The Bassoon Concerto in B flat major (K. 191), written in 1774 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is the most standard piece in the entire bassoon repertory. Nearly all professional bassoonists will perform the piece at some stage in their career, and it is probably the most commonly requested piece in orchestral auditions – it is usually requested that the player perform the excerpts from concerto's first two movements in every audition.
Although the autograph is lost, the exact date of the finishing is known: 4 June 1774.
Mozart wrote the bassoon concerto when he was 18 years old, and it was his first concerto for wind instruments. Although it is believed that it was commissioned by an aristocratic amateur bassoon player Thaddäus Freiherr von Dürnitz, who owned seventy-four works by Mozart, this is a claim that is supported by little evidence. Scholars believe that Mozart wrote perhaps three bassoon concerti, but that only the first has survived.
The piece itself is divided into three movements:
The first movement is written in the common sonata form with an orchestral introduction. The second movement is a slow, lyrical movement that contains a theme which was later featured in the Countess's aria "Porgi, Amor" at the beginning of the second act of Mozart's opera Le nozze di Figaro. The final movement is in rondo form and is probably reminiscent of a dance of the time.