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This piece is a reworking of the song An end from the composer’s song cycle ‘… too bitter sweet’, and takes its title from a line in the Rossetti poem, which suggests an overall mood of regret and nostalgia.
Based on a rising minor arpeggio in an E modal minor tonality, the main theme is varied slightly on each statement. Likewise the secondary motif, first heard in bars 27-30, is presented differently each time.
Wistful throughout, the oboe is in constant dialogue with the piano accompaniment.