Following the success of the Concerto for piano and winds, Stravinsky composed a second keyboard vehicle for himself with orchestra. On the heels of his Tchaikovsky ballet, The Fairy's Kiss, the Capriccio is as playful as the Concerto was earnest: its toccata energy is tongue-in-cheek. The dancing, leaping piano part generates a music-hall ebullience. Stravinsky compared the second movement cadenza, with its cimbalom-like hammerings and scales, to "a kind of Rumanian restaurant music." However fortuitously, the Capriccio and Concerto are foils for one another; they comprise a satisfying pairing.
Repertoire note by Joseph Horowitz