Hyperion Records

Concertstück in D major, Op 11
The Concertstück in D major opens with a motto theme which is promptly elaborated by the solo pianist. From modest beginnings emerge a brief, potentially chorale-like orchestral statement and a freely ornamental piano solo. An acceleration leads to an ‘Allegro molto sostenuto e maestoso’ which, in authentic Glazunov fashion, both extends earlier thematic content and subjects it to rhythmic transformation in rapid triple time. The pianist’s role remains decorative. A secondary theme, still in the tonic key and marked ‘Moderato quasi andante’, reverts to a basic four-in-the-bar, introducing a characteristic melodic contour of a rising major second and perfect fifth. The pianist launches into a broad left-hand declamation of the theme beneath a triplet accompaniment. With further orchestral involvement this reaches an expansive climax. Here, at least, we can find easy parallels with the outward means of a Glazunov; there are also similarities to the all-in-one design of Liapunov’s beautiful Second Concerto, where Balakirev’s overpowering influence sometimes slips and the ineluctably Lisztian origin of the keyboard writing reveals that composer’s shade as well (in any case, as has been said, the structural prototype is his).

Expectations are confirmed by a scherzo section, Allegro agitato, based on one of the orchestra’s phrases from the first section. However, the edges of the sectional layout now become blurred by reminiscence of earlier textures and tempos, as well as by what seems premature reappearance of the original motto theme. A prolonged recapitulation in B major of the secondary theme follows, along with a subdued and delicate cadenza. The finale ‘proper’ then gets under way, not before a suggestion has been made of an over-arching sonata integration of themes very much along the lines of Liszt. The key of B major is now established for good and is celebrated by the pianist in pages of fearsome virtuosity. Here the sobriety of a Medtner is conspicuous by its absence and the listener is left in no doubt as to the formidable virtuoso competition offered in youth by his gifted relative. Had their paths crossed, it seems certain that Goedicke would have enjoyed the approval also of Glazunov.

from notes by Francis Pott © 1996

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