Movement 1: Introduction: Adagio ma non troppo
Movement 2: Kelvin Grove: Andantino con moto
Movement 3: Auld Robin Gray: Adagio espressivo
Movement 4: Lord Moira's Strathspey: Allegro moderato
Movement 5: Finale: Allegro vivace
There was no set form for such pieces; indeed, as in this case, they could begin in one key and end in another. People expected a slow introduction, a set of variations, and a fast winding-up at the finish, but the rest was up to the composer’s whim. Moscheles begins with a quiet orchestral prelude; in the ornate piano section that follows, dotted rhythms of a vaguely Scottish character are prominent. Then, still in the opening key of B flat, the piano gently states the first explicitly Scottish tune, ‘Kelvin Grove’. A variation follows, with the tune begun by the string basses and passed around the orchestra as the piano develops its own motive. After an orchestral interlude the piano begins a second, more animated variation. A coda follows, then a modulation to D major, to be the home key from now on. The nostalgic song ‘Auld Robin Gray’ is heard; the piano’s development of the melody becomes increasingly ornate, finally dissolving into a free cadenza. Then a forceful beat begins, suggesting distant marching soldiers, and leads directly into ‘Lord Moira’s Strathspey’. Moscheles may not have known that Lord Moira (1754–1826) had been a popular commander-in-chief in Scotland, and then, as Marquis of Hastings, Governor-General of India. A strathspey is a slow dance similar to a reel, with a ‘low strain’ of four bars (repeated) followed by a ‘high strain’ (also repeated). Rather than variations, Moscheles follows this tune with development, leading through various keys and including a triumphant orchestral rendering of the tune. Over the drumbeat rhythm ‘Auld Robin Gray’ reappears; then, after a pause on the dominant, a rapid version of ‘Kelvin Grove’ on the piano starts the brief, brilliant finale.
from notes by Nicholas Temperley © 2002