Britten - Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge                             

This is the most colorful and imaginative variations I have ever heard.  The music begins with a slow but imposing theme, like sighing and pondering.   It is soon followed by an adagio, where the plaintive strings are broken into pieces in the sorrowful background. 
Then a march comes near, with the quivering sound and powerful transitions in rhythm, dispersed the sad mood.  A graceful dance starts --which you can probably hear in the BBC broadcast.  This romance is the most beautiful chapter in this variation, it is so relaxed, charming and marvellous.  Soon it is replaced by an excited movement, then, accompanied by a swaying dance, the solo violin sings in an ancient style. A cheerful walzer brings the atmosphere into a climax that is overwhelmed by a strong revolving. 
After that, it becomes quiet.  The trembling of the music implies an ominous perspective.  Inharmonious chord sounds remote and mournful, it climbs towards the highest cliff, surrounded by a deep gravity.  Now it is in a dark cave, the occasional burst of the strings like the drip of water from the gloomy rocks, where loneliness and death approaches..
The finale starts with a fugue that contains inexhaustible strength, then it developed into magnifficence.  After an expressive melody, the music calms down again, it goes back to the very beginning, the theme with pondering and sorrow, where it finds its own place.