Grieg, Johannes Brahms, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Edward Elgar made sketches for a piano concerto but never completed it.
There are examples of piano concerti written to commissions by pianists. Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm during World War I, on resuming his musical career asked a number of composers to write pieces for him which required the pianist to use his left hand only. The results of these commissions include concertante pieces for orchestra and piano left hand by Benjamin Britten, Franz Schmidt, Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofiev (his Piano Concerto No. 4), Richard Strauss, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold.
The few well-known piano concerti which dominate today's concert programs and discographies account for only a minority of the repertoire which proliferated on the European music scene during the 19th century.
A classical piano concerto is often in three movements.
Examples by Mozart and Beethoven follow this model, but examples abound which do not. Beethoven's fourth concerto includes a last-movement cadenza, and many composers have introduced innovations - for example Liszt's single-movement concerti.
Gershwin: Piano Concerto, etc. (Peter Jablonski, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Royal Philharmonic) (sound recording reviews)
Apr 01, 1992; Gershwin: Piano Concerto, etc. Peter Jablonski (piano) with the Royal Philharmonic under Vladimir Ashkenazy. London CD 430 52 542...