Six Songs without Words – Set Seventeen
Song no.1 in E major – Andante
Song no.2 in C♯ minor – Grave
Song no.3 in C major – Andantino
Song no. 4 in A♭ minor – Allegro ma non troppo
Song no. 5 in F minor – Allegretto
Song no. 6 in E major – Giga. Presto e giocoso
The opening piece, in ternary form, has echoes of Baroque prelude in the outer sections and a more expansive lyrical tune for the left hand for the middle section. The second piece is quite mournful in character, though a little brighter in the middle section. The third piece begins in quite a pastoral vein but changes to a darker and more scherzo flavour for mid-way. When the opening tune returns it is in rather more grandiose dress. The fourth piece tends to use melodic shapes that initially rise and, despite contrasting moods, is largely an uplifting piece. By contrast, in Piece Five, the opening melodic shapes are falling and given the minor key, the mood is sombre. Later on the dedicatee’s prowess as a player of the Northumbrian pipes is saluted in the musette nature of the middle section. The set ends with a playful gigue.