Movement 1: Moderato, ma con energia e con fuoco
Movement 2: Andante espressivo
Movement 3: Allegro con fuoco
The first movement, Moderato, ma con energia e con fuoco, begins unconventionally. Instead of an orchestral exposition, the piano opens the movement and announces the energetic first subject. After a lyrical second subject, an unaccompanied passage for piano merges into the orchestral exposition. After the first subject, a second march-like theme is introduced, with the piano adding its own lyrical and ornamented theme. A fortissimo chord, played by the piano and strings, marks the beginning of a short development section. There is then a reprise of the first subject which, after a few bars, merges into a cadenza for the piano soloist. The thematic material is suffused with embellishments. A final orchestral tutti brings about a synthesis of the first theme and the second orchestral theme. The piano, playing quasi fantasia and ad libitum, leads directly into the slow movement.
The protagonist in the Andante espressivo is clearly the soloist. In a chord-dominated movement the piano announces several lyrical motifs with frequently modulating harmonies. After a return to the first subject there is a highly embellished recitative-like passage in which the soloist plays several bars above string tremolandos and chords played by the wind section. The first subject returns in the orchestra, after which the piano brings the movement to an end with three unaccompanied pianissimo chords.
Viewed formally the finale, Allegro con fuoco, is a combination of sonata structure and development. The orchestra begins the movement, after which the soloist announces the first subject with a distinctive octave leap. The lyrical second subject is also introduced by the piano, accompanied by low-lying pizzicato strings. From now on the themes, or snatches of themes, alternate in various keys, interrupted by pianistic flourishes.
from notes by Eva Hanke © 2008
English: Roland Smithers