In the less than a century long development of the history of Latvian music, we come across only four names of female composers. Marija Gubene (1872-1947), the author of many tasteful arrangements of folk songs, a graduate of the organ class of the Moscow Conservatory, who was joined in the twenties of the century by graduates of the Riga Conservatory Paula Līcīte, Laura Reinholde and Lūcija Garūta. Lūcija Garūta’s creative work has also branched out widely. At the moment, it has reached its professional maturity, its artistic perfection, perfecting and enriching the cultural values of Latvian Soviet music together with the art of Jānis Ivanovs, Ādolfs Skulte, Marģers Zariņš, Arvīds Žilinskis, Jānis Ķepītis, Jānis Ozoliņš and other talented contemporary composers.
Lūcija Garūta was born on May 14, 1902 in Riga in a family of workers. Together with her older and younger sister, little Lūcija thinks a lot about music from an early age. “You don’t need to sing real songs at all, it’s enough just to sing about what you see around you, then new melodies always come out,” five-year-old Lūcija says to her older sister one evening, returning from a walk.
And, as if confirming her words, she sings a self-composed melody, which sings about the flowers observed in the beautiful Vērmaņa garden. The only concern: how to write down these melodies? The older sister already knows a lot about school wisdom, Lūcija also learned to read and write with her, fluently managing both the Latvian and Russian alphabets. But that’s not enough for music. Neither the work-weary father nor the mother can give advice to the little singer. You have to act yourself. And after a few days, an older collection of folk tunes falls into Lūcijas hands. From its pages you can see the signs of strange dots and stalks, but soon, using the help of familiar melodies, as well as her hearing abilities, the future composer gets to know different pitch notations without any instrument. A little more time, and little Lūcīte can freely sing all the melodies included in the collection, but most importantly, she knows how to record her flights of melodic fantasy on sheets of self-made sheet music. An amazing musical talent was revealed here: the little musical friend still did not know any musical instrument. The piano, which her father manages to buy in the end, opens up unexplored artistic horizons for Lūcija. Notation skill is put to use. In unusually fast time, the girl exercises her little fingers. In the evenings, she never gets tired of improvising, much to the family’s delight. All of Lūcija’s childhood dreams are invested in the piano, even the most ordinary games are forgotten… At the age of seven, Lūcija Garūtas began studying with the well-known cellist Otto Fogelmanis (1876-1926), who also turned out to be a good piano teacher. The pedagogical method of O. Fogelmanis is characterized by a special ability to unleash the creative imagination of his students while working on the musical refinement of individual compositions. This all the more motivates Lūcija not to abandon the attempts at composition that began so early. The first witnesses of the seven-year-old composer’s promising talent are the solo song “Jūrnieks”, conceived with her own text, and a programmatic piano miniature.
Soon, the schoolmates get to know a pianist in the person of Lūcija Garūta, who likes to fill the school’s musical events with her early, shyly hidden sound patterns. It is interesting that Lūcija Garūta does not listen to the sometimes heard exhortations to start cultivating theoretical knowledge more seriously. She feels that the theory will not allow her to compose from the heart. At the age of fifteen, the young musician began her theoretical education under the guidance of music critic and composer Nikolajs Alunans (1859-1919). At the same time, piano lessons are also taking place (with Marija Žilinska, a former student of Anton Rubinštein). With the organization of the Riga Conservatory in the fall of 1919, Lūcija Garūta became a student of its piano class. However, Jāzeps Vītols, who noticed the future pianist’s special musical talents during the musical hearing test, soon learns in a friendly conversation about the sheet music written by the young student, which has accumulated quite a lot over the years. And, encouraged by an authoritative master, L. Garūta takes her first steps in the small group of young composers who are the first to learn the “secrets” of the art of composition in the newly founded Riga Conservatory under the guidance of old Vītola. In 1924, Lūcija Garūta graduated from Jāzeps Vītola’s composition class and a year later she also obtained a pianist’s diploma. A couple more trips to Paris (in 1926 and 1928), where Lūcija Garūta had the opportunity to work with excellent musicians (including the composer Paul Dukas), and a successful independent career began. Since 1926, the public has been regularly delighted by the evenings of Lūcija Garūta compositions, where Milda Brechmane-Štengele, Ādolfs Kaktiņš and other outstanding singers of the time usually perform together with the author. Because Lūcija Garūta is also well-deservedly famous as an excellent pianist accompanist. Her participation in chamber music concerts of the twenties and thirties of the century ensures the high artistic level of these events.
