1. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso – Allegro con spirito (B flat minor → B flat major)
The first movement is initiated with four emphatic B-flat minor chords, which leads to a lyrical and passionate theme in D-flat major. This subsidiary theme never appears again throughout the movement. The main theme of the concerto is a Ukrainian folk theme which is contrasted with a romantic theme, both in B-flat minor and featuring some of the melodic contours from the introduction. They are followed by a consoling orchestral A-flat major theme over a pedal point, which is repeated at the end of the exposition after a tumultuous climax in C minor. The development section juxtaposes the folk theme with the romantic theme. The recapitulation features the primary theme in the tonic key, leading into a transposition of the romantic theme and climax in the tonic major, before the excitement is cut short by an interrupted cadence and a piano cadenza. Surprisingly, the movement does not revert to the tonic minor, but instead leads to a triumphant and optimistic coda, concluding in B-flat major with a drum roll.
2. Andantino semplice – Allegro vivace assai/Prestissimo (D flat major)
The second movement, in D-flat major is marked "andantino semplice", which lends itself to a range of interpretations.
The movement is in ternary form (ABA). After a brief pizzicato introduction, the flute carries the first statement of the theme. The flute's opening four notes are A-flat–E-flat–F–A-flat, while each other statement of this motif in the remainder of the movement substitutes the F for a (higher) B-flat. The British pianist Stephen Hough suggests this may be an error in the published score, and that the flute should play a B-flat. After the flute's opening statement of the melody, the piano continues and modulates to F major. After a bridge section, two cellos return with the theme in D-flat major and the oboe continues it. The "A" section ends with the piano holding a high F major chord, pianissimo. The movement's "B" section is in D minor (the relative minor of F major) and marked "allegro vivace assai" or "prestissimo", depending on the edition. It commences with a virtuosic piano introduction before the piano assumes an accompanying role and the strings commence a new melody in D major melody. The "B" section ends with another virtuosic solo passage for the piano, leading into the return of the "A" section. In the return, the piano makes the first, now ornamented, statement of the theme. The oboe continues the theme, this time resolving it to the tonic (D-flat major) and setting up a brief coda which finishes ppp.
3. Allegro con fuoco (B flat minor → B flat major)
The third movement is marked "allegro con fuoco", and involves the interchange between two principal themes roughly in an ABABAB structure. The "A" theme in B-flat minor, based on a Ukrainian folk song, is principally carried by the piano on each occasion. On the first two occasions it develops into a subsidiary theme, in a major key, played by the orchestra. The "B" theme also appears three times, although in very different guises. On the first occasion it is a lyrical string melody in D-flat major, which the piano develops. Its second appearance is in an abridged form and in E-flat major. Its third and final appearance is in B-flat major, after a long and climactic bridge passage. This time it is triumphal, rather than lyrical, and played fortissimo by the orchestra and piano together. This final appearance leads into a B flat major coda marked "allegro vivo".
All rights reserved.
of , which is