Movement 1: Con moto – Allegro – Moderato
Movement 2: Andante –
Movement 3: Scherzo: Allegretto
Movement 4: Andante maestoso – Moderato
Little of the above sounds like the work of someone routinely classified as a salon music composer. The lovely theme of the second movement (in B flat major) most certainly does, however, and most touching it is too. Godard, incidentally, liked to use the full range of the keyboard, and here occasionally takes his soloist down to the very bottom B flat. A central section in five flats threatens to obliterate the serenity of proceedings but calm soon returns, a quiet series of arpeggios taking us, attacca, into the Scherzo, in F minor. Here, in this delightful and all-too-brief movement of Mendelssohnian gossamer, are hints of the famous scherzos from Litolff’s Concerto symphonique No 4 and Saint-Saëns’s G minor Piano Concerto No 2.
The Andante maestoso opening of the last movement announces the return of the very first theme of the concerto. After a lengthy cadenza-like episode, the finale proper begins—and what an extraordinary finale it is: a moto perpetuo of sextuplets (three groups to a bar), often in unison an octave apart, punctuated by a sprightly second subject given to the flute. Soon this breathless—but never frenetic—toccata gives way with satisfying inevitability to the grandiose statement of the concerto’s main theme, after which the soloist hurtles towards the close in a blaze of interlocking chromatic octaves.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2014