The first performance of the Piano Concerto No 3 in C sharp minor, with Scharwenka himself as soloist once again, marked his welcome return to Berlin as a performer in January 1899 after a seven-year absence, and he had a magnificent reception. The third concerto is symphonically much stronger than the second, where the emphasis is very much on the soloist. Here the piano and orchestra are much more integrated. Thematically Scharwenka tends to follow Liszt’s example with regard to cyclic form, and although he still retains the three separate movements (the finale follows the second without a break), the main theme from the first movement is varied in lyrical form in the second, and it appears as the main theme in the third movement also, this time with rhythmic variation. Again, in the finale, as with the second concerto, Scharwenka reminds us of his Polish origins.
from notes by Martin Eastick © 2003