In the autumn of 1927, in the piano and theoretical classes of the Riga People’s Conservatory, the second leading line of Lūcija Garūta life began – pedagogical work. With the establishment of Soviet power in Latvia, Lūcija Garūta was also invited to work at the State Conservatory. In recent years, she has been a favorite teaching force of the faculty of composition, thanks to whom almost the entire generation of young music scientists and composers has gained a good arsenal of theoretical knowledge (special harmony, solfege).
The list of Lūcija Garūta compositions is extensive. Here we meet both symphonic compositions (“Teiksma”, 1932; “Meditation”, 1934; variations “My homeland”, 1935) and piano works (“Variations in F minor”, 1921; “Sonate in B minor”, 1924; “Preludes “, 1927, 1929; “Variations on the theme of a folk song”, 1933; four etudes for the third pedal of a Steinway piano, 1933, etc.), but also with many other compositions (“Sonata for violin and piano”, 1927; miniatures for violin, cello). However, the leading place in the first decades of Garūta’s work is occupied by vocal music: ensembles, larger vocal-instrumental forms (including the opera “Silver Bird” based on the author’s own libretto, which has remained in the piano version since 1938) and about two hundred songs. It is not for nothing that its author Jāzeps Vītols recorded a significant dedication in the collection of choral songs given to Lūcija Garūta: “Latvian songs for a flourishing flower” (March 3, 1934), because it is in the vocal music that the most characteristic features of the prolific composer’s work are vividly marked: the dramatic power of her music, the romantic yearnings of the soul. , captured in thick, sometimes deliberately sought-after dark minor colors.
The pain of love, dreams of happiness, mother’s care, the splendor of native nature, the experiences of the people – these are the leading themes of the songs. The composer never fakes herself, she writes, only driven by a deep, true inner need. The ideals of the author’s own poetry merge with the musical outfit. Emotionality is the guiding principle in this art, and thus, no matter how psychologically complex the sound language of Lūcija Garūta is at times, it cannot leave the listener indifferent.
The emotional brightness also characterizes the contribution of the other genres of Lūcija Garūta’s creative work. It should be noted that in the last decade, the author began to focus on instrumental music, especially piano works. There was also a desire to come into closer contact with folk music. As a result, several compositions grew out of the themes of folk songs, among which Lūcija Garūta’s folk song decoration for piano is a bright further development of Jāzeps Vītol’s paraphrases in Latvian Soviet piano music.
The piano concerto, written in the summer of 1950 and in the summer and autumn of 1951, is one of the most outstanding achievements of Lūcija Garūta’s creative work. At the III Congress of the Union of Soviet Composers of Latvia in February 1956, it was deservedly nominated as one of the most significant works of Latvian Soviet music culture of the last years, representing one of the most valuable and brilliant performances of Latvian Soviet concert genre literature.
The history of the piano concerto is deeply tragic. The composer has already thought about a large-scale piano composition several times, but was saddened by the realization that his poor health will never allow him to become the first player of this work. In the post-war years, a new hope comes into the artist’s life – it is the younger sister’s daughter Laila, whose musical talent was clearly manifested in early childhood and whose first music teacher is Lūcija Garūta. It is impossible to say whether the rapid musical development of the little girl, which somewhat resembles the biography of the composer herself, or whether her gentle nature evokes the most sincere feelings of affection in the composer. Laila becomes Lūcija Garūta’s best friend. Their joint four-handed music-making goes on for hours, the composer dedicates every free moment to the selfless work of Laila’s educator and teacher. The girl’s rapid and intellectual development further strengthens these feelings of friendship.Soon Laila becomes the closest connoisseur of the sound world of Lūcijas Garūtas, the first acquaintance of her new works and also sometimes the initiator.
