Movement 1: Allegro ma non troppo
Movement 2: Andante mesto e molto espressivo
Movement 3: Presto
The work has a conventional structure with the first movement providing a suitably dramatic opening full of passion, virtuosity and soaring melody—the hallmarks of Bortkiewicz’s piano-writing. The second movement is perhaps the most successful, with a haunting opening melody which is later embellished with great simplicity and elegance—proof that he was more than just a barnstormer. The last movement is a ‘no holds barred’ study of virtuosity suitable for impressing even the most jaded audience in an era of great piano virtuosos. This sonata (as with so many other works by Bortkiewicz) leaves one wondering what fame and fortune the composer might have enjoyed had fate later brought him into contact with Hollywood.
from notes by Stephen Coombs © 2000