I. Allegro; cadenza; Largo
II. Presto; cadenza; Adagio-Allegretto-Adagio
duration ca. 17 minutes
This Concerto is composed serially, in the sense that it is made up entirely of permutations of four motives; but the motives are not twelve-tone rows. They contain, respectively, three, four, five and six notes, and employ non- tempered intervals. All four motives are stated in the soloist's first seven bars: E C F# D# G; G F Ab Gb C Eb; Eb D B C; C D G .
Structurally, the Concerto follows the general pattern of the Berg Concerto: four movements arranged in two pairs, each pair linked by a cadenza. It can also be viewed as a single sonata movement, with the Largo and Presto forming the development section, and the recapitulation reversing the order of the themes; or as a continuous set of variations on the four motives.
The work is predominantly slow and quiet, although each section contains large climaxes. It is not a virtuoso display concerto; indeed, the soloist is often silent, and has more opportunity to impress the listeners with a range of tone colors and purity of intonation than with any of the more customary kinds of fireworks.
Copyright © 2015 Frank Wilhoit