Noughts and Crosses is a series of five satirical vignettes, re-scored from an original set of piano miniatures. The pomp and swagger of the opening is almost immediately undercut by a mischievous woodwind tune, supported by snare drum and rhythmic string pizzicati. This brief and playful first movement ends abruptly, the mood turning seriously Wagnerian and self-important with the full power of the orchestral brass blaring in octaves. Relentless sforzandi and crescendi give way to a single clear horn line, before collapsing back into solemnity. Now the spiky arpeggios of the first movement return, bassoon and clarinet leading a jaunty escapade through fast, limping rhythms. The fourth movement is a passacaglia reminiscent of Shostakovich, arching perpetually downwards into dark string gloom before bursting into a raucous Bartokian crash-and-bash finale.