The sudden and difficult illness of the girl, her unexpected death deeply shocked the composer. The depression cannot be hidden even from the closest colleagues, who are trying with all their might to restore the joy of the composer’s work. Alfred Kalniņš’s letter to Lūcija Garūta on March 4, 1950 is significant in this regard: “… I remember that already in 1944, probably in the old Gertrude church, you introduced me to my sister’s daughter, and since then I also knew that you both connected by a particularly deep love. I believe that no sacrifice would be too difficult for you to be able to help your sister’s daughter maintain her health, study, and get everything she needs for school and life. Many people knew about this mutual love between you, and I understand how painful it must be for you now to be without your eye-catcher. I understand you well and I also understand your grief. Put them in some sounds, and it will become easier and more bearable for you. Write something «in memoriam*» in memory of the little one.»** **The letter is in the possession of L. Garutas. Encouraged by the outstanding Latvian music master, Lūcija Garūta wrote the second part of the piano concerto “In memoriam” in the summer of 1950, adding the two outer parts of the concerto a year later. The author’s tragic experiences are reflected in a deep and convincing way in the work written “in memory of my little friend Lailiņa”, but these experiences are not narrowly captured in an individual plate. The composer was able to generalize the musical images of her composition, solving the eternal problem of life and death in a convincing, dialectically correct way. The stormy, protesting power of musical feelings (Part I) combines with a deeply tragic mood of pain (Part II), however, through this diversity of the range of human feelings there is a constant search of a philosophical nature, which finds its fulfillment in the finale, when the composer, rising above personal pain, expresses an unbreakable faith in the unstoppable and never-ending further flow of the light forces of life.
Sharp composition permeated with intense inner experience and struggle goes far beyond the dogmas of the once infamous non-conflict theory. But precisely these theories influence the Latvian Soviet Composers’ Union meeting on February 3, 1952, and the piano concerto of Lūcija Garūta had to receive harsh, undeserved criticism. The essentially deeply realistic composition was criticized for distorting Soviet reality. Vulgarizers forgot that “dogmatists understand the area of tragedy in art extremely backwards, primitively equating tragedy with pessimism. Moreover, it is not taken into account that sublime tragic works have always been the most life-affirming in world art. Such are the tragedies of Shakespeare, Goethe, Tolstoy, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky. In our days, the progressive, humanistic art of all the countries of the world no less vividly refers to all the pains and sufferings of humanity and, expressing them truthfully, announces its protest against evil and tyranny. How then can a Soviet artist, the bearer of the most progressive, most humanistic art traditions, break away from this artistic region?”* Only at the end of 1954 and the beginning of 1955 did the composer encourage herself to return to her composition, starting its instrumentation. The piano concerto premiered on the Riga radio broadcast on September 29, 1955 (soloist LPSR Merited Artist Hermanis Brauns, conductor LPSR Merited Artist Arvins Jansons).
Due to the Congress of the Composers’ Union, on February 29, 1956, in the first open performance (conductor, People’s Artist of the LPSR Leonids Vigners, soloist H. Brauns), the piece received the most favorable response from the audience. The Congress unanimously condemns the former vulgarizing tendencies in the assessment of the concert, opening up the widest possibilities for its popularization. So what are the main features of Lūcija Garūta’s new composition? We have already talked about the deep experience that is the basis of the musical development of the vast and complex composition. The composition is true throughout, saturated with emotional tension. Artificially constructed schemes do not stand before us anywhere. Not for a moment do we feel empty sections, as if patched with white threads, which often serve as a link for stringing together individual musical images in large-scale compositions of modern compositions. Everything is constantly growing, forming, strictly obeying the laws of musical dramaturgy. It is appropriate to note that the mastery of symphonic development, which characterizes Lūcija Garūta’s work in general (confirming the excellent professional education that the composition received in Jāzepa Vītola’s composition class), reached its fullest expression in this concert. The very specific, clear, laconic form of individual parts, the squared construction of individual form elements, perfectly corresponding to all the laws of form, also speak of the true realist school. Already due to its external form, Lūcija Garūta piano concerto stands close to the best examples of classical music. At the same time, the contact of the composer’s musical feelings with the content of the piano concerto with classical art cannot be denied, especially with the last three symphonies of the brilliant Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, in which there is a similar convincing, deeply lived realization of the collisions of tragic and life-affirming images.
