was published by Ricordi in 1909. Its subtitle, ‘Impromptu’, is vindicated by an initial sense of rapt improvisation and a quality of Innigkeit again comparable with Schumann—notwithstanding one melodic twist which recurrently but, doubtless, unconsciously recalls Yum-Yum’s alliance with the moon in The Mikado
. This music rises to a more expansive climax than Prunella
, while its bell-like sonorities hint at a closer engagement with incipient Impressionism than anything heard so far. The central passage, a mercurially chromatic scherzo, invites comparison with the early maturity of Bridge. Tchaikovsky is said to have commented that, for the composer, every piece becomes a dress rehearsal for the next; and here one senses that the composer of the D minor Sonata knew how to exploit an embarras de richesse. A reprise of the opening section again rises to a broad climax before the music sinks poignantly to rest in its home key, D flat major.
from notes by Francis Pott © 2011