The original version of the piece, Message to Frances Marie, op. 31a was composed for cello solo with two bows for the American cellist Frances Marie Uitti. The subtitle refers to the title of a composition by Charles Ives. The condensed piece of Webernian density which is built upon a homogeneous sequence of chords can be played by three different groups of instruments:
A: one cello with two bows, two violins and celesta
B: two cellos, two violins and celesta
C: two organs and celesta (or upright piano).
Written in 1989 the premiere of the work was given at the ISCM Festival in Oslo by F.-M. Uitti, Kjell Arne Jörgensen and Eileen Siegtel in September 25, 1990.