Movement 1: Allegro maestoso
Movement 2: Menuetto: Allegro – Trio
Movement 3: Andante con variazioni
Movement 4: Pastorale: Allegretto
Canonic writing is also a prominent feature of the C minor minuet, whose flicking grace-notes give a pungent kick to the rhythm. In the second part the gliding chromaticisms and minor/major equivocations sound almost Schubertian, as does the delightful waltz-trio, spiced by irregular phrase lengths and hovering between A flat and F minor. For the third movement Onslow writes a set of five variations on a pensive slow march tune, offsetting the prevailing toccata-like brilliance with a grave minor-keyed variation, No 4. Despite passing squalls—not least in the final pages—the finale is a monothematic sonata-rondo in a lilting pastoral 6/8 metre that shares the canonic tendencies of the first movement and minuet. As in the opening Allegro, the coda presents the theme over a tremolo bass (Onslow here instructs the pianist to use both the soft and the sustaining pedal) before the music fades away in a downward flurry of arpeggios.
from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2012