Movement 1: Maestoso con fuoco
Movement 2: Lento
Movement 3: Finale: Allegro con fuoco
The calculated effect is of slamming on the brakes almost too soon, leaving unexpended momentum which then casts its shadow across the opulent yet subdued slow movement. The finale, one of Bowen’s most successful, seems to hint at the opening theme of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2 in a secondary subject demanding barbaric intensity on the violin’s G string, but more generally the music evokes a kind of reinvented Mephisto Waltz, where high spirits and something fleetingly more macabre intermingle as they whirl by. A spectacular coda gains from Bowen’s expertise on both instruments. The slower, declamatory piano rhythms of the work’s opening reappear, cross-cutting the violin’s semiquavers so that, again, brakes seem to be applied—then released for a turbo-charged rush to the finish.
from notes by Francis Pott © 2013