Being an excellent pianist, Lūcija Garūta has created a pianistically brilliant concert solo part. Having comprehensively exhausted the possibilities of the piano texture, the author also gave a great role to the symphony orchestra, which, hand in hand with the solo instrument, truly symphonically solves the deep and rich musical thoughts of the concert. The orchestral score, like the musical material of the concert itself, does not have ostentatious splendor, instrumentation effects, or sophistication. Suloti’s thick orchestral sound is hollowly mysterious in the painful moments of the concert. The warm, light timbres of string instruments are abundantly used in the lyrical moments, while the tragedy is intensified by the cutting sounds of brass instruments. Thus, the entire instrumentation purposefully obeys the requirements of the composition’s content, and marks out the contours of the concert’s diverse images. The composition’s content is similarly served by the composer’s harmonic language. Lūcija Garūta’s art has never been characterized by an exaggeration of the search for harmonious colors. Her harmonic sequences never tried to shine with conceited cleverness or equilibrist tricks. Everything is amazingly balanced, seamless and, above all, very peculiar at the same time, because the harmonic language goes far beyond the usual laws of harmony. An attentive researcher will come across a lot of sharp, unusual harmonic sequences, many unexpected and sudden modulatory turns, which seem to be hidden by the careful voice management, combined with the author’s enviable professional experience and impeccable taste. In the moments when Lūcija Garūta’s original materials come into contact with the Latvian folk melody, the harmonic language fits into the framework of strict diatonism, bringing elements of polyphony (the so-called polyphony) into the musical creation. As a result, the national color of the composition is more brightly colored in certain moments, its Latvian face is highlighted for more special features.
It is important to underline two moments in the melody of the concert. First of all, it is intonatively seamless and, as we will find out below, formed with one common circle of intonations in the growth of certain important themes. Thus, the coherence of the more than thirty minutes long musical flow, the unity of the musical images, the continuous development and roundness are enhanced. Secondly, the author has used quotes from several folk songs, and moreover, contrary to many examples found in Soviet music literature, she has taught to choose quotes whose content corresponds to the overall mood of the relevant musical moment. It is important to note that Lūcija Garūta’s attitude towards the use of musical folklore materials in original music in general is also instructive. Already in the earlier works of the composition, a welcome tendency to investigate mainly little-known, rarely processed samples of Latvian folk melodies can be observed, thus bringing a lot of fresh, invigorating breeze into the music. Also in the current concert, one of the three quotes from folk songs (“Daugaviņa, mellacīt”) is treated for the first time in Latvian music literature. The old funeral melodies “Kam tu luži, ozoliņi” and “Jūdziet sirmus” have experienced treatment only in the creations of a few composers, generally representing rarely used samples of folk melodies.
I part, Lento, pesante (fa diez min.)
A gloomy introduction, which, as if at the end, a mysterious timpani tremolo background, prepared by a solo piano, grows into a group of string and woodwind instruments. The introductory thematic material is very concentrated, consisting of an upward unison march with a poignant resolution in the sixth degree seventh chord, which is wrapped around an ascending solo piano passage that grows out of the same chord.
The development of the concerto’s short introduction takes place in three stages. For the first time, the laconic, ascending theme covers the extent of the fifth. The second time it reaches the volume of the sixth, at which both the rhythmic structure of the theme and the chord of its solution are intensified. For the third time, the ascending movement stops on the nona, moves a step higher with even greater dramatic force, and then, in a mood of deep pain, the heavy tonic triad of F minor resolves.
The three stages of the development of the introduction mark the clash between the theme’s ascending aspiration and the chords full of fatal severity. The louder, more passionate the rising cry of the theme, the heavier and more oppressive the force of these harsh chords confronts it. And it wins in the introduction, as evidenced by the painful, as if under inexorable forces, the final, desperate, ignorant measures of the introduction. The hours of painful trials have come. What will be? Will the forces of evil really remain victorious? The answer to this question comes in the main movement of the concerto, which replaces the introduction, Allegro sostenuto, semper ben marcato. These are not pessimistic sighs or silent cries with which the protagonist of the concert stands before us. No, in his view, the tragic event is received with a fervent and irreconcilable shout of protest, with a superhuman will to win, to live. Rhythmically sharp, descending, permeated with painful dramas is the thematic grain of the main part, which first sounds in the piano, then with new force is reproduced a second time in the subdominant harmony, and finally, gradually, attracting string groups and woodwind instruments, from dramatically descending and anxious ascending signal-like intonations causes everything further development of the main party.
