In a land overrun by rats, a piper arrives and plays his tune. The rats scatter. The piper plays again. The rats, while interested, continue to scurry.
The piper plays yet again. The rats listen. At last, the piper dances away, leading the rats. - an homage to the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The part where the rats scatter in all directions will be impossible for groups with players who listen for other parts before playing, but if they just play on the beat it should be straightforward.
-- Bradford Wright
This is a really fun programmatic piece for an intrepid quartet. The individual parts are not especially difficult, but stitching them together into a cohesive musical fabric will be a wonderful and enjoyable challenge. Hocket-y bits distributed around the group mean that each player must be fully engaged, as well as lots of off-beat statements and responses. The imagery conjured up by the music is highly amusing but may need some technical attention to perfect, such as overlapping scale passages for the scattering rats. The composer does not skimp on the humor in the music, nor does he shy away from accidentals and rhythmic interplay.