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Concertino for piano and string orchestra in E major

composer

 
The great tragedy in Milford’s life, from which he never really recovered, came in 1941 when his six-year-old son Barnaby was killed in an accident. Milford continued to compose, works including the Elegiac Meditation for viola and strings, the music now seeming to have a darker and more wistful tone. This was followed by what is perhaps his best-known orchestral work, Fishing by Moonlight for piano and strings (1952, published in 1958), to which this Concertino is a companion piece.

The Concertino dates from 1955 and is in three movements: a genial ‘Allegro moderato’, a characteristic Romanza (‘Poco adagio’), and an effervescent Rondo (‘Vivace’) finale, the theme given out in running octaves interrupted towards the end by a ‘Poco adagio’ interlude which provides a characteristic reflective moment before the rush to the throw-away end. It is in the Romanza that we find one of Milford’s most characteristic moments, a delightful tune in 12/8 first announced by the piano and then sung by the strings. Yet below its quiet surface there lurks a passionate vision, the fifth bar being marked ‘appassionato’ as the piano right-hand octaves rise above the stave. Later the movement rises to a warmly sonorous climax with the return of the opening theme, now richly harmonised.

from notes by Lewis Foreman 2002

Recordings

Peacock Pie
CDA67316Archive Service

Details

Movement 1: Allegro moderato
Movement 2: Romanza: Poco adagio
Movement 3: Rondo: Vivace

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