It is significant that the intonation of the descending second characteristic of the thematic grain of the main movement can be observed in the introduction at the top of the piano passage. Thus, the features of the main part contrasting with the fateful chords of pain are already outlined in the piano texture of the introduction with barely noticeable strokes. The signal-like intonations in the development of the main part bring the music of Lūcias Garūtas especially closer to the peculiarities of Scriabin’s symphonic art. Once again, with great force, in the tutti and piano chant of the whole orchestra, the author gives free rein to the theme of will full of protesting power. As in the opening bars of the main movement, it repeats itself twice. This repetition marks the beginning of the connecting part corresponding to the allegro form of the classical sonata.
However, contrary to examples often found in the literature, the connecting part of Lūcija Garūta’s piano concerto does not have a simple role of combining the main and side parts. Characters full of masculine power, thanks to the abundant use of intonations in the main part, also dominate the tie-in part. Even more, its continuous development leads to a powerful climax full of internal excitement, which marks the highest moment of emotional tension in the entire exposition of the first movement. It is interesting that the thematic material of this climax also appears in a varied form in the development of the side party. The lyrically excited image of the side part of A major is like a reflection of the main character of the concerto. With this moment, the musical mood of the whole piece changes drastically. From the excitement of excited passion, it sinks into bright, deeply heartfelt moods.
The performance of the melody in solo piano, using the upper, light register, underlines the bare, childish nature of the image. The structure of the part next to it is highly symmetrical: the eight-bar sentence makes up the first half of the period, and this sentence is made up of two melodically different, although coherent in mood, four-bar phrases (a+b). The first half of the second sentence repeats the melodic material a, but the material b is replaced here with new intonations that have grown from the previous one. The result is the formula (a+b)+(a+c), reminiscent of form-building techniques often found in folk music. That’s why the side part of the concert, although it doesn’t carry throughout brightly expressed searches for national color, thanks to its square structure, is close to a simple, poetic folk song. It has the sincerity characteristic of folk music, and, knowingly or unknowingly, with the appearance of the material of the side part in the first part, the whole sound of the second part of the concert, which is twisted from the themes of folk melodies, is prepared. Next, the first movement of the part is heard only in the piano.
The melody of the second movement is taken over by a group of string instruments and a flute, while a swirling piano accompaniment of triplets wraps around the light-hearted theme, reminiscent of the play of sunlight on the slowly swirling water of a river. The image of the nearby party begins to sound a second time in a dynamic way, gaining strength and power with the beginning of the second sentence. The texture of the piano becomes dynamic and rich, the sound is enhanced by new instruments of the orchestra. In the constant climb, more and more exciting characters are formed. From childlike simplicity and sincerity, they grow to deep soulful excitement, which reaches its greatest emotional tension in the climax saturated with unfulfilled longing. The climax of the adjacent party is identical in its development to the climax of the main party. And not only in development. By careful comparison, the listener will also see the similarity of the two climaxes in the intonations: the major second fa diez sol diez and sol diez – fa diez, as well as the descending pure fifth fa diez si, is the leading element of intonations in both cases. This once again allows us to conclude that the central thematic materials of the first part of the concert – the main and the side part – are two worlds of different moods from the perspective of one person. The first mood is associated with images full of protesting strength and inner will, the second with longing for the sun, light, for life.
