Abnegation, meaning a denial or self-renunciation, is depicted musically through the following scheme: The piece begins in the key of A-flat major and presents a lyrical melody in the contrabassoon, accompanied by the harp. As the piece progresses, gradually "foreign" notes are introduced into the texture. The melody in the contrabassoon begins to become fragmented and more disjunct. These processes continue and gradually the harmony becomes non-tonal and the melody in the contrabassoon becomes maximally fragmented, culminating in a climax involving both range and dynamics. The closing passage retreats dynamically, and the contrabassoon once again plays long, melodic lines. However, the tonality and balance heard in the beginning are never restored, and are thus denied or renounced.
Moderate technique; some extreme range; total duration: approximately 7.5 minutes