Movement 1: Adagio maestoso – Allegro – Adagio
Movement 2: Andante
Martin Roscoe (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Fedor Glushchenko (conductor), David Flack (horn)
Movement 3: Vivace – Cadenza con orchestra – Vivace
The second movement, with its largely pizzicato orchestral accompaniment, is in A minor. Its melodic contour is also derived in a subtle way from the ‘Adagio maestoso’. The last twenty-eight bars, during which the piano plays the opening theme originally introduced by the orchestra with broad arpeggio chords finally establishing the key of A major (known as ‘tierce de Picardi’), is an old trick, but it works superbly.
The third movement, Vivace, brings to its dramatic conclusion the opening Adagio maestoso theme which, motto-like, gives unity to the whole composition. Of the three movements this is perhaps the most Brahmsian in style with its lush sixths and thirds. A chorale-like theme played by the orchestra interrupts the flow of the cadenza. Then a frenetic coda in 6/8 is approached via a series of trills. Finally the time signature changes again, now to 2/4 Presto, leading the composition to its conclusion—not in E minor, but in the triumphant E major.
from notes by Otto Karolyi © 1993