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Composed 10 years after his first piano concerto, Marx was inspired to write the second, the “Romantic,” by his impressions of Roman ruins and the historical associations the surrounding landscape evoked. The piece is in E-flat major, a sign of the composer’s conviction that tonality still had more than enough potential to withstand rejection. The music has no antiqued patina; it is bright, sunny, airy, occasionally wistful – Romantic, in other words. Its three movements (Allegro, Andante, Presto) bear distinct references to Villa Hadriana, Tusculum and Frascati.