This work began life with its second movement, the Scherzino, which was written to a commission from BBC Radio 3 to mark the Mendelssohn bicentenary year in 2009. It was clear that this short piece had limited prospects for future performances on its own so I began to think about some other movements to go with it. Over time, the present sequence eventually emerged.
The first movement, Praeludium, sets out most of the musical material to be developed in the subsequent movements. There follows the aforementioned Scherzino, a Canzona which is written entirely in the treble register until the very end, an Intermezzo which is characterised by a constant ostinato pattern in the bass, before finishing with a virtuoso Toccata which, near the close, brings the suite full circle by harking back to the opening Praeludium.