A certain imaginative approach to the usual formal structures is evident in Jadassohn’s Piano Concerto No 2 in F minor Op 90, composed—as the opus number would suggest—immediately after the first concerto. Jadassohn seems to have been inspired to write the second piece by the opportunities this offered to vary the formal outlines yet again. Here he composes a fairly standard but imposing Allegro energico first movement, in contrast to the fleetingly despairing recitative of Op 89—its grim, march-like main theme sounding to British ears rather like a minor-key version of ‘Men of Harlech’. The Allegro appassionato last movement, too, is in an extended sonata form, the coda this time turning to the major for the celebratory conclusion that Op 89 so signally failed to provide. It is the slow movement, however, that seems to toy most creatively with listeners’ expectations. After a winsome Andantino quasi allegretto tune in A flat major presented by the piano, a short cadenza from the soloist leads into faster music, culminating in an Allegro deciso in F minor that sounds very much like it ought to be the beginning of the finale. The Andantino tune seems only to have been a modest introduction to the last movement—except that it isn’t. The music slows down again, and the Andantino returns, finally fading out in a lazy haze of A flat arpeggios. Startlingly, the reverie is abruptly broken by a dramatic signal on the trumpets. Now we can really settle into our seats for the last movement—what went before was simply a gentle, and ingenious, deception.
from notes by Kenneth Hamilton © 2009