Movement 1: Toccata: Allegro
Movement 2: Allegro (Allegretto)
Movement 3: Molto largo e cantando
Movement 4: Ben allegro
The thematic material of the entire concerto derives from the interval of a perfect fifth and a selection of the intervallic relationships that fall within this interval. This creates a coherent relationship between each of the movements, helping to fuse together materials of widely disparate styles. The opening Toccata, marked Allegro, is so-named because of its motoric rhythms and the varied types of keyboard touch required of the pianist. It is in the traditional bravura style associated with the form and features two clearly contrasted themes that are in themselves related intervallically. The virtuosic second movement is a brilliant scherzo, marked Allegro (Allegretto), that features unconventional time signatures such as 11/16 and 10/16 and shifting divisions of the bar. In contrast, the slow third movement (Molto largo e cantando) does not stray from its basic 3/2 time signature. It is cast as a set of variations on a gentle cantilena theme played at the outset by the piano, with a cadenza inserted before the final variation. The finale (Ben allegro) is again rhythmically elaborate, but is more obviously melodic and extroverted in character than the first movement, as—in Williamson’s words—‘the piano engages a more buoyant orchestra in a combative dance’.
from notes by Carolyn Philpott © 2014