Composed in 1977, Oliver Knussen’s tense and detailed Autumnal for violin and piano forms the first panel of Knussen’s Triptych (the other two being Sonya’s Lullaby, for piano, and the Cantata, for oboe and string trio). Lasting around 8 minutes, Autumnal is dedicated to the memory of Benjamin Britten, who died while Knussen was composing it, and its two restrained and austere movements are named after two Britten song cycles, Nocturne and Serenade.

'Knussen wastes not a note… its density of thought suggests something of sonata stature.'
Musical Times (Paul Griffiths), 1 August 1981