It is impossible to say whether this longing will come true, because when the bright development of the music gradually tears away from the material of the adjacent part in the final part, the familiar intonations of the adjacent part begin to sound excitedly in an ignorant, minor mood. This moment marks the beginning of the elaborate stage of Part I of the piano concerto. Driven by constant questions and dramatic tension, it directs the entire development of music towards one goal, the sound of the epic folk song “Daugaviņa, mellacīt”*. The slightly Slavic melody, surrounded by a rapid burst of double octaves on the piano, sounds like a mighty anthem. It is superfluous, the thoughts of the hero of the concert stopped in front of the eternal nature. And now in deep anxiety he observes this magnificent scene of nature. Personal suffering has not stopped life. Like a mighty stream, it flows further and further… The depiction of nature reaches even greater grandeur at the moment when, after the first performance of the folk song in B-flat minor, there is an unexpected turn to B-minor and the theme sounds like a new one. Daugavina, mellacit’, Darkness falls in the evening. How that dark one will not flow, Full of precious bodies.
The seemingly tiny step of a semitone creates a great effect. The epic song announces its existence with harsh force. The joint cooperation of the entire orchestra and the piano reinforces the strong sound of the theme, the highest degree of emotional tension of the product is reached. But at this moment there is a break in the music. From the intonations of the main part, the soloist begins to solve the musical material of the cadence, which, driven by constant internal drama, waves and washes until it reaches the intonations of the already familiar introduction. In accordance with all the principles of the classical sonata allegro, this cadenza prepares the beginning of the reprise. The familiar material of the main part sounds like a new one, only in a more tragic, stronger, protesting sound. It seems that despite all the experiences, the hero does not believe in the inevitability of the tragic event. In a slightly more concentrated way, the solution of musical thoughts passes to the side part formed in F minor, which develops in the same way as in the exposition. However, when the light’s long-awaited climax begins to grow from the second performance of the lyrical theme, and when the sound of bright images takes on an increasingly daring force, a sudden, unexpected break occurs in the entire musical development. The light flow of the music is darkened by the gloomy image of the introduction. Like the fateful themes of Tchaikovsky’s and Beethoven’s symphonies, it eerily reminds us of the inevitable. As in Dargomižski’s vocal painting “The Old Corporal”, it seems to interrupt the strong flow of a thread of life. Tragedy has happened… Human will is broken, only screams of protest remain about the injustice of the victory of the forces of darkness.
II part, «In memoriam»
– Grave in E flat minor. The piece is built in a simple three-part form (A+B+A+coda) and is thus based on two characteristic thematic materials (A and B). The first of them is arranged in four eight-bar variations. It should be noted that the principle of variations is one of the most favorite techniques of the development of Lucija Garuta’s musical thought. The variations are based on the gloomy folk melody “Kam tu luži, ozoliņi”*. In the first variation, this melody in the piano pianissimo sound of double basses, cellos and violas depicts the scene of a mournful procession as if emerging from afar. The dynamic power of music is gradually increasing. With each subsequent variation, the composition of the orchestra’s instruments becomes richer. Neither the tonality nor the melodic creation of the theme changes, only the instrumentation and, above all, the finish of the folk song varies, and a special role is given to the counterpoint in this solution of variations. So already in the second variation on string instruments in the low register, the background piano of the gloomy-sounding folk song forms a melancholy melody, which, along with the main theme, is assigned a visible place in the entire further development of the second part. * Who are you breaking, oak trees, Are there no trees, breaker? What did you die for, pale ones, Are there no people, mortal?
In the third variation, the heavy-sounding folk melody on the piano is surrounded by a new, melodically even more independent, emotionally brighter counterpoint, which in the clarinet’s performance is formed as a message full of sad sighs. In the fourth mpespressive variation, the folk song “Kam tu luži, ozoliņi” reaches a deeply tragic sound. The theme is tackled by the strong group of brass instruments, while the piano in a mighty chord arrangement and an excited rhythmic arrangement forms the counterpoint borrowed from the second variation, which deepens the tragedy of the whole music. The middle part (B) is related to the second Latvian folk funeral melody “Jūdziet sirmus, jūdziet raudus”*, which sounds somewhat contradictory to the text, in a slightly light, soothing mood. Feel the grays, feel the tears, Take me to the sandbox! There will be tears, there will be tears, I will not come forever.
