I. After a wild introduction, the movement erupts into a rush of activity, with the emphasis on the frenetic motion of the
soloist. After a brief reminder of the opening, the movement ends with a frenzied toccata.
II. Adagio features long, flowing lines, and gentle counterpoint. There is rarely any sense of accompaniment from any
of the instruments, with the soloist functioning as a “1st among equals.” The movement is a very loose rondo, but the
form is quite free, even meandering.
III. Teaching Piece introduces a very different kind of procedure from the rest of the work. In this movement, the viola
introduces a motive or idea and “teaches” it to the next instrument, who picks it up and fashions the idea to make it
their own. As the soloist introduces more and more ideas, they are gradually subsumed into the texture. Only
occasionally does the soloist emerge to guide the ensemble to the next idea. After briefly losing the initiative in a
violent shift of texture, the soloist reemerges as the teacher.
IV. The fourth movement is attacca from Teaching Piece. This somewhat ironically titled movement, Aria semplice,
crashes between a simple, folksy motive and a series of highly charged dramatic gestures. The bulk of the movement
consists of an immense cadenza. Even when the ensemble is playing, the soloist is usually in a completely different
sonic world. The movement ends as it began, with a long clarinet tone.