This set of five pieces explores the idea of Arcadia, as it’s been viewed by writers and artists from various historical periods. The first piece, Arcadia, takes its title from a pastoral romance by the 16th century Italian poet Sannazaro, and it mirrors the languid melancholy of his writing. This is followed by Swan of Mantua, which was a nickname given to Virgil. This time the mood is more bucolic, and the clarinet and piano swap triplet and duplet figures in a lazy fashion. With Faun – inspired by a painting by Cocteau – the music becomes more animated and unpredictable. Fast outer passages that are full of vitality and movement frame a more reflective middle section. The longest piece of the set is Callisto, which returns the music to an early Greek tale set in the region of Arcadia. The long unfolding melodic lines on the saxophone eventually dissolve into rich harmonies as Callisto ends her story in the heavens, placed up amongst the stars. A Dance before a Herm of Pan ends the set in wild and Dionysaic fashion. The title comes from a painting by Poussin in which nymphs and satyrs dance together before a pillar crowned with the head of Pan.