The Violin Concerto No 2 in D major, Op 16, of 1916—written in the key Beethoven and Brahms chose for their violin concertos—has similarities to No 1 but is a subtler work in which the orchestra is more integrated with the soloist. The scoring, which adds three trombones and a tuba to the classical instrumentation of the First Concerto, shows how well Młynarski knew the orchestra by this time—the writing for the woodwinds is especially beautiful. The Allegro moderato begins with a brief tutti announcing the first theme, on which the violin then elaborates, making good use of double-stops; the second theme is more lyrical. The orchestra plays a large part in the development, and the fully written-out cadenza continues that development, coming in the traditional position near the end of the movement. The Quasi notturno in B flat major, marked Andante and apparently based on a folksong (‘sur un thème populaire’), is often very lightly scored. The song theme is introduced by the orchestra and the violin enters in its low register, before taking off on an extended rhapsody which rises to considerable emotional climaxes without ever losing the nocturnal mood. The Allegro vivace finale is highly virtuosic: a brilliant folk-like group of themes alternates with broader, more lyrical episodes, one of them partially in nostalgic double-stops, before we hear an exciting parade of the themes and the concerto comes to an emphatic Presto close. The premiere was given by the Warsaw Philharmonic in April 1920, with Paweł Kochanski as soloist and Młynarski conducting. The concerto has remained in the repertoire of Polish violinists, and it was fairly recently taken up by the English player Nigel Kennedy.
from notes by Tully Potter © 2014