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Word Count: 518
The concerto is in Bb minor and features solo pianist Alessio Bax Accompanying the piano was the Meadows Symphony Orchestra of SMU conducted by Paul Phillips The first movement is performed allegro non troppo e molto maestroso and opens with several bars of pensive ominous horn dominated melody The English horn was a new addition to the Romantic orchestra and its powerful contribution is evident immediately But following this tense opening the piano emerges as the focal point and just twelve seconds into the movement Mr Bax plays the driving three chord subject material of the first theme While the extended length of the piece creates difficulties in determining its form there are distinguishable themes repeated throughout the work The first theme with a simple chordal progression on piano with a supporting string harmony is typical of the Romantic aesthetic Lofty and extravagant strings soar over the terrace dynamics of the piano whose disjunctive melody rises and falls by octaves at a time Beyond the easily recognizable subject material of this theme the piano is prone to develop and digress on subjects briefly presented outside of the strict conforms of Classical period sonta-allegro While I can only speculate the form employed by Tchiakovsky I will attempt to be more specific as to quality traits perceptible to the unrefined ear During the second movement performed Andantino simplice a sympathy towards Rubenseins critic of the work threatens to overtake the listener Two minutes into the movement the piano interupts the comparatively even and chromatic strings with a dissonant and agitated arpeggiated melody The emotion builds with very distinct passages of antecedent consequent interplay between the orchestra and soloist The arpeggios grow larger and more dramatic running up and down the whole length of the keyboard This intensity is assuaged by a string passage at fourteen minutes that ushers in candential repetition After these bombastic retorts from the entire orchestra the piano grows more subversive resorting to
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