The Concertstück, after an opening flourish, embarks on a sombre tune for winds and strings in E minor, which sounds like the main theme of a sonata-form movement, until the music suddenly turns back to E major. The piano then announces the ‘real’ theme, a Mendelssohnian Song Without Words in E major. The strings take it up with rich piano accompaniment, and an equally melodious second subject appears in the dominant key, followed by a trill, cadence, and closing tutti. A sudden change to E flat major heralds a repeat of the second tune; the return of the main song in E major is again prepared in the minor mode. After further developments there is a final-sounding trill for the piano, but the cadence is interrupted with a tutti in C major leading to a cadence in E. Strong double octaves for the piano begin the drive to the finish.
from notes by Nicholas Temperley © 2009