The finish of the melody oscillates between both G-flat major and B-flat minor harmonies, but throughout the development of this section, the instrumentation continuously maintains its bright, sunny mood. And associations with many compositions of a mournful nature in classical music, in the middle parts of which are usually drawn images of deceased heroes, beloved departed ones, are inevitably created. It seems that at this moment in the piano concerto of Lucija Garuta, more than anywhere else, the bright memories of the author about the beloved person, whose world of inner feelings was so vividly revealed by the image of the side part of the first part, are manifested more than anywhere else. A rousing violin solo concludes this memory scene. The well-known melody “Kam tu lūzi, ozoliņi” enters the music in a new, variation-like development. Three variations imbued with tragedy recall the dark event in all their immediacy. These are deeply human pains, crushing regrets that have yet to be overcome, that must be overcome in order to maintain faith in life and work.
III part, Maestoso Fa
Part III, Maestoso in F major is composed in five-part (so-called rondo) form with a broad introduction and conclusion (coda). the thematic material of the levada resonates with the opening intonations of the first part. Only instead of minor, there is now a major, cheerful, anthemic major, which in the powerful sound of the orchestra seems to confirm that all the good, beautiful things that man has given in life do not disappear. It lives in the memory of other people, passes from generation to generation.
— It seems that with this the author imagines the realization of the unfulfilled dreams of the hero of the first part of the concert in other people’s lives. So what is the fulfillment of these dreams? asks the interrupted cadence, which stops all the flow of musical imagery full of philosophical uplift. The answer to this question is sounded by the piano solo, creating sounds that confirm the joy of life, surrounded by carefree playfulness. Only a little later, the listener is given the opportunity to learn that the playful intonations develop extensively in the Allegretto scherzando stage, one of the leading thematic materials of Part III. For the time being, only the course of the author’s philosophical thoughts is marked in the few bars of carefree joy. Once again, the philosophy affirming the immortality of the work left by man begins to unfold in majestic power. Once again, the serious sound of the orchestra is countered by the reckless joy of the piano solo, which grows in height. And then the flash of bright sounds takes its toll. The leading theme (A) of the third movement of the somewhat peculiar rondo form [A+B+A+ C + (B+ A)]* begins, which again does not represent examples of consciously sought-after nationalism, but which, thanks to its sincerely bright simplicity, however, it contains an optimism of folk dance music that is difficult to describe in words. Gradually, starting with a solo piano, it also attracts the other instruments: from the piano, it first moves to the group of brass instruments, then to the string instruments, as if searching for the most expressive instrumental outfit possible. And then for a new performance by the whole orchestra, enhanced by the pianistically brilliant piano part, it shimmers in light colors like a fragrant bosom of lilacs in the spring sunlight. Episode B, in a slightly more lyrical way, continues to use the scene of the spring splendor, creating an excitedly elevated, sincerely lyrical song instead of a dancing, playful scene. And then, in the increasingly daring, pianistically brilliant piano part, the already familiar theme of playful joy of life (A) unfolds anew. An important role in the musical composition of the third part is played by the second episode (C) – a widely flowing epic theme. * The pattern of the regular rondo shape is A+B+A+C+A.
It seems to carry reflections of the philosophy already heard in the introduction to Part III. It is not for nothing that the rhythmic structure of the opening bars of the theme is identical to the rhythmic structure of the musical material of the introduction, and therefore also to the rhythmic structure of the introduction to Part I. Thus, in this theme, the realization about the grandeur of life, the greatness of life, melted in the fires of the concert’s experiences, seems to intertwine. As in the introduction of the third part, the musical development of this episode also uses the material related to the side parts of the first part of the concerto. The constant ascension of emotional feelings going towards the light and the sun, which was suddenly interrupted in the side part that sounds in the reprise of the first part, here reaches a strong conclusion in the cadence of B major, thus giving confirmation of the victory of life. Everything that has been experienced has been overcome. From pain grew joy, from death life. The already familiar episode B enters for a new joy, and then, extensively developed, it gives its name again to the playful main theme, which for the last time unequivocally and unbreakably expresses the victory of the light forces forged in a long and difficult battle. After all that, the following piano solo cadenza, which deliberately includes almost the entire cadenza material of Part I, reminds us of the tragic battle. However, contrary to the cadence of the first part, the bright images now break out, gaining the most complete life at the end of the concert (coda), where the flow of music is formed from the introductory material of the third part and sounds like a hymn to life – a hymn to the great, mighty, beautiful and forever unstoppable life.