Movement 1: Maestoso
Movement 2: Larghetto
Movement 3: Allegro vivace
The haunting second movement was inspired by Chopin’s infatuation with the soprano Konstancja Gladkowska. ‘Six months have elapsed and I have not yet exchanged a syllable with her of whom I dream every night’, he wrote in 1829, confessing that ‘while my thoughts were with her, I composed the Adagio of my concerto.’ Like the E minor’s Romanza, it is in the spirit of a nocturne, except that it is interrupted by a striking passage accompanied by tremolo strings, a device adopted at a similar point by Moscheles in his G minor Concerto of 1825. A vivacious Hummelesque rondo concludes the work with some imaginative touches, such as the second subject being underscored by the violins playing col legno (i.e. the strings are played with the back of the bow instead of the hair) and the coda introduced by a solo horn proclaiming the key of F major in which the work ends.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2008