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The slow movement is little more than a brief lyrical interlude, its elegiac tone heralded by the opening sixteen-bar piano solo, immediately reinforced by the strings. The piano sings out the tune, its interplay with the strings creating a remarkably passionate moment. Gibbs has the ability to create a mood, a world, with the merest whisper of string or piano tone, as at the close of this movement. The mood is still elegiac, as if the composer is looking out at the Lake District countryside already showing signs of the approach of winter, beautiful but quite different to his home in Essex, and sensing (or perhaps dreading) a more imminent personal sorrow.
The finale, a headlong dancing 6/8, is a light-hearted foil to what has gone before. There is certainly no angst in this outgoing music, perhaps intended to indicate that life is very much business as usual and one way or another we will all come through. With its catchy themes Gibbs clearly intends to send the audience away whistling (why don’t people whistle any more?) the tunes.
from notes by Lewis Foreman © 2002