This jaunty, irreverent work contrasts fun-loving outer sections with a more serious middle section. The work opens, after some brisk chords, with a somewhat jaunty main theme, followed by a brief development. This leads into a lyrical second subject, sung by the clarinet over string and muted brass accompaniment. After further hints of the main theme, a third section appears, quite grave, which seemingly threatens to turn an otherwise pleasant—if not downright humorous—piece into a serious expostulation, until all of a sudden the percussion section pricks that balloon and sets the piece again on its jaunty way. Unison horns outlining the diminished triad add a measure of excitement to the ending.
Program Notes by Samuel Jones