Movement 1: Allegro moderato
Movement 2: Lento
Movement 3: Allegro
The slow movement opens with the spotlight on the strings. A fugato builds to a passionate climax, only for the clarinet and horn to enter in duet with their own more florid material. The fugato returns, the timing of the string entries halved to one bar’s distance to provide time to develop the wind and string ideas in harness.
The finale has the shape and nature of a rondo. Whereas in the first movement it was the wind instruments that took the lead, here it is the strings that initiate the melodic impetus and changes of mood. Indeed, it is the remarkable variety of texture obtained from the strings that gives light and shade to the movement. A coda, in which the metre alternates between 5/8 and 3/4, closes the work in fine, rousing style.
from notes by James Rushton © 1983