Movement 1: Allegro moderato
Movement 2: Andante con moto – Allegro giusto – Tempo I
Movement 3: Allegro ben moderato
The second movement, in C sharp minor, typically combines slow movement and scherzo. It is the emotional heart of the work. In the Andante, repeated rhythms, grief-laden falling phrases – based incidentally on an inversion of the rising bass motif from the first movement – plus beautifully shaped counter-melodies combine to effect a lament as poignant as any in Bridge’s early music. The restless energy of the central scherzo is tempered by its minor mode (A minor). Bridge’s modal invention, underpinned by sustained pedal points, has a rare folk-like quality about it – rare for Bridge anyway.
The finale is the most compact of the three movements, and also the most densely thematic. It begins with one of the most unusual chromatic passages in all early Bridge. However, this is soon swept away by the main Allegro animato. The opening theme takes its shape from the falling fourths of the scherzo theme. In the short development, principal themes from the first and second movements are combined with the finale’s own material. In the reprise, second subjects from the first movement and the finale are combined. The ‘family’ likeness between the material of each movement ensures that these ‘cyclic’ procedures make their effect without sounding in the least contrived.
from notes by Paul Hindmarsh © 2004