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Chopin referred to the Allegro de concert as a Concerto. In letters sent from Warsaw, Mikołaj Chopin enquired about his son’s Third Concerto. Its fortunes were unusual and mysterious. Chopin began composing it in 1831, in the wake of his two earlier concertos. After arriving in Paris, work on the new concerto somehow stalled; Chopin was continually breaking it off. Ultimately, he published just the first movement, as an Allegro de concert, in 1841. But it was during the mid thirties that he worked on it most intensely. We have a record of words that he supposedly said to Doctor Aleksander Hofman, with whom he shared a flat in Paris (at 5 rue d’Antin). They are thought-provoking, to say the least: ‘It’s the piece I shall play in my first concert upon returning home in the free city of Warsaw’.

The Allegro de concert opens with a theme termed maestoso. From time to time, we hear motives that clearly derive from patriotic or military music. The second theme brings for a moment an atmosphere of nocturne-like lyricism. Particularly significant would appear to be the modifications to the principal theme (maestoso). At the end, in a kind of apotheosis, it appears with extraordinary power and strength. As a whole, this Allegro (the abandoned Third Concerto) brings music that is uneven, stylistically inconsistent, oscillating between an old style (brillant) and the new style that has only just been born and that will explode with the Scherzo in B flat minor. It stands as testimony to Chopin’s efforts to document his patriotic convictions in music. He would achieve this to brilliant effect a couple of years later, in the Fantasy in F minor.

Author: Mieczysław Tomaszewski
[Cykl audycji "Fryderyka Chopina Dzieła Wszystkie"]
Polish Radio, program II


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Nikolai Demidenko

Allegro de concert in A major, Op. 46 Op. 46
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