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The first movement, thinly textured writing in a lilting 6/8 time, uses free-ranging chromaticism, with Gallic overtones, around an E modal tonality. Two or three motifs are continuously developed, but the music never really reaches a convincing climax. Control is maintained over intensity, and the music comes to rest quietly, unresolved on a bare ninth chord.
The second movement is more austere, constructed in a strict, yet expressive, dodecaphonic serialism.