Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Andante piacevole
Movement 3: Allegro vivo con fuoco
The first movement, Allegro, is highly rhythmic and again reminiscent of Stravinsky in its percussive chords and dissonant sound world, with accents commonly occurring on unexpected beats in the bar. Such passages are offset by contrasting phrases of unrestrained lyricism. The interval of a fourth, a favourite of Williamson (and particularly appropriate given the concerto’s number), dominates this and the remaining two movements. The central Andante piacevole is notable for its attractive main theme, which is introduced in a brief germinal fragment played by the woodwinds, brass and percussion before it is taken up by the piano and given a full statement—complete with embellishments—to an accompaniment of triplet quavers. The movement gradually increases in intensity, before drawing to a serene close, and is followed by a brief finale, Allegro vivo con fuoco, which returns to the high energy and chromaticism of the opening movement.
from notes by Carolyn Philpott © 2014