For his summer academy, the patron who commissioned the eight movements of this concerto requested that each should represent a different degree of difficulty.
Eight pianists of varying levels were to perform the work as part of a teaching programme which justifies its « nickname » Concertino.
Nevertheless, it remains a concert piece which can be played by one performer where the scale of difficulty doesn’t have to be linear.
Indeed, whereas the gentle and nostalgic « Prelude » is the easiest piece, the second movement « Scherzo » is one of the most virtuoso where its actual rhythmic complexity is masked beneath a lively allegro.
« First interlude » rising from the bass, sees the expressive soaring of the violins in opposition with the unshaking impassivity of the soloist and the remaining strings.
« Presto », as the name suggests, unleashes a quick flurry of notes before making way for the alternating clocks in the « Second interlude ».
Without a doubt, the frenetic « Ostinato » is the riskiest movement which takes us through the main difficulties of the piano with a sequence of variations.
Calm returns with the gentle melancholy of « Postlude » where the soloist remains in the background so that the strings can fully express their lyricism.
A release of expressive tension in the brief « Coda » an actual pirouette which leaves behind a feeling of lightheartedness and freedom.