It contains the three movements typical of instrumental concertos of the period:
Romanze - Larghetto in E major
Rondo - Vivace in E major
Classical critics usually fall into one of two schools of thought concerning the piece. The first of these says that, given that Chopin was a composer for the piano first and foremost, the orchestral part of this piece acts more as a vehicle for the pianist, with the individual instrumental parts being uninteresting to perform. The second suggests that the orchestral backing is carefully and deliberately written to fit in with the sound of the piano, and that the simplicity of arrangement is in deliberate contrast to the complexity of the harmony.
Both the first and second movements feature unusual modulations; in the opening Allegro, the exposition modulates to the parallel major, i-I, instead of the expected i-III. This tonal relation (i-III) between the second and the third theme finally occurs in the recapitulation, where an actual i-I modulation would have been expected, producing a different effect. The Romanze, although not strictly in sonata form, has its second theme of the exposition ascribe to the classical model of modulating to the dominant (I-V), and, when it returns, it modulates to the mediant (III).
Mily Balakirev re-orchestrated the concerto (using the same orchestral forces as Chopin employed), and also wrote arrangements for violin and orchestra as well as for piano solo of the second movement. (Wikipedia)
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