This soundscape/vignette begins with the onset of winter as the cold winds howl and folks hunker down for the winter. This pensive and somber season gradually transforms into the warmth and joy of spring as birds are heard and the key changes from minor to major.
The heat of the summer ushers in an uptempo Caribbean-flavored section of the piece. When autumn arrives, the mood turns a little slower and wistful and the two melody instruments—an oboe and a breathy wooden flute—each vie for attention in a contrapuntal duet. Finally, a coyote calls back the return of winter and we are reminded of the cyclical nature of the year.
There are a four melodic motifs borrowed from four popular tunes used in this piece—a couple are pretty obvious—the others maybe less so. Can you recognize them?