Movement 1: Allegro non troppo
Movement 2: Adagio
Movement 3: Tempo I, ma molto più tranquillo
Dohnányi’s own compositions, though, speak the koine of Brahmsian, classicizing Romanticism, as his D major Konzertstück, Op 12, of 1903–4 illustrates. Dohnányi grew up with the sound of the cello in his ears – his father was an excellent amateur cellist – and his writing for the instrument is grateful and assured. In a single, half-hour span of music, the Konzertstück manages to be both an integrated one-movement structure and to hint at the bones of symphonic form. The opening Allegro non troppo begins with a rocking figure in the orchestra and a melodic shape from the cello – four rising crotchets and three rising quavers, much expanded and exploited in the development which follows. The music slips into D minor for a pensive central Adagio, where the rocking figure from the outset often features in the orchestral accompaniment. The cello falls silent for a brief, sudden, tonally restless outburst (quasi-scherzo?) which is reined back equally suddenly, to allow the soloist to emerge with a restatement of the opening material, which is soon invested with an emotional urgency that suggests an acquaintance with Mahler’s music; a brief cadenza brings in an Adagio passage during which the cello muses in rocking arpeggios, and again the opening material returns, Tempo I, ma molto più tranquillo, to lay the piece to rest.
from notes by Martin Anderson © 2005