The score for the ballet Facsimile was written in the three-week interval between the close of Tanglewood session in August 1946 and the opening of the New York season in September. It was, therefore, a highly concentrated work-period, and one of constant and intense collaboration with the choreographer Jerome Robbins.
The action of the ballet is concerned with three lonely poeple - a woman and two men - who are desperatley and vainly searching for real interpersonal relationships/ The music can be divided roughly into four sections, which follow closely the evolvement of the action:
I. Solo. The woman is alone in an open and desloate place, trying (and failing) to escape from herself.
II. Pas de Deux (in two sections).
A. Meeting with the first man, flirtation (waltz) and sudden passionate climax.
B. Sentimental scene (muted strings with two solo violins and solo viola). The love interest peters out, leaving the pair bored an hostile.
III. Pas de Trois (in two sections).
A. Entrance of a second man (scherzo, featuring extended piano solo passages). Forced high spirits, triangular intrigue, brittle and sophisticated interplay, leading to
B. Denouement. Discovery of a triangle-situation, reproachs, abuses, imprecations, threats. The three are now convinced that they are "really living" - or at least emotionally busy - only to arrive at a point of painful recognition of the absurdity of their behaviour, and the emptiness o their feelings.
IV. Coda. One by one, the men make embarrassed exits, the relationships obviously exhausted, leaving the woman alone, no richer in real experience than she was at the start.
The score is played without pause, in one movement.